Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Thats Trump......

I come from a very loving family. Almost every Friday evening the routine was always the same. On the way home from work ,my Grandfather would stop at Holy Redeemer Church, and get 3 take out orders of fish and chips. Then like clockwork, several members of the family would stop by and we would play cards till all hours.
We played.....
Cribbage
Canasta
Poker
Double Deck Pinochle, something different each week! I also always tell people that it took me 6 years to get a 4 year degree in college, cause my first 2 years I majored in Euchre.
So if you are from a card playing family, you may find some of these facts interesting....

The four modern suits-hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds-originated in France around 1480, at a time when card makers were beginning to mass produce decks for the first time. But not all cards have these suit symbols. Traditional German cards use hearts , leaves, acorns, and bells.
Swiss cards use roses, sheilds, acorns, and bells. Italian cards use swords, batons, cups, and coins!
For more than 500 years playing cards were much larger than they are now. They did not have the 'indices' ( the numbers and suits in the left corner ) that let you read the cards in a tightly held hand. Card players either had to hold their cards in both hands to read them, or they had to memorize them and put them down. In the mid 19th century, card makers began adding the 'indices' in the corner of the cards, so that you could squeeze the cards closer together in your hands. These decks were called 'squeezers'...
It was in a 'squeezer' deck that the jacks became part of the deck. In the early days they were called knaves, but knave also started with the letter 'K' just like king, so to avoid confusion the knave was changed to jack.
The first face cards were elaborately painted, full length portraits. While beautiful, they posed a serious disadvantage: when they were dealt upside down, novice players tended to turn them rightside-up. Thus telling experianced players how many face cards were in their hand. Card makers corrected this in the 19th century, when they began making decks with "Double-Ended" face cards.
The Joker is the only American card in the deck. It was originally added as the highest value in a early version of Euchre. But later it gained huge popularity as the "wild" card in poker.
The word 'ace' is derived from the Latin word as, which at that time meant the smallest unit of coinage..
In 1742, an Englishman named Edmond Hoyle published a rule book for the game of Whist!
The book was so successful that dozens of people plagiarized it, even using the name of Hoyle in it's pirated editions. Today's Hoyle rule books are just decendants of the copied versions, NOT the original version!!!
I hope that you've found this post a bit interesting, the following is my favorite obscure movie line...." How was I to know that the 10 of Diamonds was the Big Casino"?.....Peace.

22 comments:

lime said...

first ;)

lime said...

awesome post, g-man. i can remember a lot of happy hours playing cards with my grandmother and being overjoyed when i finally beat her fair and square.

oooh and the trivia....what a good brain tickle!

javajazz said...

they sold fish and chips
at the Holy Redeemer Church?
yummy!
g'nite Mr. Knowitall...
xoxo

Queenie said...

See what the English have brought you, WHIST!!!
We only play cards at Christmas, never won more than fifty pence..

ann said...

I'm a kaluke player... and if my mother tells me I MUST learn bridge one more time, I just may commit matricide

I think cards went on the decline because of more and more boardgames... I remember when our children were small playing games with them Saturday afternoons.

Didn't all the royal cards actually represent someone in history?

You sure have a font of all knowledge

MONA said...

this is a very interesting post.I loved playing cards, must get my pack out, now that you have reminded me of it!

MONA said...

Do you know, that in India we have a very famous festival called Diwali. It is called the festival of lights.On this day, they worship the goddess Laxmi who is the goddess of wealth.That night, they all play cards and gamble, because it is a popular belief that the more you win, the more prosperous will you be throughout the year.

G-Man said...

Limey, I think every kid was taught to play cards by an Aunt or a Grandparent..xoxox

Yes JJ, and that church still sell them on Friday Nights. xox

Things British...
Whist
Queenie
Ann
Cathy
Elizabeth Hurley
I'm stopping right there!
xoxox

Ann,
Original playing cards came from the Marmelukes that ruled Egypt from 1250-1517. Their decks did not include queens or jacks; they used "Deputy Kings" and "Seconds"..
I've never heard of Kaluke...I love your visits Ann...xoxox

Mona I love your festival stories, and I love Mona....very much!

Serena Joy said...

That brings back some memories. Posts that incite nostalgia are great. Fun post, g-man.

Top cat said...

"ya got to know when to hold em and know when to fold em"
I love Solitaire.lol
tc

MONA said...

