The following is a glossary of terms used in card games . Besides the terms listed here, there are thousands of common and uncommon slang terms. Terms in this glossary should not be game-specific (e.g. specific to Bridge, Hearts, Poker or Rummy), but apply to a wide range of card games. For glossaries that relate primarily to one game or family of similar games, see Game-specific glossaries.
A few games or families of games have enough of their own specific terminology to warrant their own glossaries:
Oh Hell, Oh Pshaw or Nomination Whist is a trick-taking card game of British origin in which the object is to take exactly the number of tricks bid. Unlike contract bridge and spades, taking more tricks than bid is a fail. It was first described by B. C. Westall around 1930 and originally called Oh! Well. It was said to have been introduced into America via the New York clubs in 1931. It has been described as "one of the best round games."
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although the rules are simple, there is scope for scientific play.
All Fours is a traditional English card game, once popular in pubs and taverns as well as among the gentry, that flourished as a gambling game until the end of the 19th century. It is a trick-taking card game that was originally designed for two players, but developed variants for more players. According to Cotton, the game originated in Kent, but spread to the whole of England and eventually abroad. It is the eponymous and earliest recorded game of a family that flourished most in 19th century North America and whose progeny include Pitch, Pedro and Cinch, games that even competed with Poker and Euchre. Nowadays the original game is especially popular in Trinidad and Tobago, but regional variants have also survived in England. The game's "great mark of distinction" is that it gave the name 'Jack' to the card previously known as the Knave.
Card players are those participating in a card game. Various names are given to card players based on their role or position.
A Piquet pack or, less commonly, a Piquet deck, is a pack of 32 French suited cards that is used for a wide range of card games. The name derives from the game of Piquet which was commonly played in Britain and Europe until the 20th century.
Ramsch, formerly also called Mike in East Germany, is a card game based on the contract of the same name in the popular German card games, Skat and Schafkopf. However, thanks to its interesting mode of play it has since developed into an independent game in its own right which is only loosely based on Skat or Schafkopf. It should not be confused with the games of the Rams family – Ramsen and Ramscheln – that also go by the name Ramsch.
Tapp Tarock, also called Viennese Tappen, Tappen or Tapper, is a three-player tarot card game which traditionally uses the 54-card Industrie und Glück deck. Before the Anschluss (1938), it was the preferred card game of Viennese coffee houses, for example, the Literatencafés and Café Central. Even today Tapp Tarock is played sporadically. The exact date when it appeared is not possible to identify; some sources suggest it may have been developed in Austria in the early 19th century, but its mention in caricature operas in 1800 and 1806 suggest it was well known even by then and must have arisen in the late 18th century. The oldest description of the actual rules is dated to 1821. Tapp Tarock is considered a good entry level game before players attempt more complex Tarock forms like Cego, Illustrated Tarock or Königrufen.
Bauerntarock also called Brixentaler Bauerntarock or Brixental Tarock, is a point-trick card game played in the Brixental, Austria. It may have originated in the 19th century as an adaptation of the 54-card Tapp Tarock game onto the cheaper and smaller 36-card German deck. Another possibility is that it was adapted from the 78-card Taroc l'Hombre game as the ratio of trumps to non-trumps is almost the same. It uses the Skat Schedule found in popular regional games such as Jass and Schafkopf. It is closely related to Bavarian Tarock, Württemberg Tarock, and especially Dobbm. Like Bavarian Tarock and Tapp, Brixental Bauerntarock and Dobbm do not belong to the true tarot games, but have adopted rules from Tapp Tarock. The most fundamental difference between these games and true tarot games is in the use of German or French decks instead of true Tarot playing cards.
German Schafkopf is an old German card game and the forerunner of the popular modern games of Skat, Doppelkopf and Bavarian Schafkopf. Today it is hardly ever played in its original form, but there are a number of regional derivations.
Tapp is a trick-taking, card game for 3 or 4 players using 36 French-suited cards that originates from the south German state of Württemberg. It is probably very old. Earlier versions were also known as German Tarock, Württemberg Tarock, Solo or Sans Prendre and may have originated from an attempt to play Tapp Tarock with a standard pack of, initially, Württemberg pattern cards. It is one of a family of similar games that include Bavarian Tarock, the Austrian games of Bauerntarock and Dobbm, and the American game of Frog. Although probably first played in the early nineteenth century, the game of Tapp is still a local pastime in its native Württemberg.
Wendish Schafkopf, Wendisch or Wendsch is a card game for four players that uses a Schafkopf pack of German-suited cards or a Skat pack of French playing cards.
Binokel is a card game for two to eight players that originated in Switzerland as Binocle, but spread to the German state of Württemberg, where it is typically played with a Württemberg pattern pack. It is still popular in Württemberg, where it is usually played in groups of three or four as a family game rather than in the pubs. In three-hand games, each player competes for himself, while in four-hand games, known as Cross Binokel (Kreuzbinokel), two teams are formed with partners sitting opposite one another. The game was introduced to America by German immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, where it developed into the similar game of Pinochle. Binocle was still played in Switzerland in 1994. In south Germany, the game is sometimes called by its Swabian name, Benoggl.
Wallachen is an Old Bavarian card game which used to be very popular in eastern Bavaria. Although, by 2012, it had become a rarer sight at pub tables, there have been more recent moves to revive it. Wallachen is a relatively simple three-hander that is easy to learn. As a result, like Grasobern, it has a relatively relaxed character without the mental demands of Schafkopf or the psychological stress of Watten.
An Ace-Ten game is a type of card game, highly popular in Europe, in which the Aces and Tens are of particularly high value.
Scharwenzel is a plain-trick card game for two teams with two to four players on each team. The game is at least three centuries old and is played today only on the island of Fehmarn in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Officers' Schafkopf, also called Open Schafkopf, Farmer's Schafkopf (Bauernschafkopf) or Two-Hand Schafkopf, is a German point-trick, card game for two players which is based on the rules of Schafkopf. The game is a good way to learn the trumps and suits for normal Schafkopf and to understand what cards one is allowed to play.
Fipsen or Fips is an old north German card game for 4 or 5 players that resembles Nap and Mau Mau in some respects. It is a trick-taking game played with a standard Skat pack that was once popular across North Germany in the former states of Schleswig, Holstein, Mecklenburg and Pomerania, but is now restricted to the south Holstein region. In the village of Thedinghausen in Lower Saxony, a rather different game is played under the same name for currant buns called Hedewigs. It has been described as "quite a special card game" that is "ancient, but very easy to learn".
Bester Bube, Bester Bauer, Bester Buur, Beste Boeren (Holland), Fünfkart, Fiefkarten, Fiefkaart, Fiefkort or Fiefander (Holstein), or Lenter is an historical German card game for 3–6 players played with a Piquet pack. It is one of the Rams group of card games characterised by allowing players to drop out of the current game if they think they will be unable to win any tricks or a minimum number of tricks. It appears to be loosely related to Five-Card Loo.
Bête, la Bête, Beste or la Beste, originally known as Homme or l'Homme, was an old, French, trick-taking card game, usually for three to five players. It was a derivative of Triomphe created by introducing the concept of bidding. Its earlier name gives away its descent from the 16th-century Spanish game of Ombre. It is the "earliest recorded multi-player version of Triomphe".
Juckerspiel, also known as Jucker or Juckern, is a card game that was formerly popular in the Alsace region. It is purported to be the ancestor of Euchre and to have given its name to the playing card known as the Joker. No definitive rules are known.