1) Shuffle and deal 3 cards to each player. The game is traditionally played between four participants who split into opposing squadra (teams). Although the game can also be played between two participants.
2) Deal 4 cards face up in the centre of the table.
3) The cards are divided into 4 groups: Coppe (Cups), Ori (Golds), Spade (Swords) and Bastoni (Clubs). The cards range from 1 (the ace) to 7 and also include Knaves (Fante in Italian, worth a value of 8), Knights (Cavallo in Italian, worth 9), and Kings (Re in Italian, worth 10). The group in which the card falls is determined by its symbol, for example, 3 clubs or a King holding a club.
4) The player to the dealer’s left goes first by putting down a single card from their hand. Every time it’s your turn, you must put down a card, and pick up any card or cards on the table which are equal to the points of the card in your hand. This is the to winning a deal: set your card, as well as those you have picked up face down in front of you. Make a line out of these cards as you win them, the goal is to get as many as possible and preferably to get all the cards with 7s.
5) When all three original cards are gone from all the players’ hands, the dealer gives three further cards to each player. This goes on until there are no cards in anyone’s hands.
6) The last player to win a deal will have cards left on the table at the end of the game.
7) When calculating scores, each scopa (or deal) equals one point. Then the player or squadra gets an additional point if they either took the highest total number of cards, the highest number of Gold suit cards or the settebello (seven of Golds). On top of this, a point can be awarded if you have the premiera, meaning the most amount of 7s. If two players or squadra have the same amount of 7s, you count who has the most 6s. If you get the same score once more, then you pareggi (tie) the premiera.
8) In addition to these rules you need to continuously scheme to ‘sweep’ the table clean. If you take all the cards on the table, then this is a scopa (sweep) and you can take that deal and align it with your other cards – but face UP. So you can rub it into the faces of the other players, and so you remember to count it later as one point.