OBJECT OF MARJAPUSSI: The object of Marjapussi is to be the first team to score exactly 10 game points.


MATERIALS: A modified deck of 52 cards, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Marjapussi is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. The goal of the game is to score exactly 10 game points before the opposing team.

There is a traditional game and a simplified game that can be played. Players should discuss and choose which scoring system and deck will be used for the game before the game begins. 


If you are modifying a deck to play the simplified game remove all cards 6 and lower or 7 and lower. This leaves you with either a 32-card deck or a 28-card deck. If playing with the traditional rules remove all cards 5 and below. This leaves you with a 36-card deck.

The first dealer is chosen randomly and passes to the left for each new deal. The deck is shuffled and the player to the dealer’s right may cut the deck.

The dealer then deals the whole deck out evenly to each player, one card at a time. Each player should have a hand of 9 cards for the 36-card deck, 8 cards for the 32-card deck, or 7 cards for the 28-card deck. 

Card Ranking and Values

The ranking for this game is Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, Jack, 9, 8, 7, and 6 (low). The game does not start with a trump suit, but one may be declared in the round.

The cards have values associated with them for scoring. In the simplified rules, Aces are worth 10 points, 10s are worth 10 points, kings, queens, and jacks are all worth 5 points and all other cards hold no value. In traditional rules Aces are worth 11 points, 10s are worth 10 points, Kings are worth 4 points, queens are worth 3 points, jacks are worth 2 points and all other cards hold no value.


The game starts with the player to the left of the dealer. They may lead any card they wish to the trick. The following players must follow suit if possible, and if they cannot, they must play a trump, if they can. Players must always play to win a trick, even if their partner is currently winning. If you cannot follow suit or play trumps, then you may play any card.

The trick is won by the highest trump played, if applicable. If no trumps were played, the trick is won by the highest-ranking card of the suit of the originally led card. the trick is collected into a score pile and the winner leads to the next trick.

Declaring Marriages and Trumps

After a player wins a trick, they may declare a marriage. The first marriage declared in a round becomes the trump suit for the remainder of the round. Marriages can be declared one of three ways and can only be attempted once after a player wins a trick. If unsuccessful in declaring a marriage you must wait until you win another trick. You may also only declare cards you have in hand currently, not ones you have played or won.

The first way to declare is to have a full marriage in hand yourself. This means you have a king and a queen of the same suit in your hand currently. You may declare this as a marriage.

The second way is to ask your partner if they have any marriages in hand. if they do, they may declare it, or choose which to declare if they have multiple. If you ask your partner for marriages you may no longer declare full marriages from your own hand, and your partner can no longer ask you for marriages either. You may still help in half marriages, however.

The third way to declare a marriage is to ask your partner for a half marriage. This means you hold half a marriage and hope your partner has the other half. If they do, they may respond yes, and the marriage is declared. If you declare a marriage this way you and your partner may now not declare or ask each other for marriages. But you may still declare with half marriages.


Once all tricks have been played and won the points are scored. Players can score game points for a few actions completed during the game. 2 game points are awarded to the team that declares the trump’s marriage. 1 game point is given to all other marriage declarations. 1 point is awarded for winning the final trick, and 1 game point is awarded to the team that won the majority of the card value.  

A team must score exactly 10 points to win. If a team scores more than 10 points their score is reduced to 7 points. if a team ever loses all the tricks of a round and ends the round with no tricks won their score is reduced to 0.


The game ends when a team reaches 10 game points. They are the winners.

Amber Crook
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