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Games for Two Players

All Fours

All fours is known in America as Old Sledge.   It is a poker game for two players played with the full pack of fifty-two cards, which rank from Ace (high) to 2 (low).  The game is won by he who first scores 7points.  The points are scored as follows:
            High.  The player who is dealt the highest trump in play scores 1 point.
            Low.  The player who wins the Jack of trump in play scores 1 point.

            Jack.  The player who wins the Jack of trumps (if it is in play) scores 1 point.
            Game.  Each player counts the honors among the tricks he has won,  and, counting the Ace as 4, the King as 3, the Queen as 2, the Jack as I and the Ten as 10, the player with the highest total scores 1 point.  If there is equality the non-dealer scores the point.
            The points are not counted until the end of the deal, but they should be understood from the start because they illustrate the object of the game.
            Six cards are dealt in bundles of three to both players, and the thirteenth card is turned up to determine the trump suit.

            The non-dealer now declares whether he will stand or beg.  If he says “I stand” he accepts the turned-up card as the trump suit and play begins.  If he says ‘ I beg’ he rejects the turned-up card as the trump suit, and the dealer must either accept or refuse the proposal to make another suit trumps.  To refuse he says ‘Take one’.  The non-dealer then scores 1 point for gift and play begins.  To accept he says ‘I run the cards’.  He deals three more cards to his opponent and three to himself, and turns up the next card to determine the trump suit.  If this is the same suit as the original trump suit, he runs the cards again, and continues to run them until a different trump suit is turned up.  In the rare, but not impossible, event of the pack being exhausted without a different trump suit being turned up, there is a redeal by the same poker player.  If the turned-up card is a Jack, the dealer scores 1 point, and if, when the cards are run, the turned-up card is again a Jack, the dealer again scores 1 point.
            Play begins when the trump suit has been determined, and if the cards have been run, the players first discard from their hands enough cards to reduce the number held to six.  The non-dealer leads to the first trick.  His opponent must follow suit or trump.  Unlike at most games, however, a player may trump even though he is able to follow suit, but he must not discard if he holds either a card of the suit led or a trump.  If he does he has revoked and his opponent scores 1 point.
            The winner of a trick leads to the next, and so on until all six tricks have been played.  The players then turn up their tricks and score for High, Low, Jack and Game.
            These four scoring features are fundamental to the game and are counted whenever it is possible to do so.  If, for example, there is only one trump in play it counts 2 points, because it is both High and Low.
            The deal passes in rotation.

ALL FOURS FOR FOUR PLAYERS is played with two players playing in partnership against the other two in partnership.
            The method of play is the same as in the parent game, except  that only the dealer and the opponent on his left (eldest hand) look at their cards to determine the trump suit.  When they have done this, but not before, the other two players look at their cards and come into the game for play.
            If a player exposes a card it is liable to be called by an opponent.

SEVEN UP is a variation of the parent game that receives its name from the method of scoring.
            Both players (or both sides if four are playing ) begin with seven counters each.  Every time that a point is scored the player (or side) that wins it puts a counter aside, and the player (or side) who first gets rid of his counters wins the game.  If both go out in the same deal, the winner is the one who first counts out when the points are scored for High, Low, Jack and Game.

ALL FIVES is a variation of the parent game that is played for 61 points up.  For convenience the score is best kept on a cribbage board (see Plate 11).
            The mechanics of the game are the same as those of the parent game, and points are pegged when the following trumps are won in a trick: Ace 4 points, King 3 points, Queen 2 points, Jack 1 point, Ten 10 points and Five 5 points.  After the hand has been played, the honours are counted as in the parent game, to determine the point for Game, with the addition that the player who has won the 5 of trumps scores 5 points for it.


