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GALLERY INDEX
~~ Gallery 6 ~~
Cards Without Traditional Suits
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GALLERY INDEX

Various Games  -  part 1

DOMINO
OLD MAID ~ SCHWARTZ PETER ~ CERNÝ PETR ~ FEKETE PÉTER ~ UOMO NERO
SNAP
HAPPY FAMILIES ~ QUARTETT ~ KVARTETO



go to part 2
CUCKOO ˇ ROOK ˇ LEXICON ˇ SOLO ˇ UNO
WHOT! ˇ GET OUT! ˇ DUMMY ˇ TAKE 6


go to
Mercante in Fiera
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Uta Karuta ˇ Iroha
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Âs Nas


a credit to Bo Bernville for his precious information about
the Kille deck, and one to Ingo Werner for his feedback about Quartett

Several packs of cards are specially designed for games which do not need classic suits. They may either have no suits at all (i.e. all picture cards, or values belonging to only one family), or sometimes they may be divided into families according to colours.
Some of these games are modern, but many of them have an old tradition, and are usually known only in one country or in areas with the same cultural background.
The main difference of these cards, though, is that almost all of them have been created for non-gambling games, thus making them suitable for players of all ages.

Besides actual decks which belong to this group, a different kind of collectable item are trading cards; these ones, though, are not made for playing card games. They usually feature single or multiple sets of cartoon series characters (such as the recent Pokémon), or fantasy personages (Magic is the best known example). Obviously, these ones will not be dealt with, having little in common with playing cards.


DOMINO CARDS
Domino is a popular pastime played with tiles, but also a few card decks have been produced for this game: some of them are very simple, as the Indonesian one shown below, but the ones produced in western countries are usually more colourful, often designed for children, as the Italian Zoo Domino deck on the left.
Rules are usually the same as in the tile game, i.e. to match pieces by the values or by the pictures on both ends.


Domino deck (by Kalong, Indonesia)

Zoo Domino deck, with pictures of wild animals
(by Dal Negro, Italy)

For traditional Chinese domino decks see Fifteen Point Cards and Sichuan Cards in page 2 of the Chinese gallery.




OLD MAID ~ SCHWARZ PETER ~ CERNÝ PETR ~ FEKETE PÉTER ~ UOMO NERO
Old Maid is a traditional game in most English-speaking countries.
It is played with a deck of 33 picture cards, in which all but one of the subjects are repeated twice, forming 16 couples. The last card is single, and it usually features an old woman or spinster, whence the name of the game.
By picking cards in turn from each other's hands, the players try to discard couples, and to avoid being left the Old Maid, whose holder at the end of the round is the loser.

Old Maid deck with traditional subjects (by Emu for the UK)


Cerný Petr deck featuring dog personages
(by OTK, Czech Republic)
The subjects in traditional Old Maid decks are personages borrowed from everyday's life (the postman, the driver, the fisherman, the butcher, etc.), without a given scheme, but some editions are also inspired by a variety of specific themes; in this case, the "old maid" too is usually pictured in a pertinent attitude.

The same game is even more popular in German-speaking countries and those related to German culture (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia), where the game is known as Schwarz Peter ("Black Peter"), in the local language variants: Cerný Petr (Czech), Cierny Peter (Slovak) and Fekete Péter (Hungarian).
In these varieties the "black Peter" is often a chimney-sweeper.

An Italian game which is the same as the previous ones is called Uomo Nero ("black man", or "bogie man"). It is normally played with regional patterns, by taking one card out of the deck (usually and ace), and by considering the ace of Batons the unlucky personage not to be left with.
Italian picture card decks for this game, such as the one shown, are therefore very unusual. In this particular edition the two cards of each couple are not identical; a small sign or symbol (a music note, a tennis ball, an anchor, etc.) act as reminders for making a correct match. Only the individual card has no sign.

