Developed in Britain, early in the 17th century, it is the game most commonly associated with the 18th and 19th centuries. It is still played in Britain today, though everywhere else the game of Bridge has surpassed it in popularity. Whist is a plain-trick game without bidding for 4 players in fixed partnerships.

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A very complicated card game known as Quadrille or Médiateur was popular in early to mid 18th century. It was essentially a four-handed adaptation of the classic three-player game of Hombre, a game involving bidding where the object is to take tricks. It was played with 40 cards (generally omitting 10, 9, 8 from each suit) had a system of upside-down ranking in two suits, a haphazard range of non-standard bids, penalties and a hard-score pay-off system. Due to the competing popularity of Whist, Quadrille merged with Whist to produce the hybrid game of Boston Whist, a parent to the game Solo Whist.

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Loo, like Quadrille, involves the taking of tricks, but was designed for five or more players (thus it accommodates odd numbers of players). There is a three card and a five card version. Cards were dealt one at a time to each player, plus an empty deal to a ghost hand known as the Miss (players could decide to trade their cards for the Miss hand). After dealing, the next card is turned over to determine trump. Failure to take a trick was known as “being loo’ed.”

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Lottery Tickets

Like Loo, Lottery Tickets is a game that could be played with a variable number of people. It is a game of pure luck and no skill, where players bet an amount and receive a card; “winning” cards were selected randomly, and whoever held the same card won a prize. The game could be played either with two full decks (so you must have the identical card), or it could be played with one deck separated into red and black (and you match the rank).



Casino could be played with either two or four players. Unlike Whist or Quadrille, it does not involve taking tricks. The point of the game is to score points by capturing cards from the center. Captures were accomplished by equaling the value of one or more cards with cards from your hand. When all cards were dealt and captured, players calculated their totals following a formula.



Piquet (pronounced “picket”) was a game played with two people using a non-standard deck: thirty-two cards, the six through deuce of each suit removed from the deck. The game involves exchanging cards, discarding and taking replacements. The cards in your hand had various point values that were calculated periodically, the game ended when one player had 100 points. As there were many points to keep track of, players often used a counter or board (like a cribbage board) to keep track of them.

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Also called Faro, Pharoah, or Pharo, was a card game invented by the French, who took it from the Venetian game of basetta and is similar to the contemporary game of Mini-Baccarat. Thanks to an exiled Scotsman named John Law, it was taken to the United States via New Orleans and became one of the most popular games in the Wild West. It was played with two decks; one deck to play with and the other to set up the game board. Players place bets on the laid out cards and the dealer quickly dealt two cards.

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