Tarot as a Meaningful Game

#111
Hi, Ross,
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
mjhurst wrote: But who said it was intended to "teach" anything?
I distinctly remember somebody writing something like "The message of tarot: know your place, practise the virtues, trust in God."
So you are going to argue that nobody knew those things, that this had to be taught? My point is that these were commonplace values, attitudes, and beliefs, which is why they are suitable for a card game.

I have NEVER EVER followed the faithful, maintaining that Tarot conveyed some lecture which needed to be taught. Not a coded secret, with Tarot as an esoteric manifesto, nor a more well known set of beliefs such as the elite's fascination with neo-Platonic mysticism, or the heretic's alternative doctrines. I have always argued that the purpose of the trump cycle was to enhance the game with trumps, (this is Dummett 101), and using an allegorical hierarchy to rank the trumps.

Our dispute here is not about the purpose of the trumps but about their meaning.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:The question is whether the designer had the primary intention of causing moral reflection by of his choice of subjects, or whether it was, like in Marziano, just an incidental part of the game (or even a justification), like designs on the columns and walls and windows of a church, which provide subject matter for wandering minds (which there is not much time for in actual play). So it's a question of the extent of his intention to cause such reflection.
No, for me that is not even an interesting question. It is a false dichotomy, used as a weapon. You argue that if it was a game then it shouldn't have moral meaning or systematic structure. The truth is just the opposite: The more it reflects the values, attitudes, and beliefs of the pop-culture, in a well-designed form, the better it is as a game. His primary goal was to make a great game, and that would include a moral subject matter and coherent design of the trump cycle. Both features would tend to have mnemonic value as well.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I think it is clear that the primary intention was to create a sequence of memorable images, in a memorable sequence, in order to play.
And you have yet to find anyone to debate that with. It is another strawman argument.

The question is the subject matter of those memorable images. Iconography is about the subject matter of antique art. Antique art was routinely didactic, not in the sense of teaching new material to children but in the sense of repeating commonplace material for the enjoyment of the masses. The subject matter could be virtually anything. The design might be done very well, as if for an Italian noble in the Renaissance, or it could be done in a sloppy, half-assed fashion.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:If the designer had the secondary purpose in choosing his sequence of allowing moral or philosophical reflection, which I think is likely, then he was surely successful, as the ad hoc commentators as well as the fuller commentators, like the discorsi authors, over the centuries show. We are in that tradition and are a continuing tribute to the genius of the author.
So you've gone back to accepting that the trump cycle is a moral allegory? Good.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Of course there is no reason why it could not have been a very precise story as well as a game. My conclusion is that it was not a precise story, and that having such a precise story in mind is not necessary to explain the designer's choices of subjects or their arrangement.
Finally! You are now (again) willing to accept that a detailed programme would be suitable for a game -- this is HUGE progress.

To reiterate, IMO a detailed program would be much more suitable than a sloppy one. If we have two poems with similar content from equally skilled poets, the one which uses poetic devices of rhythm and rhyme will naturally give the impression of being the greater accomplishment than the one in free verse. Moreover, it will be the more easily memorized. Both of these qualities, technical accomplishment in the work of art and the mnemonic aspect, would enhance a Renaissance card game.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: The Devil in the Three Worlds

#112
mjhurst wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
mjhurst wrote:Treating the Fire/Tower card as a Hellmouth and pairing with the Devil for that reason is apparently what the Anonymous Discourso does, while Piscina opts for an odd cosmological series, partly based on the cosmos (Fire) but mostly based on brightness. If you can point out a sensible reading that adds up to a coherent cycle, whether narrative or other hierarchy, just tell us. Otherwise, I'll keep trying to figure it out myself.

Just a clarification - the Anonymous Discorso doesn't pair the Devil with any "Fire" or "Hellmouth" card; he calls it "the Heavens", and he treats the Devil as part of the section with Death:

"Suddenly Death comes, in the horror of which the Devil, who is the cause of all this, takes them away in fright and despair." (p. 61)
This was the line I referred to. The Devil taking them away sounds very much like the Hellmouth version of the Fire/Tower card.
It isn't, though, just to be clear. After the Devil, he helpfully says "the seven following figures" (sette figure seguenti, pp. 61-62).

Heavens
Star
Moon
Sun
Angel
Justice
World
Image

Re: Dummett and Methodology

#113
Hi, Ross,
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
mjhurst wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I am failing to see how my explanation is not sufficient.
As an explanation, it is not very explanatory. Yes, it might be correct, but if so then the inventor didn't do a very good job.
But what if that were the job he assigned himself?
If he said to himself, "don't sweat the details; it's just a game"? In that case, Dummett's analysis is correct. As I have said, again and again, year after year, including in the sentence you just quoted.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Who are you to say it's "not very good"?
Someone who prefers good work to sloppy work. Well executed designs are both conceptually and aesthetically preferable, at least to some people. Sure, there is a prosaic charm to something poorly done, and most of the history of Tarot has that kind of folk art quality. But it's not very good.
Image
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:The evidence is that it was very good - it became a popular game....
Yep. It was a popular game.

On the other hand, no two people have ever explained the trump cycle the same way, and the earliest cardmakers created different orderings, with somewhat altered subjects, in every locale. The obvious conclusion is that the vast majority of cardplayers don't care about that, which I've also pointed out. It was not popular because of the trump cycle but because of the game play.

This is why the modern obsession with "what a typical Renaissance cardplayer would see in the cards is a distraction from the question of intended meaning. Cardplayers just played the game. When they expanded the trumps into Minchiate, as Dummett pointed out, there was no narrative or intelligible hierarchy. They just threw in a bunch of stuff, as he said, right below the highest five cards. When modern decks were developed, they proved beyond any doubt or question that the subjects on the trumps don't matter as long as you have some means of knowing their ordering.

