Monday, August 25, 2008

The Fourteenth

Two Entire Packs of Cards

Deal out twenty-five cards in five rows, each containing five cards. The object is to compose the number fourteen with any two cards taken either from a perpendicular or from a horizontal row. The knave counts eleven, the queen twelve, and the king thirteen.

The cards so paired are withdrawn, and their places filled by the cards in your hand.

If in the course of the game the number fourteen cannot be composed, one chance remains—any two cards may be taken from their proper position, and may change places with any other two cards; and it is only in making this exchange, so as to produce one or more fourteens, that the player has any control over the success of the game, the success consisting of the entire pack being paired off. In the tableau three fourteens could be at once composed: The ten of hearts with the four of clubs, the knave of spades with the three of hearts, the eight of diamonds with the six of spades.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vintage Card Games: The Fifteen

SolitaireTwo Entire Packs of Cards
* Only cards in the seventh or lowest row are available, until by their removal those above them are released. No card can at any time be used that has any other below it.
* Note.—There is one exception to this rule, in case the game cannot be opened. See below.
* Each foundation must follow suit.

Deal out the entire pack from left to right in horizontal rows, fifteen cards in each, excepting the last one, which can only contain fourteen. Each row should partly cover over the preceding one; four aces and four kings form the foundation cards, the aces ascending in sequence to kings, the kings descending in sequence to aces. When the deal is complete, if any foundation cards should appear in the lowest row (Rule I), play them at once on the spaces reserved, and also any other suitable cards—then marry, both in ascending and in descending lines, subject to Rule I; but if, after these changes, no foundation card is available, so that the patience cannot even begin, you may withdraw from the sixth row one ace and one king, if any are to be found (see note to Rule I), immediately filling the spaces so made with the cards below which had previously blocked them. If even this resource is unavailing, the patience has already failed, there being no re-deal, and no further infringement of rules allowed.

When one or more foundations are established, examine the tableau carefully, marry all available cards, and endeavor by these changes to release the greatest number of suitable cards for the foundations, and to open out one or more perpendicular lanes. These are of the greatest use; you may select any available card and place it at the top of the lane, and below it any others in sequence of the same suit, each card partly concealing the preceding one, as in the original deal.

You may also use the lane for reversing any sequences previously made. Thus, supposing there is a sequence beginning with a ten and ending with a three (the ten being required for one of the foundations), place the three at the top of the lane, the other cards following until the ten becomes the lowest or available card.

In theory this patience is simple, but it is very difficult to play. The combinations are endless, from the constant reversing of sequences, and require great attention. As the success principally depends on the lanes, it is more prudent, when you have only one, not to refill it until by some fresh combination you can open out another one.

There is no re-deal.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Card GamesWithdraw from one entire pack nine cards, composed of any suits, from ace to nine inclusive. Place these nine cards in three rows, each containing three cards. Endeavor, by changing their position, so to dispose them, that the number of pips in each row, counting the cards horizontally, perpendicularly, and diagonally, may make the sum of fifteen. The tableau shows only three fifteens, but if the cards are properly placed eight fifteens can be made.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Vintage Card GamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards
* The foundations follow suit.
* Vacancies in the garden are not to be refilled.
* Each row of cards in the garden blocks the preceding one, but on the removal of cards in the lower rows those above them are released.

Deal out eight cards in a horizontal line. This commences what is called the "garden." When the first row is complete, take from it any foundations and place them in the allotted spaces above, and also other suitable cards, but do not refill vacancies (Rule II).

The foundations consist of four aces and four kings of different suits, ascending and descending in the usual sequences (Rule I).

Note.—The tableau is so arranged that one of the king foundations has already descended to queen, and one of the ace foundations has ascended to three. The vacant spaces in the garden show from whence cards have been removed, and not replaced; but there would probably be many more rows in the garden than are shown on the tableau.

You next proceed to deal out successive rows in the garden underneath the first one till the pack is exhausted, strictly observing Rule II.

If there is not room to place each row of the garden below the preceding one, it must be placed so as to half cover it, but in that case, especially if there are many vacancies, the rows of cards are apt to get mixed, so it is best to count from the top, to make sure that you are placing the row you are working on in its proper detached line, and are not partly refilling other rows. You must finish each row before playing from it.

