Card Games: Jass Group

These are ace-ten games in which the highest two trumps are the jack (worth 20 points) and the nine (worth 14 points). Jass games originated in the Netherlands and are now widespread in Europe. Notable examples are Klaverjassen in the Netherlands, Belote in France, and Clobyosh (also known as Clob or Bela) which is popular in the Jewish communities of many countries.

Jass reached Switzerland in the 18th century and was so successful that it various forms of Jass became the dominant card games thoughout most of the country, to the extent that Swiss cards are known as Jass cards and the verb jassen means to play any game with these cards.

Jass games crossed the Atlantic with emigrants to North America, and several Jass games have become established there. Examples are Bieden and Tarabish in Canada and Clabber in Indiana.

  • Clabber - Jass game with 24 cards, played in Evansville, Indiana.

A group of games descended from Jass is played on the Indian subcontinent and also in Indian communities abroad. Probably they came from the Netherlands via Sri Lanka, where they were introduced by Dutch traders in the 17th or 18th century. In these games the jack and nine are high in all four suits, not only trumps. Some of them have the point structure jack=30, nine=20, ace=11, ten=10, king=3, queen=2; in others it has been simplified to jack=3, nine=2, ace=1, ten=1.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2017. Last updated: 6th April 2022