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Interesting old Whist book (pre-history of bridge)

The Evolution of Whist  by William Pole

The complete text of this 1895 book is available online.  Link:

Check out the extensive Table of Contents to get a good flavor of what's available within.

Among many, many nuggets, there is:

   -  the development of "fourth best" leads.  (Someone realized that the old maxims of "lowest from 4", "penultimate from 5", and "anti-penultimate from 6" were more easily expressed as "fourth best!"

   - a very old debate as to whether it was fair to have private signaling methods between partners.  (Full disclosure won out. Attributed to "Paley's Moral Philosophy", published in 1785)



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