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Trente et Quadrates

Trente et Quadrant, or Rouge et Noir, is a game of pure chance and, like baccarat is essentially a casino game. It is played on a long table, each end marked as in the accompanying diagram.  The banker sits midway down one of the sides, the players sit, and some stand behind them, at each end.

Six packs of cards are shuffled together, cut, and-with the Ace counting as 1, the court cards 10 each, and other cards their pip values-the banker deals a row of cards until the total exceeds 30.  He then deals a second row immediately below it in a similar manner.  The top row is noir (black) the lower rouge (red) and whichever row adds up to the lesser total wins.  Apart from these two chances the players can bet on whether the first card dealt will be the same colour as the winning row (couleur)or  the opposite colour (inverse). 

All four are even chances, but if both rows add up to 31 it is a refait (drawn game) and the player may either halve his stake with the bank, or allow the whole of it to be put in prison.  He has the right to choose between the red and black prisons, and if his stake wins on the next deal he withdraws it.
All other identical totals end in the deal being declared void, and leave the player at liberty to withdraw his stake or leave it on the table to win or lose the next deal.

Vingt-et-Un- Vingt-et-Un, or Twenty-one, is a leading game in the casinos of America where it is known as Black Jack.  Although it is a game of chance, in which the odds on winning are heavily in favour of the banker, in Great Britain it is far more of a social pastime and, under the name of Pontoon (almost certainly an easy corruption of punting ) it was exceptionally popular in the trenches during the war of 1914-1918.

            The game is played with a standard 52-card pack, by any number of players up to ten: if more than ten take part two packs of cards shuffled together should be used.
            The banker deals one card face downwards to each player and to himself, and the players, after looking at their cards, stake any amount up to the agreed maximum.

            The object of the game is to obtain a total of 21, or as near to it as possible, but without exceeding it.  For this  purpose an Ace counts 11 or 1 (at the option of the holder) a court card 10, and any other card its pip value.
            When the players have made their bets, the banker looks at his card, and has the right to double.  In this event the players must double their bets.
            The banker then deals another card, face downwards, to all the players and to himself.  If a player holds a pair he may announce his intention to split.  He stakes the same amount as his original bet on both cards, and the banker deals a second card to each.  The player plays both hands separately.  The banker may not split pairs.

            If the banker holds a natural (an Ace and a court card or a 10) he turns the two cards face upwards and receives from the players double what they have staked, except that if a player also holds a natural he loses only his original stake.  The hands are thrown in, and the banker deals another hand.
            If the banker does not hold a natural, but a player does, the banker pays him double his stake, and, after the deal has been completed, the bank passes to him.  the bank, however, does not pass on a split natural.  If two or more players hold naturals, the one nearest to the banker’s left takes the bank.
            When all naturals (if any) have been declared and settled, the banker asks each player in turn (beginning with the one on his left) whether he wants more cards or not.  The player has three options.  He may Stand; that is he elects to take no more cards.  He may Buy; that is he increases his stake for the advantage of receiving a card face downwards.  He may Twist; that is he does not increase his stake and receives a card face upwards.  The rules to be observed are:

  1. A player may not stand if he holds a count of 15 or less.
  2. A player may not buy for more than his original stake.
  3. If a player has twisted a third card he may not buy a fourth or fifth, though a player who has bought a third card may twist subsequent cards.
  4. A player may not increase, though he may decrease, the amount for which he bought a previous card.
  5. If a player has received four cards he may not buy a fifth if the total of his four cards is 11 or less.

Five cards is the most that a player may hold, and if they total 21 or less the banker pays him double, unless the banker also holds five cards that total 21 or less when the banker wins.

            The player who makes a total of 21 with three 7s, receives from the banker triple his stake.  The banker does not have this privilege.
            When the total of a player’s cards exceeds 21 he turns his cards face upwards and the banker wins all that he has staked.
            When all the players have received cards, the banker turns his two cards face upwards and deals himself as few or as many cards as he chooses.  If when doing so he exceeds a total of 21 he pays the players their stakes.  At any time, however, he may elect to stand and agree to pay those players who have a higher total and receive from those who have a lower or equal total.

Banker pays B (double), C, D and F Banker wins from A and E  Banker loses 9 units on deal

Card Terms

All pastimes have a vocabulary that is peculiarly their own.  That of card playing is probably the most extensive, because there are so many different games and most are of obscure origin.  This list, therefore, is by no means complete and comprehensive; rather it includes only the words and expressions that are used in this book and, due to limitation of Space, the author has omitted those that are self-explanatory and those that most readers may be expected.

ABOVE THE LINE.  In games of the bridge family, bonus scores and penalty scores are recorded above a horizontal line across the score sheet.  C/f BELOW THE LINE.

ABUNDACE (ABONDANCE).  In games of the solo whist family, a declaration to win nine tricks.






Black Maria

Five Hundred



Games for Four players

Auction Pitch

Boston Whist













Games for Five or more players


Coon Can

Poker Rummy




Trente et Quadrant

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