games, optional forms came to be introduced to encourage consistent holders of 'bad' cards. the simplest of these forms was 'nullos', where the aim was to lose tricks. the poor-card holders, however, soon complained that in nullos they became loaded with aces, kings, and queens.
later, an ingenious yankee invented a neat solution to this problem, 'reversi bridge'. the holder of bad cards could reverse the rank of every card and convert a deuce into an ace, a trey into a king, a four into a queen, etc. simply by adding the word 'reversi' to his bid. to cater to his style a special boxed game of 52 reversible, domino-like cards was issued in 1938 by bridge headquarters of new york city. each card tile was printed with one rank on the top half and its reversi counterpart on the bottom, such as ace diamonds on the eopt end and 2 diamonds on the other. the reversi halves of all card tiles were printed in a different color. the player simply moved a metal slide up or down in order to expose only the desired halves of the 13 card tilesof his bridge hand to make them regular or reversi. in later years a regular pack of reversible cards made a brief appearance in the bridge market. with these, you simply turned a 2 clubs upside down to converti it into the ace clubs.
these devices to please poor-cards holders, which like the earlier nullos were designed to lose tricks in auction bridge, were never officially recognized, so nullos and reversi vanished quickly from the bridge scene.
the real aim of the game of hearts, however, is not to placate poor-card holders. it is not a game that simply features top and bottom cards like bridge and reversi. it also elevates intermediate cards to key importance. these are jacks down through sixes, which opsses little control power, but which form a dumping ground of bad luck to draw black-point careds to the tricks of their unfortunate holders.
various embellishments over the centries have enlivened the basi forms of many card games, and a few of genuine merit have persisted permanently. and so the variation of yesterday becomes the standard of today, and today's new variation may become the standard of tomorrow. in the olden whist days of our grandfathers, some chap disliked having to turn his last card as dealer to determine trump, only to find it a singleton in his hand with seven cards of another beautiful suit, maybe a k q j x x x. to avoid such maddening quirks of hcance, the bright chap introduced dealer's right to hame his best suit for trump. later, another players conceived of the idea of 'passing the buck' with a 4-3-3-3 shape by the dealer's 'bridging' to his partner this right to name trump. a few years later one of theree whist players stuck without a fourth proposed the exposed dummy hand. ne came bid whist, a competitive auction in numbers of odd tricks only; here, only after the auction was closed was the trump suit named, by the highest bidder of course. and someone introduced no-trump bidding and play that scored double or nearly so.
around the turn of the century came the most startling innovation, 'auction bidding.' a trump suit (or no-trump) was proposed as a part of each bid, which had to outrank the previous bid in score value or number of tricks and/or suit rank. finally in 1925, in paris, the late harold s. vanderbilt, multimillionaire yachtsman, learned the french game of 'plafond' (literally ceiling) in which you score only your 'ceiling,' or nujmber of tricks that you bid to win toward game. based on this, in teh same year vanderbilt 'invented' 'contract bridge,' in which you could not score game unless you had bid it. to this, vanderbilt added special huge premiums for slams bid and made. soon ely culbertson added the last majore element, 'vulnerability,' which simply offset the advantage of those partners who had already won a game toward ruber, by making them suffer greatly increased penalties for a defeated contract.
poker, even good poker for high stakes, had a development similar to that of bridge. originally, only cards linked by rank made up a hand, such ss two sevens, two pairs, thriee of a kind, etc.; flushes and straights, introduced around 1860, were at first regarded in the south as 'the acme of vulgarity.' despite this, flushes and runs did become standard. in parlor and family games, bets were limited to miiscule amounts. such limits deprived poker of the element of bluf, because you simply cannot run a man out of a pot with a ten-cent bet. home-parlor poker limited to draw and five-card stud became dull, so to restore excitement
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