When the garden is laid out, and all available cards have been played (Rule III), take up by itself each perpendicular column, beginning on the left, placing the next column underneath the first, and so on with each column in succession, so that, in turning the pack to re-deal, the last column on the right may be uppermost, thus reversing the order of each row of cards in the next deal.

The garden may be taken up twice and re-dealt exactly in the same manner and observing the same rules.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vintage Card Games: The Empress of India

SolitaireFour Entire Packs of Cards
* All cards in the Army and Navy are equally available if played in pairs (i.e., one black and one red), but no card of either color can be played on a foundation unless a card of the other color is played at the same time on another foundation.
* Vacancies in the Army and Navy must be immediately refilled with cards of their own color from the talon, or, when there is no talon, from the pack.
* Cards from the pack or talon cannot be played at once, but must first pass through the Army or Navy.
* The talon consists of two packets, one of red, the other of black, cards.
* The foundations must follow suit.

Withdraw from the pack the eight black aces and the eight black queens, the eight red kings, and the eight red knaves.

Place these cards as in the tableau, throwing aside the four queens of spades and three queens of clubs.

The remaining queen of clubs represents the Empress; the knaves, the guard of British soldiers, and these nine cards remain alone.

The eight black aces and the eight red kings are the foundation cards, the aces ascending in sequence to kings, representing Admirals, the kings descending in sequence to aces, representing Generals.

Note.—The red sequences must omit knaves, the black ones must omit queens.

Deal out four horizontal rows, each containing twelve cards, of which the two upper rows are to be red (the Army), the two lower ones black (the Navy).

They are to be dealt at the same time, and if after the two rows of one color, say red, are finished, more red cards turn up, they must be laid aside as a talon (Rule IV).

When the Army and Navy are complete, if any available pairs of cards have been dealt (Rule I), play them (the first pair must, of course, be a black two and a red queen), and refill the spaces; but if there should be none, you may proceed to pair cards. Any card in the Army may be placed on any card in the Navy, and vice versâ, but the cards so paired cannot afterwards be separated, but must be played at the same time on their respective foundations. The vacancies thus made must be immediately refilled (Rule II).

Each card can only be paired once.

You may choose your own time for pairing cards. For instance, if you require, say, a ten of clubs for one of the foundations, you may defer making a vacancy in the Navy until the ten of clubs is at the top of the talon. When you have played all available cards, deal out the remainder of the pack, those not required to fill vacancies being placed in two packets (Rule IV).

There is no re-deal.

Note.—The Army and Navy could not be placed in the tableau from want of space.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Zodiac

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards
* Marriages may be made in the Zodiac with cards from the Equator (but not vice versâ) and from the talon or pack, but cards in the Zodiac cannot marry each other, neither can those in the Equator do so. Marriages may be made in ascending and descending lines, and the same packet may contain both.
* The foundations must follow suit.

Deal eight cards in a horizontal row called the "Equator." Then deal a surrounding circle of twenty-four cards called the "Zodiac."

The foundations are not formed till the end of the game. They are to consist of the four aces and four kings of different suits, the aces ascending in sequence to kings, the kings descending in sequence to aces.

Having placed the tableau, you proceed to marry (Rule I) and to refill the spaces from the talon, or, where there is no talon, from the pack, but you are not obliged to do either until a favorable opportunity occurs. You continue to deal out the cards in the usual way, those not required for marrying or for refilling spaces forming the talon. This is to be re-dealt as often as required—that is, until all the cards are placed either in the Zodiac or in the Equator. If this cannot be done, the patience has already failed. If you succeed in placing all the cards, you then begin to form the eight foundations from the Zodiac and Equator (Rule II).

It is obvious that the greatest care is required in marrying the cards, or you will so block them as to be unable to form the foundations.

The Mill

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards
* All cards in the wings are available.
* The five foundations do not follow suit.

Take from the pack one ace and place it in the centre before you; next deal out eight cards, grouping them round the ace to represent the wings of a windmill. The first four kings that appear in dealing are to be played in the four angles (see tableau). These, with the centre ace, form the five foundation cards. Each of the four kings is to descend in sequence to ace, while upon the centre ace four entire families are to be piled in sequences (Rule II).

