Playing card games as children in the 1950s
by James K. Sayre
My younger brother and sister and I would sometimes play card games for fun and amusement. Rarely, we could rope our parents into playing, too. Sometimes, when we visited the Sayre grandparents in Detroit, we played card games with them.
Go Fish - a card-set matching game, that was great for kids: easy to learn and play; and great fun when you could tell someone to "go fish"...
Old Maid - a version of Rummy with one extra card, the dreaded "Old Maid."
Rummy - another basic, card set matching game.
Crazy Eights - another rummy-like matching card game where all of the "eights" are "crazy," i. e., they can be used in a number of ways to help increae the scoring value of one's hand.
I Doubt It - a card game that is often hysterically funny, when someone's discard gets challenged with the phrase, "I doubt it!" and the discarding player has to pick up a giant pile of cards. The person who gets rid of all their cards first is the winner.
Hearts - another card-set matching game, where you try to basically avoid taking tricks containing cards with heart suit or the Queen of Spades.
Canasta - a more complicated card set matching game, originally invented in Uruguay, in South America. "Canasta" means "basket" in Spanish, probably a reference to the pile of cards facedown in the middle of the table.
Poker - The best part of playing poker was the big set of red, white and blue plastic interlocking chips that we had. Poker required the knowledge of the relative rankings of the values the cards and of different hands: high card, one pair, two-pairs, three-of-a-kind, straight, full house, four-of-a-kind, flush, straight flush and the best of all, the royal flush. Of course, now fifty some years later, we really need to flush the royalty out of the White House and our federal government.
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Web page last updated on 18 October 2007.