Saudi card-game kings Hammam Al-Harbi and Hammad Al-Enezi played all the right hands to scoop the SR300,000 ($80,000) first prize in a Baloot Championship contest held in Riyadh.
More than 2,000 players were selected through a random electronic draw to compete in the event, that concluded at Boulevard Riyadh City on Saturday.
The Saudi team of Al-Harbi and Al-Enezi pipped Ahmed Al-Amri and Omar Al-Amri to top spot, the pair from the UAE bagging SR200,000 as runners-up. The remainder of the competition’s SR600,000 prize pot was distributed among other players.
The trick card game, thought to have originated in either France or India, is popular throughout Saudi Arabia and involves risk-taking, strategy, and skill.
It is played with 32 cards — including the joker but without the cards numbered two and six — and usually two teams of two players, with the objective being to outsmart the opponent.
Motar Al-Dhafeeri, who has been playing the game for more than 20 years, said the secret to success was compatibility with your teammate.