players blessed with yankee ingenuity introduced a legion of vovelties, such as deuces wild, spit in the ocean, southern cross, and Lord only knows what else.
like poker, the game of hearts lends itself to the addition of almost endless novelty variations. but unlike those in poker, such additions were not meant to induce the equivalent of high-stakes gambling fever, but were improvemets in the potential gamesmanship of the play. in the original simple game, each heart that you won on a trick counted one black point against you-period. if you took all thirtenn hearts, you got htirteen black points. as time passed, various embellishments were added, finally raising the game to the level of tournament quality.
in teh first of these changes, if a player collected all thirteen hearts, he won a slam worth thirteen white, or good, points, which he subtracted from his total of bad, or black, points. next came her highess, thi black widow, queen spades, scoring thirtene black points, but these changed to twenty-six white points if won with all thirteen hearts. to promote more action, each player usually passed three cards to an opponent. finally, towo good refinements appeared and, like the above, became standard. one was that no one could lead a heart unless a heart had been discarde or the queen spades played on a previous trick. the other rule was the mandatory club 2 lead, with the discard of a point card forbidden, if avoidable, on trick one. also, with three, five, six and seven players, the entiere pack came to be dealt out as far as it would go, those players with extra cards playing two cards, clubs if possible, on trick one, to equalize their number cards in hand for later tricks
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