Pope Joan (card game)

 Pope Joan.

A game somewhat similar to Matrimony. It is played by any number, with an ordinary pack of cards, and a marking or pool board, to be had of most fancy stationers. The eight of diamonds must first be taken from the pack. After settling the deal, shuffling, &c, the dealer dresses the board. This he does by putting the counters into its several compartments—one counter or other stake to Ace, one each to King, Queen, Knave, and Game; two to Matrimony, two to Intrigue, and six to the nine of diamonds, styled the Pope. This dressing is, in some companies, at the individual expense of the dealer, though, the players usually contribute two stakes each towards the pool. 

The cards are then dealt round equally to every player, one turned up for trump, and about six or eight left in the stock to form stops. For example, if the ten of spades be turned up, the nine becomes a stop. The four kings, and the seven of diamonds, are always fixed stops, and the dealer is the only person permitted, in the course of the game, to refer occasionally to the stock for information what other cards are stops in their respective deals. If either ace, king, queen, or knave happen to be the turned-up-trump, the dealer may take whatever is deposited on that head; but when Pope be turned up, the dealer is entitled both to that and the game, besides a stake for every card dealt to each player. 

Unless the game be determined by Pope being turned up, the eldest hand begins by playing out as many cards as possible; first the stops, then Pope, if he have it, and afterwards the lowest card of his longest suit—particularly an ace, for that never can be led through. The other players follow, when they can, in sequence of the same suit, till a stop occurs. The player having the stop becomes eldest hand, and leads accordingly; and so on, until some player parts with all his cards, by which he wins the pool (game), and becomes entitled besides to a stake for every card not played by the others, except from any one holding Pope, which excuses him from paying. 

If Pope has been played, then the player having held it is not excused. King and Queen form what is called matrimony; queen and knave, when in the same hand, make intrigue; but neither these nor ace, king, queen, knave, or pope, entitle the holder to the stakes deposited thereon, unless played out; and no claim can be allowed after the board be dressed for the succeeding deal. In all such cases the stakes remain for future determination. Pope Joan needs only a little attention to recollect what stops have been made in the course of the play. For instance, if a player begin by laying down the eight of clubs, then the seven in another hand forms a stop, whenever that suit be led from any lower card; or the holder, when eldest, may safely lay it down, in order to clear his hand. 

Knowledge Talks Lowly.