So the design was not, in any detailed sense, intelligible to typical cardplayers or even cardmakers. The latter, however, did maintain some of the structural design and this is crucial for any attempt to objectively solve Dummett's riddle. The subjects within the three sections were maintained by all of those revisionists. More often than not, the grouping of pairs and trios within those sections was also maintained. If context counts, if the sequence conveys meaning, then these groupings are evidence for the iconographer.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:...so popular that even when people fiddled with the order of the trumps, they kept the same subjects. By my standards, it was a very good job. Everywhere it went, the same subjects, the same number, even the same threefold structure observed. The intended audience seems to have "got it". It was a remarkably stable model.
As a game, yes. I am one of the few people online who has defended that fact against all the phantom decks and evolutionary hypotheses, year after year. There was a relatively standardized form either from the beginning or from very shortly thereafter. Novelty decks and variations, like Minchiate, came later. However, Tarot was also remarkably varied within that standard design. There were many of those IPCS "standard patterns", different versions of the "same" archetypal decks.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I could turn your statement around - by your standards, if the detailed and very specific narrative were his intention, then the design failed in its purpose.
Absolutely. Which I've also said, repeatedly. In this thread. But again, it is a relative failure, in some areas, accompanied by some notable success in other areas and by the wild success of the game itself.
  • Detailed programme understood in detail? Fail.
    Detailed programme preserved in toto? Fail.
    Detailed programme preserved in parts? Success, more often than not.
    Popularity of the game? Tremendous success.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:That's not a very good job. If it were even understood, it was not appreciated anywhere in its original environment, and people just destroyed the beautifully intricate architecture. The designer would look around, hold his head in his hands, shaking it and shouting "You've ruined it, you fools!"

Nobody ever noticed the story you see in the sequence, or at least felt the need to comment on it. He failed - both to make the order compelling, or to give people the story.
Absolutely. Given the rapid spread of Tarot, these changes probably occurred within his lifetime, and he probably laughed or lamented his failure. (See Heraclitus and Democritus.) I've made that point repeatedly as well. He succeeded in making a great game, successful probably far beyond his goals or imagination. He failed to create a generally intelligible programme. Yes and yes.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:By my standards, he was astonishingly successful - a stable model and number of specific subjects of three groups, over a long time, with the small variations still conforming to the basic structure. By your standards, even a single block out of place, and it all falls apart. And it fell apart everywhere, even at home among the intended audience, except where they happened to make the Tarot de Marseille.
But you insist on confusing the game with the trump cycle. One of the points I have tried, obviously in vain, to hammer home is that they are different. You are making the most fundamental error of the occultists, assuming that the trump cycle is crucially important. I've NEVER made that blunder.

My personal interests, centered around the meaning of Tarot, are historically trivial. That's why Dummett felt so comfortable ignoring the iconography -- it makes little difference to the history, even though it is the main concern of Tarot folklore. So when things were changed in the sequence it made ZERO difference for the game and its popularity. However, if there was a coherent design, and if it was too complex, subtle, or otherwise sophisticated for most people to bother with, then fiddling with the sequence would almost certainly break that design, every time. And it does seem that the Tarot de Marseille pattern is the most susceptible to a detailed analysis. This is what I posted ten years ago:
Riddle of Tarot wrote:Although Tarot retained a meaningful design in all of the patterns described above, it is only in the original pattern that the extreme sophistication of the work is seen. No examples of this original pattern, or its direct descendants, have survived from the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. Very few decks of any early pattern survived, (except for the hand-painted examples, which were in various ways atypical), and the fifteenth-century Italians were quite creative in revising the original design. Fortunately, however, the French apparently didn’t care much about the allegorical content, and were largely content to copy the same designs over and over for centuries. Certainly variations crept in, and some intentional redesigns took place, but some versions continued to show precise copying of their earlier models, and I believe that at least one line of descent remained very similar to a design brought from Milan circa 1500. Such a Milanese design, I believe, was the original, and its descendant survived with virtually all of the original’s complexity and beauty intact.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
You try to have it both ways. They were arranged logically, but not so that you can actually spell out any overall logic. Just a little logic here and a little logic there, sort of. Maybe that's correct, but I think there's more.
Okay, I'll take the "maybe that's correct".
Gosh, thanks. You should accept that -- I've said it over and over and over for years... for as long as I've been talking about Dummett's views. Pretending otherwise and repeating my own arguments from parsimony, as you have been doing in this thread, is attacking a strawman.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:And I do have it "both ways". This is what explains the various orders, people changing the logic, but only a little here or a little there. Why do you think there is more?
Yes, as I have always argued, the derivative orderings are not systematically coherent. Therefore, when we're talking about such a detailed programme we are not talking about the derivative orderings and, to reiterate for the hundredth time, even if the Ur Tarot did have such a schematic design, there is no guarantee that such a deck survived. We can only look at the surviving designs. (As a methodological aside, phantom decks and "rectified" orderings are fun, but they have no value historically.)
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
As I've argued emphatically for well over a decade, that is a good position. You do remember having read that a few dozen times, right? The whole "null hypothesis" thing? Sometimes it seems as if we've just met. I'm saying the exact same thing about your presentation as I have about Dummett's -- great parsimony, maybe correct, but lousy explanatory power. That's the trade-off. The only way to overcome that parsimonious position is to offer a more detailed explanation which is sufficiently plausible. No one has done that yet, making the null hypothesis the winner, and still champion.
That's a good summary of the issue, and a good statement of the task you've set yourself.

But there still seems to be something to talk about... what is it that is left unexplained by the parsimonious explanation? The reason for the precise order of each card, which means picking an "original arrangement", and trying to get inside the head of the inventor.
Eh, maybe... depends on what you mean, and given this thread, I'm guessing that you mean something I would not agree with. As always, over the years, my approach does NOT involve picking an original arrangement, and I have emphatically rejected that part of Dummett's argument. My approach involves looking at ALL arrangements, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you and Dummett say. In terms of intentio auctoris, ever since I learned about Eco's distinction I have embraced it, and made the focus the intentio operis. Yes, it helps to think about the inventor: what thinking could have motivated these choices? The focus, however, must remain on the choices made, the known facts of subject matter and sequence. If we can explain the work, then we have shown what the inventor might have been thinking, but that is secondary.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:This means, at a minimum and as a start, talking about the necessary "background information" - contemporary culture, conventions, trends, etc. - that the designer and his audience took for granted.
Eh, maybe. Depends on what you mean. You seem to be saying, find a theory then fit the trumps to it. Rather than starting with things other than Tarot, I would advise starting with Tarot. The problem which has derailed so many would-be exegetes is starting with their favorite elements of period culture. Inevitably they find something cool, whether it is alchemy or heresy or Petrarch's Trionfi, and twist the trumps to fit. Starting with period culture rather than the trumps usually leads to a "sloppy copy" theory, and we have plenty of those already.

