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 Definition A two-handed card game played with 32 cards that originated in France around 1500. [d] [e]
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"Piquet is widely regarded as the best card game for two players" -- how can something be widely regarded as the best card game for two players when I haven't heard of it before? --Larry Sanger 18:52, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps this is what Wikipedia calls "weasel words". (Do we use that terminology?) The statement was taken directly from Parlett's Oxford Guide to Card Games (which is also the main source for my card games article). Another book (which I can't identify from memory) says it's generally regarded as such by connoisseurs. Many (British) books on card games say it's the best. Other sources say it's essentially unknown in America (see also Hayford's edit summary). Perhaps an accurate statement would be that it's generally so regarded by connoisseurs in Britain & France. I'm rather vague on our verifiability policy (if any). Peter Jackson 10:54, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe the problem is that people stopped playing it in the early 20th century, as various games for 3 or 4 players became more popular. I think I read in Parlett about a temporal coincidence with World War I, and I guess that that is where the new national games (Skat in Germany, Belote in France, Klaverjas in the Netherlands; all played with a piquet pack) established themselves. With so many men concentrated in a small area, it would have been strange to play a two-player game. Also, the rules of Piquet were quite complicated and not well standardised. Some of them only make sense if you know what the game was like several centuries earlier. I guess this kind of game can only survive in first position. Hans Adler 09:59, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's a question of relative popularity of games for different numbers of players. Belote, which displaced it in popularity in France, can be and is played by 2, 3 or 4. And it's not particularly less complicated. How many players you play with is largely determined by how many you have. You're right about the historical bit. Parlett's book, which is the only history of card games I know of, gives the context for a lot of it. My card game article is basically a summary of that book. Peter Jackson 14:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Once people start playing more in groups of 3 and 4 – as I am speculating they would under the conditions of World War I – it makes some sense to me that a flexible game family such as the Jass–Belote card games would replace a purely 2-player game such as piquet, even if the 2-player version of the new family isn't better than piquet. The fact that piquet practically disappeared after being the leading 2-player game for about 400 years certainly needs an explanation, and this is the best I have come up with so far.
The basic idea of piquet isn't so hard. But when you implement the details there are plenty of arbitrary choices to be made, some of which have important consequences. And it's not just the rules; the game is also quite hard to play.
Perhaps the fact that it's so memory intensive made it unsuitable for the 20th century? Hans Adler 22:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
You may be right, though I'd point out that soldiers tend to play games like pontoon.
Whether piquet is memory-intensive depends on the rules you play by. Under the Portland Club rules, you're entitled to see all scored (or equalized) cards and all played cards. Bridge, on the other hand, is very memory-intensive, but that doesn't seem to affect its popularity too much. And it requires a good deal of study to play coherently, as does skat, whereas piquet doesn't, though it's certainly hard to play well. Peter Jackson 10:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)