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Playing Cards.JPG
Origin Ecuador
Type Fishing
Players 2 or 4
Cards 40 cards
Deck Spanish
Play Counter-clockwise
Playing time 20 min.
Random chance Easy
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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).

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”, literally meaning “table”, which in this context refers to “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

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