Aluette is a plain trick-taking card game played usually by four people divided into two teams. It is played in rural and coastal areas in France between the Gironde and Loire estuary, that is to say, in the western part of the area of influence of Saintonge and Poitou dialect. It is wrongly presented as a folk and specific game in the Vendée department. It seems still practiced in the south-western part of the Loire-Atlantique called Retz. It is also practiced at family gatherings, at St Nazaire, city where we also played in cafes around 1960. At that time, there still were playing around the Brière and Guerande peninsula. It was much played in the ports of the Cotentin, where this game has disappeared.
This game is apparently very old with references to the game of "luettes" by François Rabelais in the early 16th century. As the cards use Spanish suits, it may even predate the invention of French playing cards around 1480. "La luette" means uvula in French and may refer to the fact that it is played with codified signs that allow team members to provide information on their cards during the game. The game is also called "la vache" (the cow) because of the illustration on the 2 of cups card. Due to similarities it has with the game of truc, aluette may have been imported by Spanish merchants.