Ramsen (card game)

Ramsen
Ramsen-Bavarian pack-Special Trumps.jpg
The permanent trumps: Dallmutz, Belli, Großer Bube and Kleiner Bube
OriginGermany
TypePlain-trick game
FamilyRams group
Players3–5
Age range8+
Cards32
DeckBavarian-pattern pack
PlayClockwise
Card rank (highest first)A K O U 10 9 8 7
Related games
Lampeln, Mulatschak, Schnalzen, Schnellen
Features: 5 cards, 4 special trumps

Ramsen or Ramsch is a traditional Bavarian plain-trick, card game for three to five players that is played with a 32-card German-suited pack and is suitable both for adults and for children. It is one of the Rams group of card games that are distinguished by allowing players to drop out if they think they will fail to win the required number of tricks. An unusual feature of Ramsen is the presence of four permanent trump cards that rank just below the Trump Sow (often erroneously called the Trump Ace). It should not be confused with the contract of Ramsch in games like Skat or Schafkopf, nor with the related game of Rams which is also called Ramsen in Austria, but is played with a Piquet pack, does not have permanent trumps and has a different card ranking.

History

Ramsen appears to be at least 170 years old, there being a reference in an 1844 south German anthology to it being one of the card games that is "fun" and in which "one does not have to think too much".[1] In 1877, the game is described as one of several which is "popular with ordinary folk" in Bavaria.[2]

Ramsen is still taught and played in Bavaria today, for example, in Memmingen[3] and Markt Rettenbach.[4] It is described by Sirch as being suitable for adults and children alike.[5]

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