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1 Long Tom: The game be Ruff and Honours. We be playin’ in teams. Me and Wendy against you two.
2 Ponsonby: We are civilised men! We know how to play at cards!
3 Long Tom: Arrr! Then I won’t be needin’ tae be explainin’ the gamblin’ part.
4 Ponsonby: What does this red diamond shape mean?
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Ruff and honours is an English card game that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries Over time the rules evolved and the game changed into Whist, which in turn evolved into Bridge whist, Auction bridge, and then Contract bridge, the most popular modern form of the game.
The early Whist-like variants had a trump suit determined randomly. This evolved into the players performing a pre-trick-play auction for the right to choose the trump suit. This adds a lot of strategic depth because during the auction some information is revealed to the opposing team. You need to balance that against the chance to control the hand and score points by winning the bid.
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