Bells (suit)

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Example of Bell cards
Bay schellen.svg

Bells are a suit in playing cards of the Swiss-suited and German-suited cards. Unlike the other German suits, this suit was not adapted by French card makers. In its place, there was initially a suit of red crescents until the suit of Diamonds was added to the French pack (known as tiles in France).[1] The suit is usually known in German as Schellen, but is sometimes abbreviated to Schell. Cards are referred to as in a French deck e.g. the "9 of Bells", but in German as "Schellen 9", or the "Unter of Bells" (Schellunter or Schell-Unter).

Bells are the lowest suit in Skat, Schafkopf and Doppelkopf, but the second highest in Préférence.

The 7 of Bells (Schellen 7) or, in South Tyrol the 6 of Bells (Belle, Weli) is the second highest trump card in the game of Watten.

The gallery below shows a suit of Bells from a German suited pack of 32 cards, plus the Weli or 6 of Bells which is used in some games as an 'honour' card. The main pack is of the Saxonian pattern:


  1. ^ Dummett, Michael (1980). The Game of Tarot. London: Duckworth. pp. 10–32.