A cursory exploration of Canada’s favorite trick-catching card games and why we love them.
There are probably more ways to play cards than ways to blend the
world’s myriad dog breeds. Some games are popular in specific
regions, while others have spread far and wide through centuries of
human migration. Here in Canada – like so many major nations of the
world – we have a knack for twisting the original rules of
internationally-derived games to align with our own preferences.
Of all the card games still popular in modern Canadian society, all can be classified into one of just a few categories. Doing so, you’ll find the largest list appears under the heading, ‘Trick-Catching Games‘.
What Are Trick-Catching Card Games?
A trick-catching (aka trick-taking) card game is one that
requires players, or partnerships, to earn points by collecting
groups of cards. Each card group is called a “trick”. All
players start with the same number of cards, and each round, will
play one card from their hand. The player who plays the highest
ranking card that round wins the trick.
These games almost always have a “trump suit”, which acts
similar to a wild card. In the game of Spades, for instance, all
Spades are trumps. Most games aren’t that direct about it, instead
allowing players to bid for a contract (number of tricks or points to
be caught). The winner of the bid chooses the trump suit.
The highest ranking trump isn’t always the Ace, though. While some
games utilize traditional ranks, some of Canada’s most popular card
games hail Jacks as the most valuable of all trump cards. This is
true of Euchre, Mitaine, Yukon and others.
Not all trick-catching games have trumps, either. In the game of
Hearts, for example, there is no trump suit. The suit led is the suit
players must follow, if able, with the goal of avoiding all Hearts
and the Queen of Spades, as they incur negative points for the
Trick-Catching Card Games in Canada
There are many, many different trick-taking card games played all
over the world. Each is unique in its own way, giving players a
variety of different rules to choose from. Some are designed to
accommodate smaller or larger groups of players. Some designate
single play, and others partnership play. A few allow for either
singular or partnership play, depending on the number of players
In Canada alone, the list of games is fairly extensive. Some of the
most popular trick-catching card games in Canada, and the basic
requirements to play them, include:
Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.