Tarot was a unique work of art, as were so many others. Yes, some works are part of an established tradition, but if Tarot were one of those then it seems extremely likely that someone would have found that source work by now. (If you find it, I'll love to see it; but until then we need to focus on Tarot.)

Of course, it would help to be a medievalist or art historian, but that is not the place to start if your interest is Tarot iconography. I would say that if you want to take up the challenge in a serious way, then begin with Dummett and Moakley. This will help guide other readings. Learn something about iconography, both the methodological parts and interpretations of other works. See how this sort of thing has been developed by those who specialized in it. Yes, along the way you should also learn about the culture of Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as the larger Western Christian world of art and literature, but that background information is not the place to start. (Specifically, I would strongly recommend Willard Farnham's book, The Medieval Heritage of Elizabethan Tragedy, as the best introduction to the cultural background of the trump cycle.) Then you can start looking at the cards yourself, knowing something about Tarot and the best published interpretation, and knowing something about how such things have been done by the uber-competent.

Earlier in the thread, you were making an emphatic methodological point, which I didn't quite get. Here I will make one: We need to explain the facts in question, and those are the pictures on the cards and their ordering. That is where an historical analysis must begin. Yes, the cultural background is necessary, and it is another iterative process: internal and external. Internal design and external cognates both provide contextual information. But if we don't start with the trumps and keep the main focus on the trumps then we have no hope of contributing more than the countless others who have focused on things other than Tarot.

You ask what is left unexplained? Most of the choice of trump subjects and their ordering. If the Three Worlds trope is sufficient explanation for the details, then every work which entails the Three Worlds trope should have the same details, the 22 subjects as Tarot. This is so obvious that it is difficult to believe you don't get it. You claim that many works display this, and it is sufficient to explain the detail. In fact, each work tends toward the unique, and the Three Worlds aspect explains only a tiny, albeit important, part of any design. The Devil is in the details. Many of these can be seen easily, others are more obscure. Fortunately, Tarot's designer included a lot more structural elements than just the Three Worlds. These are visible, these are confirmed by the variations in ordering which tend to preserve the structure more often than not, and these enable us to improve, fine-tune, and confirm our readings.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
mjhurst wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Our disagreements (Michael) seem to come back to what I said a few posts ago, that you assume the sequence was designed to be read as a stand alone work (and that therefore only a strict, card-by-card allegorical programme can acceptably explain it), while I think its context as a game is essential to understanding it, and to not overreading it.
Your current fascination with this false argument baffles me. First, understanding the iconographic composition has nothing to do with whether it was used in a game or not. There is just no sensible connection, unless the trumps incorporated the suit signs in some fashion, or something like that. If they did, then that aspect would obviously need to be taken into account. Yes, it can be read as a stand-alone work. Why not?
Because it forces you to try to interpret... Trying to understand the sequence outside of its ludic context therefore imposes false limits and is liable, or rather guaranteed, to mislead the interpreter.
I'll answer this, even though your subsequent post seems to imply that you have now recanted this view. I hope that is the case, because this is nonsense.

Nothing is forced, nothing is imposed. You are the one attempting to define the trump cycle in such a manner so as to beg the question. You define "ludic" as somehow, in some way you refuse to explain, as not permitting a coherent programme. In contrast, I'm simply permitting that as a possibility, and looking for it. It seems like the most natural way to create a game, but nothing is assumed, forced, guaranteed, imposed, except by you and your insistence that a game cannot include a well designed allegory.

You don't seem to understand that the vast majority of works of art, even many cyclic works, do NOT have the kind of detailed schematic/diagrammatic design I'm suggesting. Nothing forces such an interpretation. Moreover, IMO all but one of the Tarot decks also fail to exhibit such a design. If you were even close to being correct, then my methodology would have forced/imposed/demanded/guaranteed or otherwise produced such a meaning for most, if not all decks. In fact, a priori, there was no reason to think that such a design could be found in any deck.

I would ask why don't you explain that argument rather than merely repeating it, except that in this passage you seem to have had a change of mind:
Of course there is no reason why it could not have been a very precise story as well as a game. My conclusion is that it was not a precise story, and that having such a precise story in mind is not necessary to explain the designer's choices of subjects or their arrangement.
You now say "of course", but that is what I have been arguing for, for all these years. It doesn't force or impose anything to simply accept the obvious, that the meaning of the trumps is different than their purpose. Any set of trumps could be used to serve the needs of the game, as proven by various decks.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#114
MJ Hurst wrote
In terms of intentio auctoris, ever since I learned about Eco's distinction I have embraced it, and made the focus the intentio operis. Yes, it helps to think about the inventor: what thinking could have motivated these choices? The focus, however, must remain on the choices made, the known facts of subject matter and sequence. If we can explain the work, then we have shown what the inventor might have been thinking, but that is secondary.
Eco's point, if I understand it, was about interpretation, not explanation. I don't see how it is possible to explain a work, meaning how a work came to be, as opposed to what it means, without referring to its cause, i.e. the designer or designers.

It is true that Ross hasn't explained much. I don't see why he has to, if the subjects were already in the culture, just waiting to be put into a game. It's like the streets in Atlantic City. All of them seem to have been out there, more or less. (Ross, when I said "God forbid" I was joking. Sorry. I just wanted to make it clear that indeed, more will be needed before I am convinced of your theory.)

And there doesn't have to be a narrative for the game to end with a bang (Marco's argument). The "Monopoly" sequence ends in the high-rent district, too (Park Place and Boardwalk). Not only that, "Monopoly" is very instructive about the workings of unregulated capitalism, just not in a narrative way. As a kid I played it unreflectively, but unconsciously the message sank in. It teaches a certain view of capitalism, including why reinvestment is important instead of putting the money in a sock, and about monopoly superprofits and why the poor get poorer.

What does playing the game of tarot teach, in the sense of a worldview? Well, in Ross's Bologna version, we see--in the game, not the sequence--that bad triumphs over good, things in the sky triumph over both, and God's and the heavens' favor is a matter of the luck of the draw. There is also what it teaches about Fortune. It is not just that it triumphs over good (but not evil!). Tarot was a game of skill as much as luck. Assuming that luck is randomly distributed, the skillful player will win in the long run, as long as he doesn't bet more than his resources allow. "Skill" includes detecting cheaters and perhaps an occasional cheat oneself, if done in such a way that it won't be detected. So Fortune's apparent randomness can be defeated on the material plane.

