OBJECTIVE OF NORWEGIAN GURKA: The objective of Norwegian Gurka is to not be eliminated.


MATERIALS: A standard 52 card deck, optional Jokers, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game 



Norwegian Gurka is a trick-taking game for 2 to 7 players. It is closely related to the game Cucumber. The goal of the game is to be the last player remaining.


To set up a player will be the dealer for the round. They will shuffle the deck (along with the jokers if they are being used and deal each player 7 cards facedown. The remaining cards are placed in a facedown pile near all players.

The cards are ranked with Ace being the highest and 2 being the lowest rank of card. The full ranking is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. The suit of the cards doesn’t matter in this game.

Jokers are used as additional aces.


Norwegian Gurka is played over a series of rounds and in these rounds, you will play 7 tricks. To start the game the player to the dealer’s left will play the first card of the trick. From then on, the winner of the trick will start the next one. 

When playing a trick in Norwegian Gurka the player who starts the trick may play any card they would like. The remaining players must then play a card that is the same or higher rank or they must play their lowest ranking card. The player with the highest-ranked card or the highest-ranked card played last. 

The cards played by players will remain in front of them. Anyone can look through other players’ cards when deciding what cards to play for their turn. 


When the last trick of the round is won, the player who won the trick is penalized. They receive a score equal to the rank of the card the trick was won with. Aces and Jokers are worth 14 points, king 13, queen 12, jack 11, and the remaining cards are worth face value. 

When a player receives a score of 21 or more, they are eliminated from the game.

When new rounds are started the player to the left of the dealer (if not eliminated) becomes the new dealer until a winner is determined.


The game ends once there is only one player who is not eliminated. They are the winner.


There is a variation used in this game that states that an ace cannot be played to match an ace.

Amber Crook
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