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29 Card Game is one of a group of South Asian trick-taking games in which the Jack and the Nine are the highest cards in every suit. It is almost certain that they are descended from the European family of Jass games, which originated in the Netherlands. Probably they were brought to the Indian subcontinent by Dutch traders.
29 is usually played by four players in fixed partnerships, partners facing each other.
32 cards from a standard 52-card pack are used for play. There are eight cards in each of the usual "French" suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. The cards in every suit rank from high to low: J-9-A-10-K-Q-8-7. The aim of the game is to win tricks containing valuable cards. The values of the cards are:
Jacks - 3 points each
Nines - 2 points each
Aces - 1 point each
Tens - 1 point each
Other cards (K, Q, 8, 7) no points
This gives a total of 28 points for cards. In some versions of the game, the last trick is worth an extra card point, for a total of 29: this total explains the name of the game. Most players nowadays do not count the point for the last trick, but the name of the game is still 29, even when playing this version with only 28 points.
Traditionally, the Twos, Threes Fours and Fives discarded from the full 52-card pack are used as trump indicators: each player takes a set of these cards, one of each suit. The Sixes are used to keep score: each partnership uses one red and one black Six for this purpose.
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