It is a very Machiavellian (and perhaps Old Testament), realistic, and to that extent refreshing view of the world; perhaps that's part of why the game was so popular. I can see how it would appeal to humanists, merchants, bankers, and military leaders, who have to deal with good and bad luck all the time. It is important not to put all one's eggs in one basket, to use the law of averages but to allow for losing streaks. So we have Filelfo sending out his manuscripts to rich people all over the place, not depending on one source of income, and undermining those who fail him, regardless of past loyalties. We have the Medici bank getting rich by means of currency exchanges in which there is a very small profit, but one that adds up if done often enough on a large enough scale (there is a book about this, I can't remember the name). Merchants depending on ships' cargoes allow for total failure ("worst case scenario") in their budgeting (one lesson of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice). It was also important, in the game, to have a good memory and to act on it in a timely way. That was important for all these classes, too, in their real lives.

At the same time, the sequence, as a series of artworks being exhibited in a definite sequence, tells a thoroughly New Testament, medieval Christian story. While evil may triumph over good in this world, evil itself is triumhed over in the Last Days.

So I agree with both of you, except for your discounting, both of you, every other "working hypothesis" except your own. For explaining how the tarot, which surely from its conception was a game, came to be, Ross's perspective is especially important. The others, being interpretations of a sequence of artworks, are less decisive in that regard.

(To expand briefly on the last paragraph: the third part of the sequence could still be a cosmograph, one modified by the requirements of "easy recognition" in the game and the precedent of numerous quotes in religious authorities where the order is star, moon, sun. Some alchemical versions of the cosmograph, for example, put the stars below the sun and moon; see the Heilige Dreifaltigkeit of c. 1470 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chemherita ... otostream/), a text with which the Marquesa of Mantua's father was involved. Also, regarding "phantom decks", those who reconstruct lines of manuscript transmission routinely postulate unknown manuscripts prior in time to known ones; not to do so is to invite confusion. Art historians likewise postulate possible unknown artworks which known ones have as a common source.)

In my view the designer or designers probably laughed. He/they didn't much care what the masses made of it, as long as they liked it, so the game would be known for a long time. The elite would understand, regardless.

I have something to add to my train of thought about scoring rules involving the six first and last trumps. I am working on a translation of a new essay by Andrea Vitali, In it he has a quote from Girolomo Zorli on the "verzicole", the rule about scoring sequences of certain cards. He seems to be implying that Bologna didn't have such a rule with the trumps, just with the ordinary suits, and even then only if the King was involved:
Nel Tarocchino bolognese e nelle Minchiate fiorentine sono conteggiate le carte che si combinano sequenzialmente con altre. A Bologna erano premiate le combinazioni di figure dello stesso seme capeggiate dal Re. Nelle Minchiate erano premiate le sequenze ininterrotte di certi trionfi-tarocchi, sequenze dette verzigole.

(In the Bolognese Tarocchino and in the Florentine Minchiate are counted cards that combine sequentially with others. In Bologna were rewarded combinations of figures of the same suit from the King. In Minchiate were rewarded uninterrupted sequences of certain trionfi-taroccchi, sequences called verzigole.)
This is all he says on the subject, in the passage I am working on. If so, then either the Bologna game is a simplification of the existing game elsewhere or it is a more primitive game. It seems to me that there is no reason why it should have been simplified on this point. It's not like the "papi"; the verzicole has nothing offensive about it. So likely Bologna had a more primitive game than places where the "verzicole" applied. That speaks to its priority in time, before the "verzicole" rule was thought of: another point in Ross's favor.

So what do people know about the "verzicole" outside the Regle of 1637 and the Florentine Minchiate?

Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#115
mikeh wrote: So what do people know about the "verzicole" outside the Regle of 1637 and the Florentine Minchiate?
That likely means some work.

http://www.pagat.com/tarot/
There are many different Tarot/Tarock/Tarocchi rules.

At ...
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t= ... =versicole
... I talked about verzicole in Minchiate. My informations were then based on an Italian article
http://germini.altervista.org/

The page presents this figure ...
Image

... a figure teaching the cards, which participate in a verzicole (in the Minchiate game)

In the second post (Aeclectic) "conurelover" gave there a summary (for Minchiate)
Versicole are combinations of cards which add to the score. There must be AT LEAST THREE or more ascending point cards to form a versicola.

Regular versicola are as follows, 1,2,3, or 1,2,3,4 or 1,2,3,4,5, or 2,3,4, etc., (called Versicola of Popes); then all ascending trumps from 28 through the Super 30 (Super Thirty Versicola); through the Arie, called Versicola Arie. For example: 28, 29, 30, 31, etc., Star, Moon, Sun, etc.

Irregular versicola are formed and named as follows:

1) Versicola of the Excuse/Fool/Mad: Pope 1, Fool, Trumpet/Angel(40)
2) Versicola of the Thirteen: Pope 1, Death(13), and Capricorn(28)
3) Versicola of the Tens: Chariot(10), Fire(20), Cancer(30), Trumpet/Angel(40)
If the Chariot or Angel is missing the Versicola is still valid but it is called an Ashamed because it isn’t the best Tens.
4) 3 or 4 Kings make a Versicola. 4 Kings is called the Versicola of the Crazy.

5) Variant Versicola: Demonio, Mondo e Carne.- 14 Devil and 35 Gemini and the World. Translated to The Versicola of the Demon, World and the Flesh.

The value of the versicole are added up by adding the values of each card involved.

The Excuse/Fool is added to any kind of versicola and his value is added to that versicola. However THE FOOL DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF ANY CARD NEEDED FOR A VERSICOLA.

If you have a versicola and win a card during the game that makes the versicola bigger, that card makes the versicola even more valuable.
**************

The base for Minchiate rules had been given mainly by a German article written 1798 (I don't know to which degree this has changed meanwhile).
In my own opinion this article is written in a confusing manner.

Franco Pratesi recently ...
http://trionfi.com/evx-prato-accademia-degli-infecondi
... detected a list of games with 4 different Minchiate versions in Prato during 18th century.

