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|Players||Preferably 2×2 (1×1 - 2 rounds dealt or 3×3 - each player is dealt 4 cards)|
|Rank (high→low)||J 9 A 10 K Q|
|Playing time||10 min.|
Thunee, after the Tamil word for water, is a popular trick-taking card game of the Jack-Nine family that originated in Durban, South Africa. It is believed that the game was developed by the first indentured Indian labourers. There are variations of the game found in India and Mauritius.[ citation needed ] The game is mostly confined to the former Indian townships, where it is very popular as a family game and in fund-raising tournaments, but to some extent it has spread to other South Africans and to Indians in other countries. The game Euchre is very closely related. The first thunee world championship was held in Pietermaritzburg in 2003.
The game is part of the Jack Nine card games family, which includes twenty-eight, and the much older card games of the Jass family which are German in origin. This game is generally enjoyed at any occasion.
Thunee is enjoyed by both young and older generation amongst the Indian community. Thunee is also enjoyed during porridge prayers and goat prayers among the indian communities.
Thunee is best for four players in fixed partnerships, sitting crosswise, but can also be played by 2 or 6 (2 teams of 3 players). It is played with 24 cards only. The Sixes, referred to as the "ball cards", are used to keep the scores. The highly original ranking of cards and the card-point values are as shown in the table. The first and foremost rule of the game is to always follow suit, if a player does not have that suit he may play any other card in his deck.
A hand can only be “cut” if a player does not have a card of the same suit of the first card played in that hand. His partner may cut higher to assume the lead if he too does not have that suit. Should the player who “cut” the hand be caught by the opposing team having the suit of the first card, then the opposing team is allowed to open 4 points (“4 ball”). If a player cuts a hand and his partner does not want to assume the lead he is allowed to “undercut” (to cut lower than that initial “chop”) provided that he only has trump in his possession, should he undercut while in the possession of a suit other than that of trump, then the opposing team is allowed to open 4 points (“4 ball”). Any player is allowed to undercut any hand provided he has only trump in his hand, should he not have only trump in hand then the above rule applies.
A nominated person from one team called out first, will shuffle the cards, he will then deal the cards face up, one card to each player at a time starting from his right - a process known as "black Jack deals". The first person receiving a black Jack, i.e. either the Jack of clubs or the Jack of spades, will start dealing and the opposite side will trump.
The Dealer must always offer the opposition to his left the opportunity to cut the deck. One cannot center cut or count the number of cards prior to cutting. The opposition may decline to cut with no recourse. Each player receives six cards in total but first each player is dealt 4 cards and then the dealer deals the remaining 2 cards each.
Bidding, or "calling", as it is commonly known, is done when an opposition player wishes to set trump although it is not technically his turn to trump. Players usually choose to call for trump due to them being dealt favorable cards. A player may not call against his partners call for trump. Should both players from the team call out a bid at the same time, the bid is escalated to the next multiple of 10 and the dealer will allocate who from the opposing team will call trump which must be placed on the table by the player in concern. The maximum bid is a 100 and the player with the highest bid will keep trump. The opposing team may call 104. Should the team counting win the game, then they will be allowed to open 2 points on their scorecard (a process known as "call and loss"). The bidding process can be halted if a player calls "thunee". The trumpman has the first right to call thunee. During any form of the game, the team counting must always have trump, if they do not, the game becomes trumpless, a trumpless game requires a re-shuffle or re-deal, it is the duty of the counting team to realise that they are trumpless, failure to do so may result in the loss of a point or ball. Sometimes, the team not trumping are dealt unfavorable cards and call to set trump, in the hope that their opposition will call higher - this is (thunee terms) called 'fishing'. There is blind bidding in which a player calls before getting their cards, no one can raise them after seeing their cards. If a player wins, they get double their points and if they lose, the opponent gets 4 points.
Jodhi calls are effective with the possession/combination of the following cards: K and Q (non-trump suit)-20 Jodhi, K and Q (trump suit)-40 Jodhi, J, K and Q (non-trump suit)-30 Jodhi, J, K and Q (trump suit)-50 Jodhi.
