Card games in Estonia

I am grateful to Eik Hermann and Patrick Phair for the information given here about Estonian games.

Pits is an exact bidding game, somewhat like Oh Hell!, played with a 36 card French suited pack. The club6, called 'pits' (pronounced with a long 'i' as in pizza) is the highest trump, followed by the spade6.

Õnneratas is another exact bidding game, using a pack including two jokers that can be played as high or low cards.

Potkatnoi or Turakas is a beating game, similar to the Russian game Durak. A variation in which the spadeQ is unbeatable is also played.

Bismarck is a compendium game with a 36 card pack. There are eight subgames, each played as many times as there are players, so that everyone has a chance to start each game. They are: winning tricks without trumps; losing tricks without trumps; winning tricks with trumps; losing tricks with trumps; domino starting from the 6 building up to the ace; domino from ace down to 6; domino where the first player can choose the starting rank; free choice (the starting player chooses one of the seven games).

Saskop, also known as Sasku or Lambapea is a game of the Schafkopf group played with 36 cards, in which the kings, queens and jacks are all high trumps.

Other popular Estonian games are 66 and Mariage, both of which are games of the Marriage group.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2001, 2003. Last updated: 20th June 2019