pinochlepē´nŭ˝kəl [key], card game, probably derived from bezique, that was developed in the United States in the 19th cent. Pinochle is played by two, three, or four players, with a deck of 48 cards containing two each of the aces, face cards, tens, and nines of all four suits. The cards rank (in descending order) ace, ten, king, queen, jack, and nine. In all forms of pinochle, an arbitrary point goal is often set, e.g., 1,000 points, instead of just playing for game.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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