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Card Games: Trappola Group

The point-trick game of Trappola was described by Cardano as a popular Venetian game in the 16th century. It spread throughout Central Europe but continued to be played with Italian suited cards. The composition of the pack is unusual: A K C J 10 9 8 7 2 in each suit. The card values are A=6, K=5, C=4, J=3 with 6 for the last trick. The twos are important: there is a special bonus of 10 points for winning a trick with a two. If the last trick is won with a two, the bonus is doubled to 20 points, which together with the usual 6 makes 26 points. Winning the last trick with a two became known as a "26".

The only known survivor of the Trappola group proper is the game Stovkahra, played by a few people in Romania; this has been adapted to use the German suited 32 card pack, substituting sevens for the twos.

Stovkahra means "100 game", and this game is related to the Austrian and South German Hundertspiel, which probably died out early in the 20th century. Hans-Joachim Alscher has made available the text of Christian Vanderheid's book about this game "Nie ohne Sechs und Zwanziger!", published in 1858.

The justification for including the negative game Coteccio from Trieste in this section is that it comes from North-East Italy and uses the same scheme of card values, and therefore is probably related: