What is ‘Agurk’?
Agurk is a Danish card game that actually comes from the Danish word for Cucumber. Although the game is relatively rare today, it did enjoy some popularity in Denmark during the 1970s. Played with a regular 52 card deck, the game is designed for 2-7 players. Aces are high and 2s are low with no ranking applied to the suits.
To start the game the cards are dealt out 7 at a time, all cards are dealt face down clockwise starting with the player seated to the left of the dealer (sometimes referred to as the ‘forehand’). The game is played with seven tricks, with the cards played being placed on the table facing up. The forehand takes the lead in the first trick, with the following tricks beginning with the winner of the previous tricks.
The game uses penalties, each player is scored by the penalties that they have accumulated during the game. In order to work out a penalty, the losing player on a deal will receive the same amount of penalty points as the rank of the card that took the previous trick. If it’s an ace, the penalty will be 14 points, followed by 13 for a king, 12 for a queen, 11 for a jack and so on.
If a player gets 21 penalty points then they will lose a life, which is signified by a cucumber being drawn and assigned to that player. Once they’ve received the cucumber, the player then gets ‘reincarnated’ although they are instantly given the highest score that any other player currently has. So if a fellow player is sitting on 18 penalty points, the reincarnated player will instantly be assigned a penalty score of 18. Once they hit 21 for a second time, they lose their life permanently. The game continues until there are only two players left with the lone survivor being declared the winner.