The game of cards was first introduced in France in the late 14th century through the importation of Egyptian cards. These cards had a four-suit system of play and as France continued to play they developed their own system which they fully owned by the late 15th century which got branded as the French card game.
This new system included different card variations which are the clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. Across France, different card art variations emerged but they still maintained the same card rules.
The four suit system developed by France was easily adopted by other nations across the world.
Introduction and rules of play
French card games have become very popular in today’s world. It uses different deck variations of 32-, 40-, 48-, and 78- cards and incorporates the four suit system.
These French games have also been the source of cards such as the queen and Egyptian mamluk. These games have different types of games that are played worldwide and each game has its own set of rules.
The different deck variations can also be practiced on the modern game of 52 cards, for instance, when playing the 40 deck card, the eight, nine, and ten cards are removed.
Common French card games
It has a few popular games that are commonly played. These games include piquet, belote, manille, ecarte, Boston, commerce, Alouette, and tarot, and each has its own rules.
The piquet is a 32 deck game which is played by two players. It is a trick game that involves strategy and memorizing the cards. Belote is an old French game that uses 32 cards and is played by four players with two players per team.
The game which was established over 70 years ago, is played by each team taking or passing on a particular set of revealed cards.
Additional French card games
Manille is another French game that uses 32 cards. It is played by four players and the game starts off by the dealer performing a trick. The rest of the players also do their own tricks and the win is granted to the player with the highest tricks.
Alouette is a game of four players and uses 48 cards. The aim is for the players to use their tricks to play. The players are not allowed to use each other’s tricks and the win is given to the player with the most tricks.
The French Tarot
The French tarot had become the most popular game in the late 20th century. It is mostly played by four players and is played using 78 cards. It uses the four suit system of diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades.
It was so popular that competitions and tournaments were always conducted across France. The 78 card deck consists of 21 trump cards, 4 suits of 14 cards and one special card called the excuse card. The excuse card is the only card that can be played on any trick game chosen.
How to play the French tarot
In the first round of the game, the dealer is selected randomly. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals out 18 cards to each player in sets of 6 cards.
One set of 6 cards is issued face down and these cards are selected at the convenience of the dealer while playing. The play is done anti-clockwise with the player on the immediate right of the dealer starting the game.
All players in the game are given one chance to bid or pass. If the player bids, the next players can choose to either take higher bids or pass.
What you need to know about French card games
The French card games have evolved over time with extra modifications and rules added to the existing games. The different variations of the king, queen, and jack cards were a representation of different kings and queens that ruled France.
Each of the French game has a restricted number of players to play, for example, the ecarte is played by two players. The dealer in every French game is selected fairly and he/she is the one that shuffles up the cards. It is started off in a clockwise or anti-clockwise manner depending on the type of game.
Most of the games have online simulators that enable one to learn the games as they play. In each game, every player receives a hand which is the number of cards they are supposed to start the game with.
The different French games end when either a particular set score is attained by the first player or if a player finishes their hand. A general rule is that no player is allowed to play when it is not their turn.
Breaking any of the rules is deemed as cheating.