Lucky Sevens


Lucky Sevens

Greetings Sir R-----! This evening's chill wind might be forgiven some of its injurious assault upon me by delivering me some good company as I warm my bones. Come, shed your coat and join me in a glass of this rather delightful mulled cyder!

Might you be interested in a little sport whilst we recover?


This foul zephyr puts me in mind of the infantile conflict between King Oberon and Queen Titania that was in full force during my first visit to the faerie kingdom. I had arrived there quite by accident but fortunately my reputation was sufficient to earn me an invitation to dine at the King's table. That the fare was sumptuous beyond the dreams of mortal man goes without saying, but the conflict between the King and his consort cast something of a shadow upon the evening.
I resolved that I might ease the tension, and improve the terrible weather that was its consequence, by arranging some diversion that might afford the royal couple an opportunity to resolve their dispute. I therefore made my way back to the Earthly realm and employed a troupe of actors to put on a play for the faerie court. To my very great shame they revealed themselves to be utterly inadequate upon the night; the lead actor, one Nick Bottom, faring so badly that he made a comedy of Pyramus and Thisbe.
My reconciliatory efforts having been so thoroughly unsuccessful I retired to a faerie tavern and whiled my hours away at a game most popular in that realm.

But I must tell you of its rules!

Here I have a pair of fresh decks running from Ace to King, each suit in its turn. I shall set one deck unmolested before me and the other thoroughly shuffled before you. I shall then take my top card and, if it be a seven keep it for my hand, if not discard it. You shall then do likewise and we shall continue taking turns in such manner until one of us holds a trick of four sevens. If it is my good fortune to have it, you shall give me a bounty of eleven coins. If, on the other hand, you prevail, I shall give you nine.

When I described the game to that odious student whose company I am cursed to endure, he became somewhat agitated regarding the mention of that oafish Mr Bottom, perhaps unsurprisingly given his own oafish nature. But let us not put a tarnish upon this night with talk of that feeble-minded fellow; take another glass and consider your chances!

Based upon an article I wrote for ACCU's CVu magazine.

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