Card games in Finland

The French suited 52 card pack is in general use. The usual Finnish design of this has indices 1, 13, 12, 11 on the ace, king, queen and jack. Some games are played with a 32 card pack formed by removing the 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's and 6's fromm the full pack.

Marjapussi (also known as Marjassi) and its bidding variant Huutopussi are played in southern Finland with 32 (sometimes fewer) cards. There are many variations of this game described in the book Marjapussissa Porvooseen by Pekka Ranta (WSOY, Porvoo, 1993) ISBN 951-0-18597-3.

In Finland several interesting beating games are played, such as Mustamaija, Koira, Kitumaija, Turakki and also Paskahousu, which is related to the international game Shithead and its bluffing variant Valepaska.

Along with Sweden, Finland has its local version of Kasino in which the capture values of the kings, queens and jacks helpfully correspond to the numbers printed on them. The reverse variation in which players try to avoid capturing cards is especially popular.

Tuppi, a plain-trick game similar to Scandinavian (or Minnesota) Whist, is popular especially in northern Finland.

In the game Ristikontra, played in lumber camps, tricks are taken by playing a card equal in rank to the lead. It is thus related to - perhaps an ancestor of - the Czech game Sedma and other similar East European games.

In the Swedish-speaking province of Österbotten, there is a strong tradition of playing Pidro, which is almost identical to the south-west American game Pedro. It is unclear how this gamme came to be popular in two such widely separated places.

The local version of Cucumber, in which the aim is to avoid having the highest card in the last trick, is known as Kurkku, Mätäpesä or Rassi.

A legacy from the period up to 1918 when Finland was a part of Russia is the complex Bridge-like game of Skruuvi, which is equivalent to thea Russian game Vint. Whereas Vint disappeared from Soviet Russia, Skruuvi continued to be played in Finland until the late 20th century.

Cristian Seres' page Korttipelien sääntöjä gives rules (in Finnish) for card games played in Finland and elsewhere.

Mikko Saari's Finnish language web site Korttipeliopas has rules and information for Finnish and other card games.

The World Casino Directory includes a listing of Casinos in Finland.

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