What Are Trumps in Card Games?

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By Valerie Becker

If you’ve ever played card games, you may have heard the term ‘trumps’. But what exactly are trumps in card games?

What Are Trumps?

In a standard deck of cards, there are four suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. When trumps are involved in a game, one of these suits becomes more powerful than the others. This suit is called the trump suit.

Why Are Trumps Used?

Trumps add an extra level of strategy to card games. By designating one suit as more powerful than the others, players must adjust their gameplay accordingly. They may hold onto cards in the trump suit, or try to get rid of them quickly to avoid being caught with them later.

Types of Trump Games

There are several types of card games that use trumps. Here are a few examples:

  • Euchre: A popular game in which players bid on how many tricks they think they can take with the trump suit as the highest-ranking suit.
  • Bridge: In bridge, there is a bidding process to determine which player or partnership will become the declarer and choose the trump suit for that round.
  • Spades: Spades is a trick-taking game where players bid on how many tricks they think they can take with spades as the trump suit.

The Importance of Knowing Trumps

If you’re playing a game with trumps, it’s crucial to know which suit is designated as trump for each round. This can change from round to round depending on the game being played.

Knowing which cards are in the trump suit can also help you make strategic decisions during gameplay. For example, if you have several cards in the trump suit, you may be able to take more tricks than your opponents.


Trumps are a common element in many card games. Knowing which suit is trump and which cards are in that suit can help players make strategic decisions and improve their chances of winning.