Card games in Cameroon

This page is based on information obtained by Alexey Lobashev from Usmanu Aman Adama of Mokolo, Cameroon and from Takam Ludovic Thierry from Yaoundé, Cameroon..

The card game Kos is very similar to the Italian game Briscola (Spanish Brisca, Portuguese Bisca). It uses a 40-card pack made by removing the 8's, 9's and 10's from a standard international 52-card pack. Two to four players can play, four as partners. With three players a zero point card (such as a 2) is removed from the pack. The ace of trumps is called in the Fulfuldi language 'baba' (father), and the 3 of trumps 'dada' (mother) (these words are written phonetically - the spelling has not been checked). Three cards each are dealt as usual. The card at the bottom of the section of the pack lifted when cutting determines the trump suit (kos). Rather than placing the trump card crosswise under the talon, they use a card of the same suit from the discarded 8's, 9's and 10's to indicate what is trumps. In a two- or four-player game the winner(s) of a hand score a number of game points depending on the losers' card points - 1 for 40-59, 2 for 30-49, 3 for 20-39, 4 for 0-19. If the card points are 60-60 no one scores. But if a baba and dada (trump ace and three) are played to the same trick by players from opposing teams the play ends, the side that played the baba wins 6 game points, and the player of the dada is called 'kingi' (stupid) and must buy the baba player a beer. In a four-player game, there are apparently no signals between partners, but when only four cards remain in the draw pile, partners may show each other their cards. The winner is the first player or team to score 12 or more game points. With more than 12 points the winner(s) have a 'vichul' (tail) and are entitled to a beer from the loser(s).

Générala is a popular family game using a 52-card pack plus two jokers. Tricks are played without trumps, and any player who is unable to follow suit must pick up a card from the trick, the object being to get rid of all your cards.

Dam is a draw and discard game played by adult women. There are two or four players and a standard 52-card pack with 2 jokers is used. Ten cards are dealt to each player and the remainder form a face down drawing stock. Play is counter-clockwise. The player to dealer's right discards one card face up. Subsequent players may take the previous player's discard and discard one card, or may draw the top card of the stock and either discard one card or declare that they are not discarding. The first player who collects three sets of four cards of the same rank wins and scores one point. A joker can be used as a substitute for any card. The first player whose score reaches 12 points wins the game.

Huit Américan and Check are versions of Crazy Eights.

Cochon Graté seems to be a variant of the game Donkey (or Pig), although possibly with some elements of Old Maid,

Jeu de Quatre Cartes is a variant of the game Casino.

Fapfap (a variation of Agram) has recently been introduced from Niger.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2009, 2011. Last updated: 27th August 2011