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Top Deck

If you’re from Evansville, you’ve probably heard of this little-known card game called Clabber.

Known to many locally as Evansville Clabber, this four-player, trick-taking card game is a member of the Jack-Nine family card games that are popular in Europe. In these types of card games, the jack and nine of the trump suits are the highest-ranking trumps, and the tens and aces of all suits are the next most valuable cards.

The game plays similarly to Euchre, with a few differences such as points not awarded based on the number of tricks taken, but instead on the actual point value of cards in the tricks.

While the origins of Clabber in Evansville are unknown, the game is similar to European card game Klaberjass. Some speculate that it was brought to Evansville by African-American steamboat workers who stopped in the city on their journey on the Ohio River.

Clabber, as played locally, dates back to 1913 and rose in popularity during World War II when workers at many of the manufacturing plants in the city such as Servel and Republic Aviation would challenge each other to games.

Many local organizations and businesses, including Servel and Germania Maennerchor, even established an Evansville Clabber League in 1944.

Not sure how to play? You can view the rules of Clabber here.

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