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Swiss Suited Playing Cards

Author: Ralph Scotoni

Playing Cards Used in Switzerland According Suits

Switzerland insofar is unique because such a small country not only has an own pattern but also an own entire suit system. These suits are bell, shield, rose and acorn. Cards with such suits are called Swiss cards, and in Switzerland they are mostly titled as German or German-Swiss cards. Despite the small area also cards with French suits are in use. Interesting as well is that the according usage is not along the language border.

This language map of Switzerland shows (bordered red) where the typical Swiss playing cards are used. In the other areas of Switzerland they play with French suited cards. The only other country, in which Swiss suited playing cards are used, is the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Jass Cards

What are Jass cards? "Jass", sometimes also called "Jassen" is the most popular card game in Switzerland and played practically in all parts of the country independent of the suits the cards have. Therefore Jass cards are either the Swiss cards with Swiss or French suits.

Swiss Suited Playing Cards

Perhaps in the mid 1920s the Swiss suited playing cards found their definitive appearance (as a double faced pattern) and only small modifications were done since. Nevertheless there is quite a big variety of cards.

Swiss playing cards with the typical Swiss suit system.

These are the chapters about Swiss suited Jass cards:

  • Müller Playing Cards
        - Part 1: The Single Faced Swiss Pattern
        - Part 2: The Evolution of the Double Faced Swiss Pattern
        - Part 3: Special Swiss Cards (Jass and Poker)
  • Other Swiss Manufacturers
        - Part 1: Hächler Söhne (Fortuna)
        - Part 2: Migros (Crossbow)
        - Part 3: SwissCard Toffen
        - Part 4: Various Manufacturers
        - Part 5: Unknown Manufacturers
  • Foreign Manufacturers
        - Part 1: Germany
        - Part 2: Non German
  • Non Standard Cards
        - Part 1: Changed Suits, Unchanged Courts
        - Part 2: Original Recognisable
        - Part 3: Swiss Suits, New Design

    An overview with most cards of the deck can be viewed at the page Swiss-German Pattern of "Alta Carta".

    Swiss French Pattern

    The French suited playing cards that are in use in Switzerland developed from the Paris pattern. Other patterns in this "family" of playing cards are for example the Berlin pattern. This pattern is not object of my research about Swiss suited Jass cards.

    Swiss playing cards with French suits.

    An overview with the court cards of this deck can be viewed at the page Swiss-French Pattern of "Alta Carta".

  • 7 May 2005
    Last update: 24 June 2007