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Dec 29, 2017

The Hungarian pattern card game still proves popular during holiday season

The Hungarian pattern, or Doppeldeutsche in German-speaking areas, is a local version of the popular German card game

The Hungarian pattern, or Doppeldeutsche in German-speaking areas, is a local version of the popular German card game. It was created by József Schneider and Ödön Chalowsky in Pest, in response to the demand by the metropolitan bourgeoisie.

The cards depict William Tell and other characters from Friedrich Schiller's drama. The play's first Hungarian performance was in 1833 and the first decks date to around 1835.

In the 1860s Viennese engravers Josef Sürch and Josef Neumayer, put in charge by the playing-card factories of Ferdinand Piatnik and Josef Glanz, drew the graphics for the cards which still run today.

The deck was mostly popular during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and later spread across Western-Europe and North- and South-America.

Cards are double-ended and packs contain 24, 32 or (originally) 36 cards: typically 7-8-9-10, Lower (Knave or Jack), Upper (Knight or Noble), King, Ace.

Featuring German suit symbols, the patterns depict seasonal scenes on the four Aces. For example, the Ace of Acorns depicts a man warming his hands, representing winter.

In 1996, the Hungarian Deck Foundation (Magyar Talon Alapítvány) and Pató Pál Dining-club (Pató Pál Asztaltársaság) erected a memorial plaque at Schneider’s workshop at 55 Kazinczy street and declared 29 December the day of the Hungarian pattern.