Ecarte, a game of cards, played by two persons with a piquet pack, or pack from which the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes have been taken, leaving 32 cards. These rank as follows: the king is the highest card, and queen, knave, ace, ten, nine, eight, and seven follow in succession, the only peculiar feature being the position of the ace below the court cards and above the rest. The pack having been shuffled as usual (the deal belonging to the player cutting the highest card by whist rules), five cards are dealt to each person, two and three or three and two at a time, as in the American game of euchre. The eleventh card is turned as in that game, and determines the trump, the rest of the pack being called the talon. If the non-dealer is satisfied with the hand he holds, he now plays, first naming the suit he intends leading. If his adversary has a higher card of the suit led, he is obliged to take the trick; but he is not obliged to trump, though of course permitted to do so. The holder of the king of trumps must declare, before playing at all, that he has it, by saying "I have the king." If he leads the king, he may declare it just after putting it down, but before it is covered by his adversary's card, else he cannot score it in that hand, i. e., he cannot count the one point to which his holding or turning up the king would otherwise entitle him.

The winning three tricks also counts one point; the winning all (called having the vole) counts two; five points make game. If the non-dealer, contrary to what has been thus far assumed, is not satisfied with the cards dealt to him, he says, before playing, "I propose;" and the dealer, if he also wishes other cards, assents. The non-dealer then throws aside such cards as he wishes to reject (called the discard), and the dealer gives him, from the top of the talon, a corresponding number to take their place. The dealer also exchanges his own cards in the same manner; but both must discard before the fresh cards are seen. If both the players agree, they may continue discarding, and so changing their hands, until the talon is exhausted; hut one cannot keep on after the other is satisfied; and if it is found, after several discards, that too few cards remain in the talon to supply the number required, this must be made up from the cards last discarded. If the dealer will not consent to allow his adversary an exchange after the first deal, he is obliged to win three tricks, or if he fails loses two points; and if the non-dealer plays without requesting a discard, he is subject to the same conditions.

If either party looks at the discards, he must as penalty play all the rest of the game with his cards exposed to his opponent's view. If the dealer turn up a trump by mistake in dealing cards for the discard, he is not permitted to refuse his adversary an exchange of cards during that hand. The general rules concerning mistakes, misdeals, etc, are the same as in similar games at cards. - Ecarte had its origin in Paris, and derives its name from the French verb ecarter, to discard.