Our Repertoire

Whist A good hand for No Trumps Whist is a classic English trick-taking game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th Centuries. It's a descendant of the 16th C game of trump or ruff and takes its name from the 17th C word whist or wist, meaning silent or attentive and the root of the modern word wistful. Of the many available variants, we currently play partner, German and nomination whist, as well as Chase the Lady (a.k.a. Black Maria, Hearts) and Oh Hell! (a variant of nomination whist which rarely fails to live up to its name).
Cribbage A perfect hand One of the most popular games in the English-speaking world, created in the 17th Century. It uses a board with pegs for scoring, a crib (or box) as a second hand for the dealer and has a unique scoring system. Points are scored for cards totalling 15, also for pairs, runs and flushes.
Canasta A dream Canasta hand A form of rummy, this was devised in Uruguay in 1939 and became a craze in the 1950s, the only partnership form of rummy to achieve classic status. Players create melds of 7 cards of the same rank (Canastas) and then go out by playing all the cards in their hand. There are several variants, but we follow the Classic Rules.
Bezique Four Aces and a Bezique This is a 19th Century trick-taking and melding game from France, derived from Piquet and giving rise to the very popular Pinochle. Having won a trick, players can score by melding marriages (King and Queen of a suit), sets of 4 court cards and beziques (Jack of Diamonds with Queen of Spades). There are no points for winning tricks, but at the end of each hand, each Ace and 10 won scores 10 points. It takes skill and some luck to build melds whilst also winning tricks, as the scoring cards are the same as those likely to take tricks. Winston Churchill was an avid player, as was writer Wilkie Collins.
CassinoAn Italian fishing game, where players collect cards by matching them with similar-valued ones in their hand, scoring points for Aces, Spades and High/Low Cassino (10 of Diamonds/2 of Spades), as well as for a majority of the cards collected. It's deceptively simple, but takes practice to play successfully.
EuchreEuchre is a popular trick-taking game responsible for introducing the Joker into the modern pack It may be related to the French game Ecarte, and to the 17th C game of bad repute, loo. It is the 'National' game of the South-west. Players can elect to win a majority of tricks, usually with the turned-up suit as trumps, but can name their own trumps if no-one fancies their chances. Failure is called being 'euchred', with the others scoring double, and double points are also scored for winning every trick (the march). We called our Quiz Team 'Benny and the Jacks' after the name given to the Joker and the unique (and confusing) role played by the Jacks.
Spite and MaliceThis is a competitive Patience game, a.k.a. Cat and Mouse. It's basically simple but offers plenty of scope for strategic play, to improve one's own chances or block the other players.
KalookiA version of rummy, playable by all ages and popular in the UK. As in Canasta, the first player to meld all their cards wins the hand, but the others accrue penalties based on the values of their remaining cards. At the end of the game, the player with the lowest total wins. It isn't as simple as it sounds to get down on the table or go out, so it's not unusual to be caught for anything up to 100 points when someone else succeeds.