There are two distinct methods of playing this game, so unlike as to lead

to the conclusion that at some time or other two separate games must have

been confused by being called under the same name, and have since been so

associated with each other. There is hardly one point in common between

the two methods in vogue; and while one is entirely different from anything

yet described in the present volume, the other is, to a great extent,

played on the lines of Pope Joan, Spin, and Newmarket, and may be regarded

as an offshoot of those games--rather than as an independent one--which has

got mixed with the one known under the title of Snip-Snap-Snorum, and has

come to be recognised under that name. As preference in such a case should

be given to the independent game, we shall first describe that, and

afterwards devote attention to the other system. In doing so we must

excuse ourselves for the manifest inconsistency of associating two distinct

games under the one title, on the ground of custom and practice among

different individuals, and in order to avoid confusion as far as possible,

we have re-named the game we shall describe last, as Jig, that being one of

the terms used in the game, and sufficiently distinctive for every purpose.

Snip-Snap-Snorum is a round game, available for any number, of players from

two to ten, when the full pack of fifty-two cards is played with, or for

any number up to six when the smaller pack of thirty-two is used.

Probably the best number of players is five or six in the former case, and

three or four in the latter; the greatest objection to a large number of

players being that those first out have to wait until the others have

exhausted their stakes, which may not occur until several more rounds have

been completed.

At the commencement of the game each player has to be provided with five

coins or counters, of equal value, and the game is decided when all but one

of the players has exhausted those five stakes. The player who holds out

the longest becomes the winner, and secures the whole of the pool, which is

contributed to during the progress of the game as described later on.

The deal is decided in the ordinary way, the player to whom the first knave

is turned up having the first right to deal the cards. He shuffles the

pack, has it cut, and then distributes five cards to each player, one at a

time, and commencing with the one on his left-hand side. There is no

turn-up card needed; when all have received their five cards the hands are

looked at, and the game begins. The object of the players is to play cards

of equal value to those of their right-hand adversaries, and if they do so

the player has to pay a penalty into the pool; one stake for Snip, which is

the first pairing of a card; two stakes for Snap, the second pairing of the

same card; and three stakes for Snorum, the third pairing. For instance,

suppose there are five players, A, B, C, D, and E. A is the

dealer, and, the cards having been dealt, B has to lead; he plays a nine,

and calls it when he places it on the table face upwards in front of him;

C likewise has a nine, which he must play by also placing it face upwards

on the table in front of him, and says "Snip," upon which B has to pay a

stake into the pool, his card having been paired D also has a nine,

which he plays in similar manner, and says "Snap," upon which C has to

pay two stakes into the pool, his card having been also paired; E then

has to follow on, and also having a nine in hand, he must play it, and says

"Snorum," which imposes a penalty of three stakes upon D. This having

disposed of the four nines in the pack, A, whose turn it now is to play,

has to start upon a new card, and he has the option of playing whichever of

the five in his hand he chooses.

The penalties of Snip-Snap-Snorum do not remain in force if any other card

intervenes between the pairs, so that it is only the player next in order

of play who has the opportunity of securing a stack& for the pool from any

of the others. Taking the illustration given above, we will suppose that

D had no nine, and was accordingly compelled to play, say, a ten. B

would have had to pay the penalty for Snip, as before; but C could have

nothing to pay, his card not having been paired. Then suppose E, in his

turn, played a nine, and A also played one, that would only "snip" E's

nine, although the other two nines had just been played; E would have

to pay one stake to the pool.

As soon as the five cards dealt to each player are exhausted, the next

in order becomes the dealer, and distributes five cards to each player,

as before, and the game is conducted round and round on exactly similar

lines until one of the party has lost the last of his five stakes.

He is then out of the game, and if he has any cards left he must add them,

face downwards and unexposed, to the top of the undealt portion of the

pack. The other players proceed with the game, and as each loses his last

stake he is left out, and no fresh cards are dealt him. This goes on until

all but one have lost their stakes, when, as already described, the game is

finished, and the last in takes the pool.

If a new game is started on, the first out in the previous game becomes

the new dealer.

The lead is a disadvantage in this game, as, after a few cards have been

played, it is often possible to know that certain cards remaining in hand

are absolutely safe, or nearly so. For instance, suppose two knaves have

been played during the first round or two, and that a third knave is in a

player's hand, that card may be played as an almost safe one, as there is

only one other that can pair with it, and the odds of the fourth knave

being in the next player's hand are very remote. For the same reason a

player having two of a kind in his own hand should always play one of them

when his turn comes round, provided, of course, he is not able to pair with

the player immediately preceding him.

If a player has a card similar to that played immediately before him,

he must play it. In the event of his failing to do so, he has to pay

a double penalty to the pool, while the player who would have been

penalized has to contribute just as though the right card had been played.

These penalties must be enforced before the cards are cut

for the next deal.


This method of playing the game is sometimes varied as follows: Instead

of dealing five cards to each player, the whole of the pack is distributed,

equally; or as nearly equal as possible, among the players, each of whom

starts with five coins or counters, as in the other game. The player on

the dealer's left-hand side, whom we will call B, as above, has to lead,

and he keeps on playing one card after another until the opponent on his

left (C) can pair one of them. When C succeeds in doing this, he says

"Snip," and B has to pay a stake into the pool, while he remains in

active until the game has proceeded right round the table. Play now rests

between C and D. If D can pair C's card with which he snipped B

he does so, and calls "Snap," when C has to pay two stakes to the pool;

if then E can also pair the card, he cries "Snorum," and D has to pay

three stakes to the pool. If, however, the players cannot pair, then C

has to keep on playing out his cards until D can pair one, in which case

C is snipped, and the game proceeds as just described. The game goes

round until all have played their cards, when the pack is again shuffled,

and a new deal started upon, the game being won and the stakes secured

by the player who holds out the longest with his five stakes, as in the

other game.

This variation may be altered again by agreeing that an unlimited number of

coins or counters may be used, and that the player who first succeeds in

getting rid of his cards shall be the winner of the pool. By this system

each deal becomes complete in itself, but it will not be found

a very desirable innovation if many players are engaged, as in that case

the cards are so divided that it becomes an easy matter to clear a hand.

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