Bezique, or Bésigue, is a trick-taking card game for two players popular in 19th-century France.

It reached the height of its popularity in Paris in 1860 and this spread to England a few years later, where it appears that Christina Rossetti and Wilkie Collins were keen players. The most famous player was Winston Churchill who was a great enthusiast and an early expert in the Chinese or Six-Pack version of the game.

The ordinary version of the game uses two packs of cards with the 2,3,4,5 and 6 taken out and the remaining cards combined. The play then proceeds with players trying to take ‘tricks’ either by playing higher numbered cards or the trumps that are declared at the end of the game. There are a few additional ‘quirky’ rules and the winner is the first player to reach 1000 points based on a point scoring system based on melds.

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