Card games in the Netherlands

French suited cards are in general use. There is a characteristic Dutch design with panoramic views on the aces. The ace, king, queen and jack have indices A, H, V, B (standing for Aas, Heer, Vrouw, Boer). The names of the suits are Klaveren (clubs), Ruiten (diamonds), Harten (hearts) and Schoppen (spades).

The Netherlands is the home of Jass games, which probably originated there some time in the 17th century. The Dutch national card game is Klaverjassen, which is played with a 32 card pack (A-H-V-B-10-9-8-7 of each suit. The Jass game Staekske Rape is played in Maastricht, and Boonaken is played in the area east of Leiden, and probably also in other parts of the country. The elaborate game of Pandoeren requires a 33 card pack including a six of hearts in addition to the 32 cards used for the games mentioned above. Pandoeren has declined in popularity over the last few decades, but a version of it is still played in the tulip-growing region west of Schagen in North Holland, and probably also in similar areas of South Holland. I am told that Pandoeren is also still played in the southern town of Heerlen.

The 32-card pack is also used for Hartenjagen (the Dutch equivalent of Hearts), for the popular drinking game Toepen, and for several local games such as Troeven, Zwikken, Bonken and the Dutch version of 31.

Packs are available with the usual 52 cards plus jokers for international games such as Bridge and Canasta. The 52 card pack is also used for the North Brabant game Rikken (a game of the Boston group), and a double 52 card pack with jokers for Jokeren and Duizenden, which are Dutch games of the Rummy group.

Newer international games are also played in the Netherlands. The Dutch version of Crazy Eights is known as Pesten, and the Dutch form of President is known as Sluitspieren or Klootzakken.

Seven Card Draw is a poker variant that seems to be played only in the Netherlands.

Several domino games are played with the 28-tile double six set. Of particular interest is the complex game Nos which is described in some 20th century Dutch books.

Slabberjan is a version of the Norwegian card game Gnav, played in Zeeland with a special set of 42 pieces.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2012, 2016. Last updated: 10th October 2016