Popular Card Games From Around the World

Popular Card Games From Around the World

Whichever country your from, the chances are, people play cards there. If you’re a cards aficionado then you may have heard of some of these games, but hopefully there will be a gem amongst them that you’re yet to discover. Different continents, cultures and countries all enjoy card games that are unique to them. These are some of the most popular variations of card games in different areas of the world.

Middle East, Tarneeb

The Middle East has a huge number of card games that are unique to the area. Tarneeb is possibly the most popular one, perhaps only challenged for top spot by online casinos in the UAE. As betting in the United Arab Emirates can be complicated, it is helpful to have a guide to show you the safe sites to play on. Although you’re unlikely to find Tarneeb, a game of online poker is beloved in many Middle Eastern countries, so provides a similar experience without having to leave your home.

This game is played in teams of two, usually with four players total. You’ll need a 52 card deck to play which is dealt into four piles of thirteen cards each. Similar to poker, the players then each bid on the strength of their hand. The game works as a tricks game, so players are betting on how many tricks they’ll have in their hand. The team who bids the highest combined total is known as the declarer and its up to them to take as many tricks as they’ve declared, whilst the other team tries to stop them. In order to do this the players all take it in turns to lay down a card, if possible following the suit of the card before. The winner is the one who puts down the highest trump card, or the highest card of the original suit if no trumps have been played.

Australia & New Zealand, Five Hundred

The Australians are huge fans of playing cards, enjoying a cold beer on the beach and busting out the cards is a stereotype that was born in truth. The national game of Australia, which is also widely enjoyed in New Zealand is called Five Hundred. Like Tarneeb, this game is played by four players in two teams of two, using a standard 52 card pack.

From the pack the twos, threes and the black suit fours are removed and a joker is added back in. This should leave you with 43 cards. If you have a greater number of players then the pack is further edited, but to avoid confusion we’ll stick to the four player version here. The aim of the game is to score 500 points, hence the name. Again, like Tarneeb, players must bid on how many tricks they think they will win and whether they score above or below, their scores will be subtracted, forcing them closer to minus 500 and losing, or plus 500 and winning. The game works in a very similar way to rummy, but with some distinct differences which are explained in the rules of 500 here.

Latin America, Loba

Another game that works in a similar way to rummy is Loba, meaning she-wolf. This game is hugely popular across Latin America, bit is though to have originated in Argentina. Interestingly in central America there is a similar game, also called Loba which plays like Contract Rummy, but the Argentinians call this Carioca. We’re talking about the South American variant which is distinctly different.

You play Loba in one of two ways, Loba de Menos, in which points are collected for the cards remaining in hands at the end of play, or Loba de Mas, in which points are scored during play depending on the combinations laid down. In the first variation the idea is to score as low as possible and in the second to score as high as possible. To begin you’ll need two standard packs with the addition of four jokers. In order to win, you’ll need to make combinations called piernas or escaleras. A pierna consists of three of the same rank cards, of different suits. An escalera is what we’d call a run, a series of cards of the same suit, with Aces high or low as wished. Jokers can only be played as part of escaleras, which means that drawing a joker towards the end of the game can be a kiss of death to thoughts of winning.


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