There’s no sugar-coating it—2020 changed the game for good. But with the lows came highs. For SIX SOCKS, it was the year we opened the doors to our first studio in Milan. And if we haven’t welcomed you there yet, we soon will. Until then, find us changing the game. Raising the stakes. Making our own luck. And inevitably, our own cards.
“Giocare bene le proprie carte.”
To play one's cards right.
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game popularised in the 18th and 19th centuries. A derivative of the 16th century trump or ruff, it replaced the popular variant of trump known as ruff and honours. The game takes its name from the 17th century whist or wist, meaning quiet, silent, attentive, the root of the modern wistful.
Whist was first played on scientific principles by a party of gentlemen who frequented the Crown Coffee House in Bedford Row, London, circa 1728. Edmond Hoyle , a purported member of the group, published A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist in 1742. The title served as the standard text and rules for the game for the following century.
In 1862, Henry Jones published The Principles of Whist Stated and Explained, and Its Practice Illustrated on an Original System, by Means of Hands Played Completely Through with the pseudonym Cavendish. This title became the new standard text for the game, and many subsequent editions and enlargements were published with the shorter title Cavendish On Whist.
Whist was then governed by elaborate and rigid rules dictating the laws of the game, etiquette, and play. In the 1890s, a variant known as bridge whist became popular, later evolving into contract bridge. Whist is still played today at social events called whist drives. There exist many modern variants of the game.
Whist is played with a standard 52-card deck. The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. Whist is played by four players, who play in two partnerships with the partners sitting opposite each other. Players draw cards to decide dealer and partners, with the two highest playing against the lowest two, who have seating rights. It is against the rules to comment on the cards in any way. One may not comment upon the hand one is dealt, or suggest a good or bad hand. It is also against the rules to signal to partners.
The cards can be shuffled by any player, though this is typically done by the player to the dealer's left. The dealer reserves the right to shuffle last if they choose. To speed up dealing, a second deck can be shuffled by the dealer's partner during the deal and then placed to the right ready for the next hand. The cards are cut by the player to the dealer's right before dealing. The dealer deals one at a time, placing the cards face down , until each player has thirteen cards. The final card, which belongs to the dealer, is turned face up to indicate which suit is trumps. The trump card remains face up on the table until it is the dealer's turn to play to the first trick, at which point the dealer may pick up the card and place it in their hand. The deal advances clockwise.
The player to the dealer's left leads to the first trick. They may lead any card in their hand. Working clockwise, the other players each play a card to the trick and must follow suit by playing a card of the suit led if they have one. A player with no card of the suit led may play any card, either discarding or trumping. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, unless a trump is played, in which case the highest trump wins. The winner of the trick leads the next trick. Play continues until all thirteen tricks are played, at which point the score is recorded. If no team has enough points to win the game, another hand is played.
Part of the skill of the game is one's ability to remember what cards have been played and to discern which cards remain. Once each trick is played, its cards are turned face down and kept in a stack of four beside the player who won the trick. Before the next trick starts, a player may ask to see the cards from the last trick. Once the lead card is played, no previously played cards can be shown.
After all tricks have been played, the side who won the most tricks scores 1 point for each trick won in excess of 6. With experienced players, it is unusual for the score for a single hand to be higher than two. A game is over when one team reaches a score of five. In ‘Hotel Rules’, other numbers are agreed to be played to in advance, such as ‘American’ and ‘Long’, where games are played to seven and nine respectively. The Long version is normally combined with ‘Honours’.
In longer variations of the game, those games where the winning score is not the standard 5 points, honours are points that are claimed at the end of each hand. Honours add nothing to the play of a hand. Honours serve only as an element of luck that speeds up games, and they are often omitted. Serious players disregard honours as it greatly increases the element of chance.
A team that was dealt the top four cards (A, K, Q, J) in the trump suit collects 4 bonus points; if they hold three of the four honours between them, they score 2 bonus points. Tricks are scored before honours. Honour points can never be used for the last point of a game. For example: a game is being played to 9 points. The score is tied at 6. A hand is played and the winner of that hand took seven tricks and claimed honours. That team would receive 1 point for the 7th trick and only 1 point for honours. The score would then be 8 to 6.
For the opening lead, it is best to lead your strongest suit, which is usually the longest. A singleton may also be a good lead, aiming at trumping in that suit, as one's partner should normally return the suit led.
