Tarneeb (طرنيب in Arabic) is a plain trick-taking card game popular in Middle Eastern countries. As a four-player game using a French-suited deck of 52 cards, it is quite similar to the trick-taking games Whist or Spades.
In Tarneeb, you aim to win tricks strategically. A trick consists of four cards, each played by one player. You form two partnerships at the table, with players sitting opposite each other as teammates. The goal is for each partnership to accumulate points by successfully winning multiple rounds.
At the beginning of each round, each player receives 13 cards, after which follows an auction: A bid is made by one player indicating the number of tricks their partnership aims to win. The player naming the highest bid in the end becomes the declarer, and the opposing team defends. The declarer now picks a trump suit (Tarneeb) for this round and plays the first card of the first trick.
The other players must follow in counter-clockwise order. To play a valid card, players must follow suit if possible or play a trump card to win the trick. The player who adds the highest-ranked card of the leading suit or the highest-ranked trump card wins the trick and leads the next trick.
The card ranks within a suit go from highest to lowest as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, and Two.
Scoring is based on the number of tricks won by each partnership compared to their bid. If the partnership fulfills its bid, they score points; otherwise, they lose points.
The game continues with multiple rounds, and the partnership that accumulates the highest number of points first wins the game. Sometimes, a target score is determined, for example, 31, 41, or 61.
As is typical with card games, the rules for Tarneeb can vary locally. That means agreeing on the specific rule set before starting the game is in order.
Similar to many other trick-taking games, Tarneeb relies on players’ ability to assess the strength of their hands, predict opponents’ moves, and strategically use their cards to achieve their bidding objectives. This card game blends skill, teamwork, and strategic thinking.
So, if you’re intrigued by card games that challenge your tactical skills and teamwork, our Whist Palace and Pinochle Palace might just be the games for you. Gather your friends and dive into the exciting world of trick-taking and strategic bidding!