Image


Franco gave the comment:
I had never seen such a detail in these few games. To begin with, there are no less than four variants of Minchiate listed at the beginning, more than could be expected at the time. Rather unexpected as well is to find here the variation of Ganellini, which we commonly find mentioned in Genoa - with a Florentine origin easy to suggest for both cases.
As for the games played with Carte basse, the list begins with Ombre, a name that has nothing to do with it usual meaning of shadows, but is just the Italian spelling for the renowned Spanish game of Hombre. It could be played in its original form among three players, or as Quadriglio, its more recent form played four-handed.
It could be expected that several forms of Tressette were already popular, as they have remained in Tuscany for many decades later on.
Remarkable is on the other hand the presence here of the main board games, chess of course, but also draughts and Tavola reale, a kind of early backgammon. Three variants of billiards close the list, before a final statement, which requires that a copy of this list should be displayed on a wall of the academy.


Actually I personally would suspect, that there were lots of Minchiate variants during those many centuries.

*********

Comparable special points for "verzicole" or "card combinations" are also known from other card games outside of the Tarot family (for instance Klabberjass, which as Klammerjass is played still in Cologne).

Somehow this presents an "old style", less common nowadays for trick-taking games than it has been in earlier time.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#116
mikeh wrote: I have something to add to my train of thought about scoring rules involving the six first and last trumps. I am working on a translation of a new essay by Andrea Vitali, In it he has a quote from Girolomo Zorli on the "verzicole", the rule about scoring sequences of certain cards. He seems to be implying that Bologna didn't have such a rule with the trumps, just with the ordinary suits, and even then only if the King was involved:
Nel Tarocchino bolognese e nelle Minchiate fiorentine sono conteggiate le carte che si combinano sequenzialmente con altre. A Bologna erano premiate le combinazioni di figure dello stesso seme capeggiate dal Re. Nelle Minchiate erano premiate le sequenze ininterrotte di certi trionfi-tarocchi, sequenze dette verzigole.

(In the Bolognese Tarocchino and in the Florentine Minchiate are counted cards that combine sequentially with others. In Bologna were rewarded combinations of figures of the same suit from the King. In Minchiate were rewarded uninterrupted sequences of certain trionfi-taroccchi, sequences called verzigole.)
This is all he says on the subject, in the passage I am working on. If so, then either the Bologna game is a simplification of the existing game elsewhere or it is a more primitive game. It seems to me that there is no reason why it should have been simplified on this point. It's not like the "papi"; the verzicole has nothing offensive about it. So likely Bologna had a more primitive game than places where the "verzicole" applied. That speaks to its priority in time, before the "verzicole" rule was thought of: another point in Ross's favor.

So what do people know about the "verzicole" outside the Regle of 1637 and the Florentine Minchiate?
Bologna did (and does) indeed have scoring for combinations and sequences of trumps (see GT pp. 321-322; HGT pp. 264-266).

Girolamo is a player, so he knows the value of sequences and combinations in Bolognese Tarot (the passage must presume this knowledge). They aren't called verzigole, but cricche (combinations, singular cricca) and sequenze (sequences).

The earliest rules, from the Pedini manuscript (circa 1600) for the game of Partita, know 5 kinds of combinations and 7 kinds of sequences, which count for points (these are still used today in the standard Bolognese Tarot game, Ottocento).

The combinations are 3 or 4 of the tarocchi (=the counting trumps, Angelo, Mondo, Bagattino and Matto), worth 18 (for three) or 36 (four all four) points;
3 or 4 of the Kings (worth 17 or 34);
3 or 4 of the Queens (14 or 28);
3 or 4 of the Knights (13 or 26);
3 or 4 of the Valets (12 or 24).

The seven types of sequence are:

1. A grande - sequence in trumps; this must contain the Angelo and any two of the three following cards (Mondo, Sole and Luna); after that, from the Stella downwards, the sequence can continue with an unbroken line of trumps;
2-5. A sequence in the suits, which must contain the King, and two or all three of the other court cards; an Ace may be added if available (thus a sequence of 5 if you have all of them);
6. Three or four of the papi;
7. Three or four Aces.
Sequences score 10 points for the first three cards, with 5 points added for each subsequent card in the sequence.

In both cricche and sequenze, the pair of contatori, the Bagattino and Matto, can serve as wild cards. They are subject to the following limitations: they cannot substitute for the Angelo or a King, and they cannot be side-by-side in substitutions - they must be separated by at least one real card of the sequence or combination.

It can be seen that sequences 6 and 7 are really cricche, or combinations of cards of the same kind. HGT notes (p. 277) this, pointing out also an apparent inconsistency in the scoring of cricche which may shed light on an earlier form of the game:
The fact that a cricca of three Kings is worth 17 points, but one of the Queens only 14, is also suggestive. It prompts the speculation that other cricche, worth respectively 16 and 15 points, originally intervened. Could these have been sets of three Papi and of three Aces, illogically classified in Partita and all later forms as sequences? Possibly; but it would be odd for a set of three Aces to have a higher value than one of three Queens. We have no actual information about how Tarocchi was played in Bologna before the invention of the shortened 62-card pack. We can only conjecture, presuming that it already had many of the features of Tarocchino.
My proposed solution to this puzzle is that (whatever the reason the cricche of Papi and Aces became classified as sequenze, for which I have no solution to offer yet) the original scoring of the 78 card game went as follows:

Three or four Tarocchi, 18 or 36 points;
3 or 4 Papi, 17 or 34 points;
3 or 4 Kings, 16 or 32 points;
3 or 4 Queens, 15 or 30 points;
3 or 4 Knights, 14 or 28 points;
3 or 4 Valets, 13 or 26 points;
3 or 4 Aces, 12 or 24 points.

Thus the Kings and Queens had Partita's missing 16 and 15 point scores, with the Papi elevated above the Kings for 17 (34) points, and the Aces under the Valets with 12 (24) points.
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Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#117
mikeh wrote: (Ross, when I said "God forbid" I was joking. Sorry. I just wanted to make it clear that indeed, more will be needed before I am convinced of your theory.)
That's great - all I need to do is prove Bolognese priority to you, and I'll have you!

First I'll have to disabuse you of the notion that all these near-complete trionfi decks were circulating, and somehow ended up coalescing, remarkably containing all the subjects of the near-complete decks, as if the inventor toured Italy, collecting this deck of 14 here, this deck of 16 there, this deck of 20 here, and then mixed it all together into a super-Tarot, and then re-flooded Italy with various different orderings of this synthetic set of trumps. That seems to be the tough part, despite all the hoops and invented scenarios necessary to come up with to account for this "late standard" trump series.

