Games At Bryant Park Manhattan


For a person who loves games, Bryant park is a true gem.  From April to October games of Chess, Backgammon, even Mahjong can be found in full swing.  Tables in the shade of umbrellas  to play on  are plentiful.  There is even a cart with over forty  games for people to play and a game host who can teach you how to play them. What more could I ask for?

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Lock-Top Card Case


I found this 0.65 cup snack container at the local discount store. It is a little larger than an altoids tin and has waterproof lock-top cover.  It turns out to be the right  size for a deck of cards. These could be used to make some great mini game kits for backpackers. If any readers have ideas or suggestions on what to fill them with or modifications to the container please share them in the comments.


This card game  is favorite in Latvia. Has the feel of Tarok, but with very small deck an easier to learn rules.

Players 3


Deck of cards with  the 2-8 cards of clubs, spades, and hearts, removed. From the diamond suit the 2-6 cards are removed.

Chips for keeping score.

How to play

The dealer deals eight cards to each player and two cards to the middle of the table.

Starting from the dealer’s left, each player in turn declares whether they want to play with or without a partner. The first player to chose playing without a partner is called the big one or Ilielais . The big one gets to take the two cards in the middle of the table, and discard two cards into his or her trick pile. 

The big one may decide to declare a Zole. In this case they feel thier hand is good enough not to need the two cards from the middle of the table and those cards are put unseen it the small ones trick pile.

After a player choses to be the big one the other two players are automatically the Small Ones or  mazais. 

  If all three players decline to be the big one, the hand is  re-dealt and a chip from each player is put in the center of the table. The winner of the next hand wins the chips from the pool in addtion to the chips won for that hand.

The first trick is led by the player on the dealers left. The winner of the last trick leads the next trick.

Players must follow suit. If they cannot follow suit they may play any card they chose.

The trick is won by the highest trump card played. If no trump card was played the trick is won by the highest card in the suit led.

The ranking of the cards are high to low as follows

In the suit of Hearts, Spades, and Clubs: Ace, Ten, King, and Nine

In the Trump suit :Queen of Clubs, Queen of Spades, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Jack of Clubs, Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds, The Ace, Ten, King, Nine, Eight, and Seven of Diamonds

After all eight tricks have been played the players count the points they have captured in their tricks. The two small ones combine their score.

The value of the cards are as follows

Aces   11 points

Tens  10 points

kings 4 points

Queens 3 points

Jacks 2 points

Nines, eights, and seven 0 points

The player or  team that collected over 60 points wins the hand. The player or team that wins with 61 -90 points wins a chip from each of the losing players. A win of 91-119 points earns the winning player or team two chips from each the losing players. A win of 120 points earns the winning player or team three chips from each the losing players.

If the player has declared a Zole that an extra four chips is won by the winning player or team from each losing player.