Card games in Canada

Various forms of Euchre are popular across a wide area of Canada, as are Cribbage and 9-5-2. International games such as Hearts, Bridge and Asshole are also played.

Kaiser is also widely played, but is particularly popular in the Ukrainian and German communities of Saskatchewan, where it is sometimes known as Three-Spot, and in Québec, where it sometimes goes by the name Les Rois. There are at least two versions of this game that use special cards: Lost Heir and Joffre.

In Nova Scotia they play Forty-Fives, a game of Irish origin, and Tarabish, which is a game of the Jass group.

200 (Deux Cents), also known as 10 or Bidder 10 is played mainly in New Brunswick and parts of Québec.

Hola is played by Ukrainian-Canadians in Western Canada. Durak and King Pedro are also played in this region.

In Nova Scotia, the jass game Tarabish is played. In South-East Saskatchewan, Mensch is played.

Literature is an advanced game of the Go-Fish type that is played in Toronto but seems to have originated Tamil Nadu, India. Yukon is an unusual point-trick game which seems to have been played both in Canada and in Scandinavia: I do not know whether it is still played.

Canadian Salad is a compendium game comprising six negative trick-taking games played in a fixed sequence.

N. M. Lundrigan tells me that in Newfoundland popular games are 120's, played with the regular 52-card deck [I think this is probably a version of 45's - JM], also 45's, scat, crib, rummy 500's, bridge, rummoli [similar to three in one], poker, nines, queens [a rummy game in which the queen of spades has a high value], and hearts.

All the above games are played with the standard international pack, or with subsets or multiples of it.

In the French speaking part of Canada, Tarot is played (as in France) with 78 cards. With the standard pack they play

  • Trou du cul (the French equivalent of Asshole/President)
  • a version of 500 (also known as "Slam" or "500 slam")
  • Dame de pique (a French version of Hearts)
  • Cribbage, which is known in French as Cribble
  • the unusual fishing game Mitaines.
  • Le Neuf (or Le Chômeur: equivalent to Nines), a plain-trick game for three players.
  • La Politaine (or Les Quatre Sept), a variant of the Italian game Tressette.
  • Charlemagne, a variant of Bid Euchre.

13 Brasses, a rummy game from French Canada is somewhat similar to Beanie, a version of Crazy Rummy played in English speaking areas.

Hockey is another fishing game, perhaps related to Mitaines, but played as a card simulation of the sport.

Mille is a two-player rummy game which is said to have originated in Montreal and is becoming popular in Toronto.

Rook is played with a special pack of 57 cards in the Mennonite communities of Southern Ontario and Manitoba, as well as in parts of the USA.

The card games section of has useful information on the rules, variations and tactics of many Canadian card games.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017. Last updated: 10th August 2023