Having placed the centre ace and the wings, take from the latter any kings for the foundations, or other suitable cards to play on them, or on the centre ace, filling up the spaces so made from the cards in your hand. Then proceed to deal out the remaining cards, turning them one by one, playing all whose value admit of it on the foundations. The cards that cannot be so used are placed aside in one packet, forming the talon.

Note.—The four families on the centre ace each begin with ace and end with king.

It is better to play cards from the talon rather than from the wings.

Vacancies in the wings must be immediately refilled from the pack or talon.

In forming the foundations, the uppermost card of either of the king packets may be transferred, if suitable, to the ace packet; but this privilege is limited to one card of each at a time, and may only be resorted to when the playing of that card would bring into immediate use any other available card of the wings or of the talon.

There is no re-deal.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Napoleon's Square

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards

* Only the uppermost cards of the packets in the square are available until, by their removal, the cards underneath are released, but the whole of the square may be examined.
* When a vacancy in the square is caused by the removal of an entire packet, the space may be filled by one card from the talon or pack, but this need not be done until a favorable opportunity occurs.
* All the foundations must follow suit.

Deal out twelve packets, each consisting of four cards dealt together, so as to form three sides of a square, leaving space in the centre for the eight aces. These are the foundation cards, and are to ascend in sequence to kings.

If any aces appear on the surface of the square, play them in their allotted places, as also any other suitable cards.

You next proceed to form marriages in a descending line with the cards of the square, subject to Rule I. As usual, great judgment must be exercised in making these changes, lest cards underneath should be blocked by a sequence of higher cards of the same suit. If this were to occur in two packets, i.e., if in both cases sequences, say, of diamonds blocked lower cards of the same suit, success would be impossible.

Note.—If after dealing the square two kings of one suit were found to be blocking two smaller cards of that suit, either the whole must be taken up and re-dealt, or one king must be slipped underneath.

You now proceed to play out the rest of the cards, those that are not suitable for the foundations or for the sequences of the square being placed in a talon.

There is no re-deal.

This game may be also played as follows:

Deal out a square of twelve single cards, then deal the rest of the pack as usual, the cards that are suitable being played on the foundations or married (in descending line) to those on the square, ready to be transferred to the foundations, the rest placed in a talon, and vacancies filled in the usual manner.

The Sultan

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards
* The foundations must follow suit.

Withdraw from the pack and place the eight kings and one ace of hearts as in tableau.

The centre king of hearts is called the Sultan, and remains alone. The other seven kings, with the ace of hearts, form the foundation cards. Each of these seven kings begins with ace, and ascends in sequence to queen. The ace of hearts ascends in the same manner, so that all the eight packets surrounding the Sultan end with queens.

You next deal out eight cards, four on either side (see tableau). These constitute the Divan. From this Divan you can play any suitable cards on the foundations, and, having done so, proceed to deal out the remainder of the pack, turning the cards one by one, those that are not suitable for the foundations being laid aside in one packet, forming the talon. Vacancies in the Divan must be immediately refilled from the talon, or, when there is no talon, from the pack.

The talon may be taken up, shuffled, and re-dealt, if necessary, twice.


* Only the outside cards of each group are available, until by their removal the next ones are released, the principle being that no card can be used that has another outside it.
* Note.—By "outside" is meant the cards on the right side of the right-hand group, and those on the left side of the left-hand group.
* The foundations must follow suit.

Deal out the entire pack horizontally in two groups, as in tableau, beginning at the left hand, and dealing straight across each group, leaving space in the centre for four aces. These, when they can be played, form the foundation cards, and are to descend in sequence to kings.

Should any aces appear on the outside of either group, play them, as also any other suitable cards for continuing the foundations (Rules I and II).

You next proceed to form marriages, both in ascending and in descending lines, with cards on the outside of both groups (Rule I). But this must be done with extreme care, so as not only to release the greatest number of suitable cards, but also, if possible, to open out one entire horizontal row of cards to form a lane. The success of the game entirely depends on these lanes. If, therefore, you succeed in opening out one, it is more prudent not to refill it until, by some fresh combination, others can be made.

When a lane is to be refilled, select any available card (Rule I), and place it at the inner end of the lane, and along it any others in sequence of the same suit, the last card being, of course, the available one.

