Card Games: Ace-Ten Games

This is a very large group of point-trick games, mostly of European origin, in which the ace and ten are particularly valuable cards. A typical scheme is ace=11, ten=10, king=4, queen=3, jack=2. Sometimes face cards count king=3, queen=2, jack=1. Sometimes the scheme is simplified by counting 10 for aces and tens and nothing for other cards. Usually the ten ranks between the ace and the king, but in some games the ten ranks below the court cards.

  • Dobbm (Tappen) - from the Stubai valley in Austria
  • Six-Bid Solo and its variations Frog and Crazy Solo from the USA.
  • Bura Russian game in which two or three cards of the same suit can be led simultaneously, and its variant Kozel.

The cards used in mediterranean countries typically do not include a ten. In these places, ace-ten have been adapted by using another card to take the place of the ten. Usually the three is used; sometimes the seven.

  • Briscola (popular Italian game)
  • Briscola Chiamata (five-player Briscola variant played two against three, the high bidder choosing a partner by calling a trump card)
  • Schembil (six-player Briscola variant played in Sicily and North Africa)
  • Brisca (Spanish version of Briscola)
  • Bisca (Portuguese and Brazilian versions of Briscola)
  • Albastini (Tanzanian game, probably a descendant of Portuguese Bisca)
  • Alcalde (three-player Brisca variant from Puerto Rico)
  • Madrasso (Venetian game for four players)
  • Sueca (four-player Portuguese game) and its variant with bidding: Sueca Italiana.

Within the ace-ten games, several groups can be identified that have additional distinguishing characteristics.

  • In the Schafkopf group some or all of the queens (overs) and/or jacks (unders) become permanent trumps.
  • In the Marriage group there is an extra score for holding the king and queen (over) of a suit, and quite often for other card combinations as well.
  • In the Jass group the jack/under (or occasionally the queen/over) and nine of the trump suit are the highest cards, above the ace. Usually the jack/under is worth 20 points and the nine is worth 14. The jass group can be thought of as a subgroup of the marriage group; there are scores for the king-queen (king-over) combination and for sequences of three or more cards in suit and for four of a kind.
  • The Sedma group is an unusual collection of Central European games in which a card is "beaten" by an equal card. They have some claim to be included within the ace-ten group of trick-taking games because the cards are played in the equivalent of tricks (although a 'trick' can sometimes continue for two or more rounds) and the aces and tens are worth ten points each.
This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2005, 2018, 2021. Last updated: 3rd November 2022