David Parlett: A History of Card Games

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A History of Card Games cover

Most books on card games tend to focus on rules and rules alone. If there are any references to the history of card games, they tend to propagate one of the popular false myths (myth #1: crusaders brought the cards to Europe, myth #2: gypsies brought the cards to Europe, myth #3: Marco Polo brought the cards to Europe). David Parlett comes to rescue, however: his book focuses on the history and development of the card games in Western Europe, starting from their introduction in 1370s.

Parlett describes plenty of games and traces their development and evolution. Most of the book covers trick-taking games, which is of course obvious to a book covering European games. His history seems valid and well-researched and he has a knack of describing games well. While this isn't a rule book, many games are described well enough that an experienced card player can play them.

There aren't that many good books on the topic - this one's the only one I've read. If you're at all interested in the topic, this one's highly recommended. [ A History of Card Games at Amazon.com ] [ The History of Card Games at Amazon.co.uk ] [ A History of Card Games at LibraryThing ]

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