The simple and only necessary answer - lost cards. All decks with any standard trumps are incomplete, in both suit and trump sequences. There is no need, and certainly no benefit, to posit multiple unknown chains of evolution. The analogy with the missing exemplar(s) that you cite for textual transmission is, in Tarot history, the 22-standard itself. The decks are missing pieces of this standard, that's all.

For the rules, I should say that while I tend to believe that the earliest known form of the Bolognese game, for the game Partita, can be used to reconstruct the actual Ur-game, and also included sequences and combinations in its conception, these features of Bologna aren't necessary to follow my theory.

He was a game designer. He wanted to invent a set of permanent trumps for his card game. But the math came first.

How many trumps? Premise 1 - the standard number of trumps is the original number (21 trumps plus Fool, Fool as "excuse" and not winnable except as a penalty for winning no tricks at all, and therefore not counted as a trump in the calculations, but as a permanent "extra"). Then you may theorize from the standard sequence how many the game was invented for ideally. I think it was for four people, since 21 trumps (77 cards total) is the least possible necessary to win all the counting cards on the deal (16 court cards plus 4 counting trumps (including Fool since he counts)), with the dealer receiving 21 cards and everybody else 19 (if there are only 20 trumps plus Fool, everybody receives 19 cards and there is no chance to have all the trumps in a single hand, therefore there must be 21 trumps plus Fool).

Premise 2 is therefore that the game designer conceived of the best and worst scenarios in his design, and designed it to be possible to have the best hand possible, a "perfect hand", for a single player to win a hand summarily by having all the trumps (unlikely but possible, since this is a mathematical calculation; note that if he does not have the Fool in his 21, he wins it summarily because the holder can't win any tricks in any case). This person has to be the dealer (who receives 21 cards and discards 2), but the deal rotates and the total points to win the game is always enough to allow every player the chance to win. That is, no one can win the whole game on a single hand, even though it is theoretically possible to win a single round outright, with no tricks actually played (this is true, not merely theory, for most Tarot games played by four or less).

Premise 1 is based on the observation that most of the trump cards don't count for individual points, they are, like the suit cards Ace to 10, "empty" cards, whose only purpose is to beat other cards. What other cards do they want to beat? The only other cards that count in the game, literally the "counting" cards of the court cards, which are 16 in number. So there are minimally enough empty trumps to win the 16 court cards. Add to these the counting trumps themselves (3 or 4), and the distribution numbers to four players, and you have almost exactly the number of trumps you need to explain the standard number, simply by assuming that the trumps are there win the court cards in a game for four players. What explains the exact number (21 trumps) is the distribution to four players, 19 each, with the dealer getting 21. Since the deal rotates, every player gets a theoretical chance to have this "perfect hand".

The explicit evidence for a four-player game (a partnership one at that) goes back to Ugo Trotti, 1456. Other forms already existed as well - the Borromeo fresco shows five players. But Trotti's evidence is the earliest explicit "rule" for any kind of Tarot game, and is consistent with an original 21 plus Fool scenario as outlined above.

Therefore the "basic rules" that we have to agree upon for argument's sake, if you are to understand my argument at all, are:

1. Following suit. Players must follow suit to the card led if possible; if not, must trump; if trumping not possible, can play any card.
2. Fool is "excuse". Player holding him can in a single instance "excuse" himself from the rule of following suit or trumping, and play any other card. He can then keep the Fool and retain his points (which are always among the highest cards).
2a. A corrollary of this rule is that the penalty for having the Fool in one's hand, but not winning any tricks in a round, is to lose him to the winner by default.
3. Only the highest and lowest two trumps count for individual points. I believe Bologna's two highest trumps were the original intention, but having a single high trump doesn't change the math (i.e. it still means that the minimum number is 78 cards total, but including the Fool. I think this is implicit proof of the priority of the Bolognese game's Angelo and Mondo counting, but it is not necessary to agree with me for the general argument to work).
4. All of the 16 court cards count for points, and only them, among the suited cards.
5. Winner of last trick leads to next.
6. Deal rotates, and the game cannot be finished (i.e. reach the total necessary number of points) until every player has had a chance to deal. In a four-handed game, therefore, there will be at least four deals necessary to win a game.
7. The entire pack is dealt out in every hand. That is, there is no stock from which players draw to refresh their hands.

These rules are present in every classic form of the game. There is nothing controversial in any of them, and I think they must be taken as features of the original game, wherever you believe it was invented. They are obviously not sufficient to play the game, but they are, minimally, present in it. There were obviously other rules, most probably the idea of points for combinations and sequences, and bonuses for particular feats like winning every trick or the last trick, as well as the points per trick and the method of counting totals, but it is not necessary to agree on them in order to argue for the priority of the standard sequence of 22 trumps.

With these principles accepted, you can see that the game does not work symmetrically for any other number of players. 3 or less gives too many cards to each player, while 5 or more too few.
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Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#118
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Bologna did (and does) indeed have scoring for combinations and sequences of trumps (see GT pp. 321-322; HGT pp. 264-266).

Girolamo is a player, so he knows the value of sequences and combinations in Bolognese Tarot (the passage must presume this knowledge). They aren't called verzigole, but cricche (combinations, singular cricca) and sequenze (sequences).

The earliest rules, from the Pedini manuscript (circa 1600) for the game of Partita, know 5 kinds of combinations and 7 kinds of sequences, which count for points (these are still used today in the standard Bolognese Tarot game, Ottocento).

The combinations are 3 or 4 of the tarocchi (=the counting trumps, Angelo, Mondo, Bagattino and Matto), worth 18 (for three) or 36 (four all four) points;
3 or 4 of the Kings (worth 17 or 34);
3 or 4 of the Queens (14 or 28);
3 or 4 of the Knights (13 or 26);
3 or 4 of the Valets (12 or 24).

The seven types of sequence are:

1. A grande - sequence in trumps; this must contain the Angelo and any two of the three following cards (Mondo, Sole and Luna); after that, from the Stella downwards, the sequence can continue with an unbroken line of trumps;
2-5. A sequence in the suits, which must contain the King, and two or all three of the other court cards; an Ace may be added if available (thus a sequence of 5 if you have all of them);
6. Three or four of the papi;
7. Three or four Aces.
Sequences score 10 points for the first three cards, with 5 points added for each subsequent card in the sequence.

