The 32 cards are distributed equally between the four players, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, moving clockwise. There are various ways to do this, often players receive two cards at a time rather than just one, until all players have eight cards each. The dealer now announce the trump suit. There are five possibilities as in bridge, clubs, diamonds, hearts spades and notrump. No trump (known as en voiture in French) also means that the points are doubled at the end of the deal. The dealer can also announce "opposite" (en face) and let his partner choose the trump suit.
The player to the left of the dealer can play any card of his choice, and the three players after him are obligated to follow suit if they can. If they can't, they can win the hand by playing a trump card or if they can't follow suit or trump, they must discard a card and obligatorily lose the hand. The player who wins the trick starts off the next trick, and so on, until all eight tricks have been completed. Note that the cards follow the normal order of hierarchy used in bridge, except that the 10 is the highest possible card - the order is 10, ace, king, queen, jack, 9, 8, 7. Players are not allowed to talk about their cards during the playing phase of the game.
Unlike bridge it's not the numbers of tricks taken that decides the score. The cards are all assigned a value:
At the end of the deal, the two pairs count up the value of their cards and declare them. The total value of the pack is 60 points ([5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1] x 4) so to get the opponents' score, the players simply subtract their total from 60. If there have been any doubles or redoubled, these are applied after counting the total. Points are scored relative to 30 as this is half of 60. For example, a team that wins the deal 36 - 24 gets six points (36 - 30) and the opposition gets zero. If there has been a violation of the rules, for example one player trumping another player's trick when he could have followed suit, the other pair gets the maximum points for that deal (30 points).
The game typically ends in one of two ways