Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 13

A few tarokk customs and sayings

This deal was constructed to illustrate some of the customs and traditional remarks which Tarokk players sometimes use during a game. These sayings are not really a part of the game itself, and care must be taken not to use them in a way that conveys information to the other players. Some further examples are listed at the end of the page.

This page was contributed by Révész Gábor.

The deal

    D is shuffling the pack too long.
    A: Füstöl a kártya! The cards are smoking!
    B: Így égett le Gyöngyös. This is how Gyöngyös was burnt to ground. (Gyöngyös is a town in Hungary)
    C: Ossza már! (Ossz szamár!) Play on words: Do deal! / Deal, donkey!
    Instead of cutting the cards C knocks on the top of the pack.
    C: A harmadikat. The third.
    B: Elsőt. First.
    A: Legyen a második. I'll have the second.
    D deals the cards in nines, in the order requested by the players.




Card distribution after the exchange

The discard

A: I, VIII, IX, XI, club10, K, diamondA, C, KheartJ, C (declarer)
B: V, X, XVII, XX, XXI, heartK, spade10, J, QclubQ, diamondJ
C: II, IIII, VI, XII, XV, skíz, clubJ, C, heartAheartQ
D: III, VII, XIII, XIV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, spadeC, KdiamondQ

(B, C and D's discards are collected by D. He puts these discards on the corner of the table to his right. No discarded tarokks are announced.)


    A: Segít a XX-as, mehet.(The XX helps, pass.)
    B: Trull és passz.(Trull and pass.)
    C: Mehet!(Pass.)
    D: Rázom, rázom... én a partit megkontrázom. És mehet.(Play on words. Literally: "I shake it, I shake it... I kontra the game. And pass.")
    A: Passz.(Pass.)
    B: Részemről a szerencse.(The pleasure is mine.)
    C: Lássuk!(Let's see.)

The play


Customs and sayings related to the play of this hand

1 "Partner kárót nem tart. (Ha tart kettőt tart.)"'Declarer's partner has no diamonds. (If he has any, he has two.)'Some players also discard so as to make this proverb come true - i.e. the called partner tries either to discard all his diamonds, or if that is not possible to keep more then one.
Throwing the XII (or a tarokk near to the XII) can be a signal that the player is trying to catch the XXI.
3 "Babok nem ütnek."'Beans don't win tricks.'This is said when a player is too mean with his high tarokks, putting an unreasonably small tarokk on a potentially valuable trick and thus allowing an opponent to overtrump. In this case D is using the saying humorously.
4 "Pikket, ha baj van!"'If in trouble, lead a spade.'Any of the players may comment on the lead with these words.

"Treffet, ha baj van!"'If in trouble, lead a club.'An alternative version of the above saying, if a club is led.
5 "Tizenhármas királyt hoz." or "Tizenhármas hozza a királyt."'The thirteen drives out the king.'A tarokk superstition, according to which if the XIII is played on a suit lead, the king of the suit will also be played to the trick. In this case D would have preferred it to have been B's king that was driven out.
6 "Kockáztathatunk mindent a hazáért, de a hazát kockáztatnunk nem szabad."'Everything can be risked for the homeland, but the homeland must not be risked.'A play of words based on the coincidence that in Hungarian the same word, 'haza' is used for 'homeland' and 'home' (the place to which the XXI strives to escape). The saying is a quotation from the great XIXth century Hungarian statesman, Ferenc Deák, and can be used to justify escaping with the XXI at the earliest opportunity. Other players according to their temperament may join in, shouting "A haza minden előtt!" ('The homeland above everything!' - Kölcsey) or "Fut, ki merre lát!" ('Run for your life!')
7 "Kell. Megveszem."'I need it. I take it.'Sayings like this are permitted in this case, since everybody knows that the skíz cannot be overtaken. It would, however, be a serious breach of the rules to say this when playing a lower tarokk - such as the XVII. Even if it is by then the highest unplayed tarokk, it is not certain that all of the players have noticed this fact.
If it is accepted in the circle, D can lay down the rest of his cards at this point and claim the remaining tricks. This is recommended only for players who can safely count up to twenty-two, and in any case you should never lay down your cards if the pagát has not yet shown up!

