5 of a Kind… Coming Soon to a Table Near You?
Five hundred years ago, evidence suggested that playing cards consisted of the following five suits: hares, parrots, pinks, roses, and columbines: each suit has four figured or court cards; King, Queen, Knight, and Knave, so that a complete pack would consist of seventy cards.
“The actual game of poker possibly originated from a 16th-century Persian card game called “As Nas,” played with a 25-card deck of five suits, similar to five-card stud.”
When Europeans began to play the game, they called it “poque” or “pochen.” While poker’s origins may lie in Europe and Persia, it truly developed in the United States.
In 1938 there appeared a five-suit deck, having the usual 52 cards of the standard deck plus a complete fifth suit. In the United States this fifth suit was green, called EAGLES, and marked by an appropriate symbol; in England it was blue, called ROYALS, and marked by a crown. Five-suit poker made a better game, but can seldom be played today because the cards are no longer generally on sale and of course, the game is set in its ways.
Modern 5-suited decks consist of a black and red star as the 5th suit. The Suit of Stars brings 13 new cards to the traditonal deck of 52 cards and brings the total to 65 cards.
What would be the significance of a 5th deck? All hand probabilities would change, making it easier to obtain better hands and rendering smaller hands like pairs useless.
- 8 players could play in one hand rather than just 7.
- Players can deal longer without having to shuffle.
- Players can get better hands including the Five-of-a-Kind.
In other variations, we have also found decks that included a Princess card (P) as we see below.
Texas Hold’em by far represents the highest poker variant being played, and we occasionally see other variations like Omaha and Stud and even recently open-faced Chinese poker getting attention at tournaments, all being played with 52 card decks, but it might be interesting to spice up the standard game of Texas Hold’em a bit by throwing in some new elements (or actually old elements referring to history) and trying to play the game with a 5th suit. Share this article with your friends and see what they think.