Card Games: Manille Group

This group of point-trick games seems to have originated in Spain and spread to France. The first known description - "Le Jeu de Malille" - was published in France in 1776, but is a translation of a Spanish text, and the game is said to have long been popular in Spain.

Manille was well known in France in the 19th and early 20th centuries but gradually declined as Belote gained popularity. Manille is still popular in parts of Belgium, and Mariglia is played with enthusiadm in northern Sardinia.. The Spanish game Manilla is popular in Catalonia in the variation known as Botifarra, and was exported to Mexico, where it is known as Malilla.

The highest card in each suit is the 9 (called the Manilla) in Spain, or the 10 (Manille) in France, or the 7 (Malilla) in Mexico, or the 7 (Mariglia) in Sardinia. This card is promoted above the ace. The card values in all suits are manilla = 5, ace = 4, king = 3, horse (or queen) = 2, jack = 1, and there is also 1 point for each trick.

The term Manille or Malilla is undoubtedly related to the name Manille given to the second highest trump in Hombre, a game that was highly fashionable throughout Europes in the 17th and early 18th cenmtury.

  • Botifarra - a Catalan game with 48 cards, with strict rules of play that provide extra information on the location of cards.
  • Malilla - a Popular Mexican game with 40 cards.
  • Mariglia - a 40-card version played in Sardinia.
  • Manillen - a Flemish game with 32 cards, without the extra 1 point per trick.
This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2007. Last updated: 14th September 2020