Sunday, 21 January 2007


Since 1984 or 1985, we (four friends who met at Groningen University) have been playing the card game "klaverjassen" regularly. When I was in Singapore we didn't play, but yesterday we started our routine of playing cards every three months or so on a Saturday evening. The group consists of ERV and HA, both married and fathers of 3 children, my gay good friend RE who also came to Singapore in November, and myself. Yesterday HA was the host. We usually meet around 7pm, chat a bit, have dinner, and start playing cards around 9pm. The older we get the earlier we finish (hehe), but still yesterday we managed to play until 2am. HA and I were the winners. It is good to have the same friends since more than 20 years, and to see the friends get fat, bald and grey.

Klaverjassen is one of the most popular card games in the Netherlands, traditionally played in cafes and social clubs, as well as at home. The game is for 4 players who play in pairs, sitting opposite each other. The game has a number of variants, named after the cities where they originated: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. We always play the Amsterdam system.

The object of the game is to score as many points as possible in 16 hands. In competition games the players on one table will rotate so as to have had each of the other three as a partner, so playing 3 sets of 16 hands.

In each hand the object of the game is for the player (and partner) who chooses trumps to collect more than half of the available points. If they fail to do this then they score nothing at all and the opposing pair receives all of the points.

Points are collected by taking tricks containing valuable cards, and also as bonus points during the play.

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