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BRAG, a very old game of cards, probably evolved from the ancient Spanish primero, played by five or six, or more players. It is the ancestor of poker. A full pack is used, the cards ranking as at whist, with certain exceptions. There are no trumps. Each player receives three cards and puts up three stakes. The last round is dealt face upwards: the holder of the highest card irrespective of suits wins the first stake from all the players. In the case of equality the elder hand wins, but the ace of diamonds is always a winning card. For the second stake the players brag or bet against each other, if they hold either a pair, or a pair-royal (three cards of the same rank). Pairs and pairs-royal take precedence according to the value of the cards composing them, but any pair-royal beats any pair. The knave of clubs may be counted as any card, e.g. two twos and the knave of clubs rank as a pair-royal in twos; two aces and the knave as a pair-royal in aces. Sometimes the knave of diamonds is allowed the same privilege, but is inferior to the club knave; e.g. two threes and the club would beat the other two threes and the diamond. Players who accept another's brag must cover his. bet and offer another. The third stake is won by the player whose cards make 31 or are nearest to 31 by their pips, aces and court counting ten; but the ace may by arrangement count as 1 or 11. Players may draw from the stock, losing if they over-draw. If one player wins all three stakes, he may receive the value of another stake, or of two or three stakes, all round, as arranged. The deal passes as at whist. Each player should have the same number of deals before the game is abandoned.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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