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The Old Game

The older mode of playing the game of Commerce differs materially from
the description given above, and as it does not present such chances,
but is of a more limited character, it is not so interesting, nor does
it afford so much scope for speculation and excitement.

The deal is decided and the cards are distributed in the same way as in the
more modern game, but here an additional hand, of three cards, is dealt,
and placed face upwards in the middle of the table. There is no trading
with the dealer or any of the players, the operations of commerce being
confined to the three cards exposed on the table. The player to the
left of the dealer has the first turn, and he must either stand, pass,
or exchange a card. In the latter case he takes one of those lying face
upwards on the table, adds it to his hand, and places one of his own cards,
face upwards, in place of the one removed. If the player passes, he says,
"I pass," and is then debarred from afterwards exchanging any of his cards
during that hand; while if he decides to stand, the next player decides
what he will do, and so on round the table, until two of the players are
satisfied with their hands, or all have declared to pass. If two of the
players stand then each of the other players may make one more exchange
(if they have not previously passed), and then the whole of the hands are
exposed, just as described in connection with the modern game. There is
no pool in this variation, the winner receiving instead the amount of the
stake from each of the other players. In case of absolute equality between
the two best hands, which may be regarded as an almost impossible event,
then each of the winners receives a stake from all the other players.

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