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Bridge & Humor: Five Suit Bridge

LIFE 14 Mar 1938 

three of the four Aces
Three of the «Four Acts» study the new game for a forth. Edward Hymes Jr. who sits at far left. «Aces» shown are David Burnstine, Howard Schenken and Marvin D. Maier.

The brain cells of average bridge fans are sorely taxed by the strain of following 52 cards and four suits through the complex sequence of play. Thought of a 65-card, five-suit deck might cause many a half-hearted bridger to renounce the game. Yet such a deck appeared in Vienna not long ago, has since become extraordinarily popular with European experts.5 palos

To players with durable memories the new game offers a challenge, to others a high hurdle. On Feb. 21, Selfridges in London placed five-suit decks on sale. On March 7, hundreds of them arrived in New York, went at once to meet advance orders. Each pack contained the regulation 52 cards, plus a fifth suit of 13 cards, called «royals,» symbolized by a green coronet, separately wrapped (right).

First pack available went to the famed «Four Aces» (above) who tried the game, found it «very interesting.»

Unenthusiastic was haughty Expert Ely Culbertson snorted he: «Five-suit bridge is a false alarm.»

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LIFE 1938

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