Uomo Nero deck (by Modiano, Italy):
the individual personage and three sample couples





Snap deck with original illustrations
from John Jaques' 19th century edition
(by Gibson Games, UK)
SNAP
Snap is a typical British family game. The 44 cards have 22 illustrations repeated in couples, either inspired by everyday's life or by specific themes, as the Old Maid cards.
The rules of the game are simple: players are dealt all the cards in the pack, which are kept in a pile, face down in front of them; at the beginning of the game, the first player rapidly uncovers his upmost card, so that everyone can see it, and places it near his pile of unturned cards; all other players do the same, in turn.



If one of the exposed cards matches with the one belonging to any other player, the two opponents shout "SNAP!" as fast as they can, and who is first in doing so adds all the exposed cards of the other player to his own uncovered pile, placing them at the bottom. If the two players call "SNAP" exactly at the same time, their upturned cards go in the centre of the table (in the 'pool'); if a player calls "SNAP" in error, his upturned cards go in the 'pool' as well. The 'pool' is therefore made of several individual piles of exposed cards.



a colourful Woodland Snap deck, featuring personages
from a popular children series (by Gibson Games, UK)

When somebody turns up a card matching the top card of a 'pool' pile, any player can call "SNAP-POOL", and the first in doing so adds that 'pool' pile to his uncovered cards.
When a player has no more uncovered cards to turn he is out of the game. The winner of the round is the player who survives all the others.


Railway Snap deck, featuring characters
from the popular "Thomas the Train" series
(printed in Belgium for Michael Stanfield, UK)



HAPPY FAMILIES ~ QUARTETT ~ KVARTETO
Happy Families is another popular British game for children, whose 44-card deck features characters from different families: in traditional packs each family is made by a worker (the Baker, the Painter, etc.), his wife, his daughter and his son. The game is played by asking the opponents for cards belonging to specific families, so to complete as many sets as possible.
Happy Families may be even played by using a standard deck of cards, but the different characters in the family groups are surely more fun to play with.


Jaques Happy Families deck, with illustrations from
John Jaques' original edition (by Gibson Games, UK)


Quartett deck, whose subjects are cities
of the world (by Piatnik, Austria)
Quartett is the German version of the game: it has the same rules, though the deck has 36 cards. Therefore, groups (or families) are nine, each of which featuring four different picture cards.
Both in Germany and in Austria, several important manufacturers such as Piatnik, Berliner Spielkarten, F.X. Schmidt, and others have produced Quartett decks, with a great variety of subjects: animals, cities of the world, cars, etc.
Regretfully, having card games turned less popular than two or three decades ago, the wide range of Quartett decks inspired by different themes, once available, has now considerably shrunk.


Kvarteto is the Czech version of the game, identical to the German one. In the Czech Republic the game is still popular, so besides editions with traditional illustrations, newer ones with themes such as cartoon series or movies exist (as the sample shown on the right, inspired by "The Jungle Book"). In both cases, the four-card families are numbered for an easier reference, and their subjects are identified as "1A-1B-1C-1D", "2A-2B-2C-2D", etc.


A very good selection of Quartett decks is shown in Ingo Werner's page Im Reich der Quartette.

modern Kvarteto deck with personages from "The Jungle Book"
(by OTK, Czech Republic); note the use of numbers to identify the subjects




go to part 2

CUCKOO ˇ ROOK ˇ LEXICON ˇ SOLO ˇ UNO
WHOT! ˇ GET OUT! ˇ DUMMY ˇ TAKE 6





OTHER GALLERIES

non-standard patterns advertisement decks sizes, shapes and colours standard pattern variants tarots Mercante in Fiera Uta Karuta, Iroha Karuta, Dôsai Karuta Âs Nas
regional patterns: Italy regional patterns: Spain regional patterns: Germany regional patterns: Austria regional patterns: Switzerland regional patterns: France regional patterns: China regional patterns: South-Eastern Asia regional patterns: Japan regional patterns: India uncut sheets mottos and proverbs

or back to
Introduction
INTRODUCTION
AND HISTORY

Multi-language Glossary
MULTI-LANGUAGE
GLOSSARY
the Fool and the Joker
THE FOOL &
THE JOKER
Index Table
INDEX
TABLE
Regional Games
REGIONAL
GAMES
Playing Card Links
PLAYING CARD
LINKS






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