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Pips: Original Playing Card and Dice Games


Players:  2
Average Duration: 40-50 minutes
Equipment: 1 deck of cards
Object: To score the most points over the course of multiple hands by taking more tricks than your opponent.

The Deal

Six cards are dealt to each player to make up their hands. Then, four cards are placed face down in front of each player, and four more cards are placed, face up, on top of each of these, making four columns of two cards each. The following diagram shows what the board should look like after the deal:

(tricks are played here)


The Play

The play consists of multiple rounds. Each round consists of seven tricks of four cards each. The non-dealer leads to the first trick, choosing one of the six cards in his hand or one of the four face up cards in front of him. Whenever one of the cards on the board is played, the card underneath it is turned up immediately and becomes playable at the next legal opportunity.

Following the lead card, the other player plays one card, following suit if possible, in front of the first card, and then immediately plays a second card next to it that can be anything, which serves as a lead back to the first player. The first player plays the last card to the trick, following the suit of the other player's second card if possible. The name "Horseshoe" is derived from the position of the cards as they are played, as illustrated in the following diagram:

One Player Plays These Two Cards:
2nd Card Goes Here
3rd Card Goes Here
One Player Plays These Two Cards:
1st Card Goes Here
4th Card Goes Here

If both cards played to the trick by a particular player have the same rank (i.e., a pair), then that player wins the trick. If both players played pairs to the trick, the pair of the highest rank, aces ranking high, wins the trick. If both pairs are of the same rank, the player who played the fourth card to the trick wins it.

If neither player played a pair, the winner of the trick is the player who played the highest card in the suit of the first card played to the trick.

The winner of the trick gathers all four cards together into a pile and places it face down in front of him. The winner of the trick leads to the next trick until seven tricks have been played.

After all seven tricks have been played, the player with the most tricks scores. He scores two points if he took four tricks, three points if he took five tricks, five points if he took six tricks, and seven points if he took all seven. Then, unless a player has scored eleven or more points in total, the non-dealer becomes the dealer, and a new round is played.

The first player to reach eleven points wins.

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