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Please Help a Beginner
Good Afternoon:
I  am a retired snowbird killing the winter in Sun City West, Arizona.  I have never played pinochle before and want to learn the game (I'm sure you've heard that before). I attended one meeting of the local club here and concentrated on trying to figure out counting meld.  I bought a deck of cards and got a strategy book at the library.  For two weeks I have been dealing hands to myself and just counting meld.  I think I am comfortable with that aspect and now need help trying to figure out how to turn that into bidding.  This creates questions:
1. What is the minimum and maximum that can be bet?
2. How do I understand if my partner wants to win the bid or not?
3. How does my partner know if I want to win the bid or not?
4. The game played here is single deck.  Are cards exchanged in this game?
I'd like some help (actually, any help) on these issues before I tackle playing the hand.

Thanks, Bill
Hi Bill, welcome to Power Pinochle and thank you for making your first post in the Introduce Yourself forum (I'd love it if everyone did this upon registering!).

I'll start with some light and general guidance to get you started:
1. According to this Sun City West Pinochle Rules Document, the auction has a minimum bid of 15.  I have never heard a rule stating that there is a maximum bid -- but of course over bidding is quite damaging to your team's score.
2 & 3. GENERALLY, when any player bids the minimum (opening 15 or bidding one increment higher than the previous bid) that is a declaration of wanting to win the auction and declare trump for the playing phase to follow.  There are many caveats to cover in answering this question, so it would be best if I merely pointed you to the Pinochle Bidding forum -- dive into any of the threads and read as much as you can tolerate.  Beyond what is discussed, it is entirely possible that your local club may have some unique rituals/conventions because pinochle play tends to vary greatly from one location to another.
4. The aforementioned rules document makes no mention of passing cards, so I would assume there is no exchange.

I am confident that you will have more questions, and we will be pleased to answer them for you.  Please do your best to post future questions in the most relevant forum and if starting a new thread, please title the thread with logical keywords so that our readers (and search engines) can quickly and accurately find the discussion.

If you have any questions or feedback please message me and I'll lend you a hand.
Best of luck with taking on Pinochle - a game that is simultaneously loved and hated by its players!
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle

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