One great use of these lanes is to reverse any sequences that have been made by marriages in the ascending line.

Note.—Supposing you have placed upon a deuce a sequence ending with eight; place the eight at the inner end of the lane, the other cards following in succession until the deuce becomes the outside card. When there are more cards in the lane than the original number, they can be placed partly over each other.

There is no re-deal.

The Clock

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards

* When the circle is formed, the uppermost cards of each packet are available, and their removal releases as usual those beneath.
* Marriages can only be made with cards in the circle, and not with those from the pack or talon.
* Vacancies in the circle must be refilled with cards from the pack, but not from the talon; each packet must be refilled so as to contain not less than three cards.
* The twelve foundations must follow suit.

Withdraw from the pack the twelve cards, as in Tableau No. 1, and place them in their exact order against the hours of the clock represented. These are the foundation cards, and are to ascend in sequence until each packet attains the hour of the clock against which it is placed.

Having placed these twelve foundations, proceed to deal out a circle consisting of twelve packets of three cards dealt together—so spread that each card is visible (see dotted line). From this circle you first play all suitable cards (Rule I), and then marry in a descending line (Rule II), and then refill spaces (Rule III). This last should be done in order, from left to right, beginning at the numeral I, and all the packets refilled before proceeding again to play or to marry.

Note.—Although each packet must never contain less than the original number of three cards, they will often, by marriages, contain more.

You are not obliged to play cards which would be more useful if left on the circle.

When all further progress is at an end, deal out the remaining cards; play all suitable ones, then marry and refill spaces, but be careful not to infringe Rule II.

The cards that cannot be so employed are laid aside in one packet, forming the talon, which can only be used to play on the foundations.

There is no re-deal.

The Blockade

card gamesTwo Entire Packs of Cards

* All cards in the first row are available, but as each row is placed it blocks the preceding one.
* The removal of any card in the lower rows releases the one immediately above it, the principle being that all cards are available that have no others below them.
* The foundations must follow suit.

Deal out twelve cards in a horizontal line. Aces may be played as they appear, but no other card can be played until the row is complete. The eight aces are the foundation cards, and are to ascend in sequence to kings.

When the first line is placed, play any suitable cards, and then marry in descending line, but be careful to place the cards exactly over each other, to avoid confusion. The vacancies thus caused must be immediately refilled from the pack, then again play and marry. When neither can be done, deal out another row underneath the first, and, when it is complete, play, marry, and refill spaces as before.

You continue to deal out successive rows until the pack is exhausted, always pausing between each row to play, marry, and refill spaces.

In the course of the game vacancies will often be made in the higher rows. These must always be refilled first.

There is no re-deal.

La Belle Lucie

card games* The uppermost card of each packet is alone available, until by its removal it releases the one beneath.
* The foundations must follow suit.

Deal out the entire pack in packets of three cards dealt together and placed as in tableau. The last packet, however, will contain but one card.

The four aces form the foundation cards, and are to ascend in sequence to kings.

Having placed the tableau, take any aces that may appear on the surface of the packets and play them in their allotted spaces, and upon them any other suitable cards, subject to Rule I.

When all available cards have been played, you proceed to release others, by forming marriages in a descending line on the tableau; but great care is requisite, lest in releasing one card another still more necessary to success should be blocked. The whole tableau should be carefully examined, and the combinations arranged so as to release the greatest number of suitable cards.

When this has been done, and there are no more available cards to play, the entire tableau may be taken up, shuffled and re-dealt (if necessary twice), then played again as before.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beggar My Neighbor

The cards are dealt equally to the players. The first player puts down a card, face upward, upon the table. If it be a common card, that is, a two, or three, or anything but a picture card or an ace, his neighbors put down in turn their cards until a court card (that is, a picture card or an ace) turns up.

If at last an ace be played, the neighbor of the one who plays it must pay him four cards; if a king three cards, if a queen two, and if a jack one. The one who played the court card also takes all the cards that have been played, and puts them under his own pack. If, however, in playing for a court card, one of the players puts down another court card, then his neighbor must pay him, and he takes the whole pack instead of the previous player. Sometimes it happens that a second player in paying puts down a court card, and the third player in paying him puts down another, and so on, until perhaps the fourth or fifth player actually gets the cards in the end.

