Cuarenta: The national card game of Ecuador

Posted on November 6, 2013 • Filed under: Culture, Ecuador

Over thirty years ago when I arrived in Guayaquil Ecuador, some of the best fun I ever had was walking the streets of barrios. On Friday afternoons through Sunday it was not uncommon to see men sitting outside their homes with other friends playing a card game I had never heard of Cuarenta (40). There was always a number of bottles of beer in the vicinity. This game is an integral part of Ecuadorian culture and is still very popular.

Cuarenta is the national card game of Ecuador. It is a fishing game played with the standard 52 card pack of Anglo-American playing cards, but all 10s, 9s and 8s are omitted (ace is low).

FROM WIKIPEDIA: This card game is almost exclusively played in Ecuador. The name of the game, cuarenta is Spanish for the number 40 (forty). This refers to the number of points that are required to win a chica (small division of the game) and also to the number of cards used to play it. Two chicas or the first chica with zapatería (loss of the chica by scoring less than ten points) win the game (a completed game is called a “mesa”, which means “match”). The game can be played by 2 players, or 4 players split into two teams.

The score is kept with two kinds of chips, the two-point tantos (points) and the ten-point perros (dogs). When a standard 52 card pack is used, the 8s, 9s and 10s can be used to keep the score. Read Article

ARE YOU THINKING OF MOVING TO ECUADOR – ONE READER STATED – I would recommend this book to anyone thinking of relocating overseas, anywhere. It’s that useful. READ THIS BOOK

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