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Dutch in origin, Klaberjass is a trick-taking game that is extensively popular amongst Jewish communities. Its name roughly translates to mean "Jack of Clubs" .This game is intended to be played by two people, though there is a variation with three or four players.


A deck of 32 cards are used for the game, this is attained by taking out cards two through to six from the deck. This deck is known as a scat or pique deck. The ranking and there scores, differ according to whether it is in trump suit or if it is during the melds stage.

Trump: J: 9, A, 10, K, Q, 8, 7.
Non-trump: A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7.
Melds: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7.

Game play

1. Cards are shuffled, by the dealer, and then passed onto the player on the right for the deck to be cut. The dealer should next deal out the cards, three at a time until both players have a total hand of six. The remaining cards make the stack pile.

2. After this, a card from the stack is turned up, this is the trump. After the trump has been revealed the first round of bidding may begin. This is when each player starting from the non-dealer, either says the words take, pass or schmeiss. If either the dealer or non-dealer says take, then the trump suit remains, and the game begins with the taker being the trump maker. If the non-dealer utters pass, then it shifts to the dealer to decide, if he also passes, then the non-dealer can decide the trump, if he doesn’t choose to pass again. With schmeiss, if a player declares this and the other player agrees the deal is revoked. If on the other hand the dealer rejects schmeiss then they become the trump maker and the trump remains as the original suit.

3. Now that trump has been decided the game can move along. The dealer proceeds by turning up the next card in the stack pile. This is carried out for strategic reasons later in the game. At this time two cards have been revealed in the stack, the trump, and this new card.

4. Straight after the bidding, the player with the seven of their trump suit, termed Dix, can exchange it for a card from the stack. This action must be done before the melding stage of the game.

5. In the melding phase, each player makes an announcement on card sequences. This is done by the player saying melds. Melds are certified by briefly showing the other players during the first trick. If an announcement of a sequence is not made in the melds stage then it is void and is worth no points.

6. If a player has a sequence of three cards, which is termed a Tarz, they gain twenty points. A Halber is an arrangement of four cards, and it is worth fifty points. A belle sequence; this is worth twenty points and is acquired when players have King and Queen of trumps. Only players with the highest sequence will be able to call meld and score, this is essentially determined by a set of guidelines

  1. Halber is higher than a Tarz.

  2. A Tarz and a Halber sequence with the highest top card win the meld.

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