I Suspect You

This card game may be played by any number of persons. As soon as the cards have been dealt and the players have examined their hands, the one on the left of the dealer plays the lowest card he has (the ace counting lowest). He must place the card face downward on the table, at the same time calling out what it is. The next player also puts down a card, face downward, and calls the next number; for instance, if No. 1 puts down a card and says "One," No. 2 says "Two," No. 3 "Three," and so on.

It is not necessary for the card laid down to be actually the one called out. The fun of the game is to put down the wrong card without, any one suspecting you. Naturally, it is not often that the cards run straight on, as no one may play out of turn, and if one player thinks another has put down the wrong card, he says, "I suspect you." The player must then show his card, and if it should not be the one he said, he must take all the cards laid down and add them to his pack; if, however, the card happens to be the right one, then the accuser must take the cards. The player who first succeeds in getting rid of his cards wins the game.

Pope Joan

This amusing game is for any number of players, and is played with a wooden board which is divided into compartments or pools, and can be bought cheaply at any toy shop for a small sum. Failing a board, use a sheet of paper marked out in squares.

Before dealing, the eight of diamonds is taken out of the pack, and the deal is settled by cutting the cards, and whoever turns up the first jack is dealer.

The dealer then shuffles the cards and his left-hand neighbor cuts them. The dealer must next "dress the board," that is, he must put counters into the pools, which are all marked differently. This is the way to dress the board: One counter to each ace, king, queen, jack, and game, two to matrimony (king and queen), two to intrigue (queen and jack), and six to the nine of diamonds, which is the Pope. On a proper board you will see these marked on it.

The cards are now dealt round to the players, with the exception of one card, which is turned up for trumps, and six or eight, which are put aside to form the stops; the four kings and the seven of diamonds are also always stops.

If either ace, king, queen, or jack happen to be turned up for trumps, the dealer may take whatever is in the compartment with that mark; but when Pope is turned up for trumps, the dealer takes all the counters in Pope's compartment as well as those in the "game" compartment, besides a counter for every card dealt to each player, which must, of course, be paid by the players. There is then a fresh deal.

It is very seldom, however, that Pope does turn up for trumps; when it does not happen, the player next to the dealer begins to play, trying to get rid of as many cards as possible. First he leads cards which he knows will be stops, then Pope, if he has it, and afterward the lowest card in his suit, particularly an ace, for that can never be led up to. The other players follow when they can; for instance, if the leader plays the two of diamonds, whoever holds the three plays it, some one follows with the four, and so on until a stop occurs; whoever plays the card which makes a stop becomes leader and can play what he chooses.

This goes on until some person has parted with all his cards, by which he wins the counters in the "game" compartment and receives from the players a counter for every card they hold. Should any one hold the Pope he is excused from paying, unless he happens to have played it.

Whoever plays any of the cards which have pools or compartments takes the counters in that pool. If any of these cards are not played, the counters remain over for the next game.

Old Maid

From a pack of cards take out one queen, shuffle the cards and deal them, face downward, equally among all the players. The cards should then be taken, the pairs sorted out and thrown upon the table. By "pairs" is meant two kings, or two fives, and so on. When all the pairs have been sorted out, the dealer offers the remainder of his cards to his felt-hand neighbor, who draws any card he chooses to select, though he is only allowed to see the backs of them. The player who has drawn then looks at the cards to see if he can pair it with one he holds in his hand; if he can, he throws out the pair; if not, he must place it with his other cards. It is now his turn to offer his cards to his neighbor, and so the game goes on until all the cards are paired, except, of course, the odd card which is the companion to the banished queen. The holder of this card is "the old maid."

Snip, Snap, Snorum

Snip, Snap, Snorum

This is a first-rate game and very exciting. Any number of players may take part in it, and the whole of the fifty-two cards are dealt out.

Each player has five counters, and there is a pool in the middle, which is empty at the commencement of the game.

The first player plays a card—say it is a six—then the one next to him looks through his cards, and if he has another six he puts it down and says, "Snip"; the first player must then pay a counter into the pool.

