Snapsen. The game. 20 cards.

I remember my Slovenian parents playing a game of Snaps (pronounced shnawps) when I was a little girl. This pastime continued until I was in high school years. They used 20 cards 10’s through Aces. I have forgotten how to play as I was a young kid when I learned this game. Card playing including Skat were regular events with my folks. It was always a weekend party situation where the women prepared feasts and the men drank while telling stories of the old country.

Back in the 1960’s these men had to take any job available to them as most did not understand the English language. Immigrants (non-English speaking) coming from Europe were not always treated very nicely especially in those days. I became fiercely protective of my parents in public situations. My folks had a heavy accent and often individuals in customer service were downright rude. Many times I stepped in and gave those individuals a real blast! Funny how things have changed. Now, it is cool to have an accent or an exotic first/last name. 

At these gatherings dad would always pull out his button accordion and everyone sang love songs from the old country. Since I was the oldest (Slovenian born) I got stuck babysitting so I learned all about responsibility at a very young age. As I recall, there was a regular use of German words which was pretty common among Slovenes. Many worked in Germany as young men. In fact, my dad received his certification in stone masonry & brickwork there. Also, I heard different Italian and Hungarian expressions that were mixed with their own native tongue. 

They never told fortunes with the cards but I have to wonder because they told stories about the court cards which did describe some of the general meanings of the Courts. My mom was very much into Symbolism. Everything meant something to her. She had an uncanny way of predicting the future based on everyday shapes and patterns. I don’t know how she knew but I’m convinced she was clairvoyant although she would adamantly deny having this gift. 

Game of Snapsen 20 cards

Ober = upper Jack. Unter = lower Jack.

If you want to learn how to play Snapsen I have located a really good website with detailed instructions.   Link ——> click here. The information on this website will explain this game much better than I ever could.       🙂 The cards in the image are also used for fortune-telling. It is when only the high cards are used. Their meanings are similar to the Skat fortune-telling meanings. Skat versions do come in 20, 24, 32 and 36 cards although 32 is the most popular. I am currently writing about the 32 card system from three different word of mouth blended meaning systems.

Many times we are so busy telling fortunes with cards that we don’t take the time to learn some of those traditional games.  You can have lots of fun playing card games with a couple of friends. 

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