Robert Frederick Foster

 

Mr. Robert Frederick Foster, 1853 - 1945, received a notice in the Times Magazine on January 7, 1946, on the date of his death. The notice is as follows. His exact date of death is unknown and most records show that he died in December 1945. It is therefore quite appropriate for the Times Magazine to make the notification in its first issue of the new year of 1946.

Died: Robert Frederick Foster, 92, Scottish-born ultimate authority on parlor Cames (Foster's Hoyle), who specialized in bridge, also knew all about poker, chess, cinch, dice, hearts, whist, skat, Russian bank (his favorite), dominoes; in Eastham, Mass.

As an author Mr. Robert Frederick Foster was very prolific and became quite popular with his readership. He was also considered the ultimate authority on many parlour games, card games, and gambling in general. He collected, indexed, and organized the rules, regulations and guidelines for such competitive mind sports, which he then proceeded to publish for the general consumption.

To date he continues to influence bridge players around the world with his development of the Foster Echo, which is that he recommended that the third player in a No Trump contract play his second-highest card on the first trick when he could not beat the card played on his right. His main concern was to provide for unblocking, but his echo can be most useful to bridge defenders when the cards involved are trivial. Also defined as a third-hand unblocking play against a No Trump contract intended to show count. With a 4-card holding, the first play is the second highest, followed by the third highest, with the lowest being played last. With a 3-card holding, the first play is second highest and the second is the highest, saving the lowest for last.

Owing to the rather pre-century date of publication for many of the books we have had to rely heavily on archival material and bibliographic lists for most of the following information, which is presented in alphabetical order, not a chronological order. The list is by no means complete and any correction or contribution would be greatly appreciated, as would any information about the private person.

Several of the following publications were published privately and only promoted in other publications by Mr. R.F. Foster, who had them privately published. This is the main source if no specifics are provided. We have attempted to be as accurate as possible regarding dates and publishing houses, but would appreciate any assistance or corrections. A particular feature of several of these publications is the fact that they were updated on almost an annual basis, and therefore there exist many publications carrying the same title but with different content.

 

Advanced Auction Bridge, 1911

Auction Bridge: Containing the Official Laws of Auction Bridge as Adopted and Used by the Leading Clubs, c1908, Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, United States, LC: 08034684

Auction Bridge: Containing the Official Laws of Auction Bridge as Adopted and Used by the Leading Clubs, Illustrated With Numerous Diagrams, c1900, Publisher: F.A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, LC: 09003376

Bridge For Advanced Players: A Complete Exposition of the Modern Theory of Distribution and Approaching Bids with the Latest Rules and Scoring for Contract Bridge; The Full Code of the Official Laws for 1929 and 100 deals from actual plays, c1929, Publisher: Greenberg, NewYork, New York, LC: 29009084

Bridge Maxims, 1904, Publisher: Thomas de la Rue and Co., London, England, and 1905, Publisher: Brentano's, New York, New York, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Contract Bridge Simplified, c1930, Publisher: Greenberg, New York, New York, LC: 30032382

Common Sense In Whist, 1898, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York

Notice to Subscribers: This is the first edition of a work which is intended to be a whist-player's annual, something on the plan of books issued for the benefit of amateur photographers, giving up to date. Next year the work will be entirely re-written, and will embody such modifications as may be suggested by the pactical experience of those who shall try the tactics outlined in the present work, and will send to the author their criticisms on the various elements of strategy herein touched upon. Only one thousand copies of this edition will be printed, and they will be sold entirely by subscription, $1 a copy, which should be sent directly to the publisher. F.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Foster On Auction: A Complete Exposition of the latest developments of Modern Auction, with the full Code of the Official Laws and 130 deals from actual play, 1918, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B0008AEQPW

Foster On Auction: A Complete Exposition of the Latest Developments of Modern Auction, 1920, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B000H58XLG

Foster On Auction: A Complete Exposition of the Latest Developments of Modern Auction, with the full Code of the Official Laws and 135 Deals, 1921, Publisher: Thomas De La Rue, London, England, ISBN: B0008D0KK4

Foster On Auction: A Complete Exposition of the Latest Developments of Modern Auction including the most recent variations, "Contract Bridge", "Stop-Gap" and "Dummy-Up", with the Full Code of the Official Laws and 137 deals from actual play, c1922, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B0008727GK, LC: 22003476; also 1926, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B000859JUE

