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Spanish Card Game

The Spanish card game

The Spanish card game is one of the best known card games in the world. This card game has a great tradition and is used for a large number of different card games. At For Card Lovers you will find all the information and games of the Spanish card game.


History of the Spanish Card Game

The Spanish bridge is nowadays used in Spain, the south of France, Latin America, the Philippines and North Africa. Previously, it was used in Portugal, Italy and throughout Western Europe, along with their local decks.


The Spanish card game has its origins in the Arabs or Mamelukes of the 14th century. As the Spanish population had difficulty understanding the signs, they started printing cards in the 16th century with symbols closer to their cultural tradition.


In 1868, Heraclio Fournier, a Burgos printer of French origin, living in Vitoria, presented his lithographic set, whose design was awarded a prize at the Paris World Fair.


However, the definitive design of the "Spanish Bridge" that has come down to us under different artistic or rustic visions is the one made by Augusto Ríus for Fournier himself.


Number of cards in the Spanish game

The Spanish card game can have either 40 cards, from Ace to 7 and then the Jack, Knight and King, or 48 cards, from one to nine and all three numbers per suit. All are in sequence except for the three of clubs in which the symbols are usually crossed. Unlike others, they can only be seen in one direction, they are not reversible.



The card of the valet, is symbolized by a page, as messenger or servant of the King.


The horse represents a knight mounted on it, although in some old cards they appear dismantled and pulling the bridles.


The king is depicted as an older, bearded man, although the kings of cups and gold look younger. All of them carry swords, except the one with goblets who has a scepter and jewels. The only one holding a sword is the king of swords.


The Colours of the Spanish Bridge

The Spanish card game consists of four suits: gold, cups, swords and clubs. The gold and cups are known as short suits and the swords and clubs as long suits.


Each costume of the bridge is inspired by a particular social status of the time. Thus, gold would represent merchants, cups the clergy, swords the warriors and the nobility, and clubs the common people.


The main games of the Spanish card game

With the Spanish card game, you can play a variety of fun games. Among them are card games to play alone, in pairs or in groups, which can have very different objectives.


In this section, we present the most popular and funny games:


  • Broom

Escoba or Escoba de 15 is a card game for two, three or four players, which is played with a Spanish deck of cards.


The game of escoba is based on making sums of 15 points with the values of the cards, bearing in mind that each one has the value of the number it represents, except for the jack which is worth 8,

the knight who is worth nine and the king who is worth ten.


The final objective of the game is to collect as many brushes as possible at the end of the game, alone or in groups.


  • Liar


Lying is a game usually played with the Spanish card game in which it is recommended to play with at least 3 players.


To play the liar, the entire game is distributed equally to all players, each hiding his cards from his opponents. These you must try to get rid of all the cards you have in your possession as soon as possible.


The player who starts the game puts one or more cards face down and tells his opponents the number of the game to which these cards theoretically belong and the number of cards he puts down (for example, "two horses,...". If the next player believes him, he must continue to place one or more cards on the table.


Here's how the other players keep adding cards to the center stack until one of them gets suspicious of the letters in the previous one and decides to check the veracity of what he's saying.



If he has lied, the lying player must take the deck of cards that has been accumulated throughout this round with him. If the player told the truth, the one who takes the deck of cards from the table is the player who decided to check whether it was true.


  • The President...


The President's game, also called "Ass", is a game that is played with a Spanish 40-card deck and can be played from 3 upwards, although ideally it should be played with 5.


All the cards in the game are dealt and the objective is to get rid of all the cards. To do this, the value of the cards on the table must always be exceeded or equal.


To understand this: the player who goes out, discards two 4's on the table, as the next player must discard either two 4's or two cards of higher value. If he matches, the next player must take his turn. The same thing is done until the players have no more cards, and the last one to arrive is the "ass".


The player who has been ruled out first is the president, the second is the vice-president, the third is neutral, the fourth is the vice-president and the last is the con. What's that for? Simply that in the next game, the president will have to deal his two worst cards to the ass, and the ass will have to deal his two best cards to the president. Same for the vice president and the vice president, even if it's only one card.




Bibliography consulted

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