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Published January 12, 2017 Updated February 25, 2024

Tam Cúc 三菊

Tam Cúc playing cards from Vietnam (Việt Nam), based on Chinese chess, 2016

China South East Asia Vietnam (Việt Nam) Chess Add to Collection

Tam Cúc playing cards purchased in Vietnam. Like Four Colour Cards, the deck is based on Chinese chess. However this is where the similarities end. Decks have only 32 cards, the distribution of cards exactly mirroring the pieces in a game of Chinese chess. Instead of 4 colours, there are two (one with red overprints, the other without). The deck contains 1 general (tướng 將), 2 advisors (sĩ 士), 2 elephants (tượng 象), 2 chariots (xe 車), 2 cannons (pháo 砲), 2 horses (mã 馬), and 5 soldiers (tốt 卒) repeated in red and black.

Tam Cuc is a trick-taking game

Indochina (now Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) was mainly inhabited by Cantonese people. In each of these zones, cards and dominoes were customized and adapted to local varieties.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Anthony Lee for additional research. Visit his blog here

Images courtesy Kody McGregor.

Tam cúc playing cards from Vietnam, 2016
Tam cúc playing cards from Vietnam, 2016

Above: Tam cúc playing cards purchased in Vietnam, 2016. 32 cards in box, separated into red or black.

Tam cúc playing cards from Vietnam, 2016
Tam cúc playing cards
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By Anthony Lee

Member since August 05, 2011

Visit his blog here


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