In both cricche and sequenze, the pair of contatori, the Bagattino and Matto, can serve as wild cards. They are subject to the following limitations: they cannot substitute for the Angelo or a King, and they cannot be side-by-side in substitutions - they must be separated by at least one real card of the sequence or combination.

It can be seen that sequences 6 and 7 are really cricche, or combinations of cards of the same kind. HGT notes (p. 277) this, pointing out also an apparent inconsistency in the scoring of cricche which may shed light on an earlier form of the game:
The fact that a cricca of three Kings is worth 17 points, but one of the Queens only 14, is also suggestive. It prompts the speculation that other cricche, worth respectively 16 and 15 points, originally intervened. Could these have been sets of three Papi and of three Aces, illogically classified in Partita and all later forms as sequences? Possibly; but it would be odd for a set of three Aces to have a higher value than one of three Queens. We have no actual information about how Tarocchi was played in Bologna before the invention of the shortened 62-card pack. We can only conjecture, presuming that it already had many of the features of Tarocchino.
My proposed solution to this puzzle is that (whatever the reason the cricche of Papi and Aces became classified as sequenze, for which I have no solution to offer yet) the original scoring of the 78 card game went as follows:

Three or four Tarocchi, 18 or 36 points;
3 or 4 Papi, 17 or 34 points;
3 or 4 Kings, 16 or 32 points;
3 or 4 Queens, 15 or 30 points;
3 or 4 Knights, 14 or 28 points;
3 or 4 Valets, 13 or 26 points;
3 or 4 Aces, 12 or 24 points.

Thus the Kings and Queens had Partita's missing 16 and 15 point scores, with the Papi elevated above the Kings for 17 (34) points, and the Aces under the Valets with 12 (24) points.
That's VERY interesting, thanks.

We have, that Florence allowed 4 types of games, between them "trionfi", in December 1450.

The whole was repeated in 1463 in Florence 1463, then with the inclusion of cricce and ronfa.
"1450 saw the first list of permitted games (in Florence). They were few, but the names are important: "dritta", "vinciperdi", "trionfo" and "trenta"". Pratesi concludes: "The inclusion of Trionfo is of particular interest. That inclusion means, that trionfo had taken on a traditional character and that the people of Florence (and here we cannot yet speak of a Ducal or prince's court) had been playing it for some time. In 1463 the law was reiterated with the addition of "cricca" and "ronfa"".

[Quoted from Pratesi 1990]
Game names were floating, generally, and there's no guarantee, that a game name used in another location aand another time still meant the same game or "game feature".

I think, it's possible, that the name "Ronfa" served in 1463 as "sequences" and the allowance aimed to allow that, which was later known as "versicole", a way to play with cards, independently, if the used cards were Trionfi or usual playing cards.

Ronfa had till then it's first appearance in Italy, but is suspected to have been appeared in France much earlier (as far I know).
http://trionfi.com/0/p/19/
[/quote]

Research possibilities have increased much after this was written.

... looking through the web, I detected now, that a Dutch writer in 1679 published a white-magic-book, which in later editions (in German language) also contained card game rules. In a reprinted version of 1745 ...

Natürliches Zauberbuch etc.
http://books.google.de/books?id=QMlZAAA ... el&f=false

... I find the use of the word "Rummel" in precisely that context, what had been earlier only a suspicion in regard of the 1463 document in Florence.
It's easy to see, that the name of the well known game family "Rommé", known in English as "Rummy" (known for the use of sequences and "4 (or 7) of a kind") descended from this.

additional also in Germany:
rümpfen, ein spiel: alsdann, so manicher getrunken, das er schier nichts mer gesicht, so facht das spill an. da rumpft man uf ein stunde oder zwo. Zimm. chron. 4, 374, 32; o rimpffen lehrt fein rechenen. Garg. 175a; seine gäste waren junge magistri, licentiaten, doctores so auch gerne rumpffeten, darzu auch gar fertig waren, wie sie dan sagten: ein guter rumpffer kont auch woll ein guth consilium stellen, rumpffeten also die gantze nacht. B. Sastrow 2, 638;

ich kan ein spil, heist man das rümpffen,
nemt offt den beutel zu den strümpfen.
H. Sachs 5, 357b;

die brüder, schwäger, vater, son ...
... im rümpffen, bilden, thürmn
einander nach dem gelde stürmn.
B. Ringwald lautere wahrh. 84.

http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?sigle=DW ... id=GR09497
**********

Now 1463 is a time, which still might have had known decks with a 5th trump suit, which had an equal number of cards as appeared in the suits (5x14, 5x16, possibly even 5x15, 5x13, 5x12, though we don't have much indication of this).

In the 4x15-deck of Johannes of Rheinfelden (1377) the Unter (= Valet) was counted 11, the Maid as 12, the Ober (= Cavallo) as 13, the Queen as 14 and the King as 15.
http://trionfi.com/0/p/10/

In your Bologna list above ...
The combinations are 3 or 4 of the tarocchi (=the counting trumps, Angelo, Mondo, Bagattino and Matto), worth 18 (for three) or 36 (four all four) points;
3 or 4 of the Kings (worth 17 or 34);
3 or 4 of the Queens (14 or 28);
3 or 4 of the Knights (13 or 26);

3 or 4 of the Valets (12 or 24).
... you've twice the John-of-Rheinfelden numbers (14 for Queens, 13 for Knights). The Valet is increased from 11 (JoR) to 12, for good reason, as the later Italian decks didn't know a "Maid" as John did. The free "11 points" possibly went to the "3 aces" (aces are often connected to 11, in many games), which are given without value in your lists, cause they are given at your list without real logic to the sequences.
The seven types of sequence are:

1. A grande - sequence in trumps; this must contain the Angelo and any two of the three following cards (Mondo, Sole and Luna); after that, from the Stella downwards, the sequence can continue with an unbroken line of trumps;
2-5. A sequence in the suits, which must contain the King, and two or all three of the other court cards; an Ace may be added if available (thus a sequence of 5 if you have all of them);
6. Three or four of the papi;
7. Three or four Aces.
Sequences score 10 points for the first three cards, with 5 points added for each subsequent card in the sequence.
Well, these rules don't include combinations which include the Pagat (who is the representative of all 4 Aces), only the other 4 Papi (Florence had 5 Papi including the Pagat, not 4) lead to special points by the "verzicole".

Perhaps the special function of the Pagat (high direct card points, ) caused, that the aces were degraded to value 10.

