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19484"Bone Ace" an Early Card Game

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  • Groomporter
    Mar 15, 2012
      I was going through some stray bits I've written and rediscovered this...

      Here's a really easy and fast moving card game that would be easy to play a few hands if you've got a spare 10 minutes at a reenactment or Renaissance faire, and would take no time at all to teach some patrons to play in the local Renfaire pub.

      Bone-Ace is an ancestor to modern Blackjack, and other related games such as One-and-Thirty and Vingt-et-un. It was mentioned as early as 1611 in a work called "The World of Wordes". Up to 8 players. The dealer deals three cards to the each player: two cards face down, and the third card face up. Play is divided into two parts:

      The "Bone," is the first part of the game: The player who is dealt the highest ranked card face-up wins the "Bone" and he receives one coin/chip from each of the other players. In the case of a tie, the player with the "elder hand"* wins. Aces are high and worth eleven points, and the Ace of Diamonds, or "Bone-Ace" beats all other cards.

      For the second part of the hand, the player whose hand comes closest to 31 points, without going over, wins. Face cards are valued at 10 points each; other cards are worth their face value.

      *The "elder hand" is a period term for whoever was dealt their cards first in that hand. So if you are dealing clockwise, the person to the dealer's left is the "eldest hand" for that round.

      MacGregor Historic Games