|Playing time||5-10 min.|
|Teen patti, Poker, Stop the Bus|
Brag is an 18th century British card game, and the British national representative of the vying or "bluffing" family of gambling games.It is a descendant of the Elizabethan game of Primero and one of the several ancestors to poker, the modern version just varying in betting style and hand rankings. It has been described as the "longest-standing British representative of the Poker family."
The rules of Brag first appear in 1721 in The Compleat Gamester where it is referred to as "The Ingenious and Pleasant Game of Bragg",but in fact, it originates in an almost identical game called Post and Pair which is recorded as far back as 1528 (as Post) and which, in turn, was descended from Primero. However, Brag introduced a key innovation over Post and Pair: the concept of wild cards known as 'braggers'. Initially there was just one, the Knave of Clubs; later the Nine of Diamonds was added. In parallel with this early three-stake game, in 1751 Hoyle describes a version of Brag with a shortened pack that only had a single phase – the vying or 'bragging' round – with special powers for certain Jacks and Nines, thus anticipating the modern single-stake game. In 1825, an early American account of Brag describes a much more elaborate single-stake game with a complex vying procedure. Not until 1860 are rules for both variants published in one compendium, whereby "Three Stake Brag" is virtually unchanged from the earliest rules and the version of "Single Brag" described is less complicated than its American cousin.
In a 1981 survey by Waddingtons, Brag was the fourth most popular card game in Britain.In 1992, Parlett stated that the classic three-stake variant (see Classic Brag below) was defunct; nevertheless, its rules were still being published in 2001.
The earliest published rules for any form of Brag appear in Richard Seymour's 1721 revision of Charles Cotton's The Compleat Gamester. They are less than complete, but with the aid of later descriptions, can be reconstructed.The following is based on Seymour, supplemented by The New Pocket Hoyle (1810).
Classic Brag is a three-stake game and players ante 3 stakes, one for each phase of the game. Eldest hand deals 3 cards to each player in turn, turning the last card dealt to each player face up. The game phases are:
In 1825, the first American account of Brag appeared in a New York edition of Hoyle's Games Improved. This was a far more elaborate variant based solely on the bragging phase of classic Brag.
Modern Brag, often called Three-Card Brag to distinguish it from its variants, is a single-stake game. Everyone antes, and players are each dealt three cards face down. There is a single round of betting, with action starting to the left of the dealer. Each player has the option of betting or folding. If there was a previous bet, the player must contribute at least that much more to the pot. (Unlike usual poker betting, a player's previous money contributed to the pot is ignored.) This betting continues until there are only two players left, at which point either player may double the previous bet to "see" his opponent. At this point, the two hands are revealed, and the player with the better hand takes the entire pot. If there is a tie, the player who is seeing loses.
For example, with four players A, B, C and D, this situation could occur: Player A bets 2 chips, B folds, C bets 2 chips and D bets 2 chips. In order to stay in, A would have to bet another 2 chips (at least).
Hands generally follow the same sequence as the five-card hands of poker with some variation created by the differing odds of a three-card hand. As there are only three cards, four of a kind and a full house are not possible. Three of a kind is a very high-ranked hand, while a straight beats a flush, as three-card flushes are more likely than three-card straights while the reverse is true of five-card poker hands. The full probabilities are as follows:
|Straight flush||Three suited cards in sequence||48||0.22%|
|Prial or Three of a kind||Three cards of same rank||52||0.24%|
|Straight||Three cards in sequence||720||3.26%|
|Flush||Three suited cards||1,096||4.96%|
|Pair||Two cards of same rank||3,744||16.94%|
|High card||None of the above||16,440||74.39%|
In Brag, three-of-a-kind is known as a prial , a word derived from "pair royal". As such, three sevens would be described as "a prial (of) sevens".
Some of these rules can also lead to games, especially heads-up, becoming tactical, with players avoiding making their best hand until their hand is forced into that last exchange by another player sticking, risking that the card that completes their hand isn't taken by another player in the meantime.
Players also have the option of playing blind (betting without looking at their cards). A blind player's costs are all half as much as an open (non-blind) player's. However, an open player may not see a blind player. If all other players fold to a blind player, the pot remains, everyone re-antes, and the blind player gets to keep his hand for the next round (in addition to the new one he is dealt). At any time, a player with two blind hands may look at one of them and decide whether to keep it or throw it away. If he keeps it, he throws away the other hand and is considered open. If he throws it away, he keeps the other hand and is still blind. If everyone folds to a blind player with two hands, he must throw away one without looking. As with many rules in card games, regional differences apply to this rule.
Another unusual custom of Brag is that the deck is rarely shuffled. Unless a hand is seen and won by a prial, the cards from the hand are just placed on the bottom of the deck, and the next hand is dealt without shuffling.
Oh Hell, Oh Pshaw or Nomination Whist is a trick-taking card game of British origin in which the object is to take exactly the number of tricks bid. Unlike contract bridge and spades, taking more tricks than bid is a fail. It was first described by B. C. Westall around 1930 and originally called Oh! Well. It was said to have been introduced into America via the New York clubs in 1931. It has been described as "one of the best round games."
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although the rules are simple, there is scope for scientific play.
Post and pair is a gambling card game that was popular in England in the 16th and 17th centuries — another name of the game was Pink. It is based on the same three-card combinations, namely prial, found in related games of this family.
Conquian, Coon Can or Colonel is a rummy-style card game. David Parlett describes it as an ancestor to all modern rummy games, and a kind of proto-gin rummy. Before the appearance of gin rummy, it was described as "an excellent game for two players, quite different from any other in its principles and requiring very close attention and a good memory to play it well".
