Mus: A Basque Card Game

Combining aspects of poker with the strategy of chess, team play with multiple rounds using the signs to partners as well.  This Basque card game is a lot of fun for men and women of all ages.  You too can learn to play mus for your own club tournaments.


Pierre EtcharrenNABO Mus Chairperson:

Pierre Etcharren

NABO cards

Related Links:

How To Play Mus - Beginner's Guide

Club Tournaments

NABO Mus Finals

Tournament Rules

Self Calculating Score Table (xlsx download)

Junior Mus

Mus Cards

World Mus Tournament

Guidelines for Hosts

Origins of the Game

There are varied origin theories for the game of Mus, but what is certain is that Mus has been played for at least 200 years. Historical documents make reference to it as a "noble game of cards." Most investigators agree that it is of Spanish origin (although one source credited its origin to the former Austria-Hungarian Empire). The main argument, however, is where in Spain did it originate?

Some credit the Basque country as its birthplace, while others maintain it came from the Spanish region of Castile. Both these areas have a high number of players.

The main argument in favor of Basque Country origin are the words used in the game that are of Basque origin (e.g., Hordago, Hamarrekoa ...). If the game would have originated in Castile, why would they have imported Basque words into the vocabulary if not because the game itself came from the Basque Country?

From its origins to the present changes have continued, and the game is played differently depending on the community. So in some places the game is played straight up with 4 kings and 4 aces, while elsewhere the twos become aces, and the threes become kings. There is also variety in the signs used to signal your partner about your hand.




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