History and Evolution of Spades
The modern game of Spades became popular in the late 1940s, especially on college campuses.
A review of several card game reference sources revealed that Spades descended from Whist. Spades is also closely related to Bridge, Pinochle, Euchre and other similar skill games featuring partnership play, bidding and a trump suit.
George Coffin, the great Bridge author, traced the roots of Spades to the Mid-West. He determined that the game of Spades was introduced in Cincinnati, Ohio, sometime between 1937 and 1939. From there, it spread to other cities in the general region and eventually into the military. Spades was played extensively during World War II as it was a fast paced game, which could be interrupted at any time ? especially during battle conditions!
While Whist (especially Bid-Whist) and Euchre have enjoyed modest resurgence, Spades has continued a very steady growth and has become established nationally. It is now the number one partnership card game in the United States, and still reigns as the king of card games in Colleges!
The appeal of Spades is its relatively basic bidding system, opportunity for advanced play and very quick moving action. Many seasoned Bridge players became very proficient at Spades before graduating to their specialty.
Spades is by far and away the most popular card game on the Internet, although some will argue a case for Poker and Black Jack. Since the latter two are individuals? contests of chance, one cannot consider the comparison to gambling games as valid, although it is impossible not to recognize these games as having a high skill factor.
The future growth of Spades is ensured as the Internet becomes more and more accessible.
Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.
Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith
The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.
Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11
Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.
Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.
The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.
“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt, c.1950.
Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.
“Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt” transport quartet game by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1958.
Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.
French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s
Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s.
Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.
Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.
Radio Banker by John Waddington Ltd for Marconiphone Co Ltd.
‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.
Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.
Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.
“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.
8068 by Diaoyu Poker (China) 2019.
Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s.
Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.