This is the second installment of Card Games, the first was last week on Thursday. Short Whist is a lot shorter in the directions than Long Whist.
This is unmistakably nothing more or less than ordinary Whist cut in half; therefore it is almost unnecessary to say much about it, because the principles of the game are just the same as those which have been given at length for the playing of Long Whist.
It is said that it was first introduced at Bath by Lord Peterborough, who, fearing he was about to incur some heavy losses, thought he might sooner be relieved of his suspense if he could contrive to shorten the game. Even now, although it may not be so popular as it once was, it still possesses a great attraction for many players, who are of opinion that the awarding of points for honours (which are not held as the result of play, but simply because they are dealt out to the players holding them) introduces an element of mere accident into the game, which they think does not add either to its interest or to its claims as a scientific amusement. Five points constitute the game in Short Whist, the rubber being reckoned as two points.
Honours are never called, but are always counted, except at the point of four.
The chief advantage of Short Whist lies in the fact that the trumps may be made special instruments of power. Carleton says:—" Trumps should be your rifle company; use them liberally in your manoeuvres; have copious reference to them in finessing, to enable you to maintain a long suit."
Should you be weak in trumps, ruff a doubtful card at all times; with a command in them, be very chary of that policy.
Let your great principle always be to keep the control of your adversaries' suit and leave that of your partner free.
If you see the probable good effect of forcing, decide which of your adversaries you will assail, but do not attempt them both at once. Let it be the stronger, if possible.
When you force both hands opposed to you, one throws away his useless cards; while the chance is the other makes trumps that under other circumstances would have been sacrificed.
And the great authority Deschapelles, in speaking of Short Whist, remarks, "When we consider the social feeling it engenders, the pleasure and vivacity it promotes, and the advantages it offers to the less skilful player, we cannot help acknowledging that Short Whist is a decided improvement upon the old game."
DUMBY, OR THREE-HANDED WHIST.
This is exactly the same as Long Whist, excepting that there are three players instead of four, and one of the players undertaking the responsibility of two hands. Duinby's hand is exposed on the table, open to the view of the three players. On the whole, the player having Dumby for partner has somewhat the best of it.
DOUBLE DT/MBY, OR TWO-HANDED WHIST.
This is when only two persons play. Two hands may either be exposed on the table, and made use of as if there were four players, or they may be entirely rejected. In the latter case the single hands held by the players must be managed as skilfully as possible. In all these little variations upon the real game of Whist each honour counts as one point.
This is the most popular game in the United States, and can be played by two, three, or four players.
Like Whist, Euchre does not depend upon chance only; great skill is required to play the game well.
It is played with a Piquet pack, that is, a pack of thirty-two cards, all cards below seven, excepting the ace, being taken out. The value of the cards is the same as in Whist, except that the knave of trumps and the other knave of the same colour take precedence over the remainder of the trumps. The knave of trumps is called the right bower, and the knave of the suit of the same colour the left bower.
Supposing spades to be trumps, then the cards rank in the following order:— Knave of spades, knave of clubs, ace, king, queen of spades, &c.
If elubs were trumps then the knave of that suit would be highest card, and knave of spades the next. The knaves rank as in Whist when neither right nor left bowers.
EUCHRE FOR TWO PLAYERS.
The cards are dealt as follows:—First deal two to each, then three to each.
The eleventh card is then turned up, and to whatever suit it belongs that suit is trumps.
Five points constitute the game. If a player win three tricks, they count for one point; if he win four tricks, they also count for one point; but if he win all five tricks, they count two points.
The eleventh card being turned up, the first player begins the game by looking at his hand to ascertain if, in his own estimation, it is sufficiently strong to score —that is, to make three, four, or five tricks. Should he be able to do so, he will say, " I order it up;" that is, that the dealer is to take up the turn-up card in his hand, and put out any card he likes. If, on the contrary, he thinks he cannot score, he says, "I pass."
If the first player orders the turn-up card up, the game begins at once by his playing a card and the dealer following suit. Should the dealer not be able to follow suit, he must either throw away or trump, as in Whist.
The winner of the trick then leads, and so the game goes on until the ten cards are played.
If either the dealer or the other player order the card up and fail to get three or more tricks, he is euchred—that is, his adversary scores two.
Suppose the first player passes, not, in his own estimation, being strong enough to make three tricks, the dealer can, if he likes, take the card and put one of his own out, but if he fails to score he is euchred.
If they both pass, the first player may change the trump, and the dealer is compelled to play. If, however, the former does not score he is euchred.
If he passes for the second time the dealer can alter it, the same penalty being enforced should he not score.
if they both pass for the second time, the round is over, and the first player begins to deal.
If trumps are led, and you only have left bower, you must play it, as it is considered a trump.
In playing the famous game of Speculation a full pack of fifty-two cards is used, the value of each card being the same as at Whist.
Either counters or halfpennies may serve for stakes, an equal number of which must be allotted to all, the pool being provided by contributions from each player. After cutting for deal the owner of the lowest card deals out three cards to each player, one at a time, face downwards, and no one must on any account look at what has been given him. /
The top card of the remaining pack is then to be the trump, and this card the dealer may either keep himself or sell to the highest bidder, making it thus an object of speculation.
The player on the left of the possessor of the winning card then turns up his top card, and if it happen not to be a trump the next player turns up, and so on, until a higher trump than the first make its appearance, when the new comer takes the place of its predecessor, and, if not retained by its owner, is awarded to the highest bidder. If the card be not a trump, but only an ordinary one, it may be beaten by the highest card that makes its appearance of the same suit or by a trump.
At the close of every round the pool is won by the player who holds the highest card of the tramp suit. Should the ace of trumps be turned up, the hand is, of course, at an end, the owner of it being the winner.
The game is well named, for the buying and selling business is frequently carried on to a very considerable extent. Sometimes the players will sell their whole hand to each other, or perhaps a single card on the chance of their proving winners.
Although the above method is the most common way of playing, slight variations are frequently made. For instance, an extra hand is dealt by many players and placed in the middle of the table for pool; at the end of the round this hand is examined, and if a better card is found in it than that belonging to the winner, the pool is left undisturbed, and added to the next new pool, making it, of course, double in value. Another variation is, that any player who may turn up a knave or a five of any suit excepting trumps shall pay one counter to the pool.
In order to play well at Speculation great judgment must be used, and also the memory must be in full exercise, but when once thoroughly understood and appreciated there is no game superior to it for a Christmas gathering, and almost any number of players may join in it.