Trix: The Beloved Middle Eastern Card Game

Did you know that a captivating card game has captured the hearts of many countries in the Middle East? From Saudi Arabia to Kuwait, Lebanon to Syria, this game called “Trix” (also known as “Trex”) has become a favorite pastime among locals. This blog post will dive deep into its origins, rules, and why it continues to charm players across these nations.


Origins and Cultural Significance:

Trix/Trex is not just an ordinary card game; it holds immense cultural significance throughout multiple Middle Eastern countries. Its roots can be traced back decades ago when families and friends gathered around tea tables or during social gatherings for friendly competition. Over time, Trix became deeply ingrained within local traditions – blending strategic gameplay with cherished moments spent together.
Trix Card Game
Understanding the Gameplay:
At first glance, Trix might seem similar to traditional trick-taking games such as Bridge or Spades; however, its unique twists set it apart. Remembering each player’s moves becomes crucial, and observing your opponents’ strategies adds another layer of excitement. Without giving away too much strategy here, sometimes bluffing may lead you toward ultimate victory!
Here are the steps on how to play the Trix card game in the Middle East:
  1. Gather 4 players. The game is played by 4 players, using a standard international 52-card pack without jokers.
  2. Shuffle the cards and deal 13 cards to each player. The cards are shuffled, cut by the player to left of the dealer and dealt out to the four players.
  3. The player who is dealt the 7 of hearts in the first deal is said to “own the kingdom”. This player chooses which contract to be played each hand, and is also the dealer for the next four deals. During his or her “kingdom” a player may choose to play any contract based on his or her cards.
  4. The other players must deal five times during their kingdoms. After the first dealer has played all five contracts, the kingdom passes to the player to his/her right, and so on. Each of these players, during their kingdoms, must deal five times, selecting a different contract each time, without repetition. After the four kingdoms are complete, 20 deals have been played, every player has selected every contract once: the game is over.
  5. The player with the highest positive score wins the game. After 20 deals, when all four players have completed their kingdoms by selecting all five contracts, the game is over. The final scores indicate the result – the players with positive scores win by that amount, and those with negative scores lose similarly.
Here are some additional rules that are specific to the Middle Eastern version of Trix:
  • Queens: Each queen taken in a trick costs the collecting player 25 points. Queens are stored face up in front of the winner of the trick in which they were played.
  • Collections “Lutoosh”: Each trick taken costs the collecting player 15 points.
  • Diamonds: Each card of the diamond suit taken in a trick costs 10 points off the running total of the collecting player.
  • King of Hearts: The player who takes the trick containing the king of hearts loses 75 points in standard setting. If this contract is chosen and a player holds either the king of hearts alone, the ace of hearts alone, or the king of hearts and the Ace of hearts, he or she may request that the hand be re-dealt. This is because such a player would most probably collect the card, which would be unfair for him or her! The player making the appeal should show all his or her cards to the other players. If this happens the replayed contract does not have to be King of Hearts.
  • Trix: Despite its name, this is the only contract that is not a trick-taking game, but a game of the Card Domino family. Players try to get rid of their cards as soon as possible by playing them to a layout, which begins with the jacks and continues upwards in each suit to the ace and downwards to the two. The dealer begins, and play continues counter-clockwise. Players must play one card if they can. Legal plays are: any jack, or any card that is one rank higher or lower than a card already played. If a player is unable to play, they pass. The first player who runs out of cards scores plus 200 points. The others continue playing and the second scores plus 150 points, the third plus 100 points and the last gets plus 50 points.
Trix is a fun and challenging card game that people of all ages can enjoy. It is great to play with family and friends, and it can be a lot of fun to try to outwit your opponents and win the most tricks.
Variations Across Different Countries:
Language accents vary across regions, but how people play Trix Cards differs subtly. Saudi Arabian fans embrace their interpretation, while folks on Lebanese soil add personal touches. In Kuwait, you’ll find yet another variation. Perhaps, trying each country’s version could provide valuable insights into different cultures! This variety demonstrates how Trix is more than mere cards–representing tradition, warmth, and connectivity expressed through diverse approaches.
The Joyful Competitive Spirit:
One thing remains consistent regardless of which region plays this enthralling card game: The spirit of competitiveness comes alive. Watching players strategize, bid, and execute their moves is as thrilling as the game. It’s no wonder why Trix/Trex tournaments and competitions are celebrated with vigor throughout the Middle East. Admiring players’ expertise and witnessing breathtaking gameplay moments can leave you in awe—leaving one eager to partake in this vibrant card game culture.

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