Quartet (card game)

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City quartet

Quartet is a card game especially popular with children . The aim of the game is to collect as many quartets as possible , that is, sets of four cards that belong together. Quartet is known under the names Happy Families (Great Britain), Jeu de familles (France), Gioco delle famiglie (Italy), Authors (Great Britain and USA).

Classical quartet

The game for three or more people

Quartet is usually played with a package of special motif cards, which, especially for children, are connected with the goal of learning symbols, relationships and content. But it is also possible to play with traditional playing cards . A package of quartet cards usually consists of eight quartets, i. H. from 32 cards. Which cards belong to a quartet is indicated by symbols or an index. B. the cards E1, E2, E3 and E4 a quartet. Or other quartet games include B. 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D together.

First the cards are shuffled and dealt to the players individually - some players may receive one more card than others. The player to the left of the dealer starts the game and asks any other player for a clearly marked card that he lacks to form a quartet; z. B. "Eva, do you have the King of Hearts?" Or "Michael, do you have the E3 card?"

A player may only ask for a specific card if he has at least one card in his hand from the quartet in question. If the questioned player has the card he is looking for, he has to give it to the questioner, and the questioner may still demand missing cards from his fellow players. However, if a respondent does not have the desired card, it is his turn to ask for cards. Once a player has a full quartet, e.g. B. has four kings, he places them face up in front of him on the table. If a player has no more cards in his hand, he is out of the game and his left neighbor may next ask for cards.

Whoever can collect the most quartets by the end of the game wins.

The game for two

If only two players take part, each receives ten cards. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table as a talon or pile . If you do not receive a card you are looking for, you take the top card of the pile in your hand while the other can ask. Otherwise, the rules of the game apply to three or more people.

Go fish

Go Fish is a game similar to the quartet, which was documented as (in the spelling at that time) Andare à piscere in Italy as early as 1585 and is now particularly widespread in the English-speaking world.

Go Fish is played by three to six people using a pack of 52 French cards or a special Go Fish hand. Each player receives five cards, the rest is put aside face down as a talon . The player to the left of the divider starts the game.

It differs from quartet in that a player does not ask for a specific, individual card, such as "King of Hearts", but asks the other player to give him all cards of a certain rank, for example "Michael, give me yours Kings ”. The rule here is that a player may only ask for cards of a certain rank if he himself has at least one such card. If the addressed player does not have a single card of the required rank, he answers (English) with " Go fish "

The player who has unsuccessfully requested cards then takes the top card from the talon into his hand, and the player who replied " Go fish " can now request cards from other players himself. Otherwise, the same rules apply as for quartet. The aim of the game is to collect most of the quartets, which are referred to here as books .

Quartet playing cards

Quartet with motifs by Wilhelm Busch

When designing quartet playing cards, motifs from a wide variety of fields of knowledge are used, such as cards with images of animals, fairy tale characters, cities or well-known personalities. The name Authors for this card game, which is common in the USA, is derived from a widespread quartet of writers . There are quartets, which are mainly made for children and partly also serve educational purposes, on the other hand playing cards for adults for entertainment up to pure adult content.

Today, technical topics dominate. The first car quartet was published in 1952 by the German company ASS . In addition to car quartets, cards with vehicles of all kinds, such as motorcycles , ships and airplanes, are very popular, as these cards can also be used for Supertrump - or are even mainly used for Supertrump , so that this game is sometimes also called Car Quartet .

There are also quartet cards with pictures of popes or famous football players . The curiosities among the quartet games include a beer quartet, but also a dictator quartet or a mass murderer quartet .


  • Ernst Krumbein: Quartets or: how Scholz-Verlag promoted education. In: Play with us! Paper games from the publisher Jos. Scholz Mainz. Gutenberg Museum, Mainz 2006, pp. 40–51. ISBN 3-9805506-9-9

Web links

Commons : Quartet  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Rodney P. Carlisle: Encyclopedia of Play in Today's Society, Volume 1, SAGE, 2009, p. 231
  2. ^ The United States Playing Card Company, Joli Quentin Kansil, Editor: Official Rules of Card Games , 90th Edition, 2004
  3. DIE ZEIT: When the trumps learned to drive 2