Only very little is known about Watten. It comes from the southern Tyrolean area and is related to two Tyrolean card games called "Bieten" (bidding)" and "Perlaggen" (there is no translation for this word). Both games are played with 33 German cards. Watten is unlike its related card games not only played in the Tyrolean area but also in Switzerland and Bavaria.
The differences between the well known French card decks and the German card decks are the colors and symbols of the cards. Also, there are 36 cards in a German card deck, beginning with 6.
According to the Tyrolean history scientist, "Hans Fink" the name "Watten" origins from the Italian word battere, meaning beating or thumping. The people living in the Dolomite areas still often use the name "Battadu" for "Watten". In the language transition area of Bozen (Italy/Austria), where according to a historical book from 1853 "a mixed population of Germans and Italians live who easily speak both languages miserably", the original word "batten" got a German first letter, the "W" instead of the "B". There is no letter "W" in the Italian language.
Watten is not
a game about points, but about won games. It is no strictly regularized game
announcements are normal. Actually, with its various variations it is hard to
commit the Watten to general, strict rules. They can vary from town to town
and from pub to pub. If you are new to group of players it is better for you
to ask for these rules, before you start playing.
Still, of course there are also general rules to this game. An unusual feature of Watten is that you are aloud to inform your partner through little signs about the condition of the cards in your hand. Actually, you can almost speak absolutely at all. Weather what you say is true or false will be shown during the game. Speaking very much contributes to the entertainment of the game.
If you have a good and fast connection to your server you might have a look at this. It is a little animation of how a game starts.