Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Childhood card games

Posted February 10, 2009

What was your favorite childhood card game? I posed that question to WRAL Morning News co-anchor Kelcey Carlson today. Her answer surprised me: Euchre! I had never heard of the game. Euchre (pronounced YOO-ker) is a trick-taking card game with similarities to bridge but only 25 cards are used. I have read that euchre is regionally popular in the Midwest including Indiana where Kelcey grew up. Euchre also has a strong following in the United Kingdom, parts of Canada and New Zealand.

As a Southern lad the first card games I remember playing were Go Fishing and Old Maid. I soon graduated to Crazy Eights, Gin and Gin Rummy. While on summer vacation at Brown Mountain Beach my Uncle Phil taught me to play various games of poker and Setback.

I also made up my own card games for baseball and kept statistics. I wish I could remember the rules. They were fairly loose because my personal batting average one summer was .432 and even Willie Mays, my hero, couldn’t match that.

My parents were both excellent bridge players but I never really got into their game. I loved it when my mother hosted afternoon bridge parties. It always meant a great dessert when I came home from school.

What were your favorite card games as a child? Please share your thoughts and memories.


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  • parr4246 Feb 10, 2009

    Gin Rummy, Old Maid, Go Fish and when I got a little older, UNO.

  • olliecat Feb 10, 2009

    Pit! Very fun and boisterous.

  • rrupe Feb 10, 2009

    Cribbage! A great game with a peg board and a short deck of cards

  • asurit Feb 10, 2009

    You can pick up Rook at Targets website. Our family enjoys the game every time we play.

  • maeveduir Feb 10, 2009

    Oh yes, Rook! That was the name of the game when I was growing up... my mom had a strange twist on it, which I don't regret- it was used as a memory game. Each play, we'd recite the next line from "The Raven".... bonus if you could throw the rook on the word "nevermore". To this day, I know the poem front and back, but it helps to have a hand in play if I want to recite... It's also become a tool to remember other pieces of verse... tho' reciting o captain over a good game of texas hold em' might leave the other players wondering.

  • javajoe Feb 10, 2009

    Rook! But it's been so long, I can't remember how to play it or where I could even pick up a set of cards.

  • jwstevens04 Feb 10, 2009

    Solitaire absorbed much of my time and my roommates in college...I love it. However, it's become much more sophisticated with the help of modern technology. I do love UNO and SKIP-BO...both very fun games.

  • 2thebeach Feb 10, 2009

    Spite and Malice was big at our house. We all loved playing cards. All night bridge tournaments at the beach, spades and bridge in collge, gin any time. We took our cards with us where ever we went just in case we ran into somebody and had a few minutes.

  • cornfused Feb 10, 2009

    I used to love to play gin rummy with my parents and granddaddy. We would spend hours playing on Sunday afternoons. Now that my granddady and daddy have passed on, we keep up the games with my mom. She enjoys playing Phase 10 with her grandkids nowadays!

  • LMRA Feb 10, 2009

    As the oldest of 4, I would ask my siblings (one at a time and years apart of course) if they wanted to play "52 card pick-up." Of course they would say yes and then I'd flip the deck on the floor and say "OK now pick up all 52 cards." This works only once per sibling.

    I'm pretty basic when it comes to cards - Old Maid and Go Fish are about my speed. I've tried some of the 'boxed' card games (Uno and some other game one of my neighbors has) but I totally stink!




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