French tarot

I’m pretty into tarot these days. No, not the fortune-telling kind but the card game. Zach and I were introduced to it by some friends in Cambridge, and we liked it enough to buy our own tarot deck.

Tarot is great for a few reasons: 1) it’s a trick-based game (TBG), 2) three to five players can play instead of strictly four, and 3) it’s spicy.

Each player bids at the beginning of each hand. One player wins the bid. All the other players team up to sabotage the person who won the bid, except in five-player games where the bid-winner has a secret partner helping him or her. This means your goal changes from hand-to-hand, and the people on your “team” change each hand. And in five-player tarot, you don’t even know right away who is on your team. Spicy, am I right?

Another fun aspect of the game is the cards themselves. There are five suits in tarot decks: clubs, hearts, spades, diamonds, and trump. That’s right, trump is a separate suit. And there are four types of face cards: valet, chevalier, dame, and roi. Then there is a wild card of sorts called the excuse, or fou. Keeping the cards straight and learning the scoring is a bit difficult at first.

The main downside of the game is obtaining a deck. In the US, you’re probably going to have buy your cards online. You have to be careful when you’re shopping so you don’t end up with fortune-telling cards. You’re also probably going to pay more for a deck than you’d like. I think we paid about $15 for one deck. You could make your own deck by mixing two identical decks of cards together, but you’d have to write all over a bunch of cards.

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One Response to French tarot

  1. we should play again soon!

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