Talon (cards)

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A talon of playing cards (face down)

A talon ([taˈlɔ̃]; French for "heel") in card games is a stack of undealt cards that is placed on the table to be used during the actual game. Depending on the game or region, they may also be referred to as the stock, widow, skat, tapp, dobb or kitty.


In 1909, Meyers Lexicon described the talon as "the cards left over after dealing..."[1] In games of chance, such as Pharo it is "the stock of cards which the banker draws on".[2] The talon is usually a pack of cards, placed face down, in the middle of the card table. In other games, there are however very different variations, for example in Königrufen. Talons may be placed face up or face down.

Parlett describes a kitty as "the pool or pot being played for" or "a dead hand or widow". He also equates talon to stock as the "cards which are not dealt initially but may be drawn from or dealt out later in the play."[3]

Examples of usage[edit]

The following are examples of games and the term usually used for talon. They are taken from Parlett[3] unless otherwise indicated:


  1. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 1909.
  2. ^ "Lexikoneintrag zu »Talon«. Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Band 19. Leipzig ..." www.zeno.org.
  3. ^ a b Parlett, David. The Penguin Book of Card Games. London: Penguin (2008), p. 642-646. ISBN 978-0-141-03787-5.
  4. ^ Schipflinger, Anton (1927). "Das Jaggln" in Tiroler Heimatblätter, Issue 7/8, pp. 230/231.
  5. ^ Dobbm at www.pagat.com. Retrieved 29 Jun 2018.
  6. ^ Rohrmayer 2015.
  7. ^ Kastner & Folkvord 2005, p. 177.
  8. ^ Droggn at www.pagat.com. Retrieved 29 Jun 2018.
  9. ^ Kastner & Folkvord 2005, p. 241.
  10. ^ Mizerka at www.pagat.com. Retrieved 29 Jun 2018.
  11. ^ Kastner & Folkvord 2005, p. 273.