Welcome back to Popular Card Games from Around the World. In this article, we will be learning about Tonga and its popular card game Tamalmu, and Belgium and its popular card game called Couillon. I am very excited to share this with you so let’s get in it.


Tonga is another place that is literally my version of paradise. Its official name is the Kingdom of Tonga which is already spectacular but then I found out Tonga is actually made up of 169 different islands. They all reside within the southern Pacific Ocean and make up all together about 290 square miles. To put that into perspective the United States of America’s smallest state is Rhode Island at 1,034 square miles.

Talamu is one of the most well-known games in Tonga. It’s a variation on Whist. It uses a standard 52-card pack and is meant for 4 players in teams of 2. The players are dealt 13 card hands and a random card from the dealer’s hand is revealed. This determines the trump suit, or lanu as it’s known in Tonga. It’s played as a standard trick-taking game with the addition that lanus cannot be led till they have been played in a trick when a player could not follow the led suit. There is also no scoring. The first team to score 7 out of 13 tricks wins the game.


Belgium, also funny enough officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium and is a country in Western Europe. It is well known for its chocolate, beer, and French fries, interestingly enough. They also have a very competitive, ranked 1 in the world, Football team. Belgium also has an incredibly intricate and diverse culture and background, pulling from nearby regions such as France, Germany, and Denmark.

They also have an extremely popular card game called Couillon. Couillon is a trick-taking card game that uses a French deck of 24 cards. it is played by 4 players in partnerships. The overall goal of the game is for your team to earn enough points throughout the game to win. The game requires players to win rounds of play by scoring higher than their opponents. The game play is like a traditional trick-taking game making it both fun and easy to learn.


Through my journey around the world of games, I have researched many places, but these two really show a point that sometimes I have a hard time writing into words. These two places, though very different and unique, and despite being thousands of miles apart still share a similar love of games. There is beauty in each game’s and place’s differences, but it is also really refreshing to see such a concrete example of similarity even if it is as small as two games from across the oceans.

Amber Crook
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