Playing cards (Farsi: 'کارت بازی' kart, kard, or card bazi, 'ورق بازی' varagh bazi) is a very popular social pastime in Iran and neighbouring countries, and Hokm (Farsi: 'حکم') is arguably the most popular of the card games in Iran. Besides poetry and soccer, Hokm is the only thing that unites Iranians of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Every responsible Iranian parent, regardless of what part of the world they live in today, makes sure to teach their kids how to play Hokm and how to brag about their card playing skills and exploits from an early age!
Hokm is very similar to and probably originated from the English card game Whist . You can find a nice, brief description of Hokm rules at Hokm card game rules.
Other well-known variations of the game are Shelem, which is very popular in southern Iran, and Court Piece, Rung, or Rang, mostly played in the Indian Subcontinent.
Hokm is a trick taking card game, where you win a Hand if you take 7 Tricks before your opponents. The objective is to win 7 Hands (of 7 Tricks each) before your opponents' team. The game is commonly played with two teams of two players each but it also has two and three-player variations. Baazii.com currently supports the 4-player variation. If you don't have enough players at a table, you can push a button for the AI players to fill up the empty seats.
There are quite a few mobile and web apps for Hokm in the market. When the Pandemic started, I looked for an online replacement for the real Hokm game I occasionally played with my friends. None came close to the friendly, relaxed, and at the same time intense and engaging experience of a real Hokm card game with friends. They all felt like a video game based on the Hokm rules rahter than a Hokm game played online!
So I decided to write my own Hokm game in my free time. The game has been going through constant improvements and several major revisions since. It still can use a lot of work but I believe it's now robust and intuitive enough to be used by others.
What distinguishes baazii.com from other online multiplayer card games is its focus on creating the same player experience as that of playing a card game at home: Grab a deck of cards, clear a table, wait for others to join, and start playing! Nothing but the cards in your hand and those on the table compete for your attention. Everything else is dimmed and pushed to the background. In short, it's hassle-free, or in my native Farsi language, it's 'bi dang-o-fang' (Farsi: 'بی دنگ و فنگ')!
Playing Hokm at baazii.com is in many ways like a real card game:
- It's free.
- Needs no registration, email, or password entry. Just enter the name you like to be called by.
- You can watch your friends' game as a bystander.
- You can play at your own pace and take breaks in-between hands.
Plus the benefits of playing online:
- You can play with anyone you know or don't, as long as you are connected to the internet.
- You can play with a mix of real and virtual Players, if not enough friends show up.
Without the useless annoyances of most online games:
-Distracting graphics, flashy backgrounds, and labyrinthine user interfaces.
-Stressful timers that don't let you catch your breath.
-Scoreboards treating Hokm like an Olympic game!
I am continually working on improving the game and making it more enjoyable and easier to play. If you need any help or have any feedback or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.