Example: 50 Jodhi Khanuck - The counting team fails to reach a count of 60. (10 is added for the taking of the last hand)
Balling, or scoring, in a thunee game is won by the player or team who has won 12 rounds, or ball points. 13 rounds or ball points must be reached to win if a khanuck was called during the game. A common variant requires 13 rounds to win a game regardless if khanuck was called or not. A thunee or khanuck game may be played during any stage of the game, however a double game may not be played when a teams ball score is on cornerhouse (last remaining point to win). If a team calls a cornerhouse double, the opposition is awarded a penalty, gaining 4 balls. Certain variants of the game require a team to win by a minimum of 2 points, a process known as "2 to clear", however other variants maintain that this play is only applicable when a kanuck is called during the game.
Jodhi is the player who either calls Jack, King and Queen of one suit. This call adds 30 points, or 50 points if it is of the trump suit. If a King and Queen of one suit, this call adds 20 points, or 40 points if it is of the trump suit.
If a team during the game is caught committing an offence, e.g. using sign language, not following suit, changing trump card etc., then the team is automatically disqualified, losing the round, incurring a 4-point penalty called "Four-ball". Currently rarely do players play royal thunee as per normal thunee some players often get confused when the opposition player or partner calls royals. The irony behind this is that no matter how high rank cards you have, you can call Thunee, and no matter how low rank cards you have you can call Royals.
Sheepshead is an American trick-taking card game derived from Bavaria's national card game, Schafkopf. Sheepshead is most commonly played by five players, but variants exist to allow for two to eight players. There are also many other variants to the game rules, and many slang terms used with the game.
500 or Five Hundred is a trick-taking game developed in the United States from Euchre. Euchre was extended to a 10 card game with bidding and a Misere contract similar to Russian Preference, producing a good cut-throat three player game like Preference and a four player game played in partnerships like Whist which is the most popular modern form, although with special packs it can be played by up to six players. It arose in America before 1900 and was promoted by the US Playing Card Company, who copyrighted and marketed a deck with a set of rules in 1904. In 1906 the US Playing Card Company released the improved Avondale scoring table to remove bidding irregularities. 500 is a social card game and was highly popular in the United States until around 1920 when first auction bridge and then contract bridge drove it from favour. It continues to be popular in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where it has been taught through six generations community-wide, and in other countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Shetland. Despite its American origin, 500 is the national card game of Australia.
Spades is a trick-taking card game devised in the United States in the 1930s. It can be played as either a partnership or solo/"cutthroat" game. The object is to take the number of tricks that were bid before play of the hand began. Spades is a descendant of the Whist family of card games, which also includes Bridge, Hearts, and Oh Hell. Its major difference as compared to other Whist variants is that, instead of trump being decided by the highest bidder or at random, the Spade suit always trumps, hence the name.
Forty-fives is a trick-taking card game that originated in Ireland. The game is popular in many communities throughout Atlantic Canada as well as the Gaspé Coast in Québec. Forty-fives is also played in parts of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire in New England, United States, as well as in the South Island of New Zealand.
Tarabish, also known by its slang term Bish, is a Canadian trick-taking card game of complex rules derived from Belote, a game of the Jass family. The name is pronounced "tar-bish", despite the spelling. It is played primarily by the people of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in Canada, where, according to one source, it was brought in 1901 by a Lebanese immigrant George Shebib.
Belote is a 32-card, trick-taking, Ace-Ten game played primarily in France and certain European countries, namely Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and also in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the most popular card games in those countries, and the national card game of France, both casually and in gambling. It was invented around 1920 in France, and is a close relative of both Klaberjass and Klaverjas. Closely related games are played throughout the world. Definitive rules of the game were first published in 1921.
Pedreaux is an American trick-taking card game of the All Fours family based on Auction Pitch. Its most popular variant is known as Cinch, Double Pedro or High Five. Developed in Houma, Louisiana, by Chris Levron and Brad Greco in the 1880s, it was soon regarded as the most important member of the All Fours family. Although it went out of fashion with the rise of Auction Bridge, it is still widely played on the western coast of the United States and in its southern states, being the dominant game in some locations in Louisiana. Forms of the game have been reported from Nicaragua, the Azores, Niobe NY, Italy and Finland. The game is primarily played by four players in fixed partnerships, but can also be played by 2–6 individual players.
