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MUS: The Basque Card Game

Combining aspects of poker with the strategy of chess, team play with multiple rounds using the signs to partners as well.  This Basque card game is a lot of fun for men and women of all ages.  You too can learn to play mus for your own club tournaments.

NABO Mus Chairperson: 
Pierre Etcharren   e-mail: Etcharren@msn.com

 Related links: 

 Mus NABO Finals                    Club Tournaments                 
 Mus cards                                 Junior Mus                
 Tournament Rules
(pdf)       World Mus Tournament  

Learning to Play Mus
Link to English instructions developed by John McLeod (L) & Lisa Corcostegui (R) with audio links for Basque words.  MIL ESKER!!

One-page Mus instructions (pdf courtesy of Seattle club)

Mus is for young and old, men and women. It's a great contest of wits and luck.  And yes, you can try this at home. Just deal the cards and counter-clockwise you go!

2012 Mus NABO Finals:  Chino, CA

< < 1st Place:
Pedro Mariezcurrena & Fidel Marcos

2nd Place:
Carmen Arriada /Asuncion Sapparrart

Above with NABO organizers

Eskerrik asko
Chino Basque Club for hosting!

Related links: Munduko Mus Txapelketa--Los Angeles 2010     Previous NABO winners

ANNUAL DUES TO PARTICIPATE IN NABO TOURNAMENT.  Each NABO member can send a team from its own qualifying tournament to the annual rotating tournament.  For the qualifying tournament, NABO Club members pay $10.00 for each person that participated in their tournament; e.g., if your club has twenty players (10 teams) who participate, then your club pays NABO $200.00.  A club that has more than 21 teams in their qualifying tournament can send two teams to the NABO Mus finals tournament that will follow these NABO Tournament Rules


There are varied origin theories for the game of Mus, but what is certain is that Mus has been played for at least 200 years.  Historical documents make reference to it as a "noble game of cards."  Most investigators agree that it is of Spanish origin (although one source credited its origin to the former Austria-Hungarian Empire).  The main argument, however, is where in Spain did it originate? 

Some credit the Basque country as its birthplace, while others maintain it came from the Spanish region of Castile.  Both these areas have a high number of players. 

The main argument in favor of Basque Country origin are the words used in the game that are of Basque origin (e.g., Hordago, Hamarrekoa ...).  If the game would have originated in Castile, why would they have imported Basque words into the vocabulary if not because the game itself came from the Basque Country? 

From its origins to the present changes have continued, and the game is played differently depending on the community.  So in some places the game is played straight up with 4 kings and 4 aces, while elsewhere the twos become aces, and the threes become kings.  There is also variety in the signs used to signal your partner about your hand. 

Source: www.elMus.org