National and regional card games: South Africa

Card games in South Africa

It is remarkable that South Africa is home to three different Jass games that have evolved independently in separate communities:

  • Klawerjas is popular with Afrikaans communities in Cape Town. It is related to Dutch Klaverjassen but with its own special features.
  • Thunee, in which the jack and nine are the highest cards in all four suits, was clearly imported from Sri Lanka or India, and is popular in the South Asian community, especially in and around Durban.
  • Clobyosh is well-known among Jewish players, especially in a four-player partnership version.

A special version of Casino is played, in which cards can be recaptured from an opponent's capture pile.

The is also a South African version of the rummy game Kalookie.

Other games played in South Africa include Cribbage, Canasta, Samba, Skat, Spite and Malice, Shithead, Black Lady (Hearts variant), Spit and Fish.

Some people play a version of the British game Card Cricket, but it is probably not widely known.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (john@pagat.com).   © John McLeod, 2001, 2006, 2017. Last updated: 6th April 2022

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