Foster On Auction and Contract, 1929, Publisher: Thomas de la Rue, London, England

Foster's American Leads and How to Learn Them, 1894, (34 pages), Publisher: Brentano's, New York, New York and Chicago, United States, Illinois, LC: 28010159, LCCN: 28010159, OCLC: 4895809

Foster's Auction Bridge, 1929

Foster's Auction Bridge For All, 1916; also Foster's Auction Bridge For All, 1920, Publisher: F.A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B00089CU6A

Foster's Auction Bridge Up-To-Date: Containing the Official Laws of Auction Bridge as adopted 1910 by the Whist Club of New York, 1910, Publisher: F.A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B00087GGW6

Foster's Auction Made Easy: A Textbook for the Beginner, The Average Player and The Expert, 1922, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B0008BXMCO

Foster's Auction Made Easy: With Illustrative Hands: A Textbook for the Beginner, The Average Player and The Expert, 1921, Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., London, England, ISBN: B000HKW4NY

Foster's Bridge - A Complete System Of Instruction In The Game, 1901

Foster's Bridge - A Complete System Of Instruction In The Game, 1903

Foster's Bridge For Beginners, 1927

Foster's Bridge Manual: A Complete System of Instruction in the Game, 1900, Publisher: Brentano's, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England; Revised Edtion, 1902

Foster's Bridge Tactics - A Complete System Of Self-Instruction, 1903, Publisher: Mudie and Sons, London, England, and F. Warne and Co., New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Foster's Bridge Tactics - A Complete System Of Self-Instruction, 1906

Foster's Common Sense Leads and How to Learn Them, 1898, Publisher: Brentano's, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Foster's Complete Bridge, 1905, Publisher: MacClure & Phillips, New York, United States

Foster's Complete Bridge: Together with The Laws, 1906, Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. / Mudie & Sons

Foster's Complete Bridge: With a Description of Auction Bridge, and Twelve Other Variations, together with the Official Laws of the Game, 1910, Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., London, England, ISBN: B0008B7WZ2

Notation included: 'This is indubitably the most complete book of its kind that has been produced. All the important games are fully treated of, and it contains descriptions of many of the games of the Continent of Europe, of Asia and of South America Games of the Whist Family occupy 173 pages, treating of over twenty different varieties.'

Reprints are listed below according to year. Not all are included:

Foster's Complete Hoyle. An Encyclopedia of all the Indoor Games Played at the present day: With suggestions for Good Play, a Full Code of Laws, Illustrative Hands, and a Brief Statement of the Doctrine of Chances as Applied to Games. Illustrated With Numerous Diagrams and Engravings, 1897, Publisher: F.A. Stokes, New York, New York, United States, and Lawrence and Bullen, London, England, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Foster's Complete Hoyle: An Encyclopedia of games, revised and enlarged, with Revisions of the Laws of Auction Bridge, including all indoor games played today, 1922, Publisher: F.A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B00086KSUI

Foster's Complete Hoyle: An Encyclopedia of Games Revised and Enlarged with Revisions to the Laws of Auction Bridge, Including All Indoor Games Played Today with Suggestions for Good Play, Illustrative Hands and All Official Laws to Date, 1931, Publisher: F.A. Stokes Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B000L1VO4O

Foster's Complete Hoyle; An Encyclopedia of Games, including all indoor games played to-day, with suggestions for good play, illustrative hands, and all Official Laws to date, (Revised with the Complete Laws of Contract, Duplicate Contract Bridge, and Canasta), c1953, Publisher: Lippincott, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, LC: 53010219

Foster's Complete Hoyle: An Encyclopedia of Games, including Illustrative Hands and Suggestions for Good Play, 1963, Publisher: Lippincott, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, LC: 75019113

Foster's Contract Bridge: Including Mayonnaise, Goulash And Dummy Up, 1927

Foster's Contract Bridge: With the New Rules and Scoring

Foster's Duplicate Whist: A Complete System Of Instruction In Whist Strategy, 1894, Publisher: Bretano's, New York, New York, United States. Respectfully Dedicated to the Members of The Capitol Bicycle Club Team, ASIN: B0008BXMMO (date: 1892)

Foster's Duplicate Whist: A Complete System of Instruction in Whist Stategy, 1894, Publisher: Brentano's, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Foster's Modern Bridge Tactics, 1925

