Rules of Scopa

Play Scopa

Scopa (in English “broom”) is a classic Italian card game with origins dating back to the 18th century.

It is played with various Italian regional decks and has evolved into numerous variants all over the world thanks to Italian emigrants. Interestingly, there are Scopa family games in areas with cultures as different as Egypt and Lebanon.

Other games with similar rules: Escoba (Spain), Escopa (Brazil)…

Choose a deck of cards

Spanish deck Standard deck

Aim of the game

4 players play in pairs with a spanish deck of 40 cards (8 and 9 not included).

The object of the game is to score points by capturing cards and “sweeping” the card table. A capture is made by matching the value of a card in your hand to the sum of one or more cards on the table.

The points depend on the cards obtained and the actions performed. The first pair to reach 11 points wins the game. In the event of a tie, play will continue until the tie is broken.

Value of the cards

Image Card Value
King of swords King 10
Knight of cups Knight 9
Jack of coins Jack 8
7 of swords Rest of the cards Its own value

How to play Scopa

The game begins by dealing 3 cards to each player and placing 4 cards face up on the table.

On their turn, each player must play a card from their hand and combine it with one or more cards on the table. In order of priority:

  1. Combinations with 1 card on the table (cards with the same value).
  2. Combinations with 2 or more cards on the table.

If a player cannot make any combination, they must discard one card and place it face up on the board.

When the players have no more cards, 3 cards are dealt again to each player. This is repeated until there are no cards left in the deck.

At the end of the round, the player who made the last move draws the remaining cards from the table. After this, the round is scored, and the deal progresses to the next player on the right.


If a player succeeds in capturing all the cards on the table (“sweeps” the table), they get a “scopa” and score 1 extra point. The “scopa” made with the last card does not score a point.

Count up points

After each round, players score points according to the cards and “scopas” obtained.

Cards Points
Scopa 1 point
Most coins 1 point
7 of coins 1 point
Highest “Primiera” 1 point
Most cards 1 point
In the event of a tie, no points are distributed.


The “primiera” is calculated as the sum of the 4 cards of each suit with the highest value according to the following table:

Carta Valor
7 21 points
6 18 points
Ace 16 points
5 15 points
4 14 points
3 13 points
2 12 points
Face cards 10 points

Experience points and ranking