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Commerce, Card Game

COMMERCE, CARD GAME, the name of a card-game. Any number can play with an ordinary pack. There are several variations of the game, but the following is a common one. Each player receives three cards, and three more are turned up as a "pool." The first player may exchange one or two of his cards for one or two of the exposed cards, putting his own, face upwards, in their place. His object is to "make his hand" (see below), but if he changes all three cards at once he cannot change again. The next player can do likewise, and so on. Usually there are as many rounds as there are players, and a fresh card is added to the pool at the beginning of each. If a player passes once he cannot exchange afterwards. When the rounds are finished the hands are shown, the holder of the best either receiving a stake from all the others, or, supposing each has started with three "lives," taking one life from the lowest. The hands, in order of merit, are: (i.) Tricon - three similar cards, three aces ranking above three kings, and so on. (ii.) Sequence - three cards of the same suit in consecutive order; the highest sequence is the best. (iii.) Flush - three cards of the same suit, the highest "point" wins, i.e. the highest number of pips, ace counting eleven and court-cards ten. (iv.) Pair - two similar cards, the highest pair winning. (v.) Point - the largest number of pips winning, as in "flush," but there is no restriction as to suit. Sometimes "pair" and "point" are not recognized. A popular variation of Commerce is Pounce Commerce. In this, if a player has already three similar cards, e.g. three nines, and the fourth nine comes into the pool, he says "Pounce!" and takes it, thus obtaining a hand of four, which is higher than any hand of three: whenever a pounce occurs, a new card is turned up from the pack.

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

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