Learn the History of Bid Whist

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Learn the history of bid whist in order to become a better player in this free video series that will have you mastering whist in no time.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play Bid Whist
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Video Transcript

Bid Whist with kitty and jokers. The rules of Bid Whist of course go back to the original game of Whist that was created in the late sixteen hundreds, early seventeen hundreds and written extensively by Edmond Hoyle, James Clay and others. James Clay was a card game writer from the eighteen hundreds and he wrote a complete Tetris on Bid Whist and Whist in general about eighteen sixty four. Up until about nineteen twenty, the game of Whist that was played, was pretty standard. The determination of trump for example was not by bidding, but was by the bottom card. So if the hand is dealt out, and say okay, that's trump. Well what was very frustrating is you pick up a beautiful hand that looks like this. I mean you may not twelve hearts. Let's just say you had a nice killer heart suit for example and some side aces. But the deck says, that's trump. Where's the skill? I mean you just get completely rooked out of a great hand like that. So they decided to have bidding. What came out of that was the afore mentioned straight Whist. Now, about nineteen twenty or so, a group of players, primarily in the African American community decided to innovate the game a little bit and add on the fact that we could make this game, we could jazz this up a little bit. Make this a lot more fun, make this a lot more competitive. So then they added, Jokers. Jokers were always around in the deck and joker is a term we talked about in Euchre, Juker, Joker and so forth and was added to the deck by Bicycle Cards. A U.S. playing card company about eighteen eighty. If you look at a typical deck of cards, you'll see there is a big joker and a little joker. Now some of the custom Spades decks that Bicycle makes happen to have nice big things that say big joker, little joker, but these will do fine. You can see that this one on the bicycle is bigger than this one. This is very important, because the difference, the fundamental difference between Bid Whist and straight Whist is the fact that, A, you have jokers that are trump. The big joker is bigger than the ace of spades and the little joker. The little joker supersedes or bigger than the ace of spades, bigger than the ace of trumps. So if we were to look at a trump suit that was uptown, we would see that here's the ranking. Big joker, little joker, ace, king, queen and so forth. The fundamental differences between the two are the fact that you a joker and a kitty. A lot of history that certainly goes back to the nineteen twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and is played huge Bid Whist community. Bid Whist meaning with kitty and jokers and so forth. Another aspect is that it is the same community of African American players who also created the game of Spades. So you had Bid Whist with kitty and jokers and Spades. Very popular in the late thirties through out second world war and then from there it went to the colleges and other places. People have always had a great time with the game. Great, rich history.


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