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The Complete Mustamaija Card Game Guide


Mustamaija is a Finnish name that loosely translates to "Black Maria." However, the only similarity to the British game of Black Maria is that the game played in both games is to avoid the queen of spades.

King, Jack, And Queen Of Spades Playing Cards


The Play

Sometimes during the game, there's an attacker and a defender (the person to the attacker's left). The player on the dealer's left is the attacker when the game starts.

The attacker starts by placing any number of cards from a similar suit facing up on the table. The attacker will draw up to five cards from the talon if they currently have less than five cards in their hand.

In a musta Maija card game, the defender plays the attacker. If the lead cards were not from a trump suit, they might choose to defeat any number of the cards by either playing a higher-ranking card above it or by playing any trump. The queen of spades is an exception, though, as any other card cannot defeat her if she is led (either by herself or with other spades).

Any beaten cards are removed and placed aside with their beaters. The defender receives any unplayed cards in their hand. After this, the defender must draw up to five cards from the talon if they have fewer than five cards in their hand.

The defender becomes the next attacker if they manage to defeat all the cards. If not, the attacker is given to the player to the left of the defender.

The endgame

The game continues until there is just one person left (the loser).

The players leave the game after they run out of cards. The right to attack moves to the following player in turn if the player whose turn it is to attack has no cards.

The remaining person holding cards is the loser when all players except one have used all of their cards.

The queen of spades, known as the "mustamaija," cannot be defeated or defeated; thus, she must stay in play and is always included in the deck of cards belonging to the loser. As a result, the loser is occasionally referred to as "mustamaija."

Playing Strategy

• When leading, pay attention to the cards chosen by the player on your right. To beat these cards when they are ultimately led to you, it is a good idea to maintain better cards in identical suits.

• Frequently, a five-card suit that no one can ultimately defeat is passed around the table. Always try to beat some of the lesser cards. It reduces the size of your hand after picking them up and increases your chances of drawing from the talon when your turn comes around.

• Building a solid position toward the end game is the goal of the opening part of the game. If you have the queen of spades, you shouldn't lead her too soon since if you do, she will circle the table and you'll have to pick her up again. If you believe that the game will conclude before the spade queen returns to you, then you should lead her.


Two to six players may play the beating card game musta Maija. The objective of the game is not to be the last player with cards. At the end of the game, there is no winner, only one loser.

Ace, King, Jack, and King of Hearts Playing Cards



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