Once again, we welcome you, the adventure lovers, on the board of our gambling cruise. I hope you had a great time in Ireland and plenty entertainments while betting on sporting events. Maybe someone of you was lucky enough to catch the mischievous leprechaun and take his pot of gold?!
Today we continue our gambling journey and swam not far from the shores of the Emerald Isle, approaching the coast of Albion. I hope all of our gambling cruise passengers guessed that London was selected as the next port and not without a reason. You see, in contrast to the reckless and mischievous Irish, the English are known for their seriousness, thoroughness and even stiffness. Their favourite and national gambling games fully meet the entrenched image dimensions of avid intellectuals.
So, today we will talk about the true British gambling, which is one of the oldest amusements, which became the ancestor of today’s popular games such as poker, preference, and the bridge – we’ll talk about Whist game.
Born in the Middle Ages …
There’s no wonder that we landed in London, because it is here, this city, in a measured and unhurried everyday intellectual pastime, in local coffeehouses was invented game Whist. And it’s not surprisingly, the first players were the most visitors of coffeehouses and especially they were the representatives of the upper class. From the beginning of its history, from the XVI century, whist quickly became popular among the aristocracy and only closer to the peak of its popularity, to the XIX century, this game was in great demand far beyond its native England and among all social classes.
This ancient game is famous for its methodology and curiosity, probably because these qualities have always been loved and honoured with pedantic British. Of course today Whist was replaced with such modern counterparts as bridge and preference, but in spite of strong competition Whist has a lot of fans even today.
How was the history developing and the formation of this unique and exciting card game happened? Now we’ll conduct our own investigation. It turns out that the official time of origin of the game is recognised XVI century, but there are some written records of a similar method of conducting games dating back two centuries earlier. The dawn of the popularity and the familiar rules stating falls on the XIX century, to be exact at all times of the English Queen Victoria’s reign.
It is the very time when to play Whist elevated to the most interesting, intelligent and entertaining rates, became the greatest entertainment worth the Kings. High popularity has caused the continuous improvement of the rules and methodology of such gambling activities. So, over the time, the rules repeatedly changed and there were made manuals with the rules and recommendations, and even its own gambling etiquette. A huge number of books on Whist was created during the time of his popularity in Europe, but most considered the first guide book of Edmund Hoyle, which appeared in the XVIII century. The textbook is so interesting and colourfully described the mechanics of the game and its social dimension, which has become a handbook for many avid players. In their everyday life even was constantly used an expression “according to Hoyle”, followed by innumerable textbook citations.
The more popular Whist became in England and Europe, the more significantly complicated the rules of the game appeared. They became more serious and require more responsibility. At this time began to be created vast fan clubs and venues for competitions on Whist.
Thus the number of game variations and varieties of rules has grown to immense amounts, there appeared a great need to publish a full-blown Almanac-Rulebook of traditional Whist. The author of this rules manual was Henry Jones (Cavendish). This tutorial was later re-released as many as 20 times, but it became a kind of beginning of the end. After such a huge set of rules appeared there assumed a long time to master the basics and remember the most of the nuances. Preparing for the game now began to occupy several times longer than the actual game session, and therefore interest in this entertainment gradually began to fade away.
So very soon, at the beginning of the XX century, to replace the Whist came his modern and more entertaining receiver Bridge. Today Whist considered to be a dead game, which is practiced in small circles or in the official competitions.
So we now got to the port of one of the most intriguing cities in Europe. Now you have time to yourself to plunge into the unique atmosphere of London and look for one of the private fun clubs of the game of Whist. But be attentive, this gambling game is so many-sided and unusual that more often is known under different names – it’s kind a Bismarck or Enfilade and Prussian Wiest or even Jumble.
Enjoy your trip to gambler London!