1st hand: It is usual to lead the king from a sequence of honours that includes it, including AK (the lead of an ace therefore denies the king).
2nd hand usually plays low, especially with a single honour. It is often correct to split honours (play the lower of two touching honours) and to cover a J or 10 when holding Q and cover a Q when holding the ace.
3rd hand usually plays high, though play the lowest of touching honours. The finesse can be a useful technique, especially in trumps where honours cannot be trumped if they are not cashed.
Discards are usually low cards of an unwanted suit. When the opponents are drawing trumps, a suit preference signal is given by throwing a low card of one's strongest suit.
Klondike is a
card game. In the US and Canada, the game is best known as Solitaire, and as Patience in the UK. Elsewhere the game is known as American Patience Fascination, Triangle or Demon Patience.
In England, Klondike is traditionally known as Canfield, whereas in America the name Canfield is given to the patience game called Demon in England.
The game is believed to have originated in the late 19th century, named for the Canadian gold rush region of the same name. The game was further popularised in the 1990s by the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is considered the most popular version of solitaire.
Klondike is played with a standard
deck without Jokers. After shuffling, a tableau of seven fanned piles of cards are laid from left to right. From left to right, each pile contains one more card than the last. The first and left-most pile contains a single upturned card, the second pile contains two cards (one downturned, one upturned), the third contains thre (two downturned, one upturned), and so on, until the seventh pile which contains seven cards (six downturned, one upturned). The
card of each pile is turned face up. The remaining cards form the stock and are placed face down at the upper left of the layout.
The four foundations are built up by suit from ace to king, and the tableau piles can be built down by alternate colors. Every face-up card in a partial or complete pile can be moved, as a unit, to another tableau pile on the basis of their highest card. Any empty piles can be filled with a king , or a pile of cards with a king. The aim of the game is to build up four stacks of cards starting with ace and ending with king, all of the same suit, on one of the four foundations, at which time the player has won.
There are different ways of dealing the remainder of the deck from the stock to the waste, including:
- Turning three cards at once to the waste, with no limit on passes through the deck.
- Turning three cards at once to the waste, with three passes through the deck.
- Turning one card at a time to the waste, with three passes through the deck.
- Turning one card at a time to the waste with only a single pass through the deck, and playing it if possible.
- Turning one card at a time to the waste, with no limit on passes through the deck.
- If the player can no longer make any meaningful moves, the game is considered lost.
Standard scoring in the Windows Solitaire game is determined as follows:
Moving cards directly from the Waste stack to a foundation scores 10 points. If the card is first moved to a tableau, and then to a foundation, an extra 5 points are scored for a total of 15. In order to win a maximum score, no cards should be moved directly from the Waste to foundation.
There exists numerous
variations of the game:
- In Thumb and Pouch, a card in the tableau can be built upon another that is any suit other than
(e.g. spades cannot be placed over spades) and spaces can be filled by any card or sequence.
- In Whitehead, all cards are dealt face up , building is by color (red on red, black on black), a sequence made up of cards that are of the same suit can be moved as a unit, and a space can be filled by any card or sequence.
- In Westcliff, thirty cards are dealt into ten piles of three cards, two face down and one face up. A space in this game can be filled with any card or sequence.
The game can be played with a Tarot-style
deck (such as a Tarot Nouveau). There are two ways of doing this. Each has nine increasing tableau stacks.
- Klondike Nouveau Run: use five foundations, and either use the Fool as the first card in the trumps foundation, or remove it before playing. The knight (Chevalier) appears between the jack and the queen.
- Klondike Tarot Evens: use six foundations; the usual four, and then use the red knights (cavaliers) as the royals for trumps 1-10, and the black knights as the royals for trumps 11-21.
In some casinos, Klondike is turned into a gambling game , by playing with the rule of dealing cards one at a time and going through the stock once. For example, a player would pay $50 to play, and the house would pay $5 for each card played to the foundations. This is often called Las Vegas Solitaire.
Joker Solitaire is a variant of Klondike created by Joli Quentin Kansil which adds two jokers that serve as limited wild cards. This adds more skill because players are required to make many calculated decisions.
Two-player Klondike. Players have their own deck and can't play to each other's tableaus, but share their foundations. Players take turns until they can't play a card from their talon. The first player to play all 52 cards wins. Double Solitaire can be played as a party game with more than 2 players and each player plays at his own speed, often leading to spirited discussions when a player strategically refuses to place a card on a foundation to block another player from placing a card on top.