OBJECTIVE OF RONDA: Capture cards with matching cards in hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or 4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 40 card Spanish deck

RANK OF CARDS: 1 (Low), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12




Ronda is a popular game in Morocco, but not just Rabat and Marrakesh, but all over the extremely diverse country. Due to this fact, the game has French, Spanish, and Arabic forms.

Ronda uses a 40 card deck which originates from Spain. The deck has 4 suits: khal (clubs), copas (cups), chbada (swords), and dhab or dinar (coins). The cards within each suit are numbered from 1 to 7 then 10 to 12 where 10, 11, and 12 are the jack, horse, and king, respectively. Some variations on the Spanish deck include 8s and 9s, however, they are not used in this game. If you don’t have a Spanish deck, the 8s, 9s, 10s from a standard Anglo-American deck may be removed as suits are not important to the mechanism of the game.

This is a 2 or 4 player game, with the 4 player game consisting of 2 sets of partners.


The player who is designated as dealer shuffles the deck and the player to their left cuts it. After, the dealer deals out cards to the players in sets of three. The dealer begins with the player to their right and moves counterclockwise, ending the deal with themselves.

Once all the players have received their cards, the dealer deals 4 cards, face-up, to the center of the table. These cards must be of all different ranks; however, they cannot be in sequence (i.e. 2, 3, 4, 5). If there is a pair placed on the table, the second card is shuffled into the deck and a new card is dealt in its place. In the event of a sequence, the last card in the run is shuffled into the deck and one new card is dealt to replace it.


Starting the game, the player to the right of the dealer goes first, and play moves counterclockwise. During a turn, players play one card to the table, face-up, and might capture cards as well. Cards that are captured are kept in a pile, face-down, in front of the capturer. Whereas, in games with partners, one player from each team keeps the both their captured cards in front of them.

After everyone has played their 3 cards in hand, the dealer deals the second batch of 3 cards to everyone, following the same dealing mechanism as before. No more cards are dealt to the table in this round. After dealing, the dealer announces to the players this is the last round of cards to be dealt. Once these hands are played, the play ends. The cards that were captured are scored and the position of dealer moves to the right in the next game.


After the deal, players examine their cards and, if they can, call either Ronda or Tringa. Players can call Ronda if they have a pair of cards that are equal in rank, and players can call a Tringa is they have a three of a kind, or three cards of equal rank. A Ronda is worth 1 point and Tringas are worth 5 points. The rank of the cards is not announced unless more than one player has either a ronda or a tringa. The player with the higher ranking combination of the two tringas or two rondas wins the points. If there happens to be a tie, the points are split evenly between the two players- half points are rounded down.


During play, if you play a card which is equal in rank to a card on the table, you capture the matching card and place it in your pile. Also, you can capture cards which are of higher rank but are in sequence with the pair. For example, if you pair two 5s, you may pick up a 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12, in that order. During a turn, you may play only one card. If that card matches, you must capture all cards you possibly can. If the card played matches nothing, it sits on the table face-up.

If you capture a card that was just put down by the player before you, you score 1 point. The player capturing must announce “one.” In a game with 2+ people, the next player can call “five” if they can play a 3rd card of equal rank. That player scores 5 points. And, if the fourth player can also do the same, they call out “ten,” and earn 10 points.

Number        French      Arabic     Spanish

1                       un           wahed         uno

5                      cinq         khamsa       cinco

10                     dix           achra          diez

However, you don’t score if you match the last card played by the dealer if it is the first card after a new deal.

If a card played is able to capture all the cards on the table, that player or that team wins 1 point. This is referred to as missa (French), mesa (Spanish), or Iahsa (Arabic). However, no points are scored for clearing off the table with the last card played by the dealer during the last round. It can score matches, though.

After the last card has been played and all deals have been dealt, the cards that remain on the table are taken by whoever executed the last capture.


Once the game is finished, the cards in the capture pile are counted. The team or player that captures the most cards earns 1 point per extra card captured, up to 20 cards. If a team reaches 41 points they win automatically and the game ends. This may happen at any time during play or during the scoring.

Nakoa Davis

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