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Pinochle or Binocle (sometimes pinocle, or penuchle) is a trick-taking game typically for two, three or four players and played with a 48 card deck. Derived from the card game bezique, players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category which also includes a cousin, belote. Each hand is played in three phases: bidding, melds, and tricks.

In some areas of the United States, such as Oklahoma and Texas, thumb wrestling is often referred to as "pinochle".[citation needed] The two games, however, are not related.



Pinochle derives from the game bezique. The French word "binocle" also meant "eyeglasses".[1] The word is also possibly derived from the French word, "binage", for the combination of cards called "binocle".[2] This latter pronunciation of the game would be adopted by German speakers. German immigrants brought the game to America, where it was later mispronounced and misspelled "Pinochle."[3]

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