Nap Or Napoleon

The game of Napoleon, or as it is more generally and popularly called

"Nap," was introduced into this country from the United States, it is

believed, about 1865, although it is recorded that the game had previously

been played for high stakes at some of the more notorious gambling clubs.

It is named after the great Napoleon, as the principal player in the game

becomes, for the time being, an Ishmaelite, whose "hand" is against every

man's, and every man's against his, as was the case with the "Grand

Adventurer" in 1804-15 (see Variations)--whence we have the terms

Wellington, Bluecher, etc.

It is an admirable game for three, four, or five persons, and is also

available for two and six, though four is the ideal number, and it is

played with an ordinary pack of fifty-two cards. (For Nap with thirty-two

card pack, see page 14). With six persons taking part in the game the

dealer stands out of the play, not dealing any cards to himself, though he

receives and pays for the tricks like the others, and the same system is

sometimes adopted when there are five players; as, if all the players took

active part in the game, it would become most difficult to make the tricks,

because more cards would be in use.

The popularity of the game is no doubt owing to the short time necessary

for playing the hands, and to the fact that it can be terminated at

any moment, for no game or deal need exceed two or three minutes, except

when a pool or "kitty" is introduced (see Variations). In this case

provision has to be made for the distribution of the amount of the kitty.

While care in playing is necessary, no great amount of skill is required to

render the game diverting as an amusement, while it also affords ample

scope for the exercise of speculation and the other elements of excitement.

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