Scoring and post mortem

A: 23 pont. Csendes duplajátékot is fizetünk.23 points. We pay you for a silent double game, too.
D: Lentről húztad a skízt?You got the skíz from the talon, didn't you?
C: Nem, lapítottam.No, I was lying in wait.
D: Nem lehetett volna bemondani a XXI-fogást?Couldn't you have announced XXI-catch?
C: Megfordult a fejemben. De attól féltem, ha bemondom, A elsőre mentőszínnel indul, amin B esetleg rögtön hazamenekül. Ha viszont a negyedik ütésben treff helyett kőrt hozok, meg van fogva a XXI-es.I thought about it, but I was afraid that if I announced it A would lead an escape suit and B might get the XXI home on the first trick. Anyway, if I had led a heart instead of spade to the fourth trick, the XXI would have been caught.
D: És trull. És négykirály. Sőt: volát!And we'd have made trull - and four kings - in fact, volát.
A: Volát? Nyavolát! A XX-asról megfeledkeztél.Volát? No way! You've forgotten about the XX.
D: Tényleg.That's true.
B: Ha, ha... Ha a toronynak nadrágja volna... (ő lenne a legnagyobb legény a faluban.) Na, mennyit fizetünk?If, if... If the bell tower had trousers... (he would be the tallest lad in the village.) How much do we owe you?
A: Kontrázott kettes játék 4 pont, csendes dupla megint 4, bukott trull 2, az összesen 10.Game of two kontra'd is 4 points, silent double game is another 4, the failed trull is 2. That is 10 points altogether.
B: Tessék. Jobbra fizet. (Balra köp.)Here you are. Pay to the right. (Spit to the left.) (The saying "pay to the right" is useful in the case where the partners are sitting crosswise: to avoid confusion each member of the losing team pays the opponent to the right. Here the partners are sitting next to each other, so the saying only applies to B and is rather pointless, but might be said in any case.)
D: Na, osszon, akinek osztania kell!Well, next dealer to deal!

Other customs and sayings

"Skíz oszt, nem oszt"'The skíz deals and does not deal'The usual procedure for ending a tarokk session.
"Zola Emil"
"Solingeni Acélművek"
'Émile Zola'
'Solingen Steel Works'
Humorous announcements of 'solo'.
"Maradtak kilencen / nyolcan"'Leaving: nine / eight'After discarding one or more tarokks, nine or eight tarokks can be declared this way
"Maradtak... eggyel / kettővel / hárommal kevesebben, mint voltak"
'Leaving... one / two / three fewer than before'
Humorous announcement, when after discarding one or more tarokks you do not have a number of tarokks you can declare.
"Új tinó"Literally: 'New bullock'.Humorous announcement of ultimó.
"Volutáció grande"
Humorous announcements of volát. 'Nyavolát' sounds like 'Nyavalyát!', which means something like 'No Way!' or 'Hell no!'
"Ulti ellen feketét"'Black against the ulti'A superstition that to stop an opponent making ulti it is best to lead a black suit. This should not be said aloud during the game, because it could be taken as an indication to the other players as to what they should play.
"Pikken csúszik a pagát"'The pagát slips away on a spade'According to the superstition the pagát has its best chance to escape on a spade trick.
"Kőr körbe megy"'Hearts go round'A superstition that all four players will have a heart. A related custom in some circles: all four players stand up for a moment when a suit goes round, as though in honour of the suit.
"Nem gond! Játék!"'No problem. Just a game'A player who spends too long thinking what to announce or play can be encouraged with these words.
"Kurta üt (nem spórol a lappal)"'Short takes the trick (not sparing his cards)'A golden rule. Of the opponents sitting between the declarer and his partner, the player who is shorter in tarokks is expected to play his high tarokks first.
"Pénz az ablakban"
"Kutyát keféltünk"
'Money in the window'
'We've screwed a dog'
These sayings are used when the the game and bonus scores cancel out so that total of points won and lost on a hand is zero and neither side has to pay.
"Miért lőtte le a gróf a fiát?"'Why did the count shoot his son?'The answer is: because he started picking up his cards before the deal was complete. Players should wait until everyone has nine cards in front of them before looking at their hands.
"Ha ész nincs, lap kell." "If [you have] no brains, [you] need [good] cards."
This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1998. Last updated: 28th October 2022

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