I finished reading the second volume of A History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack (haven’t received the first volume yet, it’s coming from US while the second one was sent from UK). It’s a marvellous book, highly recommended for serious tarot fans — less serious tarot fans will do with the Tarot section on Card Games. One thing is sure: you need to love reading rules to games, because that’s what it is, rules to dozens of Tarot variations.
But if you’re interested in the topic, it’s a fascinating book. The development of Austrian Tarot games to their pinnacle in the Hungarian style is really interesting. The Hungarians seem somewhat odd people and they certainly have created some odd games, yet their flavour of Tarot seems to be the most interesting one. John McLeod, the maintainer of Card Games, favours Illustrated Hungarian Tarok, which definitely is one of the finer card games around.
However, the pinnacle of Hungarian tarot, the Royal Tarot, is Something Else. First of all: the game is no more about card points or something silly like that, it’s all in the announcements and bonuses. Then, the team structure is also rather curious: the team members sit next to each other. One is a starter and the other is a catcher. It’s very delicate, convoluted and interesting.
I’m definitely looking forward to getting the first volume… Last time I ordered a book from States, I got an extra delay as the book wanted to go sight-seeing Austria — there was a customs stamp from Vienna on the envelope.