Das Neue Königliche L’Hombre – 1788

  • Name Book: Das Neue Königliche l’Hombre
  • Author: Unknown
  • Year: 1788
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
The German Solitaire book "Das Neue Königliche L'Hombre" from 1788 openingspage
Source: Google Books

Das Neue Königliche L’Hombre nebst einer gründlichen Anweisung wie Quadrille, Cinquille, Piquet, Reversy, Trisett, Taroc, Whist, Boston, Patience, Cabale, &c. nach jetziger Art zu spielen sind, wobey nebst noch andern Kartenspielen das Billard- Pielkentafel- Schach- und Ballspiel, wie auch das Verkehren im Brett, Trictrac und Toccategli sammt den Ausdrücken, deren man sich bey diesen verschiedenen Spielen bedienet, deutlich beschrieben und erkläret werden. Dreizehnte verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage. Berlin, Germany 1788

In many books, authors state that the first complete description of a Patience game (solitaire) is in the German book “Das Neue Königliche L’Hombre-Spiel.” This famous book describes the rules of games regularly played at that time.

In the eleventh edition (published in 1783), there is no description yet, but five years later, in the 1788 edition (the twelfth), you can read, for the first time, a complete description of a game called “Das Patiencespiel,”

Interestingly, this description contains a passage showing that betting was essential to this game. The description of the game starts as follows:

“This game is played between 2 people in the way that alternately only 1 person is the player. However, those present collectively participate in the game by betting for or against the player”

At the end of the description, the writer even gives a piece of betting advice:

“You can always bet better against the player than for him because against 2 players there will be at least 3 losses. There are still some changes made but they are essentially in line with what is written previously.”

Solitaire book "Das Neue Königliche L'Hombre" from 1788 "Das Patiencespel"

Here is the full description of the game as described in Das Neue Königliche L’Hombre, translated from German:

“This game is played between 2 people in the way that alternately only 1 person is the player. However, those present take part in the game collectively by betting for or against the player.

The game proceeds as follows: From 2 complete and well-shuffled decks, place 52 cards in the correct and reverse order and according to the number of cards to be removed on 8 different piles, in the following way:

After shuffling the 2 complete decks and once the game has started, draw one card after another, stacking them 1 by 1 or 1 by 2 until an Ace or King appears. The aces are then placed on top and the kings below the diminished pile.

Just as the two and up or the queens are taken, they are placed on one of the 8 piles they belong to, so that when the game is over or won, there is a full deck of cards on both the top and bottom. Only with the difference that in the top pile the aces are at the bottom and the kings are at the top and in the bottom pile the other way around.

The player may place 20 cards (which are placed in 2 rows one below the other and where only 1 card may be placed on each row), but he has placed the 20 cards in this way and cannot place the 41st card on 1 of the If you lay 8 rows, he has lost the game.

One also loses the game as soon as one cannot put down a face-up card because the card lying on top can be put down later, for example, if an ace of spades and 9 of spades are placed above and 7 of spades is already there and the 6 of spades is on top and mistakenly on If the 9 of spades is placed then you have lost the game because above all the spades 6 and 7 are placed and below the 6 and 7 of spades must be placed but this space is already occupied.

It is always better to bet against the player than for the player because against 2 players you will lose at least 3 times. There have been some changes but it essentially corresponds to what has just been described”

In later English literature, the described “Das Patiencespiel” in Das Neue Königliche L’Hombre is identified as Grandfather’s Patience. But without mentioning the betting part.