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Five Suit Bridge

Five Suit Bridge was invented in Vienna in 1937 by Walter W. Marseille and Dr. Paul Stern.

Five Suit Bridge was invented in Vienna in 1937 by Walter W. Marseille and Dr. Paul Stern. At a time when cricket, chess and bridge were popular social games, special 66-card decks went on sale in the UK manufactured by De la Rue and Waddington’s with the fifth suit as crowns (called “Royals”). However, because the game was complex it proved to be unpopular, they were withdrawn in 1939 and have been forgotten. American versions made the fifth suit eagles, coloured green

De la Rue’s Five-Suit Bridge

De la Rue’s Five-Suit Bridge, c.1938 De la Rue’s Five-Suit Bridge, c.1938

Above: Thomas De la Rue & Co’s Five-Suit Bridge playing cards with the fifth suit of crowns (called Royals) using the Paris pattern’s heart suit designs and the crowns coloured blue, 65 cards + joker, c.1938.

Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge

boxes from different editions of Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge, c.1938

Above: boxes from different editions of Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge playing cards, c.1938. The boxes also contained rules for Five-Suit Auction Bridge and Contract Bridge by Dr. Paul Stern, co-inventor of the five-suited game and vice-president of the Austrian Bridge Union.

Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge, c.1938 Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge, c.1938

Above: different editions of Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge showing alternative standard designs for the fifth suit of crowns, with indices, suit symbols and parts of the clothing coloured green, c.1938. Examples are also known of sets of Crowns suit cards wrapped separately, presumably as add-ons to a normal pack.

CREDITS & REFERENCES

Images and research courtesy Ken Lodge and Phil Patenaude.

Wikipedia: Five-suit bridge

Waddington’s Five Suit Bridge, c.1938
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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