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Three-player solo trick-taking game with marriages
Origin Czechoslovakia
Type Trick-taking
Players 3
Cards 32
Deck Piquet
Play Clockwise
Playing time 20 minutes
Random chance Medium
Related games
Ulti, Sixty-six

Mariáš is a three-player solo trick-taking game of the King–Queen family, but with a simplified scoring system. It is one of the most popular card games in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Hungarian national card game Ulti is an elaboration of Mariáš.

Variants of Mariáš in Czechoslovakia[edit]

  • Lízaný mariáš (trick-and-draw game, two players, very similar to old German card game Mariage)
  • Volený mariáš (three-hand, no drawing, "elder hand" player set-up trump suit, second and third player defense together in partnership)
  • Křížový mariáš (four-hand game, 8 tricks, elder hand set-up trump suit and call (choose) one trump honour card to be in partnership, two others are defenders)
  • Licitovaný mariáš (three-hand game, bidding phase like Contract bridge, the strongest player makes commitment, two others are defenders, ten tricks)
  • Hvězdicový mariáš (five-hand game, six tricks, bidding phase and contractor calls the trump honour, three others are defenders)

Basic game rules[edit]

  • only 32 playing cards: A,10,K,Q,J,9,8,7 in four suits (card 10 is higher than King, except Betl and Durch commitments)
  • follow the suit in the trick (like bridge)
  • necessity play higher card (override) to kill (take) the trick (unlike bridge)
  • if unable to follow suit, necessity play trump card (unlike bridge)
  • if unable to kill the trick, smaller card is possible

No shuffle[edit]

The winner of the trick places the cards played to own winning stack on the table (and begin a new trick). Some deals are played only a few tricks and the contractor gives up the game or shows his hand as a winner. The score is calculated by summarizing of value cards in all stacks, but these cards stay in order. The card sequence in the tricks must be conserved. Dealer collect all stacks together with no shuffle and gives the opportunity to cut the cards before a new deal. The players can use the information about following "cards in a row" in previous deal, if the cards were displayed. This aspect boost the calculations in the next deals, some hands look strong enough, but the reality is different due to curious distribution of honours or too long or too short suits in hands of other players.

Power of cutting[edit]

The cutting act is necessary (cut -1, 0 or 1 card is forbidden) and especially the powerful finesse cause the strong cards can be sent to the cutter´s hand in next deal. Dealer has some possibilities to prevent, he could collect all the stacks in the right way before the cutting. Dealing is ordered by a scheme, after the cutting... alea iacta est)

Scheme of dealing cards[edit]

  • 7-5-5-5-5-5 in Volený mariáš (elder hand set-up trump when he has seven cards in hand, after the setting he takes the second part - another five cards, then two cards put off)
  • 4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4 in Křížový mariáš (elder hand set-up trump when he has four cards in hand)
  • 5-5-5-2-5-5-5 in Licitovaný mariáš (the winner of bidding process can take two cards left on the table (talon) and put off another two cards and then he pronounces the commitments in his contract).


  • Ace = 10 points, 10 = 10 points, last trick (ultimo) = 10 points (summarised 90 points)
  • Marriage (K+Q in the same suit in one player´s hand) trump suit 40 points, other suits 20, 20, 20 points (100 bonus points, 190 maximum score)
  • draw-game (the same score) is not possible

Special commitments with financial bonus[edit]

  • Betl (win 0 trick) or Durch (win all tricks) are special plain-trick games incorporated (escape from point-trick game, good chance to win against strong cards)
  • 7 – play the smallest trump card in the last trick (need to win this trick)
  • 100 – score 100 points or more (90 points lost the game, need 60+40 with trump marriage or 80+20 with no-trump mariage, each overtrick adds financial bonus)
  • 2x7 – need win no-trump suit 7 in the penultimate trick, trump 7 after that in the last trick (requirement: two long suits in hand)

Kontra (comments by defenders after the contract announce) double finance prices. The contractors can answer rekontra, etc. Hearts set up as trump suit - doubled finance prices too.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]