If the next player should chance to have another six, he plays it and says "Snap," and the one who is snapped must pay in his turn, but the fine is increased to two counters. Should the fourth player have the fourth six, he plays it, and says, "Snorum," and the third player must now pay; his fine is three counters to the pool. No person may play out of his turn, and every one must "snip" when it is in his power. When any one has paid the whole of his five counters to the pool he retires from the game; the pool becomes the property of the one whose counters last the longest.


The pack of cards is dealt round, face downward, and each player packs his cards together, without looking at them, and then places them in front of him.

The first player then turns up the top card of his pack, the next does the same, and so on in turn; but, as soon as a player turns up a card corresponding in number to the one already lying, uncovered, on the table, one of the two to whom the cards belong cries, "Snap."

Whichever succeeds in saying it first takes, not only the snap card of the other player, but all the cards he has already turned up, and also those he has himself turned up. The cards he wins must be placed at the bottom of his own pack.

The one who succeeds in winning all the cards wins the game. It is necessary to be very attentive and very quick if you want to be successful at this game.

There is a game very similar to the above called "Animal Snap." Each player takes the name of an animal, and instead of crying "Snap," he must cry the name of the animal chosen by the player who turned up the last card. For instance, suppose a five be turned up and a player who has chosen the name of "Tiger" turn up another five, instead of crying "Snap," "Tiger" would be called if "Tiger" did not succeed in crying the other player's name first.

All Fours

This game takes its name from the four chances or points of which it consists, namely, "High," "Low," "Jack," and "Game." It may be played by two or four players, but the same rules apply to each.

The four points, which have been already mentioned, count as follows: "High," the highest trump out; the holder scores one point. "Low," the lowest trump out; the original holder of it scores one point even if it is taken by his adversary. "Jack," the knave of trumps; the holder scores one point, unless it be won by his adversary, in which case the winner scores one. "Game," the greatest number of tricks gained by either party; reckoning for each Ace four toward game, each King three toward game, each Queen two toward game, each Jack one toward game, each Ten ten toward game.

The other cards do not count toward game; thus it may happen that a deal may be played without either party having any to score for "Game."

When the players hold equal numbers, the dealer does not score.
Plate 4 (click to view).

Begging is when the player next the dealer does not like his cards and says, "I beg," in which case the dealer must either let him score one, saying, "Take one," or give three more cards from the pack to all the players and then turn up the next card for trumps; if the trump turned up is the same suit as the last, the dealer must give another [pg 65] three cards until a different suit turns up trumps. In playing this game the ace is the highest card and the deuce (the two) is the lowest.

Having shuffled and cut a pack of cards, the dealer gives six to each player. If there be two playing, he turns up the thirteenth card for trumps; if four are playing, he turns up the twenty-fifth. Should the turn-up be a jack, the dealer scores one point. The player next the dealer looks at his hand and either holds it or "begs," as explained.

The game then begins by the player next the dealer leading a card, the others following suit, the highest card taking the trick, and so on until the six tricks have been won. When the six tricks are played, the points are taken for High, Low, Jack, and Game.

Should no player have either a court card or a ten, the player next to the dealer scores the point for the game. If only one trump should be out, it counts both High and Low to the player who first has it. The first great thing in this game is to try and win the jack; next you must try and make the tens; and you must also try and win the tricks.


Speculation is a game at which any number of persons may play. The stakes are made with counters or nuts, and the value of the stakes is settled by the company. The highest trump in each deal wins the pool.

When the dealer has been chosen, he puts, say, six counters in the pool and every other player puts four; three cards are given to each person, though they must be dealt one at a time; another card is then turned up, and called the trump card. The cards must be left upon the table, but the player on the left-hand side of the dealer turns up his top card so that all may see it. If it is a trump card, that is to say, if it is of the same suit as the card the dealer turned up, the owner may either keep his card or sell it, and the other players bid for it in turn. Of course, the owner sells it for the highest price he can get.

The next player then turns up his card, keeps it or sells it, and so the game goes on until all the cards have been shown and disposed of, and then the player who holds the highest trump either in his own hand or among the cards he has bought, takes the pool, and there is another deal.

Should none of the other players have a trump card in his hand, and the turn-up card not having been purchased by another player, the dealer takes the pool.

If any one look at his cards out of turn, he can be made to turn all three up, so that the whole company can see them.