Card games in Poland

French suited cards (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades) are prevalent over most of the country, and are available as 52, 36(?check), 32 and 24 card packs.

The German suited 32 card pack is used to some extent in the formerly German southern province of Silesia, where Skat is still played.

In the part of Silesia that belonged to Austria before 1918, around Czechowice, Taroki is played with 54-card Tarok packs imported from the Czech Republic: the game is similar to the Czech game. Another form of Taroki, in which a King is called instead of the XIX, is played nearby at Kozy, which was formerly in the former Austrian province of Galicia.

Popular games with the French suited pack include:

  • Tysiąc (1000), which is similar to the Russian game Tysiacha. It is a three-player marriage game with bidding, played with 24 cards. The trump suit is determined by a player who has the king and queen of that suit declaring it while leading one of those cards to a trick.
  • The same 24-card pack is used to play Zechcyk - the Polish version of 66.
  • 3-5-8, a three-player plain-trick game with the full 52 card pack.
  • Mizerka, another three-player plain-trick game, in which each player has to undertake a series of contracts.
  • Ogórek (cucumber), in which the aim is to avoid having the highest card in the last trick.
  • Kierki, a compendium game for four players.
  • Kop is played with a deck of just 16 cards: A-Q-J-10 of each suit in Wielkopolska ("Great Poland" - the region around Poznań). A similar game Baśka ("little Barbara") is played in Cashubia, to the west of Gdansk.
  • Planowanie (planning) is the Polish equivalent of Oh Hell!
  • Dureń and Dureń Piątkowy - beating games also played in Russia.
  • Szpaczki - a fishing game, in which number cards are captured by adding up to 11.
  • Pan is the polite name for a beating game of the round game type, played with the 24-card pack, in which the aim is to get rid of your cards. The common name of this game is Huj, a highly obscene word for penis, which should be avoided in polite company.
  • The name Dupa Biskupa is apparently used for several different card games. It can be an alternative name for Pan, or it can be a party game in which players take turns to play cards onto a pile, certain cards require an action to be performed, and a player making a mistake is required to pick up the play pile, the objective being to get rid of all one's cards.
  • Makao - the Polish version of Crazy Eights.
  • Derda - a game of the Jass family similar to the French game Belote is played with a 32 card pack (sevens low).
  • The 32-card pack, from ace down to 7, is also used to play a local version of Poker.

Several Polish games can be played on line at PlayOK Online Games. The equivalent Polish language server Kurnik offers some extra games that are not available on PlayOK.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2000, 2006, 2011, 2021. Last updated: 6th February 2021