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Marriage - card game

Origin Nepal
Skills required Memory, Attention
Age range All
Cards 3 decks of 52 cards (total: 156)
Deck Standard
Play Anticlockwise
Card rank (highest to lowest) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Playing time 20 min.
Random chance Easy

Marriage” is a matching card game played with three decks of cards (156 Cards) played in Nepal, Bhutan and Nepali diaspora throughout the world. It is originally thought to have evolved from Rummy, and is based on making sets of three or more matching cards, of the same rank (Trials), of the same rank and suit (Tunnels), or of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit (Sequences).

This game should not be confused with German card game Mariage.

General Features


A set is a group of at least three cards. Dublee is a set of two cards. A set can contain:

There are two kinds of sets

The Objective(s)

The objective of the game is to arrange all twenty one cards into sets.

  1. The first objective is to make three Pure Sets. 7 dublees also count as meeting this objective.
  2. The second objective of the game is to end the game.
  3. The main objective of the game is to gather more points than opponents.

The Play

The play includes 5 stages

  1. Dealing cards
  2. Primary Sets Round(s) / Pure Round(s)
  3. Secondary Sets Round(s) / Dirty Round(s)
  4. Ending game
  5. Scoring

Dealing Cards

The game uses three Standard 52-card deck. Jokers are optional. If jokers are included then they are wildcard by default. The person to the right of dealer gets the first card. The dealer starts dealing the card anti-clockwise. The dealer deals the card so that each player is dealt a hand of twenty one cards each.

The remaining cards are kept face down to form a stack. This stack is often called stock cards. The top card from the stock is removed and faced up to make it the “Offered Card” or "Choice Card" to the player right of the dealer to start the game.

Taking turns: Player can either choose to pick up the top card from the deck or the offered card. The choice card is open while the top most card from the stock is face down. After taking a card, there will be a total of 22 cards with the player. The player then discards a card, which serves as the offered card to the next (right) player.

If the player does not want the choice card then the card will be placed on discarded pile. The discarded pile will slowly build up while the stock cards will slowly goes down as the game progresses. If stock card is finished then all the discarded cards will be gathered and shuffled and kept face down to form stock card again.

Primary Set Round(s) / Pure Round(s)

On each players turn, the player tries to make first three Primary Sets/Pure Sets.

When a player completes the primary sets, the player displays the primary sets face up on the floor. After that the player needs to discard a card. The first player to complete the primary set, has the option to select a random card (face down) from the deck and place it at the bottom of the deck. This card, for the rest of the round, serves as the “Main Maal” and is called Tiplu. The subsequent players who shows the primary sets are allowed to look at the Tiplu. They cannot change it.

If a player has 7 dublees then it is considered as complete primary sets/pure sets. The player need to show the 7 dublees face up on the floor.The player has the right to choose/see Tiplu depending upon the order in which the player completed the primary/ pure round.

Secondary Set Round(s) / Dirty Round(s)

The players who finish the primary round are allowed on the next secondary / dirty rounds. Players who enter this round knows "Maal". The player can now arrange the remaining cards into more sets with the use of wildcards. In the following e.g. 4♠ is considered as Tiplu

Wildcards/Joker: Wildcards are cards that can be used as replacements for any of the cards of the deck. There are two basic categories of wildcards, viz: Point Cards (maal) and Non-point Wildcards.

