Card games in the Czech Republic

This short survey of Czech games is arranged according to the type of cards used. Most widespread is the 32 card German suited pack. In Bohemia it is used in a single ended form, while in Moravia the double-headed William Tell pattern is generally used. The Czech form of the 54 card French suited Taroky pack is used mainly in Moravia. 32 card and 52 card French suited packs are also available. Italian suited Trappola packs were available until the mid twentieth century but are no longer in use.

32 cards with German suits

Ace King Over Under 10 9 8 7

These are used for:

  • Mariáš, the national game, which seems to be by far the most popular game in the Czech republic
  • Sedma, in which you win tricks with cards of equal rather than higher rank, or with sevens.
  • Prší, the Czech version of Crazy Eights, whose name means 'it is raining'
  • Dudák, a beating game in which each player has a personal trump suit.

54 card Taroky

(Trumps: Škýs, XXI - I. French suits: black - K Q C J 10 9 8 7; red - K Q C J A 2 3 4)

Czech Taroky is played mostly in Moravia. The usual game is for four players, declarer calling the XIX to find a partner.

36 card Trappola

(Italian suits, A K C J 10 9 8 7 2 in each suit)
These were konown as "Špady karty" (sword cards) and as far as we know, the last packs were manufactured in 1944 in Prague. Piatnik of Vienna recently brought out a good reproduction of an earlier Austrian design. Trappola cards were used for Bulka, which was popular in Prague in the 18th and 19th centuries. This and other Trappola games, such as Sekaná and Sable (Da Sto) continued to be played in Czechoslovakia in the early part of this century. It was recently discovered that a Trappola game Stovkahra is still played by an isolated Czech community in Romania, but using the 32 card German suited pack.

32 cards with French suits

These cards are labelled Pikety, which suggests that at one time they were used for Piquet. According to Czech Wikipedia they are now used in Moravia in place of German suited cards for Mariáš.

52 cards with French suits

These are used, as in other countries, for international games such as Bridge, Canasta and Rummy.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2001, 2011. Last updated: 11th May 2017