and a German ...
The English laudatio:
Well, this might be a game, which is similar interesting as the game Doppelkopf, what I mention occasionally.Königrufen or Königsrufen (German: "Call the King") is a four-player, trick-taking card game of the tarot family, played in Austria and Southern Tyrol. As with other regional tarot card games, it is usually called Tarock (the German term for tarot card games) by its players. It is the only variant of Tarock that is played over most of Austria and, in 2001, was the most popular card game in Austria after Schnapsen and Rommé. By 2015, it had become "the favourite card game of Austrians". It has been described as the most interesting tarot game for four players, the "Game of Kings", a game that requires intelligence and, with 22 trumps in play, as good "training for the brain".
In comparison with other card games, Königrufen may be played with a wide range of possible contracts. The name of the game comes from the practice in the most basic contracts of naming a specific King in order to choose a playing partner, known as "calling a King". In most contracts the four players form two sides – either two against two or one against three – who compete to score the majority of the card points. According to the rules, the 54 cards have a total value of 70 points.
Although the basic rules of Austrian Königrufen are common, the contract announcements and bonuses and their values have a large number of variations. Many private groups play by their own house rules. In addition, more widely accepted tournament rules have emerged, although these vary considerably from region to region. This makes Königrufen the most varied of all the Tarock games. Regular tournament series have been held since the 1990s and, since 2008, an annual Austrian Final has taken place.
The game is played with 54 cards, shown here ...
You see, that the trumps 1-2-3-4 are selected for special reasons, similar to the selection of trumps 1-2-3-4 in the Bolognese Tarocchino and similar to the selection of the trumps 2-3-4-5 in the Piedmontese Tarocchi, which are discussed momentary in the thread "Problems with positing the Papi in the Ur-Tarot".
In this case (Königsrufen) the 4 cards get new names (bird names):
Trump 4: Quapil or Maradu
Trump 3: Kakadu or Pelikan
Trump 2: Uhu
Trump 1: Spatz or Pagad
The strange names go back to 4 bird pictures in an animal in 18th century ...
Königsrufen has other interesting features, but these are not of interest in the moment. Especially interesting is the "unknown partner mechanism" as MikeH named it once ....Development of the Birds
The (usually four) lowest tarocks are called Birds (Vögel, usually dialectically Vogerln = "little birds"). Their special feature is the bonus to be made from the final tricks of the game, corresponding to their respective number. Thus if Tarock I wins the last trick or Tarock II wins the penultimate trick, etc., the player earns a bonus. Consequently, there is also a penalty for losing a bird in such an attempt.
The oldest bird is the Tarock I, the Pagat. Its role in the last trick is clearly older than Königrufen itself. It was first attested in Italy during the 16th century. [The footnote 34 goes to "Caldwell, Ross Sinclair; Depaulis, Thierry; Ponzi, Marco (2018). Con gli occhi et con l'intelletto (2nd ed.). USA: Lulu.com. pp. 55, 68."]
It has been known as bagatto ultimo in Piedmont since the 18th century. At that time Milan belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy, and in this way the bonus and the term came to Austria. There it was further introduced that the Pagat ultimo can also be declared beforehand, very probably taken from a similar announcement in Hundertspiel, an Austrian version of the originally Italian card game, Trappola. The Pagat ultimo became a characteristic feature of almost all Tarock variants in the Habsburg Empire.
Although there were already similar bonuses in Hundertspiel, it was only in the 20th century that the idea arose of extending the bonus of the Pagat ultimo to higher tarocks and earlier tricks, initially to the Eagle Owl (Uhu). In 1937, this name was first used for the Tarock II in Franz Unger's Kleiner Lehrbuch des Tarockes in seinen schönsten Arten ("Little Textbook of Tarock in its Best Ways"); there, however, the bonus was awarded for playing the Owl in the last trick. Later, the penultimate trick became the norm.
Traditionally, the term 'Eagle Owl' was assumed to be a humorous nickname for the eagle on the card, itself inspired by the Austrian imperial eagle, and analogous to the term 'cuckoo' (Kuckuck) being used for a pledge seal. However, research revealed that the term first appeared in 1902 in Hungary in the card game Alsós, a variant of Jass for three players, which was heavily influenced by Tarock and was also played in Austria under the name Vannakspiel. There, the Deuce of Bells was called the Eagle Owl and a bonus was awarded if it took the penultimate trick. Why it was called an eagle owl is unclear; the same word, Uhu, is used in Hungarian for an eagle owl, but its connexion with playing cards is not clear.
From the game of Alsós the concept was transferred to Hungarian Tarock and was part of an essential refinement of the game in the 1920s, which led to the variant, Illustrated Hungarian Tarock. Now the Pagát uhu could also be played, i.e. the Pagat in the penultimate trick. The migration of the term to Austria seems to have led to its meaning being transferred to the Tarock II.
Apparently in analogy to the eagle owl, the Pagat was now nicknamed the 'Sparrow', which gave rise to the concept of "Birds". It was now obvious to include higher tarocks as well. This happened several times independently, resulting in several different names for the higher "Birds". Often bird names with the appropriate number of syllables were preferred. Thus the names Cockatoo (Kakadu), Pelican (Pelikan) and Canary (Kanari), among others, were coined for the Tarock III. For the Tarock IIII, names included Marabou (Marabu i.e. the Marabou Stork), Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Cock-a-Doodle-Doo (Kikeriki) and Wild Boar (Wildsau); however Quapil, a German family name of Czech origin (from kvapil = "he has healed") has become generally accepted. In this case, too, it is unclear how this became the name of the card.
Playing up to the Quapil is the norm today; of the larger player communities only the Raiffeisen Tarock Cup restricts the Birds to the Pagat, Owl and Cockatoo. But some circles even play the Tarock V or VI as a Bird, the former being referred to as the Dodo (Dronte).
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1141&p=21205&hilit=palermo#p21205Then in the evening came the presentation and practice session of Sicilian tarocchi, of a particular sort found in one or maybe two Sicilian towns. It was a partnership game in which the partners change each hand, and who they are is known to only one of the players. I never would have imagined such a thing, but there it was. And other wrinkles. The exhibition catalog (on which more later) has a two page summary of the rules, in Italian. The "unknown partner" mechanism is dealt with there, whether in enough detail to be comprehensible to someone who has not seen it in practice I do not know. It works.