  1. Maal (Point Cards):
    • Tiplu: This is the Main Point Card/Main Maal Card/Main Wild Card. The card that is randomly selected and placed at the bottom of the stock by first player to finish the pure round is the Tiplu. In addition to its value as a wildcard, it carries 3 points each. Excluding this card, there are two more Tiplu cards in the game (as there are three decks of cards used). e.g. 4♠
    • Poplu: The card immediately above the Tiplu of the same suit is known as the Poplu. Each poplu carries 2 points each and is a wildcard. There are 3 Poplu cards. e.g. 5♠
    • Jhiplu: The card immediately below the Tiplu of the same suit is known as the Jhiplu. Each Jhiplu carries 2 points each and is a wildcard. There are 3 Jhiplu cards. 3♠
    • Alter: The card of the same rank as the Tiplu, and a similarly colored suit is the alter card (red) to (red) or (black) to (black) . On normal standard game, they are just wildcards. If enabled, it carries 5 points each, and also serve as wildcards. There are 3 alter cards. The game on which this is enabled is called Alter-Marriage. e.g. 4♣
    • Putali: Jokers are optional. Jokers serve as wildcards and carries 5 points each. In a normal standard play Jokers are omitted. e.g. Jkr(red) Jkr(black)
  2. Ordinary Joker/Non-Maal Wildcards/: All cards of the same rank as Tiplu are wildcards without score values. They can help complete sets to finish the game but do not contribute to scoring. There are 9 ordinary jokers with no points .e.g. 4♥ 4♦ 4♣. If Alter is enabled then there are 6 ordinary jokers with no points e.g. 4♥ 4♦ and 3 alter cards with points e.g. 4♣.

The word joker is loosely used to denote any wildcard. The wildcard with points are called maal cards/ point cards.

Ending Game

The game ends when a player arranges the cards in complete sets with or without the use of wildcards and displays it on the floor for others to see. The player has one disregarded card at the end of the game.

The 8th dublee also ends the game.

When the game is ended, the players who have not completed pure rounds will also know the Tiplu and other jokers/points cards.

On a typical game, there are 3 primary sets (9 cards) and 4 secondary sets (12 cards).


The player who ends the game will get 10 points from each of the players who have not completed primary/pure rounds.

The player who ends the game will get 3 points from each of the players who have completed primary/pure rounds.

When game ends each player totals the points. That player gets the points from each of the player.

Each player gets/looses points based on

When game ends the round is over and a new deal follows.

Scoring Maal/Points

Scoring in Marriage is a little complicated, and involves calculating the total number of points / maal in the game.

Points are contributed by Maal Cards/Point Cards or tunnel. At the end of a round, each player separates his maal cards from the rest and totals them. The grand total is the net score of all of the players’ maal-card scores or “points”. Each player wins points based on the number of points he has in his hand regardless of who completes the game.


Single Double Triple
Ordinary Card 0 0 0
Ordinary Joker 0 0 0
Poplu 2 5 10
Jhiplu 2 5 10
Putali 5 15 25
Alter 5 15 25
Tiplu 3 7 N/A
Marriage 10 30 N/A
Tunnel Double Tunnel Triple Tunnel
All Cards 5 15 25

Rules / Exceptions to Scoring:


Open: You don't need to have 3 primary set to see the main Maal. But you can only use the wildcards after you show the 3 primary sets.

Tunnel Pachaunu: The points of tunnel are not counted if the player does not complete the pure sequence round. Player need to validate the tunnel by complete the pure sequence round.

Maal Pachaunu: The points cards are not counted if the player does not complete the pure sequence round. Player need to validate all the maal by completing the pure sequence round.

Alter: Alternate Maal Card are counted.

Murder: The points/maal of the player(s) who are still on pure rounds/primary rounds are not counted. The maal/points of the players on the secondary rounds only count, other points are murdered. It is very similar to Maal Pachaunu/Tunnel Pachaunu.

Kidnap: The player who completes the game wins the cards of all players that have not yet displayed the primary sets, including their maal cards. The player who ends the game kidnaps all the maal/points of the people on the first/primary round.

Dublee: When one of the player shows 7 dublee then that game is a dublee game. It is optional.

Better: When the rounds complete then they play with double the points of regular game. That game is called better game. Dublee also triggers the game to be better (optional).

Dhoos: When a player is found cheating or making a mistake while playing the game, then the player is made to pay all the player. Generally the player pays 15 points to each of the remaining player. In some places the player pays total points collected on that round to each of the other player.