What Card Games Did People Play in the 1700s?

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By Ralph Torres

Card games have been around for centuries and have evolved over time. In the 1700s, card games were a popular form of entertainment among people of all ages and social classes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the card games that were commonly played during this period.

The Games

Whist: Whist was a popular game in the 1700s that is still played today. It is a trick-taking game that requires four players.

The objective of the game is to win tricks by playing the highest card in each round. Players bid on how many tricks they think they can win before the game starts. Whist was often played in social gatherings and was considered a refined game.

Piquet: Piquet was another popular game during this period. It is a two-player game that involves taking tricks and forming combinations of cards to score points. Piquet was known for its complex rules and strategy, making it a favorite among skilled players.

Loo: Loo was a simple gambling game that required at least five players. Players would place bets on how many tricks they could win, and whoever won the most tricks would take home the pot. Loo was often played in taverns and pubs, making it a popular pastime for working-class people.

Faro: Faro was another gambling game that gained popularity in the 1700s. It involved placing bets on cards drawn from a deck, with players hoping to correctly guess which cards would be drawn next. Faro was known for its simplicity and fast-paced gameplay, making it ideal for those looking for an exciting way to pass the time.

The Culture

In addition to being popular pastimes, card games also had cultural significance during this period. They were often used as a way to socialize with others and establish social hierarchies. Playing card games was seen as a refined activity that demonstrated one’s intelligence and sophistication.

Card games also played a role in literature and art during this period. For example, the French painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin depicted card games in several of his paintings, highlighting the importance of these games in everyday life.

The Legacy

Today, many of the card games played in the 1700s are still popular among players around the world. Whist, for example, is still played today and is considered a classic game of strategy and skill. Piquet has also remained popular among skilled players who enjoy its complex rules and strategy.

Additionally, card games have continued to play a role in popular culture. They have been featured in countless books, movies, and TV shows over the years, demonstrating their enduring appeal.

In conclusion, card games were an important part of life in the 1700s. From refined games like Whist to simpler gambling games like Loo and Faro, these pastimes provided entertainment for people from all walks of life. Today, they continue to be enjoyed by people around the world and have left an indelible mark on our cultural history.