Frog (card game)

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Frog
Cardset-oxymoron-01h.gif
The top card in a frog bid: the Ace of Hearts
OriginUnited States, Mexico
TypeTrick-taking
FamilyTapp group
Players3
Cards36
DeckFrench
PlayClockwise
Card rank (highest first)A 10 K Q J 9 - 6
Related games
Bauerntarock, Bavarian Tarock, Dobbm, Tapp
Contracts: Frog (pick-up), Chico (suit solo) and Grand (heart solo)

Frog is a trick-taking, card game for 3 players that is popular in southern USA and Mexico (where it is known as Rana). It is a member of the Tapp group of games that originate from the attempt to play tarot card games with non-tarot cards, the most likely progenitor of these games being Tapp Tarock.

Background[edit]

Frog may have originated in the south German game of Tapp to which it is almost identical. Tapp, itself, was an adaptation of Tapp Tarock to use standard German- or French-suited cards. Even the terminology is of German origin: 'frog' being the equivalent of the Tapp bid, Frage (Bavarian: Froag), and 'blind' being a translation of the German word, Blinde. The three bids of frog, chico and grand mirror those in Tapp: Frage, Solo and Herzsolo.[1]

Play[edit]

Frog is played with a pack of 36 cards, the 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s being removed from a standard 52-card French-suited pack. The cards rank and score, as in most Ace-Ten games, as follows:[2]

Ranks and card-point values of cards
Rank A 10 K Q J 9 8 7 6
Value 11 10 4 3 2

Deal 11 cards clockwise to each player and place 3 face down on the table as the blind. Beginning with the eldest hand, players may pass or bid for one of the following solo games:[2]

  • Frog: the declarer must exchange 3 cards for the blind. Hearts are automatically trumps
  • Chico: a suit solo in which the declarer chooses any suit except Hearts as trumps and may not use the blind
  • Grand: as chico but Hearts are trumps

In each case the blind belongs to the declarer. There are 120 points in the pack and the soloist must score at least 61 to win. In frog, he scores for every point above 60 from each player. Chico scores double, and Grand triple, points.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dummett 1980, p. 570.
  2. ^ a b c Beattie 2009, p. 34.

Literature[edit]

  • Beattie, Rob (2009). The Art of Playing Cards. Quarto, NY. ISBN 9780785836698
  • Dummett, Michael (1980). The Game of Tarot. Duckworth, London. ISBN 0715610147