Card Games: Multi-Trick Group

In most Western trick taking games you play one card at a time. In the Orient, it is common to find multi-trick games: several cards can be led at once, in which case the other players must play an equal number of cards to complete the multi-trick. For example if you lead 3 cards together, everyone else in turn has to play 3 cards and the winner of the multi-trick has won 3 tricks.

  • Luk Fu is a card game played by the Hakka Chinese.
  • Tien Gow is a Chinese game played with dominoes.
Some of the Chinese point-trick games of the king-ten-five group, such as Bai Fen and Zhao Pengyou also involve multi-tricks.

There are some isolated examples of non-Oriental games in which multi-tricks are possible, such as the Greenlandic game Voormsi, the Russian Bura, and 22, an American relative of the Scandinavian Cucumber games.

Several games of the Climbing Group and the Beating Group seem like multi-trick games in that you can play several cards at once. Possibly they are related to these games, but in my view climbing games and beating are not true trick-taking games, in that:

  • instead of playing a card, it is possible for a player to pass (in a climbing game) or pick up previously played card(s) (in a beating game);
  • the object is generally not to win (or lose) tricks but to get rid of your cards as soon as possible.