Napoleon - Encyclopedia

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NAPOLEON, a round game of cards (known colloquially as "Nap"). Any number may play. The cards rank as at whist, and five are dealt to each player. The deal being completed, the player to the dealer's left looks at his hand and declares how many tricks he would play to win against all the rest, the usual rule being that more than one must be declared; in default of declaring he says "I pass," and the next player has a similar option of either declaring to make more tricks or passing, and so on all round. A declaration of five tricks is called "going Nap." The player who declares to make most has to try to make them, and the others, but without consultation, to prevent him. The declaring hand has the first lead, and the first card he leads makes the trump suit. The players, in rotation, must follow suit if able. If the declarer succeeds in making at least the number of tricks he stood for he wins whatever stakes are played for; if not he loses. If the player declaring Nap wins he receives double stakes all round; if he loses he only pays single stakes all round. Sometimes, however, a player is allowed to go "Wellington" over "Nap," and even "Blucher" over "Wellington." In these cases the caller of "Wellington" wins four times the stake and loses twice the stake, the caller of "Blucher" receives six times and loses three times the stake. Sometimes a player is allowed to declare misere, i.e. no tricks. This ranks, as a declaration, between three and four, but the player pays a double stake on three, if he wins a trick, and receives a single on three if he takes none.

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