MUS is an ingenious game commonly played with 4 players working as two teams. The partners sit opposite each other and play in a counter-clockwise direction. The partners are allowed to sneak pre-set signals to each other so that they can play each other’s hands. The game consists of 4 rounds, with a bet typically placed at each round. The points are counted after the fourth round. It is a game of strategy involving bluffing and the luck of the draw. A game is complete when one team reaches 30 points (or up to 50 points depending on what was decided upon at the beginning of the game).
The first reference to this game goes back to 1745 when Manuel Larramendi, a philosophies and Jesuit Basque, quoted it in a Basque-Spanish-Latin dictionary.
One theory about the word “mus” is that it comes from the Latin “musso” which means keep silent. If a team goes “mus” it means they are silent and do not want to play the round. Opposed to this is “mintza” meaning “talk” at which time the game begins.