1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pope-Joan

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POPE-JOAN, a round game of cards, named after a legendary female Pope of the 9th century. An ordinary pack is used, from which the eight of diamonds has been removed, and a special round board in the form of eight compartments, named respectively Pope-Joan, Matrimony, Intrigue, Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Game (King, Queen and Knave are sometimes omitted). Each player—any number can play—contributes a stake, of which one counter is put into the divisions Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Game, two into Matrimony and Intrigue, and the rest into Pope-Joan. This is called “dressing the board.” The cards are dealt round, with an extra hand for “stops,” i.e. cards which stop, by their absence, the completion of a suit; thus the absence of the nine of spades stops the playing of the ten. The last card is turned up for trumps. Cards in excess may be dealt to “stops,” or an agreed number may be left for the purpose, so that all players may have an equal number of cards. If an honour or “Pope” (nine of diamonds) is turned up, the dealer takes the counters in the compartment so marked. Sometimes the turning-up of Pope settles the hand, the dealer taking the whole pool. The Ace is the lowest card, the King the highest. The player on the dealer’s left plays a card and names it; the player who has the next highest then plays it, till a stop is played, i.e. a card of which no one holds the next highest. All Kings are of course stops, also the seven of diamonds; also the cards next below the dealt stops, and the cards next below the played cards. After a stop the played cards are turned over, and the player of the stop (the card last played) leads again. The player who gets rid of all his cards first takes the counters in “Game,” and receives a counter from each player for every card left in his hand, except from the player who may hold Pope but has not played it. The player of Ace, King, Queen or Knave of trumps takes the counters from that compartment. If King and Queen of trumps are in one hand, the holder takes the counters in “Matrimony”; if a Queen and Knave, those in “Intrigue”; if all three, those in the two compartments; if they are in different hands these counters are sometimes divided. Unclaimed stakes are left for the next pool. Pope is sometimes considered a universal “stop.”