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Solitary ramblings

It's funny how your behaviour changes with your environment. I have Spider Solitaire on my own computer at home, but never play it, thinking it dull and boring. When I'm at my parents' house, though (as now), I hardly seem capable of going to bed without first playing, and winning (playing alone will not do) a game of it. It is just part of my bedtime ritual in the room where I sleep when I'm here.

And it leads me off on strange trains of thought like this:

When I was young, and playing games of Sevens Patience (now more usually Americanised to 'Solitaire') on the carpet, I very quickly developed marked value judgements about the various suits in the pack. These were based mainly on the division between red and black, but even within each colour, one of the suits appeared to me to be distinctly superior to the other. One colour I related to, and thought strong, good and worthy of victory. The other, I saw as alien, weak, unreliable and generally best avoided.

The pictures on the cards did help to forge these judgements, as did a knowledge of things like Alice in Wonderland and the nursery rhyme about the Jack of Hearts. So it's likely that more than the 50% of the population whom probability alone would suggest might share them actually do. But let's see, shall we?

Poll #885480 Playing card prejudices

Which colour of playing card do you consider to be the superior one?

Red
11(24.4%)
Black
31(68.9%)
The what now?
3(6.7%)

Of the black suits, which do you consider superior?

Spades
36(78.3%)
Clubs
6(13.0%)
I don't subscribe to such blatant suitism!
4(8.7%)

Of the red suits, which do you consider superior?

Hearts
36(80.0%)
Diamonds
5(11.1%)
They're just cards, dude!
4(8.9%)


Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
kaberett
Dec. 9th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
That's not really how I do it - I apparently fell into using (one of) the Bridge order(s) completely accidentally, simply in order of my preference for the symbols; when playing cards (which I do very rarely and very badly), my preference is spades-hearts-diamonds-clubs.

Er... 'coz you're interested, obviously.
boyzici
Dec. 9th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I also play Bridge and use that order - club - diamond - heart - spade.

Even before I played, there was something special about the Ace of Spades, so I suspect I would have perceived a Spade to be the strongest suit.

strange_complex
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
Ah, yes - of course. The Ace of Spades has a whole world of symbolism all of its own, doesn't it?

I've never played Bridge, so haven't experienced the system of suit orders in it. But I still think the colours would be important for me there. My 'ranking' would probably go Spades - Clubs - Hearts - Diamonds. See, on the 'classic' picture cards, the King of Diamonds is shown with an axe above his head. Why on earth would anyone want to be on his team?
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
I've never played bridge, and my natural ranking has always been spades-hearts-clubs-diamonds
boyzici
Dec. 11th, 2006 09:42 am (UTC)
Bridge is a very good game. I love how games vary so wildly when they all have a deck of cards at their core.

Anyhow.

miss_next
Dec. 9th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
Spades always struck me as rather sinister for some reason. I felt you could trust a club.

Strange, isn't it?
strange_complex
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:35 am (UTC)
Quite the opposite, for me! Spades point upwards in a clear direction, and thus seem noble. Clubs are knobbly and fussy, and thus seem just a bit less admirable.

But it's very interesting to see that, although some people have different specific feelings about the suits, almost everyone has some strong feelings or other on the matter!
ixwin
Dec. 12th, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
...but then those without strong feelings may be less motivated to fill out the poll, even though you've given them appropriate options.
strange_complex
Dec. 12th, 2006 12:09 pm (UTC)
Indeed - it's a fair point.
kernowgirl
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
I don't think Alice in Wonderland influenced me, as I never much liked the cards in that.

For me, red is my favourite colour, so that's why it was superior. Hearts over diamonds because love is more important than wealth. With clubs, for some reason, I always associated them with nightclubs rather than any other kind. Spades were more gardenlike. As I'm a country girl rather than a town one, I preferred the spades.

So that's me!
strange_complex
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:41 am (UTC)
Very interesting about the clubs and spades. For me, clubs were more like the clubs you use to whack things over the head - I think I assumed that because they were knobbly. That was brute and base, so I didn't like them as much as spades. Also, spades looked to me more like ceremonial spear-heads, or maybe railing-tops. This isn't perhaps consistent with my views on clubs, but that made me like them more, as they seemed stream-lined and proud and noble.

Bizarre how a totally different set of connotations had led us to the same preferences!
ladyguinevere83
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:02 am (UTC)
Mine is most likely influenced by the games we played as a family on holiday. When we ewre younger, we did play sevens as a family, but that was put aside by 'Chase the Lady' (which has another name as well), in which the Queen of Spades is evil (but hearts aren't good either) and others where it doesn't matter (like Racing Demon). Actually, in chase the lady there was a set order of the value of the suits, but I don't remember what it was, except thatclubs and diamonds were in the bottom two.

Now I'm rambling!
strange_complex
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)
Yes, there are a few games where the Queen of Spades is evil / undesirable, aren't there? It didn't stop me privileging spades in my personal ranking, though. I think I assumed that a) it proved she was special and powerful and b) that people just didn't 'get' her! When she's 'bad' in games, it seems to me like an attractive kind of badness - kind of like Dracula, or something.
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
Is 'Chase the Lady' perhaps also 'Hearts', where one tries to avoid the Queen and all hearts, unless one can 'shoot the moon' buy taking all of them?
ladyguinevere83
Dec. 10th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yes! That's the one - I knew I came across it later under another name. It was always Chase The Lady in our house :)
feetnotes
Dec. 10th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
aka "black maria" *g*
tsdt
Dec. 10th, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
The card game I played most as a child was Black Jack, therefore I have always viewed those with some suspicion. And, as with other people my favourite colour is red (lucky/prosperous colour for the Chinese), so I just prefer those suits. Spades are bad.

Odd how these little prejudices sit at the back of your head and don't come out unless prompted!
strange_complex
Dec. 12th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
And interesting that so many people seem to have them!
purple_peril
Dec. 12th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
That's really odd because I was convinced everyone else would prefer red to black and I'd be the odd one out. But it seems everyone else goes for the spades too.
When I was a girl I identified with the Queen of Spades. No idea why. So yes, in ascending order clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades.
Interestingly if you apply this to the tarot you get wands, pentacles, cups, swords, which corresponds in my deck to fire, earth, water and air. I am definitely an air/water person with a fair dollop of earth but have trouble with the fire part, so my preference for playing card suits turns out to be reflected in my nature, even though I was unaware of the correspondences as a child.
Spooky, eh?
strange_complex
Dec. 12th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
Hmm, yeah - that pretty much works for me, too, I think. My suit preferences translate into earth - water - fire - air in that order, which is about how I would rank my preferences for the elements as well. Maybe I would list fire first instead of air, but earth and water are definitely in the right places.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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