What playing card is known as the "Curse of Scotland?"
The nine of diamonds playing card is often referred to as the Curse of Scotland or the Scourge of Scotland, there are a number of reasons given for this connection:
1) It was the playing card used by Sir John Dalrymple, the Earl of Stair, to cryptically authorize the Glencoe Massacre. Certainly there is a resemblance between the nine of diamonds and his coat of arms.
2) The Duke of Cumberland is supposed to have scribbled the order for "no quarter" to be given after the Battle of Culloden on a nine of diamonds playing card.
3) It has also been suggested that it is a misreading of the "Corse of Scotland" i.e. the "Cross of Scotland" or St Andrew's Saltire. There is a resemblance between the pattern of the nine of diamonds and the Saltire.
4) Nine diamonds were at one time stolen from the crown of Scotland and a tax was levied on the Scottish people to pay for them – the tax got the nickname "The Curse of Scotland".
5) The game of Comète being introduced by Mary of Lorraine (alternatively by James, Duke of York) into the court at Holyrood, the Nine of Diamonds, being the winning card, got this name in consequence of the number of courtiers ruined by it.
6) In the game of Pope Joan, the Nine of Diamonds is the Pope – a personage whom the Scotch Presbyterians consider as a curse.
7) Diamonds imply royalty and every ninth king of Scotland was a curse to his country.
Which of these bridge immortals acquired the most master points in tournament competition?
B. Oswald Jacoby
Grand Master Oswald Jacoby died in 1984 with 12,666.11 masterpoints. As of July, 2011, he was ranked 278th on the list of lifetime masterpoints. None of the others rank in the top 500.
What celebrity said:
"Many games provide fun, but bridge grips you. It exercises your mind. Your mind can rust, you know, but bridge prevents the rust from forming."
C. Omar Sharif
Sharif once said, "Acting may be my business, but bridge is my passion."
He also was quoted as saying, "There was a point when I became too keen. It was obsessive. I would play all the tournaments. I would not make certain films if they interfered with my bridge schedule. I dreamt about cards. I was driven by the competition. I was good at it and I wanted to be perfect. But bridge is like golf; you can never achieve perfection. You get better, but because it is a game of partnership there is no way you can get there. You need to perfect a system between you and your partner."
This popular TV game show has been used to explain the bridge theory of "restricted choice." Which show is it?
D. Let's Make a Deal
In contract bridge, the principle of restricted choice states that play of a particular card decreases the probability its player holds any equivalent card. For example, South leads a low spade, West plays a low one, North plays the queen, East wins with the king. The ace and king are equivalent cards; East's play of the king decreases the probability East holds the ace – and increases the probability West holds the ace. The principle helps other players infer the locations of unobserved equivalent cards such as that spade ace after observing the king. The increase or decrease in probability is an example of Bayesian updating as evidence accumulates and particular applications of restricted choice are similar to the Monty Hall problem.
The Monty Hall problem is a probability puzzle loosely based on the American television game show "Let's Make a Deal" and named after the show's original host, Monty Hall. The problem, also called the Monty Hall paradox, is a veridical paradox because the result appears odd but is demonstrably true. The Monty Hall problem, in its usual interpretation, is mathematically equivalent to the earlier Three Prisoners problem, and both bear some similarity to the much older Bertrand's box paradox.
The beer card is a slang term used to describe this playing card, particularly in trick-taking card games, such as bridge.
If a player wins the last trick of a hand with this card, his partner must buy him a beer. It is not considered as part of the rules of these games, merely as an informal side-bet between players. Which card is it?
The additional requirements vary depending whether the beer card trick winner is the declarer or one of the defenders. For the declarer, the requirements are generally that:
He must make contract.
He must win last trick with the ♦7.
Diamonds must not be trumps (though some people play that only diamond part scores are excluded).
He must take a justifiable line on the contract to win as many tricks as possible (i.e. not lose tricks to set up the beer or in order to keep the ♦7 until the last trick).
For a defender, the requirements are generally that:
Contract must be defeated.
He must win last trick with the beer card.
Diamonds must not be trumps.
He must try to win as many tricks as possible (i.e. not lose tricks to set up the beer or in order to keep the ♦7 until the last trick).
If the contract is doubled then two beers are earned. If the contract is redoubled then four beers are earned.
This is a style of playing bridge, normally in friendly play such as rubber bridge, in which the cards are not thoroughly shuffled between consecutive deals. The aim is to create deals where the suits are more unevenly distributed between the players, thus creating "wild" deals in order to make the game more vivid.
Goulash (also known as Ghoulie) dealing has variations; basically, each player sorts the cards from the previous deal by suits, and all four hands are stacked back in the deck. The deck is then cut once or twice, and cards are then dealt in groups of 4-5-4 or 5-5-3, instead of one at a time as usual.
Some players play a goulash in rubber bridge only when the previous deal was passed out; others play full goulash rubbers. In both cases, at least a game must be bid in the goulash deal, otherwise, the partial (part score) contract is discarded and the goulash redealt.
When goulash dealing is in effect, some players adjust their bidding principles in some or all of the following ways in order to accommodate the anticipated wildness of the deal:
Only five-card suits may be bid
Weak balanced hands (in 12-15 high card points range) are passed rather than opened
Preemptive openings are forbidden; instead, a high-level opening bid denotes the exact number of tricks the hand possesses.
Conventions are highly reduced, as opponents will often interfere and break up the subtle information exchange.
Doubles behind a bidder are for penalties, where they would usually be for take out.
Others use opening bids to identify aces or two-suited hands, or have other conventional meanings that aid in determining whether to bid or double in competition.
In tournament bridge, it is illegal to open 1NT with a singleton or void in your hand.
Bridge players have different understandings of what the rules are concerning opening notrump with a singleton. It is described, depending on who you ask, as illegal, immoral, unethical or fattening. The answer is almost always—none of the above.
The ACBL General Convention Chart states, "A notrump opening or overcall is natural if not unbalanced (generally, no singleton or void and only one or two doubletons)." Also from the General Chart is this definition of natural opening suit bids and responses: "An opening suit bid or response is considered natural if for minors it shows three or more cards in that suit and for majors it shows four or more cards in that suit."
Players who, by agreement, use opening bids that are not natural may use only the conventional methods permitted by the General Chart. If your notrump opening shows a balanced hand, you may occasionally pick up a hand with a singleton which you may want to treat as balanced. You may use your bridge judgment to open or overcall a notrump with a singleton, provided that:
It is a rare occurrence (no more than 1% of the time), Your partner expects you to have at least two cards in each suit, and You and your partner have no agreements which enable you to discover that partner has a singleton.
Which card is known by the nickname "suicide king?"
The king of hearts is the only king with no mustache, and is also typically shown with a sword behind his head, making him appear to be stabbing himself. This leads to the nickname "suicide king."
When the king is a singleton offside, play the ace, is very good advice indeed. It is also known as:
B. The Rabbi's Rule
The Rabbi's Rule is a satirical rule attributed to Mr. Milton Shattner of New York, nicknamed The Rabbi because of his most authoritative whimsical pronouncements and, as has been reported, stern observations after the play of the hand has been completed.
You arrive at a contract of 6NT. You need one of two finesses to succeed in order to make your slam. Your odds of making six are approximately:
The odds are actually 76%.
Look at it this way: If the first finesse wins (50% of the time) you make your contract. If it loses, you take the other finesse, which will win 50% of the time. 50% of 50% is 25%.
50% + 25% is 75% - you will make six (or seven) three quarters of the time. If you'd like to know why the odds are actually 76%, rather that 75%, read Dorothy Hayden Truscott's book "Bid Better, Play Better."