In trick-taking card games, a revoke (or renege) is a violation of important rules regarding the play of tricks serious enough to render the round invalid. A revoke is a violation ranked in seriousness somewhat below overt cheating, with the status of a more minor offense only because, when it happens, it is usually accidental.

Trick-taking games normally have several rules regarding which cards may and may not be played to a trick. For example, most games require a player to "follow suit" or play in the suit led, if possible. Rules of this sort are sometimes called "honor rules", because there is no way to detect a violation at the moment of its commission. However, the irregularity will normally be discovered later, and there are usually strict penalties for revokes.

Some "honor rules" in different trick-taking games
*Spades, Euchre and 500 require that players play to the suit led, unless void in it.
*Hearts requires that players follow the suit led. In some variants, a player holding the Queen of Spades and void in the led suit is required to play it.
*Pinochle requires players to
** play to the led suit unless void in it, with a potentially winning (higher than the highest-so-far) card if possible;
** if void in the led suit, trump with a potentially winning card;
** if unable to do any of those things, play anything.
*Bourré requires players to
** play to the led suit unless void in it, with a potentially winning (higher than the highest-so-far) card if possible;
** if void in the led suit, trump with a potentially winning card;
** play to bourré as many other players as possible.

Penalties for revokes vary:
* In Bridge the penalty for a revoke is normally one or two tricks scored against the offending partnership, depending on the exact circumstances, but if the non-offending side is more seriously damaged than that (typically because the revoke made a critical entry worthless), then they are compensated accordingly.
* In Pinochle and many other bidding trick games, a revoke results in an automatic "set", or failure at the bid, normally precipitating a penalty.
* In Hearts a revoking player receives 26 penalty points (all of them) and other players receive none.
* In Bourré a revoking player must forfeit an amount of money equal to the pot.
* In Euchre a revoking player/team loses bid and receives a 2 point penalty. The opponents are also awarded two points.
* In Bid Euchre (Pepper), a revoking player playing the bid loses the bid and receives a 2 point penalty. The opponents are awarded the bid. A revoking team playing against the bid forfeits the bid to the player playing the bid. They also receive a penalty in the amount of the bid being played.

Normally revokes are given a penalty equal to the most severely negative outcome of the round possible. The intention is to discourage the practice, which upsets other players' strategies to the point where the only acceptable resolution may be to declare the round void.

Therefore, a revoke rarely has a strategic advantage, except in king-maker scenarios.

Since hands are (usually) concealed, a player can revoke (accidentally or intentionally) without being caught immediately. For example, if a player does not play a spade to a trick where spades were led, other players will simply assume that player has no spades and note the fact in future play decisions. However, most trick-taking games play a hand until exhaustion, and attentive players will soon notice the violation when a spade is played to a subsequent trick.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • revoke — re·voke /ri vōk/ vt re·voked, re·vok·ing: to annul by recalling or taking back: as a: to destroy the effectiveness of (a will) by executing another or by an act of destruction (as tearing or crossing out) b: to put an end to (a trust) c: to… …   Law dictionary

  • revoke — re‧voke [rɪˈvəʊk ǁ ˈvoʊk] verb [transitive] LAW to officially state that a law, official document, agreement etc is no longer effective: • We had no alternative but to revoke the contract. revocable adjective : • Four events are mentioned that… …   Financial and business terms

  • revoke — revoke, reverse, repeal, rescind, recall are close synonyms when they mean to abrogate by undoing something previously done, especially in legal context. Revoke implies a calling back, annulling, abrogating; thus, a testator may revoke his will… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Revoke — Re*voke , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Revoked};p. pr. & vb. n. {Revoking}.] [F. r[ e]voquer, L. revocare; pref. re re + vocare to call, fr. vox, vocis, voice. See {Voice}, and cf. {Revocate}.] 1. To call or bring back; to recall. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Revoke — Re*voke , n. (Card Playing) The act of revoking. [1913 Webster] She [Sarah Battle] never made a revoke. Lamb. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Revoke — Re*voke , v. i. (Card Playing) To fail to follow suit when holding a card of the suit led, in violation of the rule of the game; to renege. Hoyle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • revoke — (v.) late 14c., from O.Fr. revoquer, from L. revocare rescind, call back, from re back (see RE (Cf. re )) + vocare to call, related to vox (gen. vocis) voice, sound, tone, call (see VOICE (Cf. voice) (n.)). Relat …   Etymology dictionary

  • revoke — [v] take back; cancel abjure, abolish, abrogate, annul, back out of, backpedal*, call back, call off, countermand, counterorder, declare null and void*, deny, disclaim, dismantle, dismiss, disown, erase, expunge, forswear, invalidate, lift,… …   New thesaurus

  • revoke — ► VERB ▪ end the validity or operation of (a decree, decision, or promise). DERIVATIVES revocable adjective revocation noun revoker noun. ORIGIN Latin revocare call back …   English terms dictionary

  • revoke — [ri vōk′] vt. revoked, revoking [ME revoken < MFr revoquer < L revocare < re , back + vocare, to call: see VOICE] 1. to withdraw, repeal, rescind, cancel, or annul (a law, permit, etc.) 2. Now Rare to recall vi. Card Games to fail to… …   English World dictionary