Well, inside the 5x14-theory (based on the first artist of PMB) we have there also the riddle of the "empty 11" ....

0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10- ... 12-13 ... 20

Also the empty place at position 11. And there we've also a change in the upper region (a "14" transmuted to a "20" inside the Tarot development).
And in your list we suddenly have two empty places at 15 and 16. The King, if it would have followed the JoR-tradition would have had 15 points, but on you list is has "17 points for three kings"

Well, the place was Bologna, and Bologna was early with the veneration of the "3 Holy Kings and their "Star" (San Petronio), and we know, that at least in some Tarot rows the card "Star" got the number 17. And at least some Tarot Star cards it showed 3 Holy Kings, especially in Bologna.

14 (Queens) plus 3 (Holy Kings) = 17

And the highest card in the 5x14-deck (first painter PMB) was the Angel, which endured to become in Bologna ALSO the highest trump (as ALSO in Florence, which had it also with the 3 Holy Kings ... especially close to 1463).

The 3-card sequences of the 4 highest trumps got the base value 18, not 21 or 22. Perhaps a sign, that in the time, when also fine details developed, the deck hadn't 22 special cards. Or there was a not numbered group, as in Minchiate with the "5 Arie".

Adding 17+18 (17 for the 3 kings, and 10 for 3 of the highest 4 cards), we get 35, the number, which was honored as highest numbered card (35 Gemini) in the Minchiate.

35 is the half of 70, and 70 cards had been in the 5x14-deck.

1+2+3+4 = 10 (points of the court cards in a suit)

4x10 = 40 (points of all court cards)
4+4+4 = 12 (points for Fool, Pagat and highest trump)
70/4 = 17.5 .... all 70 cards valued as a 1/4 point

40 + 12 + 17.5 = 69.5 point in the game (without verzicole and other external points) .

With "35 points" you win the game.

An elegant composition.

And yesterday we had the 6th of January.

Well, thanks.

******************

The game is named Ottocento, which either means "800" or "19th century".
"800" makes a rubber, as I read, so the name.

And it is played with 62 cards (2-5 are are deleted; "Tarocchino" deck).

Would be nice to know, when Ottocento appears as game name for the first time. And when Tarocchino ... there was something of 16th century, I remember, also known as "Partita".
World, second highest card, gets the unusual high value of Fool, Pagat and Highest card, and the last trick gets 6 points ...
This makes, as Pagat.com states, totally 93 points, which makes 62 * 1.5 = 93, with 62 as the number of cards.

Pagat.com has a confused way to present the number ...

I would describe it ...

0.5 point for each card ... (62 * 0.5 ) = 31 points
40 points for courts
16 points for highest and lowest special cards (Fool, Pagat, World, Angel)
6 points for last trick

31+40+16+6 = 93

Wikipedia knows another another counting version ... 77 points. The description is confusing again.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarocchini
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#119
Huck wrote: In the 4x15-deck of Johannes of Rheinfelden (1377) the Unter (= Valet) was counted 11, the Maid as 12, the Ober (= Cavallo) as 13, the Queen as 14 and the King as 15.
http://trionfi.com/0/p/10/

In your Bologna list above ...
The combinations are 3 or 4 of the tarocchi (=the counting trumps, Angelo, Mondo, Bagattino and Matto), worth 18 (for three) or 36 (four all four) points;
3 or 4 of the Kings (worth 17 or 34);
3 or 4 of the Queens (14 or 28);
3 or 4 of the Knights (13 or 26);

3 or 4 of the Valets (12 or 24).
... you've twice the John-of-Rheinfelden numbers (14 for Queens, 13 for Knights). The Valet is increased from 11 (JoR) to 12, for good reason, as the later Italian decks didn't know a "Maid" as John did.
That's not strictly true. The Sicilian Tarot knows "maids" instead of male valets, and Bologna's designs for a short time in the 17th century also had them (I'll have to dig up the references).

I think the figure in other kinds of Italian decks varies at various times between male and female versions as well. It is just that this figure is the most ambivalent of all the cards, both iconographically (in German decks he is often a fool) and ludically. With the Ace, he is the most likely to play a special role in the game, to be a trump or otherwise upset the established order. I call this "ludic logic", which is paralleled in folklore by the motif of the little guy either by luck or cunning becoming the big guy. Note that it works in Chess too, when the pawn reaches the deepest rank of the opposing side, he changes to a Queen (or originally any piece, if I remember correctly).

The Valet, Jack (Euchre/Juker-Joker) or Unter in card games is the best representative of this innate tendency in play, an aspect of ludic logic. There is no necessary genetic relationship among particular instances of this tendency, it is purely psychological, one of the more universal aspects of play and storytelling.

A proof of this is how the Joker has no genetic relationship with the Tarot Fool nor any other "fool" iconography in previous decks, even though we find a rationality in the name of Juker for the trump Jack in Euchre - he was born from the deck itself, based on tendencies intrinsic to play, and not on any external models imposed on the deck. Once born, he took on a life of his own (even spawning a twin, although I have never played a game that uses two Jokers, although this might be explained as partly due to the desire to fill a certain paper size with another figure...)
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Re: Dummett and methodology [was Re: The Sun]

#120
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: That's not strictly true. The Sicilian Tarot knows "maids" instead of male valets, and Bologna's designs for a short time in the 17th century also had them (I'll have to dig up the references).
If we take the orientation towards Maids (instead of gender neutral Valets) proceeded from the JoR tradition in Minchiate, the number situation between JoR deck and Ottocento rules becomes even better or more suggestive:

JoR

14 Queens
13 Knights
12 Maids

Ottocento

verzicole with 3 Queens - 14 points (if you don't like verzicole, then "Cricche")
verzicole with 3 Knights - 13 points
verzicole with 3 Maids - 12 points

Then only the 3 Kings go a strange way:

JoR
15 King

Ottocento
verzicole with 3 Kings - 17 points (3 Holy Kings - phenomenon)

****************

If we would assume, that the games, which were played with the JoR-deck already knew something like verzicole, we would have ...

3 Kings - 15 points
3 Queens - 14 points
3 Ober - 13 points
3 Maids - 12 points
3 Unter - 11 points

3 in Sequence - 10 points

... a rather logical and simple system.

************

possibly even ...

3 of the 10s ... 10 points
3 of the 9s ... 9 points
3 of the 8s ... 8 points
etc.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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