Card Games: Vying Games

Vying is the old English word for a process of betting on who has the best hand. When a player bets, or raises the stake, anyone who is unwilling to match their bet must drop out and abandon whatever they have staked so far. It is possible to bluff by betting on bad cards, hoping that the other players will all drop out. Most vying games are generally showdown games in which the showdown is preceded by one or more periods of betting on who has the best combination of cards.

By far the best known vying game worldwide is Poker, which has many versions, listed in the Poker Variants index.

Here are some other vying games. Most are gambling games, but an interesting exception is the Spanish partnership game Mus.

  • Primero - classic 16th century game named after a combination consisting of one card of each suit.
  • Brag - 3-card ancestor of poker, still popular in Britain
  • Teen Patti - Indian game, similar to Brag
  • Four of a Kind - another American game, somewhat related to poker, in which only sets of equal cards count
  • Seven Twenty-Seven - players bet on having a combination near to 7 ot 27 in value
  • Bouillotte - 19th century casino game of French origin which was widely played in the 19th century
  • Ferbli - a Hungarian gambling game with four-card hands.
  • Mus - a Basque partnership vying game with betting on four aspects of the players' hands
  • Encaje - a three-player version of Mus
  • QiuQiu is an Indonesian domino game related to Pai Gow but with poker-like betting.

There are games of other types which include vying. Games of the Poch group have a poker-like game in the middle, before the stops game. Also some trick-taking games allow the play to be interrupted by proposals to raise the stake for winning; examples are Toepen, Kaiserjass, Watten, Perlaggen and most games of the Put group. Within the Put group the Latin American game Truco has vying over combinations of cards as well as vying over who will take more tricks.

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This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2010. Last updated: 12th July 2019