Mona loves Galen very much too!
SMMMMMoooCH

DarkAngel said...

Sounds like the Italians use tarot cards for a standard deck ... wands, cups, swords and coins ... and to think they're roman catholic ... using pagan cards ...

go figure.
DA

snowelf said...

My grandparents taught me King's Corner when I was just a little bitty Snowelf. I remember chowing down popcorn and playing it with them before bed. Because of this, I try to play a lot of games with my chili's too.

Great post, Galen. :)

--snow

barman said...

We grew up playing cards. Mostly Eucher, Double Deck Pinochle, Canasta, and... what on earth was the name??? You are delt 10 cards and guess how many you will take. If you get it right you get 10 points plus how many you took. If not you get nothing. Then you are delt 9 and then 8 all the way down to 1. The guessing game possibly. Anyway I personally hated that game.

We played lots of cards. I so miss that now.

Thanks for the triva.

ann said...

g-man... I'm surprised you don't know kaluke and you went to high school with all those yiddishe kids...

I love your blog xxx

SignGurl said...

My grandma taught me Euchre, nickels, war, Gin Rummy and many more. She didn't know any poker games though. Oh, she also taught me Blackjack.

When we were kids, each of us had a coffee can filled with pennies and nickels. When my step brothers came for a weekend, we would all play poker using our coffee can money. It was penny ante. I lost $12 in pennies to my step brother in one hand. I learned a great lesson that day. No matter how good you are, there's always someone better.

Love ya!

javajazz said...

ann...
i think galen was yiddish
in another lifetime
and may, in fact
still be yiddish...
you can obviously detect
that essence, yes?

cathy said...

To my knowledge playing cards were derived from the lower arcana of tarot. Tarot cards are thought originally to have been used as an interlingual form of communication.
It is their versatility in depicting every aspect of human relations that led to them later being used by fortune tellers. That's all I know without getting another book out:)

cathy said...

Almost forgot the important bit!
We used to have fish and chips every friday when I was a kid. They always tasted better if you ate them out of the paper. Yum.
I too have good memories.

Manny said...

Euchre here babe. My mother and I played all the time. We rocked and could call it on a king/nine hand and win. We won alot. We were in clubs, played at work and on Friday nights when my uncle Tim moved in with her. He always invited a female friend. It was a good time.

Around 8 years ago a friend taught me how to play canasta. It was always the guys against the girls and needless to say, the girls always won. My partner used to tell me I was 'pile obsessed' This was true. I just love getting that pile! Woot!

Maybe if the blogger get together ever happens and I can come, we can play...er...cards that is. LOL

MONA said...

Galen? GALEN!
I heard that you were caught in a thunder storm 50 miles away from topcat who was yearning for mrs. topcat because it was raining and romantic!
& cathy tagged me on education!!
I HAD to honor it and then cease the viscious circle!!

G-Man said...

Old guys are filled with nostalgia Serena Joy, sometimes thats all we have!!

TC, I love computer solitare..Hahaha!

Mona...xoxox

Dark Angel...Yeah imagine Catholics deriving anything from the pagans eh?
That was sarcasm....xoxox

Snowelf, those things will be handed down to your grandkids also, I guarantee...Thanks sweetie xox

Barman, we would play Pinochle all night, but I bet we haven't played that game in 25 years..
Thanks Bryan...

Ann, you are so very sweet to me. My Jewish buddies all played poker!
Did I miss out on something fun?..xoxox

Jenn, OMG....Your last sentence reminded me of a great line from the greatest card playing movie of all time...
"The Cincinatti Kid"
Steve Mcqueen Played Cincinatti, and Edward G Robinson played the tired old card shark Lancy Howard....As the last hand was being played, Steve thought that he had the old man beat with a full house..
He called the old man, who happenned to have a straight flush, crushing the kids dreams of being the best, as he was raking in the pot, Lancy looked up at him and said; "Your good kid, real good, but as long as I'm around, your just second best"!!

JJ, nice to see that you are around...xoxox

These fish and chips came packed in cardboard boxes, and still are.
They have never used styrafoam..Yes my dear, good memories Rock !!
Thanks Cathy...

So thats what "Pile Obsessed" meant? I thought you were referring to hemorrhoids!
Love you Manny..xoxox

Yes Mona, it rained very hard and all day...It kept me from going to Bike Nite tonight....
Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!
You are up very late sweetie...xoxoxox