Card games in Turkey

This page is based mostly on information from Turgay Unalan, Kerem Gozturk and Arda Küçük.

In Turkey the 52 card international pack is in general use. The Turkish names of the suits are

  • Kupa (Hearts). In Turkish, "kupa" means "cup", presumably corresponding to the Latin suit of cups.
  • Karo (Diamonds). From the French carreau: in Turkish, "karo" means tile stone.
  • Maça (Spades). In Turkish, maça is a kind of casting mould in Turkish, perhaps because the spade symbol looks like a droplet or a mould.
  • Sinek (Clubs). In Turkish, sinek means "fly" or "house fly".

and the face cards are

  • Papaz (King). In Turkish, "Papaz" means "priest".
  • Kiz or Dam (Queen). "Kiz" means "girl" in Turkish. Dam is from the French dame.
  • Vale or Oglan or Jilet (Jack), "Oglan" means "son" in Turkish, "vale" is from the French "valet", and "jilet" means razor in Turkish, from the popular brand "Gilette".

The Ace (As in Turkish) often acts as the highest card of each suit as in many European card games.

Games played with this pack include:

  • King - a compendium game in which most contracts involve avoiding taking particular cards in tricks.
  • 3-5-8 - a plain-trick game for three players whose objectives are to take 3, 5 and 8 tricks. Oddly, this game is also known in Turkey as Russian King, even though the game King played in Russia is similar to King in Turkey, not to 3-5-8.
  • Pişti - a fishing game in which the layout is a single discard pile which is captured as a whole if its top card is matched.
  • Papaz kaçtı (king escapes) is a game related to Old Maid in which the aim is not to be left with a king at the end.
  • Batak - a four player game similar to Oh Hell!
  • Prafa A trick-taking game for three players played in villages on the west coast of Turkey - possibly a version of Preference.
  • Hoskin is a game played in southern Turkey, similar to double Pinochle.
  • Blöf - a bluffing game similar to verish' ne versish'.
  • Kapti kacti (take and run) - a fishing game in which cards can be captured from the opponents' capture piles as well as from the layout.
  • Dost kazigi ("friend soak") - similar to kapti kacti, but the object is to avoid capturing cards.
  • Maca kizi Turkish version of Hearts, but with different rules.
  • Pis yedili ("dirty seven") is the Turkish version of Crazy Eights. There was a description at (archive copy). Also, Levent Suberk describes a simpler game Püskiyon in which players simply follow number or suit, without any special effect cards, which he learned from a 70-year old neighbour in the 1970's.
  • Bezik is a Turkish relative of Bezique. There are partial descriptions at (archive copy) and on Turkish Wikipedia but the details of how combinations are declared and scored are unclear.
  • Sadrazam is a climbing game similar to President or Dai Fugō.

Türk pokeri is a Turkish form of 5-card draw poker, played with a deck of 24 to 36 cards, depending on the number of players.

Some rummy games are played with set of 106 numbered tiles:

  • Okey for four players who begin with 14 tiles each, the aim being simply to go out,
  • Okey 101 for four players who begin with 21 tiles each, and score by melding during the play.
This page is maintained by John McLeod(   © John McLeod, 2000, 2003, 2012, 2021. Last updated: 30th March 2022