Troccas is an old variation of the card game tarock, and is predominantly played in Surselva. Tarock cards with French markings first appeared in Graubünden in the 17th century, probably imported by soldiers. The game is played with a deck of 78 cards within which there are 4 suits: coins, cups, swords and batons. Each suit comprises 14 cards, of which ten are numeral cards and four are court cards (king, queen, cavalier, jack). The rest of the cards are the 21 trumps and a "fool", or joker.
Troccas is usually played by four people divided into two partnerships, but there are variations for three to six players as well. The language of the game is strictly Romansh, and this includes the "tschintschar" (talking) part of the game, a unique feature conducted in a traditional secret language. In each round, players communicate with their partners about their own hand using coded Romansh terms, at the same time trying to mislead their opponents. Tournaments are held regularly and official Graubünden troccas championships have taken place since 2006, organised either by local clubs or the "Uniun grischuna da troccas" (Graubünden Troccas Association).
Graubünden Troccas Championship in Rabius © RTR, 2006
Teams from Graubünden and Valais contesting a troccas match in Disentis © RTR, 2006
Carla Deplazes: Troccas. Das Tarockspiel in Graubünden. In: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde vol. 83. Basel, 1987, p. 41-59
Gion Tumasch Muoth: Stecken, Schwerter, Kelche und Rosen. In: Terra Grischuna no. 6. Chur, 1988
Sturzenegger Stiftung (Ed.): Das Tarockspiel in der Schweiz (Schweizer Spielkarten 2). Schaffhausen, 2004
Tarock: In: Atlas der schweizerischen Volkskunde. Basel, 1950-1995
Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 28.05.2012
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