All Fours and As Nas Card Games - History and How to Play

Translated from German by Steve ThorsTen (2019)

All Fours is a card game that probably originated in England. It's a well-balanced game that offers easy and straightforward gameplay and can be learned quickly among friends.

Playing the Game:

  • Playing cards: 52 cards

  • Ranking the cards: Ace = 4, King = 3, Queen = 2, Jack =1, Ten = 10; Nine- 9, Two =0

  • Ranking the colors: A trump suit is determined while dealing.

  • Objective of the game: Each player attempts to secure seven points generated by winning tricks.

The dealing player will distribute six cards in total, dealt by three. Next, the dealer reveals the top card from the deck which then determines the trump suit. At this point, the game can continue or the other player can contest the choice of trump suit:

  1. The dealer accepts the trump suit despite what the other player says. Then, this player is credited one point.

  2. The dealer can also put the trump suit away and distribute three new cards to the player. Then the new trump suit is revealed. If the color is matching, then the dealer has to repeat the dealing until a new trump suit of a different color is revealed.

The dealer receives 1 point for each Jack he reveals as a trump suit suggestions. He can get a maximum of 2 points. This happens when a Jack of a certain color is rejected as the trump suit, but by assigning a new trump suit, the card that determines it is once again a Jack.

It is important to note that each player only needs six cards, so three cards need to be discarded once a trump suit is chosen.

Gameplay and Tactics:

The so-called “forehand player” starts play. Basically, you can use any cards in any order. You don't have to first play all the cards of a given color before you can use the trump cards and you can sting as many and as often as you can or want to. The game continues until a player gets seven points.

The score is determined by following a specific formula. You can score 1 point for:

  • Being the player with the highest trump card in the trick

  • Being the player with the lowest trump card in the sting

  • Being the player with the trump Jack in the sting

This excludes points that you have been awarded at the beginning of the game, if any such points exist.

The Term "As Nas" and the Game Itself

As Nas is not an easy game and this can be explained with the origin of the game. As Nas supposedly comes from Persia, a country which has been playing cards throughout history. In many ways, As Nas is very similar to poker and requires the same mix of skill and luck as do some of the most competitive poker games.

Playing Cards

The game can be played by up to four players and 20 cards. For each additional player, a new set of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten are necessary.

Ranking of Cards

Ace – King – Queen - Jack – Ten

Ranking of colors

There are no ranking of colors in As Nas

Setting Up the Game and Dealing Cards

Before the game even begins, you will need to decide the amount of the first bet which is known as the “Ante”. There will also be a limit on the maximum available bet as well. Once this is settled, every player must contribute the Ante bet in the total pot. Then, each player will be granted 5 face-down cards.

Gameplay and Tactics

The game multiple elements that will be familiar to modern-day players, including exiting, bidding, passing, holding and raising. To determine what your next move will be, you will have to use the cards that you have in your hand. Here is a breakdown of the strongest hands in the game:

  • Five – A set of five cards of the same value, as in five Jacks

  • Four – A set of four cards of the same value, as in four Kings

  • Drilling – A set of three cards of the same value

  • Two pairs: Two pairs of two cards of the same value, as in two Aces and two Queens

  • A pair: Just two cards of the same value

If at the end of the round several players reveal the same combinations, then the value of each card decides the outcome. So, if you end up owning a treble of Aces, you will beat an opponent who has a treble of Kings for example. If the cards are equal in value, however, the pot will be split between the winning players.

The forehand plays first, whether he decides to bid or fold. If he wants to proceed, he needs to move an ante bet into the pot. If he decides not to play, he must then place his cards hands down indicating his withdrawal.

The forehand is not obliged to bid unless somebody has raised the current bet. Once the first round is completed, you move into the second round where you can again old, hold or raise. If you do raise, you will have to add the value of the current bet. If a bet cannot be outbid, then players reveal their hands.

Wrapping Up the Game

As Nas ends when the starting pot of each player is depleted. In this sense, the game reminds players of poker, as there are multiple betting rounds until everyone agrees on the final size of the pot in the round and no raising occurs.

Unlike poker, As Nas has far fewer combinations, which makes it a perfect game to learn and play before you try to play actual poker. Poker, for one, can offer up to six million outcomes. In As Nas there are only five combinations and a player learns these very quickly. The game has preceded poker and it has helped betting games of this kind gain a foothold in the world.


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