Plain Trick Games Without Trumps

The oldest trick-taking games probably date back beyond the introduction of playing-cards to Europe in the late 14th century. It seems that trumps were a European 15th century invention, and the earliest trick-taking games would have been played without trumps. In such games a card can normally only be beaten by a higher card of the same suit.

The inclusion of trumps was so successful that rather few positive plain-trick games without trumps have survived in Europe. One example is:

There is also a group of games in which the object is to win or avoid the last trick; these will be found separately in the last trick group.

Another group without trumps is the put group, in which the suits of the cards are mostly ignored, so that any higher card beats any lower one irrespective of suit.

There are several groups of non-European plain-trick games without trumps, such as the games played in India with Ganjifa cards, and the Chinese games of the multi-trick group.