Foster's Pirate Bridge: The Latest Development of Auction Bridge, with the full Code of the Official Laws, 1917, Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, New York, United States, ISBN: B000866AQO

Foster's Pocket Guide, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York, United States

Foster's Self-Playing Cards, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York, United States

Foster's Simplified Auction Bridge: With the New Laws, 1926, Publisher: Pamphlet published in Greenberg, ISBN: B000KPBCMU

Foster's Whist At A Glance, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York, United States

Foster's Whist Inferences, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York, United States

Foster's Whist Manual: A Complete System of Instruction in the Game, 1885?, Publisher: Brentano, New York, New York, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England, (The Third Edition was revised to include 'American Leads', 1894); also 2007, Publisher: Read Books, ISBN-10: 1406789232 / ISBN-13: 978-1406789232

Foster's Whist Tactics, Publisher: R.F. Foster, 560 Hancock Street, Brookly, New York, New York, United States

Guide To Modern Whist, 1892, Publisher: C. Goodall and Son, London, England, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Hoyle's Games, (Revised and brought Up-To-Date with Complete Instructions in the Forcing Approach System of Contract Bridge, c1931, Publisher: A.L. Burt Company, New York, New York, United States, LC: 31017191

Modern Bridge Tactics, 1925

Royal Auction Bridge With Nullos, 1914, Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes, New York, New York, United States; also Royal Auction Bridge With Nullos, 2007, ISBN-10: 1406767921 / ISBN-13: 978-1406767926

Royal Auction Bridge: With Full Treatment of the New Count, Including The Official Laws of Auction Bridge as Adopted by the Whist Club of New York and Revised in December 1911, 1912 / 1914, Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes, New York, New York, United States

Scientific Auction Bridge,

Self-Playing Whist Cards: With Sheet of Directions For Playing 40 Games and 160 Hands, 1890, Publisher: R.F. Foster, New York, New York, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England; Second Series contained 128 Hands, 1894; reprint 1903, Publisher: Mudie and Sons, London, England

The Gist of Bridge. Containing a Complete Description of the Game, its Laws, and all the Rules for Declaring, Doubling, Leading, Unblocking, Finessing, and the Eleven Rule, 1904, Publisher: Dick and Fitzgerald, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

The Gist of Bridge, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bridge and Auction Bridge by W. Dalton, 1910, Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes Company, Bibliography, page 361

Vanity Fair's Bridge Problems, 1932

Whist Leads At A Glance, 1889, Publisher: R.F. Foster, New York, New York, United States, and Mudie and Sons, London, England, Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

Whist Tactics: A Complete Course of Instruction in the Methods Adopted by the Best Players, Illustrated by 112 Hands Played by Correspondence Between 16 of the Best Players in the American Whist League, 1895, Publisher: Mudie and Sons, London, England, and F.A. Stokes, New York, New York, United States. Source: Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards And Gaming by Norton T. Horr, 1905, Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London, England

 

Also: Ma Jongg (or: Mah Chong; or: Ma Chiang) Publications: http://www.jaegerstudio.com/mjlibrary.htm

Foster, Robert Frederick, The American code of laws for mah jong, mixed-hand game, one-double game, cleared-hand game,
New York, New York, United States. John H. Smith, 1924. [38] p. illus. 16 cm.

Foster, Robert Frederick, Foster on mah jong,
New York, New York, United States. Dodd, Mead and company, 1924. ix, 262 p. illus. 19 cm. 1
Included copy of Foster's Mah Jong Score Card

Foster, Robert Frederick, Foster’s 10-point Mahjong Scorecard 1924

Foster, Robert Frederick, Foster’s 20-point Mahjong Scorecard 1924

Foster, Robert Frederick, Foster’s Mah Jong Score Card 19231
Included in Foster on mah jong

Foster, Robert Frederick, Hoyle’s Games; Autograph Edition
A. L. Burt Co., 1926. xiv, 431 p. 1

Foster, Robert Frederick, The laws of mah jong (pung chow, etc.) for 1924, as proposed for the American game,
New York, New York, United States. Vanity fair [c1923] 45 p. 15 cm.

Foster, Robert Frederick, Twenty-point mah jong, with the American standard code of laws for all forms of the game,
New York, New York, United States. Dodd, Mead and company, 1924. xi, 157 p. illus. 19 cm.

 

 

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