Saturday, October 17, 2009


What is the card game I see old men playing in pubs? I didn't even recognize the cards they were using.

Most likely it is mariáš. It is similar to (but far less complicated than) bridge as the three players win points by collecting tricks. One player makes a bid to win a certain number of tricks and the other two try to prevent him. The game uses a German set of 32 cards: ace, king, overknave (svršek), underknave (spodek), and ten through seven in the four suits of acorns, heart, leaves, and bells. The name comes from the French for marriage which refers to the marriage between the king and the overknave which is worth extra points. More complex than the game are the betting permutations which used to be measured in haléře (the now defunct pennies).

46 Comments:

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

My family plays a "Czech" card game where aces and tens are counters, but there are no wild cards. We have always called it "STICK" because you keep score with matchsticks. I have found nothing about it online. Does anyone atleast recognize it, and if so do you have the complete rules?

 
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At 4:20 AM, Blogger Jana said...

This card game looks like taroky but I am not sure if marias uses the same type of cards.

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

Thanks for an English response, Jana. It is very refreshing! Lol

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Holly Vesely said...

my family plays a version of a czech game we call "svik", with 7-A only. Takes tricks based on high card with a trump. Still play with 3 cent antes, still build up to as high as $15- for the last pot before starting over. You knock on the table if you are going to play, are "in". Lots of crazy rules, I think this is where "playing with half a deck" comes from, because it is quite complex with obscure instances of a strange rule applying. They brought this with them from the old country to Chicago around 1900, and we are still playing it after another 3 generations.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Holly Vesely said...

my family plays a version of a czech game we call "svik", with 7-A only. Takes tricks based on high card with a trump. Still play with 3 cent antes, still build up to as high as $15- for the last pot before starting over. You knock on the table if you are going to play, are "in". Lots of crazy rules, I think this is where "playing with half a deck" comes from, because it is quite complex with obscure instances of a strange rule applying. They brought this with them from the old country to Chicago around 1900, and we are still playing it after another 3 generations.

 

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