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The card game Gnau or Ngau meaning Ox in English (Chinese: 牛; Cantonese: Ngau) is a card game played in Malaysia where it originated. It can be played casually or as a gambling game. It can be played with as many players as the number of cards allows. Currently, the Malaysian Gnau champion is all-time Champion, Sarawakian.



The game uses a standard 52-card deck, with thirteen cards in four suits. Extra decks may be used if many players are playing. One player volunteers to be the dealer. The dealer then shuffles the cards and distributes them in a clockwise or counterclockwise manner to all players, 5 cards for each. The extra cards are put aside.


The "Ox values" of the cards are as follows:

The play

The objective of the game is identify 3 of the 5 cards that Ox values sum up to a multiple of 10, that is 10 or 20 or 30. If a player is able to do so, he is said to have an Ox. The other two cards show "how powerful" his Ox is. Because 3's and 6's are interchangeable, there may be more than one way to form an Ox. The player should choose a way that makes the Ox most powerful.

Ranking of Oxen

Here shows the ranking of oxen from lowest to highest:

Hierarchy of Oxen



The players play with the dealer and not among each other. So if your Ox cannot beat the dealer's Ox, the dealer will deduct the number of pts the dealer's Ox worths from you and add to his/her total. Vice-Versa. If both own Five Dukes, it's a tie.

Example play

If one gets cards with face values 3,6,8,4,8 Three ways to form an Ox:

If one gets cards with face values 6,4,J,9,9 It's a Double-9 Ox.

If one gets cards with face values 10,J,Q,Q,K It's a Five Dukes.

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Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy