Monday, July 28, 2008

Willow's Weekly Word

Russian Queen of Clubs, Willow's collection

Poker is a big deal here at the Manor. Even before its recent rise in worldwide popularity, we have always played in on holidays and special occasions when the kids were growing up. All the participants must wear a silly hat, which adds to the ambiance, and it is extra fun because we play with a gigantic stack of old, pre-1989 Polish zlotys. We played it here on July 4th, but it was a tad too warm for the crazy hats!

So, how did this card game come to be called poker? Well, it's German in origin and came from German word pochen,which means to brag or to knock. Funny, because this knock is still used today to show that a player is passing on his bet and also quite a bit of bragging is involved among the players! The name seems to have originated into the United States from New Orleans, due to its similarity to the French game of poque. Southern gentlemen, in their
genteel drawl would pronounce it pok-uh. So, there you have it.

34 comments:

  1. What amazingly beautiful cards.
    Are your family Polish? I remember zlotys from when
    I was in Poland in 1999. But they must have been newer ones.
    Have a terrific week.

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  2. Very interesting! Poker's popularity has certainly not diminished while the card game of Bridge has. This past weekend the CBS Sunday Morning TV show had an interesting story about Bridge and the efforts to introduce it to a younger generation. You can probably read the story on their web site.
    Your Polish cards are great! I have a deck of old Italian playing cards that belonged to my father-in-law.

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  3. No, we're not Polish, but brought back a stack of the paper zlotys when we were in Warsaw in 1989.

    WT brought the playing cards back from a trip to Russia. I think they are beautiful.

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  4. You know, I hadn't thought of it before, but they would make a nice framed print, wouldn't they? Hmmm...I might just have to do something about that!

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  5. I don't know anything about card games really, but the art on this card is exceptional.

    I always look for beautiful cards because someday when my sleight of hand is worth showing someone.

    I would love to have a deck like this.

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  6. Love the cards Willow...interesting little post...We were poker players in our youth ...penny poker :)

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  7. Very informative and enjoyable post, Willow. You must have some very unique and eclectic things in your home.
    Russia is a destination that my husband and I hope one to reach.

    I do love a pristine deck of cards. These are beautiful!

    Kat

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  8. What fun ... especially the hat part

    Husband plays poker every Thursday evening with the same 'gang' for over 25 yrs ... and the noise from the arguments waft up from the 'poker room' in the basement to our ground floor apartment .. it used to be cigarette smoke AND arguing ... now its just the shouting ...

    I am sure your game is far more civilized .. I cant help but smile at the thought of Husband & Co in hats!

    :-Daryl

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  9. Willow, very nice image. Poker, it's everywhere these days. I've been watching the World Series on television. Just nuts, lose a million, win a million.

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  10. WT collects unique hats from around the world, so we have a wide variety of strange ones to choose from. It is quite a site to behold!

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  11. Wow, interesting! And the spelling sounds like the word 'poco' in Spanish, 'little'. So, maybe it's to do with playing a 'poco' (little) money?

    Greetings from London.

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  12. Saaaay, that looks like a marked card, wondered why you waz winning ... revolvers at dawn!

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  13. Oh no!! How could you tell? Okay...it's revolvers at dawn. We'll use my set, 'cause I know you don't have any!

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  14. Very interesting Willow !

    and what fun to play poker with crazy hats.... :-)

    ps : i read your comment about "under the tuscan sun" and yes, actually "my" old man resembles the one of the movie...

    (I LOVE your cards!!! i must send you an email about those - too long to explain here)

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  15. Okay, fun...I'll keep an eye out for it!

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  16. First of all, the card is just beautiful! The colors are gorgeous! Taylor is the only one in our family who plays poker...penny poker with his buddies. He still won $32 once with pennies! The hats sounds fun....I just want to know if the stuffed rooster gets in on it. :)

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  17. Who would have known if you hadn't 'splained it to us? I enjoy these word origin posts. Sounds like some zany family gatherings. Pappy

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  18. Gorgeous and very interesting about the word Poker. The Hubster is an online Poker fiend, although not with the real stuff and I enjoy it too.

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  19. She's a very interesting Queen of Hearts. What do you suppose her costume is supposed to represent? For some reason I think of Joan of Arc, although I know she is from another country. Maybe its because she looks like she is ready to put on her armor.

    Neat post.

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  20. i had no idea! love the cards!!

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  21. Beautiful cards! Hats and zlotys! Sounds like lots of fun. I learned most of my card games at my Polish grandmother's knee. Fun post, Willow - and very interesting.

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  22. Interesting as always! Glad to see that Bach is back on line with a post. Take care.

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  23. Stevie, I think these face cards are in traditional royal Russian clothing...they're fascinating!

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  24. The card is absolutely beautiful! Would you believe I've never played poker?

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  25. Oh my Willow! I sure would like to see the other characters in the stack. I'd play just to see the cards. What fun adventures you have at Willow Manor. The card is simply beautiful. Thanks for the history. Keep on poking! :-)

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  26. I've never understood the attraction of solitaire, but I think I could learn to enjoy it with these beauties!

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  27. Never played poker, but never say never. We usually play card games Christmas Day, only for pennies mind you...

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  28. Yes, interesting indeed! My son is a major poker fanatic. I'll have to tell him this. He's like nutsy-cuckoo about poker, I mean it! Makes me laugh. Love the notion of the hats.

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  29. ps
    the cards really are beautiful--I would frame that in a heartbeat!

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  30. What a wonderful card that is :)
    And hooray for etymology!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)