Card Games: Spoil Five Group

These plain trick games are of Gaelic origin. They could be considered a subgroup of the trump group. Originally the objective was to win a majority, or better still all five, of the five tricks. The earliest game of this group, Maw, was already popular in the 16th century. The ranking of the cards is interesting. As in many ancient games the king is high; also the numerals in two of the suits rank in reverse order. The top three trumps are the trump 5, the trump jack, and the ace of hearts, and these cards have reneging privileges. All these features are reminiscent of L'Hombre, except that curiously, in the Spoil Five group it is the black suits which rank in reverse order, not the red suits as in L'Hombre and Tarot.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2004. Last updated: 8th April 2004