Card Games In Other Countries
There are few game devices as adaptable as playing cards. The standard 52-card deck offers so much variety across the four suits and number variations. The possibilities for creating new games and adapting old ones is virtually endless. This variety offers so much flexibility not only for casual games, but also playing in an online casino. With such endless possibilities it’s only natural that each country and culture around the world brings something special of their own to the formation of new games. From Canada, to New Zealand and everything in between, let’s take a look at some of the most popular card games from around the world.
India - Hokm
Card games have existed in India since at least the 16th century. It’s believed that the first card games in the country were introduced by Mughal emperors from central Asia. One such game was Ganjifa, a traditional card game played with specialised cards made through traditional means. There are however more modern card games in India that are played with the standard 52-card deck.
Hokm is a popular trick-taking game adapted from a Persian card game. Trick-taking card games are card or tile-based games in which each hand is based around a limited number of rounds. Each round is called a trick. The winner of each round is the winner of the trick. In Hokm four players divided into teams of two must start by sitting across from each other. One player is chosen as the dealer and decides which suit of cards is the trump suit. The dealer then leads the round, or trick. Players must counter cards of higher value or of a matching suit. Whoever wins the trick leads the next one.
Italy - Primero
Card games have been played in Italy since as far back as the late 14th century. The traditional Italian card deck had four suits of swords, cups, coins and clubs. This deck also had only three face cards of Knave, Knight and King. Traditional decks also featured fewer cards than modern standard decks. Because of this, many traditional games played with modern decks have some of the cards removed to simulate the smaller decks.
A popular Italian card game played with a smaller deck is Primero. Primero uses a Spanish 40-card deck, but can be played with a 52-card deck if the 8,9 and 10 cards are removed. Typically played with between 2 to 6 players, Primero is a matching card game with the goal of building a 4-card hand of the highest values possible. The strongest hand possible is called Primero and consists of one card from each suit. A big difference that separates Primero from other card games is that face cards are the lowest valued cards in the game.
China - DaLaoEr
China has a long history of card games dating back to the 13th century. It’s believed that early Chinese playing cards made from wood or bone were possibly the first ever playing cards in history. Some historians think that old fashioned Chinese cards might have been the origins of the suits used in modern day cards. Some traditional Chinese card games have been adapted to work with a modern 52-card deck.
DaLaoEr is one of the most popular card games played in China today. The game is played between 2 to 4 players in both casual and gambling settings. The aim of DaLaoEr is to put down combinations from your hand. Such combinations as pairs, triples, flushes and straights will be familiar to western players. Other players counter these plays with the same combinations of greater value. Interestingly, the highest value card in the game is the 2 card. The first player to have no cards in their hand is declared the winner.
And that’s just the beginning
This is just a small slice of the card games played around the world. Some countries invent completely new games while others simply adapt those familiar to the rest of the world. While many of these games have yet to make the jump to an online casino setting, it would be really interesting if they did. Maybe they will some day, but only time will tell.