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Article: Instructions for Commerce

Instructions for Commerce -
Court Cards

Instructions for Commerce

Catherine was disturbed and out of spirits; but Isabella seemed to find a pool of commerce, in the fate of which she shared, by private partnership with Morland, a very good equivalent for the quiet and country air of an inn at Clifton.

Northanger Abbey

How to Play Commerce

Card parties were a common way to while away an evening. Whether as a small group in a private home, or as an alternative to dancing at an assembly or ball, they were an acceptable pastime for anyone in any staion.


For more information on card parties, visit The Georgian Index.

Deck: 52 card deck with Aces high


Players: 3 to 12

Object: To finish with the best hand
Highest: 3 of a kind, called a Tricon 
Next: 3 Cards of a suit and sequence 
Last: The greatest pip-value of 2 or 3 cards of the same suit, counting Acesa s 11, Court Cards as 10 and others at numerical value. If equal, a 3 card flush beats a 2 card one. If still equal, the tied player nearest in turn after the dealer wins.

Preliminaries: Each player contributes to the pot. The dealer deals 3 cards to each player.

English playing cards from about 1750 Play: The player to the left of the dealer bids to buy or trade. To buy, she gives a chip to the dealer for a card from the deck and discards a card which is placed at the bottom of the deck. To trade, she offers to pass a card to the player on her left in exchange for one given to her. If the player agrees to trade, the exchange is made without looking at the cards being received. No chip is paid. If a player does not buy or trade on the first opportunity, she cannot do it during the reamining play of the hand. If she buys or trades, she may buy or trade on a later turn. Trading can only occur to the left. Play continues with each in turn having the opportunity to buy or trade until a player "knocks." A player knocks when she is content with her hand. All hands must then be shown and the winner determined.


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