Interesting Traditional Card Games From Around the World

Do you ever get bored of the same old card games? Looking for something new and exciting to spend time with friends and family? Well, look no further! We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting traditional card games from around the world that are perfect for just about any gathering.

From European classics like Schnapsen to America’s beloved Spades, there’s something here to suit everyone’s flair. Are you ready to grab your deck of cards? Let’s learn more about these classic pastimes from different nations!

Traditional Card Games from Different Parts of the World

If you want to learn about different traditions, you should try playing another country’s game. That being said, you can find tons of engaging traditional card games by traveling the world. Let’s take a closer look at some of these international favorites.

Schnapsen (Austria)

Originating in Austria, Schnapsen is a popular two-hander trick-taking game where players must win 66 points by taking tricks and declaring marriages. The idea is to capture valuable cards in tricks and melding marriages, basically matched pairs of kings and queens.

Due to its popularity in Austria, large tournaments are held every year. Players must be fast to declare that they accumulated 66 points by keeping track of it in their heads since score sheets aren’t allowed. If you fail to say that you already have 66 points, another player can claim the win!

Every card in Schnapsen counts, so there’s no deadwood. It’s what makes this Austrian card game so enticing and strategic! It only uses a 20-card French- or German-suited pack, but you can remove cards from Two to Nine using a standard 52-card international pack.

Spades (USA)

Invented in the 1930s, Spades is one of the most beloved trick-taking games due to its straightforward game rules without compromising the challenge it offers. It’s great for beginners and pro card players so everyone has a chance to play it!

Some features of Spades include:

  • Players bid the number of tricks they think they can take
  • Commonly played by two teams in partnerships
  • Minimize bids by achieving tricks as accurately as possible
  • Games are played up to 500 points (generally)

You can play Hearts if you like trick-avoidance games, but if you prefer taking as many tricks as possible, you can play Spades instead! This American game is all about strategy and communication with your partner. There’s nothing like a good game of Spades to bring everyone together!

Lotería (Mexico)

Hailing from Mexico is a notable card game called Lotería. It uses a unique 54-deck of cards with different pictures. Each card will also have a name and number, and players will choose a tabla or board of 16 images.

Like Bingo, cards will be drawn at random, and players will need to mark the corresponding image on their board using a small stone, dried beans, or chips. The goal is to complete a specific pattern, and the winner must shout “¡Buena!” to announce their victory.

Loteria serves as a favorite pastime among Mexicans who want to test their luck and have a fun time. It’s perfect for large gatherings since it allows many players to join the fun! The best part is you can buy the card deck online, or you can opt to experience the game virtually with mobile app games!

Pişti (Turkey)

Pronounced as pishti, Pişti is a Turkish fishing game that’s played by four players in partnerships, just like Spades! It also uses a standard 52-card pack, and the goal is for players to discard their cards to match the number of their cards to the card below or by playing a Jack. Successfully matching the cards or playing a Jack means the team can take all discarded cards automatically.

Basics of Pişti to remember:

  • “Pişti” means “cook” and refers to the capture of a pile containing only one card that scores extra points
  • Turn to play is anticlockwise
  • If the rank of the played card matches the card previously played, the team captures the whole pile
  • A player will begin the discard pile again

In Pişti, memorizing the scoring is imperative. Each Jack and Ace is one point, 2 Spades is two points, 10 Diamonds, and most cards are three points, and each pişti is ten points. The simple gameplay and interesting scoring system make Pişti a thrilling experience for Turkish players!

Briscola (Italy)

Apart from Scopa and Tresette, Briscola is one of Italy’s most popular card games. It’s a trick-taking card game from the Ace-Ten family, which features the Ace-Ten scoring system. It uses a standard Italian 40-card deck, but you can also use a standard deck of 52 cards where you need to remove the 8s, 9s, and 10s.

If you use the Italian deck, the 40 cards are divided into four suits: coins (Italian: Denari), swords (Spade), cups (Coppe), and batons (Bastoni). The values include one through seven and three face cards in each suit: Knave (Fante), Knight (Cavallo), and King (Re). You can quickly determine the face value of the card by counting the number of icons on it.

Value of the cards:

  • Aces are equal to 11
  • 3’s are ten points
  • Kings or Res are four points
  • Knights or Cavallos are three points
  • Jacks or Infantes are two points
  • The rest of the cards don’t equate to anything

Like other trick-taking card games, high-valued cards win, and players must always follow suit. Unless you played a trump card, then the trump card wins! The goal is to have a higher score than your opponent, and in Briscola, there will be a total of 120 points, so you want at least 61. With numerous strategies in this game, the competition will undoubtedly be intense and fun!

Traditional Card Games
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Have Fun While Getting a Taste of Another Culture

If you’re always curious about how other countries have fun, you can play their games. Through this, you get to experience their culture and tradition uniquely. Whether at home with your family or having a night out with friends, these card games will spice up the evening. Gather your cards, shuffle them, and have fun playing these exciting international card games! You can also access their virtual counterparts for some online fun!

Did we list your favorite traditional card games in this list? If not, let us know in the comments section below and we will surely give them a try.

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About the Author: Staff

Your friendly staff at GamesHedge, bringing you news, reviews, previews and hardware information from around the world.

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