Online Encyclopedia

HEARTS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 135 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HEARTS, a game of cards of recent origin, though founded upon the same principle as many old games, such as Slobberhannes, Four Jacks and Emile, namely, that of losing instead of winning as many tricks as possible. Hearts is played with a full pack, ace counting highest and deuce lowest. In the fourhanded game, which is usually played, the entire pack is dealt out as at whist (but without turning up the last card, since there are no trumps), and the player at the dealer's left begins by leading any card he chooses, the trick being taken by the highest card of the suit led. Each player must follow suit if he can; if he has no cards of the suit led he is privileged to throw away any card he likes, thus having an opportunity of getting rid of his hearts, which is the object of the game. When all thirteen tricks have been played each player counts the hearts he has taken in and pays into the pool a certain number of counters for them, according to an arrangement made before beginning play. In the four-handed, or sweepstake, game the method of settling called " Howell's," from the name of the inventor, has been generally adopted, according to which each player begins with an equal number of chips, say 10o, and, after the hand has been played, pays into the pool as many chips for each heart he had taken as there are players besides himself. Then each player takes out of the pool one chip for every heart he did not win. The pool is thus exhausted with every deal. Hearts may be played by two, three, four or even more players, each playing for himself. Spot Hearts.—In this variation the hearts count according to the number of spots on the cards, excepting that the ace counts 14, the king 13, queen 12 and knave 11, the combined score of the thirteen hearts being thus 104. Auction Hearts.—In this the eldest hand examines his hand and bids a certain number of counters for the privilege of naming the suit to be got rid of, but without naming the suit. The other players in succession have the privilege of outbidding him, and whoever bids most declares the suit and pays the amount of his bid into the pool, the winner taking it. Joker Hearts.—Here the deuce of hearts is discarded, and an extra card, called the joker, takes its place, ranking in value between ten and knave. It cannot be thrown away, excepting when hearts are led and an ace or court card is played, though if an opponent discards the ace or a court card of hearts, then the holder of the joker may discard it. The joker is usually considered worth five chip's; which are either paid into the pool or to the player who succeeds in discarding the joker. Heartsette.—In this variation the deuce of spades is deleted and the three cards left after dealing twelve cards to each player are called the widow (or kitty), and are left face downward on the table. The winner of the first trick must take the widow without showing it to his opponents. Slobberhannes.—The object of this older form of Hearts is to avoid taking either the first or last trick or a trick containing the queen of clubs. A euchre pack (thirty two-cards, lacking all below the 7) is used, and each player is given 10 counters, one being forfeited to the pool if a player takes the first or last trick, or that containing the club queen. If he takes all three he forfeits four points. instrument is that it should always give, at least approximatel the same indication at the same temperature. The air-thermo scope of Galileo, illustrated in .fig. 1, which consisted of a glass bulb containing air, connected to a glass tube of small bore dipping into a coloured liquid, though very sensitive to variations of temperature, was not satisfactory as a measuring instrument, because it was also affected by variations of atmospheric pressure. The invention of the type of thermometer familiar at the present day, containing a liquid hermetically sealed in a glass bulb with a fine tube attached, is also generally attributed to Galileo at a slightly later date, about 1612. Alcohol was the liquid first employed, and the degrees, intended to represent thousandths of the volume of the bulb, were marked with small beads of enamel fused on the stem, as shown in fig. 2. In order to render the readings of such instruments comparable with each other, it was necessary to select a fixed point or standard temperature as the zero or starting-point of the graduations. In-stead of making each degree a given fraction of the volume of the bulb, which would be difficult in practice, and would give different values for the degree with different liquids, it was soon found to be preferable to take two fixed points, and to divide the interval between them into the same number of degrees. It was natural in the first instance to take the temperature of the human body as one of the fixed points. In 1701 Sir Isaac Newton proposed a scale in which the freezing-point of water was taken as zero, and the temperature of the human body as 12°. About the same date (1714) Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit proposed to take as zero the lowest temperature obtainable with a freezing mixture of ice and salt, and to divide the interval between this temperature and that of the human body into 12°. To obtain finer graduations the number was subsequently increased to 96°. The freezing-point of water was at that time supposed to be somewhat variable, because as a matter of fact it is possible to cool water several degrees below its freezing-point in the absence of ice. Fahrenheit showed, however, that as soon as ice began to form the temperature always rose to the same point, and that a mixture of ice or snow with pure water always gave the same temperature. At a later period he also showed that the temperature of boiling water varied with the barometric pressure, but that it was always the same at the same pressure, and might therefore be used as the second fixed point (as Edmund Halley and others had suggested) provided that a definite pressure, such as the average atmospheric pressure, were specified. The freezing and boiling-points on one of his thermometers, graduated as already explained, with the temperature of the body as 96°, came out in the neighbourhood of 32° and 212° respectively, giving an interval of 18o° between these points. Shortly after Fahrenheit's death (1736) the freezing and boiling-points of water were generally recognized as the most convenient fixed points to adopt, but different systems of subdivision were employed. Fahrenheit's scale, with its small degrees and its zero below the freezing-point, possesses undoubted advantages for meteorological work, and is still retained in most English-speaking countries. But for general scientific purposes, the centigrade system, in which The freezing-point is marked o° and the boiling-point loo°, is now almost universally employed, on account of its greater simplicity from an arithmetical point of view. For work of precision the fixed points have been more exactly defined (see THERMOMETRY), but no change has been made in the fundamental principle of graduation. 3. Comparison of Scales based on Expansion.—Thermometers constructed in the manner already described will give strictly comparable readings, provided that the tubes be of uniform bore, and that the same liquid and glass be employed in their Four Jacks (Polignac or Quatre-Valets) is usually played with a piquet pack, the cards ranking in France as at ecarte, but in Great Britain and America as at piquet. There is no trump suit. Counters are used, and the object of the game is to avoid taking any trick containing a knave, especially the knave of spades, called Polignac. The player taking such a trick forfeits one counter to the pool. Enfle (or Schwellen) is usually played by four persons with a piquet pack and for a pool. The cards rank as at Hearts, and there is no trump suit. A player must follow suit if he can, but if he cannot he may not discard, but must take up all tricks already won and add them to his hand. Play is continued until one player gets rid of all his cards and thus wins.
End of Article: HEARTS
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