Ranter-Go-Round is a primitive gambling game and children's game using playing cards. It is known in most European countries as Cuckoo; the French variant being called Coucou. Other English-language names include Chase the Ace, Cuckoo and, in America, as Screw Your Neighbor.
Brelan (Old French: brelenc is a famous French vying game with rapidly escalating bets from the seventeenth to nineteenth century, and hence also a name for a card player, gambler or the name of the place where the game was played. The game is quite similar to the game of Bouillotte, but it is not played anymore.
Rams is a European trick-taking card game related to Nap and Loo, and may be played by any number of persons not exceeding nine, although five or seven make a good game. In Belgium and France, the game of Rams is also spelt Rammes or Rems, in Germany, Rams, Rammes, Ramsch, Ramschen, Ramscheln or Ramsen, in Austria, Ramsen and Ramschen, and, in America, Rounce. The basic idea is fairly constant, but scoring systems vary. It was a widespread European gambling and drinking game that is still popular today. During the 19th century, it was introduced as Rounce in America and played with a 52-card deck without any difference between simples and doubles and with no General Rounce announcement. In the modern German variety of the game, Ramscheln, the 7♦ is the second best trump ranking next below the ace.
The following is a glossary of terms used in card games. Besides the terms listed here, there are thousands of common and uncommon slang terms. Terms in this glossary should not be game-specific, but apply to a wide range of card games. For glossaries that relate primarily to one game or family of similar games, see Game-specific glossaries.
Poch, Pochen or Pochspiel is a very old card game that is considered one of the forerunners of poker, a game that developed in America in the 19th century. An etymological relationship between the game names is also assumed. Games related to Poch are the French Glic and Nain Jaune and the English Pope Joan. Other forerunners of poker and possible relatives of the game are the English game, Brag, from the 16th century and the French Brelan and Belle, Flux et Trente-et-Un. Poch is recorded as early as 1441 in Strasbourg.
Newmarket is an English card game of the matching type for any number of players. It is a domestic gambling game, involving more chance than skill, and emerged in the 1880s as an improvement of the older game of Pope Joan. It became known in America as Stops or Boodle before developing into Michigan. In 1981, Newmarket was still the sixth most popular card game in Britain.
An Ace-Ten game is a type of card game, highly popular in Europe, in which the Aces and Tens are of particularly high value.
Slobberhannes is a trick-taking, American card game, possibly of German origin, for four players, in which the aim is to avoid taking the first and last tricks and the queen of clubs. Hoyle's describes it as "really quite an excellent game for the family circle" that "can be played with equal enjoyment either for counters or for small stakes."
Belle, Flux et Trente-et-Un, also called Les Trois Jeux or, in German, Dreisatz or Belle, Fluss und Einunddreißig, is an historical, gambling, card game that was widespread in France and Germany during the 17th and 18th centuries. As a relative of Brag and Poch, from which the game of Poker developed, it is of cultural-historical interest. Parlett records it as Best, Flush and Thirty-One.
Mauscheln, also Maus or Vierblatt, is a gambling card game that resembles Tippen, which is commonly played in Germany and the countries of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Bester Bube, Bester Bauer, Bester Buur, Beste Boeren (Holland), Fünfkart, Fiefkarten, Fiefkaart, Fiefkort or Fiefander (Holstein), or Lenter is an historical German card game for 3–6 players played with a Piquet pack. It is one of the Rams group of card games characterised by allowing players to drop out of the current game if they think they will be unable to win any tricks or a minimum number of tricks. It appears to be loosely related to Five-Card Loo.
Twenty-One, formerly known as Vingt-Un in Britain, France and America, is the name given to a family of popular card games of the gambling family, the progenitor of which is recorded in Spain in the early 17th century. The family includes the casino games of blackjack and Pontoon as well as their domestic equivalents. Twenty-One rose to prominence in France in the 18th century and spread from there to Germany and Britain from whence it crossed to America. Known initially as Vingt-Un in all those countries, it developed into Pontoon in Britain after the First World War and blackjack in Canada and the United States in the late 19th century, where the legalisation of gambling increased its popularity.
Lorum or Lórum is an old, Hungarian, compendium card game for 4 players. Although it is the ancestor of the French game, Barbu, it is still played today. It uses a German-suited pack of 32 cards and comprises 8 individual contracts, each with different rules, each of which is played four times so that a session consists of a total of 32 individual games and lasts about 1½ hours.
My Ship Sails is an English card game for children that is played with a 52-card French pack. It appears related to the 17th-century gambling game, My Sow's Pigg'd. In 19th century Shropshire, the latter game went under the name of Wizzy, Wizzy, Wee; the aim was to collect cards of the same suit, the first to do so throwing their hand on the table and crying "My sow's pigged!" or "Wizzy, wizzy, wee!".
Pontoon, formerly called Vingt-Un, is a card game of the banking family for three to ten players and the "British domestic version of Twenty-One," a game first recorded in 17th-century Spain, but which spread to France, Germany and Britain in the late 18th century, and America during the early 19th century. It is not, as popularly supposed, a variant of Blackjack nor is Pontoon derived from Blackjack, but both are descended from the early British version of Vingt-Un. In Britain, it first became known as Pontoon during the First World War, the name apparently being a soldier's corruption of its former French name. The games has no official rules and varies widely from place to place. It is a popular family game, but also widely played by children, students and in the armed forces. In 1981, Pontoon was the 3rd most popular card game in Britain after Rummy and Whist. It has been described as "an amusing round game and one which anyone can learn in a few minutes."
Laugh and Lie Down or Laugh and Lay Down is an historical English card game for five players and the earliest example of a European game of the fishing family.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Brag .|