Card games in Norway

Thanks to Maja Rom Anjer, Andreas Knudsen and Vivian Mari Ozalbo for the information on this page.

Mattis is a beating game, the Norwegian equivalent of Swedish Skitgubbe.

Spar Dame or Spardam (Queen of Spades) is the Norwegian version of Hearts; usually three cards are passed to the left and there is a bonus for taking the diamond jack.

Amerikaner is a trick taking game for four players. Each player has 12 cards; the winner of the bidding can take the four undealt cards, discard four, choose trumps, and call a card whose holder will be the bidder's partner.

Idioten is a game similar to Shithead, which seems to have quite a long tradition in Norway.

Gurka is the Norwegian version of Cucumber, other versions of which are played elsewhere in Scandinavia.

Vri åtter is a Norwegian version of Crazy Eights.

Binglao is a Norwegian variant of Omaha poker in which a die is rolled to determine the number of cards dealt and whether low hands count.

Gabong is another game of the eights group, played with about three 52 cards packs shuffled together. It has the extra feature that you can get rid of your whole hand if it can be divided into sets of cards which add up to the value of the top card of the discard pile, or to the total of the top few cards of the discard pile provided this is not more than 14. Example: the top cards of the pile are 6,3,4: you can go out with 2,5,8,J,K because 2+J(11) = 5+8 = K(13) = 6+3+4.

Gris is the Norwegian version of Pig, in which when you have four of a kind places his or her thumb on the edge of the table instead of touching your nose.

Gnav is the Norwegian game of the Cuckoo family. It is played either with special cards or with a set of pieces like chess pawns with the identity shown on the base of the piece, so that they all look the same when stood on the table.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2001, 2006, 2017. Last updated: 15th February 2018