Card games in Thailand

The following games are played with the international 52-card pack:

กบดำกบแดง (Gob dum Gob dang) - Black Frog Red Frog
A fishing game similar to Chinese Ten, but with black 2-9 counting face value, black 10-K 10 points, ace of spades 50 points, and red cards and the ace of clubs are worthless.
เก้าเก (Gao Gae)
A vying game in which players are dealt 3 cards. A set of three equal cards (ตอง) is best, then a sequence in suit (เรียง) ace counting low, then a "sean" (เซียน) which is KQJ of mixed suits, then "colour" (สี) which is three cards of the same suit. A hand with none of these combinations is counted as a Point (แต้ม), whose value is last digit of the sum of the pip value of the cards, counting picture cards as zero - for example J-9-7 counts as 6 because 0+9+7=16. The highest point is nine, and "Gao" in the name of the game, means Nine.
The initial bet (or ante, is called ค่าต๋ง and the pool in which the bets are collected is called the Jackpot. The possible actions for a player are หมอบ (Fold), สู้ ("Fight" or Stay), ตาม ("Follow" or Call), เกทับ (Raise). Ties in the showdown are broken by the highest single card (ace high, two low).
เก้าสิบเก้า (99)
An adding game, similar to the western game 99.
ไพ่โกหก (Liar card)
Similar to I doubt it
ไพ่โง่ (Fool card)
Variation of crazy eights using a 54 card pack including two jokers. Five cards each are dealt. As usual players follow rank or suit. Two or more cards of the same rank can be played on the same turn, provided that the first of them is legal. A player who cannot play draws a card from the stock instead. The special cards are:
  • Joker: Can be played on anything. Specify the suit that must be played next.
  • Ace: Reverse the direction of play.
  • Jack: Skip the next player in rotation is skipped. If more than one jack is played, the appropriate number of players is skipped.
  • Queen: The next player must play an ace, picture or joker or must draw two cards from the stock.
  • King: The next player must play an ace, picture or joker or must draw three cards from the stock.
Drawing penalties begun by a king or queen are cumulative. Ace, Jack, and Joker count as an additional two draws as well as having their normal effect (reverse, skip, choose suit). Player with one card announces "อีโง่" (or suffers a penalty of drawing 5 cards).
ไพ่ห้อง (Pâi Hông)
A game of the quartet group, whose whose name translates as "Room card". All the cards are dealt, and by asking each other for cards, players try to collect "rooms" - sets of four cards of the same rank.
จับหมู (Jubmoo) - Catch the pig.
This is similar to the Chinese game Gong Zhu - a trick-taking game in which hearts and the queen of spades are penalty cards, the jack of diamonds is a bonus card, and the ten of clubs doubles your score.
สลาฟ (Slave)
A climbing game similar to president. For single cards only there is a suit order: spades (high), diamonds, hearts, clubs, so the 2 of spades is the highest single card and the 3 of clubs is lowest. Single cards can be beaten by pairs of any rank, pairs by triplets and triplets by quads.
ไพ่ตบ (Slap Card)
Very similar to slapjack.
ผสมสิบ (Mixing of Tens)
A draw and discard game in which the aim is to collect three pairs, a 'pair' being either two cards that add to 10 (A+9, 4+6, etc.) or two 10's or equal picture cards.
อีแก่ (Ekae)
Exactly like the Western game of Old Maid
รัมมี่ (Dummy)
This is a rummy game, related to 500 Rum, but with high values for the 2 of clubs and queen of spades, which are known as spetro. There is a bonus for going out without previously having melded, a penalty for melding no cards, a penalty for discarding a card that allows the next player to go out, and various other bonuses and penalties associated with the spetro cards.
ป๊อกเด้ง (Pok Deng)
This is a banking game with combinations similar to เก้าเก (Gao Gae) - see above. Each player (ลูกมือ) puts in an ante and the banker (เจ้ามือ) deals two cards to each player. Players win by beating the banker's hand. The best hands are 8 (Pok Pad) or 9 (Pok Gao) in two cards, 9 being better than 8. These are revealed and paid for immediately. If the banker does not have a Pok, players in turn, ending with the banker, can call for a third card.
Dealer deals 5 cards to each players and puts one face up to start the play pile. The winner of each game deals the next. At your turn you play a card or group of cards whose total value is 1, 2, 3 or 4 more than the last play, ace counting 1, jack 11, queen 12 and king 13, or you can "pass" by playing any of the following:
  • a single ace
  • a pair of equal cards (from 1 to 10) plus one picture card (J, Q, or K)
  • any three cards of the same suit.
  • a set of three cards of the same face value (any value - number or picture)
  • two pairs of number cards (1 to 10) such as 3-3-5-5, without picture cards.
A "pass" leaves the total unchanged, which the next player has to exceed by 1, 2, 3 or 4 or pass.
After playing or passing you may draw up to three new cards from the stock, but your hand must never contain more than five cards. If unable to play or pass you must drop out. When all players but one have dropped out, the last surviving player wins. If there is more than one survivor when the stock runs out the one who holds the highest single card wins.
Other traditional card games
Bridge is often played in clubs (there is a club in Bangkok). Poker, Blackjack, Euchre, Hearts, and Spades are also played sometimes.

Andy Pollett's page on Thai cards illustrates two types of Chinese-style long cards from Thailand: money cards with Thai instead of Chinese numerals on the wan suit, and four-colour chess cards. I do not know anything about the games played in Thailand with these cards and would be grateful for any information.

Popular commercial and trading card games in Thailand include

With thanks to Kantaphon Tongmee for most of the above information.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2007, 2012. Last updated: 29th June 2012