PICQUET, a celebrated game at cards VOL. V.

played between two perSons, with only thirty-two cards ; all the deuces, threes,. tours, fives, and sixes, being set aside.

In play ing at this game twelve cards are dealt to each, and the rest laid on the table : when, if one of the gamesters find he has not a court card in his hand, he is to declare that he has caste b?anche, and tell how many cards he will lay out, and desire the other to discard, that he may show his game, and satisfy his antagonist, that the carte blanche is real ; finr which he reckons ten. And here the eldest hand may take in three, four, or five, discarding as many of his own for them, after which the other may take in all the remainder, if he pleases. After discarding, the el dest band examines what suit he has most cards of; and, reckoning how many points he has in that suit, if the other has not so many in that, or any other suit, he reck ons one for every ten in that suit, and he who thus reckons most is said to win the point. It is to be observed, that in thus reckoning the cards, every card goes for the number it bears ; as a ten for ten ; only all court cards go for ten, and the ace for eleven, and the usual game is one hundred up. The point being over, each examines what sequences he has of the same suit, viz. how many tierces, or se• quences of three cards ; quartes, or se quences of four cards ; quintes, or se quences of five cards, Etc. he has. These several sequences are distinguished in dignity by the cards they begin from : thus ace, king, and queen, are stiled tierce Major ; king, queen, and knave, tierce to a king; knave, ten, nine, tierce to a knave ; and the best tierce, quarte, or quinte, prevails, so as to make all the others in that hand good, and to destroy all those in the other hand. In like man ner, a quarte in one hand sets aside a tierce in the other.

The. sequences over, they proceed to examine how many aces, kings, queens, knaves, and tens, each holds ; reckoning for every three of any sort, three ; but here, too, as in sequences, he that with the same number of threes or fours, has one that is higher than any the other has makes his own good, and sets aside all hiS adversary's ; but four of any sort, which is called a quatorze, because four teen are reckoned for it, always set aside three.

The game in hand being thus reckon. ed, the eldest proceeds to play,reckoning one fin every card lie plays above nine, while the other follows him in the suit : but unless a card be won by one above 3B nine, except it be the last hick, nothing is reckoned for it. The cards being played

out, he that has most tricks reckons ten for winning the cards : but if they have trick, alike, neither reckons any thing.— If one of them wins all the tricks, instead of ten, which is his right for winning the cards, he reckons forty, and this is called Capt.

The deal being finished, each person sets up his game ; they then proceed to deal again as beficre ; cutting afresh each time for the d:-al: if both parties are within a few points of being up, the carte blanche is the first that reckons, then the point, then the sequences, then the qua tomes, then the tierces, and then the tenth cards He that can reckon thirty in hand by carte blanche, points, quintes, &c without playing, before the other has reckoned any thing, reckons ninety for them, and this is called a repike ; and if he reckons above thirty, he reckons so many above ninety. if he can make up thirty, part in hand, and part in play, be fore the other has told any thing, he reck ons Inn them sixty ; and this is called a pique, whence the name of the game. Mr. de. Moivre, in his doctrine of chan ces, has resolved, among others, the fol lowing problems: 1. To find, at picquet, the probability which the dealer has for taking one ace or more in three cards, he having none in his hands. Ile concludes from his computation, that it is 29 to 28 that the dealer takes one ace, or more. 2. To find at picqdet the probability which the eldest has of taking an ace or more in five cards, lie having no ace in his band. Answer; 232 to 91, or 5 to 3, nearly. 3. To find at picquet the proba bility which the eldest has of taking both an ace and a king in five cards, he having none in his hand. Answer; the odds against the eldest hand taking an ace and a king are 331 to 315, or 21 to 20 nearly.

4. To find at picquet the probability of having twelve cards dealt to, without king, queen, or knave; which case is commonly called cartes blanches_ An swer; the odds against cartes blanches are 323 to 578, 956, or 1791 to 1 nearly.

5. To find how many different sets, es sentially different from one another, one may have at picquet before taking in. Answer, 28,967,278. This number falls short of the sum of all the distinct com binations, whereby twelve cards may be taken out of 32, this number being 225,792,840; but it ought to be consi dered, that in that number several sets of the same import, but differing in suit might be taken, which would not duce au essential difference among the sets,