Klaverjassen rules

Klaverjassen, or klaverjas, is a trick taking card game popular in the Netherlands. The name is derived from the words klaver and jas. Klaver is Dutch for clubs and jas is an old Dutch term for the jack. The jack is the highest trump in the game. On this page you will find the rules, points and scoring of klaverjassen.

Klaverjassen rules

General rules of the game

We start with the general rules of this Dutch card game.

  1. Klaverjassen is a card game usually played with 4 people. The players sitting opposite of each other form a team.
  2. The game is played with 32 playing cards, the piquet cards. These are the 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen, king and ace of each suit.
  3. Each card has a point rating and relative rank. This will be explained in more detail later.
  4. The goal of the game is for your fellow player and you to score more points than your opponents (minimum 82 points).
  5. A complete game consists of 16 games, with all players dealing 4 times. A variation is to play until one team reaches 1500 points.
  6. As in most card games, the player to the left of the dealer comes out at the start of the game.
  7. The player with the highest card wins the trick. If a trump is thrown, the player with the highest trump card wins the trick.
  8. The winner of the trick comes out on the next trick.
  9. The last trick played may be looked back at by any player while the subsequent trick is still in progress.
  10. Players must follow suit at all times if possible. If a player cannot follow suit, he or she may play another card of their choice.

Difference between Rotterdams and Amsterdams klaverjassen

There are different variants of this card game. In the Netherlands, Rotterdams and Amsterdams klaverjassen are the most popular variants. The difference between these two versions is as follows.

  • In Rotterdams klaverjassen, you are obliged to play a trump card if you cannot follow suit.
  • In Amsterdams klaverjassen, you are not obliged to play a trump card if your partner has played the winning card up to that point.

Dealing of cards

  • Each player receives 8 cards.
  • The dealing order is 3-2-3.

Bidding round

After dealing, the bidding round starts.

  • During the first game, the trump suit is always clubs. In subsequent games, a trump suit is determined at the beginning of each game by turning over a card from the unused pile (cards 2 through 6).
  • The player to the left of the dealer gets to choose first whether to play or pass. If a player plays, also called accept, he thinks he and his partner will score more points than the opposing team. If a player has bid “play,” then the other players need not bid again.
  • If a player passes then the turn is passed to the next player who again can choose whether to play or pass.
  • If all players have passed, then there are several options.
    • The next card from the unused pile is turned over and if this is a suit that has not yet been bid on, this suit may be bid on.
    • Another possibility is that the dealer or the forehand (the player next to the dealer) plays compulsorily, in which case the trump suit may be chosen.
    • Another possibility is that the forehand is obliged to play on the next card to be turned.

Points cards klaverjassen

During the game, points can be earned for the cards you gather by winning tricks. The sequence described below also determines the relative rank of the card. The Jack of the trump suit is the highest card in the game, followed by the 9 (nel) of the trump suit. Thus, in this card game, the Jack is the highest trump.

Points trump cards klaverjassen

  • Jack: 20 points
  • 9 (nel): 14 points
  • Ace : 11 points
  • 10 : 10 points
  • King : 4 points
  • Queen : 3 points
  • 8 and 7 : 0 points

Points remaining cards klaverjassen

  • Ace : 11 points
  • 10 : 10 points
  • King : 4 points
  • Queen : 3 points
  • Jack : 2 points
  • 9, 8 and 7 : 0 points

Bonus points in klaverjassen

During a round, additional points can be obtained which are included in the count for win or loss.

  • Last trick : 10 points.
  • If you obtain the following cards in one trick, you receive additional ‘roem’ (fame) points:
    • Three card. Three cards in a row of the same suit: 20 points.
    • Four card. Four cards in a row of the same suit: 50 points.
    • Four same cards. Ace, king, queen: 100 points.
    • Four jacks: 200 points.
    • Stuk (Broken). King and queen of trump: 20 points.
    • Stuk and three card can be added together. 40 or 70 points.
  • If you and your mate win all 8 tricks: 100 points. A pit is also called a mars or pan.

Game play klaverjassen

Below is the course of the game after the bidding round. Some rules are a repetition of the general rules of the game.

  • After the bidding round the player to the left of the dealer comes out.
  • You should always, if possible, follow suit.
  • Klaverjassen has a trump requirement.
    • If trump is played, you are obliged, if possible, to play a trump card higher than the highest trump card on the table.
    • If you cannot follow suit, then you must either play a trump card or overtrump.
    • You may only undertrump if you have no cards other than lower trumps at the times when a trick is trumped or when trump is the played suit.
  • When it comes to the trump requirement, there is therefore a difference between Rotterdams and Amsterdams klaverjassen.
    • In Rotterdams klaverjassen, you are obliged to trump if you cannot follow suit.
    • In Amsterdams klaverjassen, you are not obliged to trump if your partner has played the winning card.
  • The player who wins the trick may come out on the following trick.

Scoring in klaverjassen

How does the scoring in klaverjassen work? The aim of the playing pair is to score more points than the other side, including bonus points. If the playing pair succeeds, the players receive the points gained.

If the opposing players achieve more points, the playing pair goes ‘wet’. In this case, all points, including all roem points, go to the opposing pair.

Is klaverjassen played in other countries than the Netherlands?

Klaverjassen or similar games are also played outside the Netherlands. In Switzerland, the game is very popular. Here, however, people play with other playing cards (bells, shields, flowers and nuts).

In France, the card game belote is widely played. This is closely related to Amsterdams klaverjassen. In North America, Tarbish is a game very similar to klaverjassen. Furthermore, there are more related card games that are popular in Bulgaria and Croatia.

Learn more about other card games

Do you want to learn more about other card games? Please visit our overview with articles about all kinds of card games.

Read articles about other card games