The rules of Commerce
Posted by Margaret on April 18, 1998 at 17:30:17:
Walter Nelson posted a request on the Newbies board for references to card games in Jane Austen's works. I sent a response to him and was given, in turn, a description of the rules of Commerce. I am posting the rules here with his permission.
(A descendent of the game Primero, which was the rage at the Court of Elizabeth I and an ancestor of Poker)
Any number my play. A deck of 52 cards is used.
Each player receives five cards, two or three at a time.
The player to the Dealer's left may exchange one of his cards for one of those on the table, placing his discarded card face upwards with the two he leaves, or he may pass. The next player to the left may similarly exchange or pass and so on. A player having passed may not exchange
The exchanging goes round until two players are satisfied with their hands, and then all the remaining players may exchange one time more only.
After this, the cards are shown.
The hands are valued by the combinations of cards (like Poker).
1.(highest) Tricon--3 cards of the same denomination. 3 Aces are best, then Kings etc. In case of a tie, the higher numbered Tricon wins.
2. Sequence--The cards in order of rank. The Ace does not make a sequence wih the King and 2 simultaneously. In case of a tie, the highest card in the Sequences wins.
3. Flush--The cards in the same suit. In a tie, the flush containing the most points wins (see points below)
4. Pair--2 cards in the same denomination.
5. Point--The highest number of pips on the cards held. Ace counts 11, Court Cards count ten, and all others count according to the number of pips.
Wagering may be done several ways. The simplest is a standard pot to which everyone contributes evenly, and which the winner collects.
From: "Round Games at Cards" by Cavendish. 1887
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