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The Royal Game of the Ombre Written at the Request of divers Honourable Persons—1665   By:

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[Transcribers note: This transcription was made from a copy of the work held in the British Library as Jessel 1249. Original spelling and punctuation has been preserved where possible.]

The Royal Game of the Ombre.

Written At the Request of divers Honourable Persons.


Printed for Thomas Palmer, at the Crown in Westminster Hall, 1665.

The Royal Game of the Ombre.

L'Ombre is a Spanish Game at Cards, as much as to say, The Man: so he who undertakes to play the Game, sayes Jo so l'Ombre, or, I am the Man. And 'tis a common saying with the Spaniards, (alluding to the name) that the Spanish l'Ombre as far surpasses the French le Beste, as a Man do's a Beast, There are divers sorts of it, of which, this (which we shall only treat of, and which chiefly is in vogue) is called the Renegado, for reasons better supprest then known.

How many can play at it, and with what Cards they are to play.

There can only three play at it, and they are dealt nine Cards a piece: so by discarding the Eights, Nines, and Tens out of the Pack, there remains thirteen Cards in the Stock.

Of the Trump

There is no turning up Trump, nor no Trump but what the Player pleases, the first hand having alwayes the choice to play or pass, after him the second, &c.

Of the Stakes

For Stakes there are two sorts of Marks or Counters, the greater and the less; for example if you value the great ones at 12. pence, the lesser may be pence the piece (and so according as you please) of which great Marks you stake each one one for the Game: and the lesser for passing, for the hand, if you be eldest, and for taking in, giving for each Card you take in, one Mark or Counter.

Of the names of the Cards, and order in ranking them

Of the Black Suits

1. The Spadillio, or Ace of Spades. 2. The Mallilio, or black Deuces of either suit. 3. The Basto, or Ace of Clubs. 4. The King. 5. Queen. 6. Knave. 7. Seven. 8. Six. 9. Five. 10. Four. 11. And Three.

Of the Red Suits

1. The Spadillio, or Ace of Spades. 2. The Mallilio, or Sevens of either Suit. 3. The Basto, or Ace of Clubs. 4. The Punto, or Ace of Hearts or Diamonds according as they are Trump. 5. The King. 6. The Queen. 7. The Knave. 8. The Deuce. 9. The Three. 10. The Four. 11. The Five. 12. The Six.


By this you see first that the Spadillio, or Ace of Spades is always the first Card, and alwayes Trump, be the Trump what suit soever; and the Basto, or Ace of Clubs alwayes the third. Secondly, the of Black, there are but eleven Trumps, and of Red twelve. Thirdly, that the Red Ace enters into the fourth place when it is Trump, and then is called the Punto, otherwise 'tis only rank'd after the Knave, and is only call'd the Ace. Fourthly, that (excepting the Deuces of Black, and Sevens of Red, which are call'd the Mallilio's, and are alwayes the second Cards when they are Trumps) the least small Cards of the Red are alwayes best, and the greatest of the Black.

Of the Matadors.

The Matadors or killing Cards, as the Spadillio, Mallilio, and Basto, are the three chief Cards, and for these, when they are all in a hand (else not) the others pay three of the greater Marks or Counters the piece; and though there be no counting the Matadors without these three, yet these three for foundation, you may count as many as you have Cards in an interrupted series of Trumps; for all which the others are to pay you one Mark or Counter, the piece, even to nine sometimes.

Of taking in, and the order and manner of it.

1. Who has the first Hand, has choice of playing the Game, of naming the Trump, and of taking in as many of or as few Cards as he pleases, and after him the second, &c. 2. Having once demanded whether any one will play without taking in , you oblige your self to take in, though your Game be never so good: wherefore you are well to consider it before. 3. If you name not the Trump before you look on the Cards which you have taken in, any other may prevent you, and name what Trump they please... Continue reading book >>

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