Card Games: Compendium Games

Some card games combine several different mechanisms. There can be a series of different games played either in a fixed sequence or in a sequence chosen by the players. There are also games which have several phases with different mechanisms within one hand.

Series of different games

Typically, each deal has different objectives. A common format includes ;

  • several reverse deals in which the aim is to avoid taking tricks or taking certain cards in tricks,
  • some deals in which the aim is to win tricks,
  • sometimes a deal in which the the aim is to get rid of cards by laying them out in suit and sequence.

Some examples of this type are:

  • Barbu - a French game which became popular with Bridge players in an enhanced version with doubling options added.
  • King - a group of slightly different games with the same name, played in Belgium, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Portugal and Brazil.
  • Kierki - a Polish game.
  • Trex - an Arabic game played in several Middle Eastern countries.
  • Bambu - another game from France
  • Bismarck - played in Scandinavia, and also to some extent in English-speaking countries
  • Mizerka - from Poland
  • Rentz - from Romania
  • Lórum - from Hungary

The original idea was that the games were played in a fixed sequence, but more challenging versions of these games have recently appeared in which the players can choose the order in which the games are played, with the restriction that each player must choose each option exactly once.

Coiffeur Schieber Jass is an interesting example of an application of the compendium principle with choice of sequence to a positive point-trick game - in this case Swiss Jass.

Different phases within one hand

The games of the Poch group end with a stops game, but this is preceded by a poker-like vying game played with the same cards. In many versions there is also a first stage in which stakes are paid out for holding specific cards.

The Swedish game Chicago has three phases with a draw and discard before each phase. The first two are showdowns won by the player with the best poker hand. The third is played in tricks, and is won by the winner of the last trick.

In the American game Hollywood Garbage a series of light-hearted games of chance is played using the same cards.

Many beating games have an initial phase in which the players collect the cards they will use for the beating phase. Sometimes this first phase is a kind of trick-taking as in Skitgubbe; sometimes it is a kind of card exchange game as in NLK.