The standard game of Bezique poker is played by two players, with two packs of cards fro9m which the 6s,5s,4s,3s,and 2s have been removed.  The cards rank in the order: A 10 K Q J 9 8 7.
            Eight cards are dealt to each player in packets of three, two, three.  The remaining forty-eight cards (the stock) are placed face downwards on the table, and the dealer exposes the top card to denote the trump suit.  It is placed alongside the stock, and it is a 7 he scores 10 points.
            The non-dealer leads to the first trick.  As at most games the winner of a trick leads to the next, but it is a feature of bezique that a player is under no obligation to follow suit to the card led.  The object of the game is to score points for declaring certain cards and combination of cards.  The declarations, and the points that may be scored for them, are as follows:

            Double Bezique = 500 points.  Two Q ♠ (or Q ♣ if Spades or Diamonds are trumps) and two J (or J ♥ if Spades or Diamonds are trumps).
Sequence in Trumps = 250 points.  A 10 K Q J of the trump suit.
Any Four Aces = 100 points.
Any four Kings=  80 points.
Any four Queens = 60 points.
            Any four Jacks = 40 points.
            Bezique = 40 points.  Q ♠ ( or Q ♣ if Spades or Diamonds are trumps ) and J (or J ♥ if Spades or Diamonds are trumps).
            Royal Marriage = 40 points.  King and Queen of the trump suit.
            Common Marriage = 20 points.  King and Queen of the same plain suit.


            A player scores 10 points if he holds a 7 of the trump suit and exchanges it for the turn-up card; and 10 points are scored for playing a 7 of the trump suit.
            When a player has won a trick he may declare by placing the appropriate cards face upwards on the table.  He may make as many declarations as he chooses, always provided that the declarations do not involve the same cards.  If the exposed cards show more than one declaration the player must announce which deflation he intends to score, and leave the other to be scored when he wins another trick.  A card that has once scored cannot again be used to form part of a similar declaration.  As an example, a player may expose K ♠ Q ♠ J score 40 for bezique and announce ‘Twenty to come’ meaning that the next time he wins a trick he will score 20 points for the common marriage of the King and Queen of Spades.  He may not expose a second Jack of Diamonds and score bezique with the Queen of Spades.  The cards that have been declared, and so exposed on the table, remain a part of the player’s hand and he may play them to later tricks.
            Tricks should be gathered and kept by the player who wins them, because at the end of a deal a player scores 10 points for every Ace and every 10 that he has won.  They are known as bisques.

            When both players have played to a trick they replenish their hands from the stock:  winner takes the top card, loser the next.
            When the stock is exhausted the last eight tricks are played, and the game takes on a rather different character.  Now, if a player has a card of the suit that has been led he must play it, and he must win a trick if he is able to.  No further declarations may be made, and the aim of the player is to win brisques and the last trick for which 10 points are scored.
            The deal passes to the other player, and so alternately, until one of them has reached an agreed number of points, usually 2,000.
            The score cannot be kept satisfactorily with pencil on paper.  It is best to use the special bezique markers that take the form of indicators marked as clocks on think cardboard.
            The following deal, played by two experienced players, illustrates many of the finer points of good play.
            South dealt, and the ranking hands were:

            Clubs were trumps, the 10 of clubs having been turned up.
            The turn-up cards is important because it is a sequence card, and a high one at that since it ranks immediately below the Ace.
            The main features of North’s hand are that he holds two sequence cards (the Queen and Jack of Clubs), a 7 of trumps to exchange for the valuable 10, and three Queens, which put him well on the way to a declaration of four Queens.
            The main features of South’s hand are a bezique Queen (the Queen of Spades) and three low trumps, including the 7; but, of course, as yet South does not know that North holds both the Queens of trumps, so that a sequence for him is impossible.  It is South’s lead, and it is necessary for him to win a trick to exchange the 7 of clubs for the 10.  An inexperienced player might be tempted to lead an indifferent card, such as the 7 of poker hearts, hoping that North will have nothing to declare and will refuse to win the trick.  This, however, is very artless play, and the better play is for South to lead his highest trump because it compels North to use a sequence card if he wants to take the trick and make a declaration. So







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