6 card games you’ve probably never heard of 


Card games remain some of the most popular games around the world. And while everyone is familiar with the evergreen patience, blackjack or poker – there are thousands of varieties out there that are only known to a select group of people. In this blog you’ll find a list of 7 unique yet unknown card games per country, know about the card games you’ve probably never heard of. 

Skat – Germany 

Skat is a trick-taking card game originating from Germany suited for three players. Since the very beginning of the game in 1810, it has gained popularity in Germany up to the point of becoming the official national game. Skat combines principles from two other card games and introduces a bidding process. Because of the many variations per regions, there’s no clear set of rules. The overall rules, however, follow a specific pattern. 

Kille – Sweden 

The Swedish game Kille is ne of the oldest card games still being played. Dating back to the 1750s and based on the mediaeval French gambling game Coucou, the word Kille is probably a derivative of the word ‘Harlequin’ – the highest ranking card of the deck. The deck exists of both numeral cards and picture cards, each given a respective value. The game has even affected the Swedish language by introducing sayings based on playing tactics. 

Thunee – South Africa

Thunee originates from Durban, South Africa. The game is deeply rooted into the social and family culture. During get togethers and a delicious braai, Thunee creates the perfect ambiance. The game is part of the Jack Nine card games family and also knows a bidding element. There are several different Thunee calls that determine the game – each attached to different actions.   

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Twenty-eight – India 

Twenty-eight is believed to be related to the 304 card game and is suited to play with four players. Two players partner up and face each other, aiming to win tricks containing valuable cards. The gameplay exists of two phases, one before the bidder’s face-down trump card is exposed and one after. There are various variations of Twenty-eight, including Forty, Fifty-six and Twenty-nine.  

Durak – Russia

The card game of Durak is most popular in post-Soviet states with the aim of shedding all one’s cards until there are no more cards in the deck. The person who last holds cards is the durak or fool. The game is played with two to five players, using a deck of 36 cards. A 52-card deck can be used when the 2 through 5 cards have been removed. The game witches between attacking and defending turns until al cards have been played.

Toepen – The Netherlands

The Dutch card game of Toepen is suited to plat with up to four players. The goal of the game is to win the last trick upon which the first card played in a trick determines the suit of this specific trick. Toepen is also frequently used as drinking game, where slightly more playful rule apply – including singing, whistling and more.

What’s your favourite card game? 

Do you have a national card game in your country? Or do you prefer the well-known games like blackjack? The thing about card games is that they all have variations, resulting in even more variations. Much like languages, card games evolve as we go and each know different dialects. But isn’t that the appeal?

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