Briscola is one of Italy's most popular games, together with Scopa and Tressette. A little-changed descendant of Brusquembille, the ancestor of Briscan and Bezique, Briscola is a Mediterranean trick-taking, Ace-Ten card game for two to six players played with a standard Italian 40-card deck. The game can also be played with a modern Anglo-French deck, without the eight, nine and ten cards. With three or six players, twos are removed from the deck to ensure the number of cards in the deck is a multiple of the number of players; a single two for three players and all four twos for six players. The four- and six-player versions of the game are played as a partnership game of two teams, with players seated such that every player is adjacent to two opponents.
Bid whist is a partnership trick-taking variant of the classic card game whist. As indicated by the name, bid whist adds a bidding element to the game that is not present in classic whist. Bid whist, along with spades, remains popular particularly in U.S. military culture and a tradition in African-American culture.
Pitch is an American trick-taking card game derived from the English game of All Fours. Historically, Pitch started as "Blind All Fours", a very simple All Fours variant that is still played in England as a pub game. The modern game involving a bidding phase and setting back a party's score if the bid is not reached came up in the middle of the 19th century and is more precisely known as Auction Pitch or Setback.
Doppelkopf, sometimes abbreviated to Doko, is a trick-taking card game for four players. The origins of this game are not well known; it is only recorded from the early 20th century and it is assumed that it originated from the game of Bavarian Schafkopf.
Clabber is a four-player trick-taking card game played in southwestern Indiana near Evansville. Clabber is a member of the Jack-Nine family of trick-taking card games that are popular in Europe. The game is a four player variation similar to that of klaberjass. The game also plays similar to Euchre, with a few differences being that points are not awarded based on the number of tricks taken, but rather on the actual point value of cards in those tricks. Clabber also doesn't use a left Bower, as does Euchre; other differences are that players don't use Bidding, instead, the trump makers must score at least eighty-two points to keep from "going set", where they don't score any of their points. Additional points can also be scored for a combination of cards in a hand, which would assist in "making it", or, not going set.
Twenty-eight is an Indian trick-taking card game for four players, in which the Jack and the nine are the highest cards in every suit, followed by ace and ten. It thought to be descended from the game 304, along with similar Indian games known as "29", "40" and "56".
Smear is a North-American trick-taking card game of the All Fours group, and a variant of Pitch (Setback). Several slightly different versions are played in Michigan, Minnesota, Northern and Central Iowa, Wisconsin and also in Ontario, Canada.
Euchre is a 19th-century trick-taking card game and has many variations.
Manille is a Catalan French trick-taking card game which uses a 32 card deck. It spread to the rest of France in the early 20th century, but was subsequently checked and reversed by the expansion of Belote. It is still popular in France and the western part of Belgium.
Dummy whist is one of many variants of the classic trick-taking card game Whist. The general rules of dummy whist are similar to that of bid whist, with two notable exceptions. Bid whist is played by four players, whereas dummy whist is played by only three. Secondly, instead of dealing a kitty, a dummy hand is dealt to be on the team of the player who wins the auction.
The card game of Euchre has many variants, including those for two, three, five or more players. The following is a selection of notable Euchre variants.
Court Piece is a trick-taking card game similar to the card game whist in which eldest hand makes trumps after the first five cards have been dealt, and trick-play is typically stopped after one party has won seven tricks. A bonus is awarded if one party wins the first seven tricks, or even all tricks. The game is played by four players in two teams, but there are also adaptations for two or three players.
Watten, regionally also called Watteln or Wattlung, is a card game that is mainly played in Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol. There are several main variants: Bavarian, Bohemian, South Tyrolean (Stichwatten), (Austrian) Tyrolean, Kritisch and Blind Watten. It is usually a 4-player game, which is "by far the most interesting", but it may also be played by 2 or 3 players. According to Parlett, Watten is "hard to describe [but] fun to play and easy to learn."