the glory of living in lisboa – 8

Sueca(swedish)  is a portuguese card game played by 2 teams of two with a deck of 40 cards. the ace worth 11pts, sevens 10pts,  kings 4 pts,  valets 3 pts and  dame 2 pts. wins the team who gathers more points and first wins four games finalizing one pente (comb). It reminds me of scopone scientifico, the game played by Bette Davies and Joseph Cotton versus Silvana Mangano and Alberto Sordi in Luigi Comincini’s 1972 film. In Lisbon retired men started to occupy park benches playing the game in the mild weather afternoons wich occur from March to December. The city hall installed fixed tables and chairs and true misteriously disciplined championships develop with teams waiting to get in when one of the teams playing looses the four games. In my youth, in Easter Sunday when more than 60 people gathered in my Grandmother’s house, a sueca championship also happened throughout the afternoon and night. Sueca players tend to believe that there is a lot of tactics and strategy involved that implies counting the cards out and forecasting the ones on the other players hands. I never had the patient to do that and I was loathed as a partner by uncles, cousins and even brothers that were true rocket scientists of the game.

sueca players at jardim da parada, campo de ourique, friday afternoon

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