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other's cards, while the latter were denied the same privilege.
It is an axiom, that the nearer your play approaches what is called the dumb man, the better.
These may be called the foundation of the game, and are so merely mechanical, that any one possessed of a tolerable memory may attain them.
After which comes the more difficult science of posi. tion, or the art of using the two former to advantage; without which, it is self evident, they are of no use. Ato tentive study and practice will, in some degree, ensure success; but genius must be added before the whole finesse of the game can be acquired-however,
Est quiddam prodire tenus, si non datur ultra.
MATHEWS'S Directions and Maxims for Beginners. . 1. Study all written maxims with the cards placed before you, in the situations mentioned. Abstract die rections puzzle, much oftener than they assist, the beginner.
2. Keep in your mind that general maxims presuppose the game and hand at their commencement; and that material changes in them frequently require that a different mode of plav should be adopred.
3. Do not attempt the practice, till you have acquired a competent knowledge of the theory; and avoid as much as possible, at first, sitting down with bad players. It is more difficult to eradicate erroneous, than to acquire just. ideas.
4. Never lead a card without a reason-though a wrong one : it is better than accustoming yourself to play at random.
5. Do not at first puzzle yourself with many calcula. tions. Those you will find hereafter mentioned are suffi. cient, even for a proficient.
6. Do not accustom vourself to judge by consequences. Bad succeeds sometimes, when good play would not. When you see an acknowledged judge of the game play in a manner you do not comprehend, get him to explain his reasons, and while fresh in your memory, place the same cards before you: when once you can comprehend the case, you will be able to adapt it to similar situations.
7. Before you play a card, sort your hand carefully, look at the trump card, and consider the score of the game, the strength of your own band, and form your plan on the probable situation of the cards, subject how. ever to be changed, should any thing fall to indicate a different one: after which, never look at your hand till you are to play. Without attending to the board, no maxims or practice can make even a tolerable whist player.
8. Observe, silently and attentively, the different sys. tems of those with whom you commonly play: few but have their favourite one, the knowledge of which will give you a constant advantage; one leads by preference from an ace; another never but through necessity. This will often direct you in putting on the king second. The players of the old school never lead from a single card without six trumps; many do from weakness; some have a trick of throwing down high cards to their adversary's lead, and then affect to consider (though they have no alternative to deceive. Observation will enable you to counteract this, and turn it to your own profit.
9. The best leads are froin sequences of three cards or more. If you have none, lead from your most numerous suit, if strong in trumps, and rather from one headed ny a king than a queen ; but with three or four small truinps. I shouini prefer leading from a single card to a long weak suit.
S is contrary to the usual practice, especially of the players of the old school.
10. The more plainly you demonstrate your hand to your partner, the better. Be particularly cautious not to deceive him in his or your own leads, or when he is likely to have the lead-a concealed gaine may now and then succeed in the suits of your adversaries; but this should not be atteinpted before you have made a considerable proficiency: and then but seldom, as its frequency would destroy the effect.
11. At the commenceinent of a game, if you have a good hand, or if your adversaries are considerably ad. yanced in the score, play a bold game; if otherwise, a more cautious one.
12. Be as careful of what you throw away, as what you lead; it is often of bad consequence to put down a tray, with a deuce in your band. Suppose your partner leads the four, your right hand adversary the five, and you put down the tray, it ought to be to a certainty, that you ruff it next time; but if he finds the deuce in your band, and you frequently deceive him by throwing down superior cards, it will destroy his confidence, and prevent his playing his game on similar occasions. I would wish to inculcate these miuor qualifications of whist playing to the beginners, because they are attainable by every body; and when once the great advantage of this kind of correctness is seen, the worst player would practise it as constanly as the best, attention being all that is necessary.
13. Do not lead trumps, merely because an honour is Jurned up on your left, or be deterred from it if on your right hand. Either is proper, if the circumstances of your hand require trumps to be led; but neither otherwise.
14. Finesses are generally right in trumps, or (if strong in them) in other suits; otherwise they are not to be risked but with caution.
15. Never ruff an uncertain card, if strong, or omis doing it if weak, in trumps this is one of the few uni. versal maxims, closely adhered to, even did you know the best of the suit was in our partner's hand : it has the double advantage of making a useless trump, and letting your partner into the state of your hand, who will play accordingly
16. Keep the command of your adversary's suit, as long as you can with safety; but never that of your partner.
17. Do not ruff a thirteenth card second hand if strong, but always if weak in trumps
18. Always force the strong, seldom the weak, but never the iwo; otherwise you play your adversaries' game, and give the one an opportunity of making his small trumps, while the other throws away his losing cards. It is a very general as well as fatal error, but the extent of it is seldom comprehended by uuskilful play. ers, who, seeing the good effects of judicious forces, practise them injudiciously to their almost constant disadvantage The following effect of a force is too obvi. ous not to be instantly comprehended. I have only to iell the student, that the same prmciple operates through the fifty-two cards, however various their combinations; and that a steady consideration of it, as one of the first necessary steps towards acquiring an insight into the game.
A has a sizieme major in trumps, a quart-major in a second, and a terce major in a third suit. B, his adversary, has six small trumps, and the entire command of the fourth suit; in this case it is obvious, that one force on A gains the odd trick for B, who without it loses a slam. Though so great an effect may seldom be pro. duced, still there is scarcely a rubber where the truth of the maxim is not experimentally demonstrated.
19. When, with a very strong suit you lead trumps, in hope your partner may command them, show your suit first. If you have the strength in trumps in your hand, play them originally.
20. With the ace and three other trumps, it is seldora right to win the first or second leads in that suit, if made by your adversaries, unless your partner ruffs some other.
21. With a strong hand in trumps, particularly if you have a long suit, avoid ruffing, and still inore over-ruffing vour right hand adversary, as much as possible. As this is a maxim less understood, less practised, and more indispensably necessary, than almost any other, I will endeavour to explain it to beginners, as clearly as I am capable :-Cards being nearly equal, the point to which all the manœuvres of a good whist player tend, is to establish a long suit, to preserve the last trump to bring it into play, and to frustrate the same play of his adversa. ries. With an honour (or even a ten) with three other trumps, by well inanaging them, you have a right to expect success. In this case, do not overtrump your right hand adversary early in the hand; but throw away a losing card, by which, there remaining but twelve trump ; your own hand is strengthened, and vour partner has the tenace in whatever suit is led; whereas, had you over-ruffed, you would have given up the whole game to secure one trick. But there are reasons for breaking this rule. 1st. If your left hand adversary has shown a decided great hand in trumps, (in which case make vour tricks while you can) or, 2dly. If your partner decidedly means to force you. To understand if this is the case, you are to observe, if your partner plays the winning or losing card of the suit you have refused. If the for. mer, it is by no means clear he means to force you, and play your own game. If the latter, you are to suppose him strong in trumps, and depend on him to protect your long suit: a due reflection on this, will convince you of the value of that maxim, which enjoins you ne. ver to play a strong game with a weak hand, or vice versa. A few deviations from this effectually destroys that confidence necessary between partners, and intro. duces a confusion and consequences that cannot be too carefully avoided, or too strenuously deprecated.
22. If the circumstances of your hand require two certain leads in trumps. play off your ace, let your other trumps be what they may. .
23 It is a general maxim not to force your partner, unless strong in trumps yourself. There are, however, many exceptions to this rule: as,