MISSISSIPPI HEART HAND

During the days when Whist was all the rage, bets were placed on the outcome. Gambling with cards had become a passion among card players, which created the profession of card shark. A similar hand to the one below was reported by Hoyle in 1747, an era when players were also placing bets on different players. The hand below was first described and published by Mr. Thomas Matthews in 1804. It represents a hand which Mississippi card sharks on the riverboats would sucker innocent victims to lose their money and/or to bet their money on fixed hands. It was also a manner during the Civil War period among the Yankee players to dupe the Southerners, who would place heavy bets on the outcome. In any case, such hands became very popular among card professionals and card cheaters during the era of Bridge Whist.

105432
5432
5432
8765432
AKQJ109
J9876
876
109876
AKQ
AKQJ109
AKQJ
South, the declarer and/or sucker, would bid game, if not slam, on his holding. However, as the cards lie, South is unable to make a game contract, much less a slam in any denomination. The best South can do is to take 9 tricks in a Spade contract or 10 tricks in a Club contract. Of course, the lead by West would always be a Diamond.

The sucker bet would be made on the guideline set forth by Bridge Whist, that any contract could be doubled and redoubled ad infinitum, or until the card professionals thought would be the upper limit of the paying ability of the victim.

It is reported that a Mr. Charles M. Schwab had to pay a minimum of $10,000 when playing South as the victim. Mr. Charles M. Schwab donated the Schwab Cup to the bridge community, which, beginning in 1962, is the prize of the World Pair Olympiad. It was first presented by Mr. Charles M. Schwab in 1933 for the contest between the United States and England. This cup, originally presented to the winner of this match by Mr. Charles M. Schwab, was later donated to the World Bridge Federation by the Culbertson heirs.

 

 

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