Origin of card game "The King of Hearts Has 5 Sons"?
March 20, 2005 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me where to find the origin of and definitive rules for the traditional American card game The King of Hearts Has Five Sons, mentioned in the article Deduction Games in the December 2000 issue of The Games Journal?

One of the authors of the article, Bruno Faidutti, informs me he heard about the game from an American in Paris about 10 years ago, but he has no more information.

Excerpt from the article follows. ("Cluedo" is better known in the US as "Clue".)

"The King of Hearts has 5 Sons. This traditional American game, though little known, is perhaps an ancestor of Cluedo. With 4 or 5 players, deal out all face cards (12 total) plus the 1-10 of hearts. A face card and a heart are removed and the twenty remaining cards are dealt out. The game is then played like Cluedo: Each player chooses one opponent and asks a question like "The Queen of Spades had 3 sons": If the player has the Queen of Spades or the three of hearts, he must show it secretly to the questioner. Players may either take notes, or must play from memory. When a player has found the solution, he announces it and looks at the hidden cards. If right, he wins, otherwise he is out of the game but remains to answer questions."
posted by rwhe to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
According to here, your game has been around since at least 1948 if that helps any.
posted by jmd82 at 10:01 PM on March 20, 2005

Response by poster: Read carefully. The date refers to Cluedo.
posted by rwhe at 10:12 PM on March 20, 2005

Indeed, but the article also claims that Cluedo was preceded by The King infering that your game has been around since at least 1948 (or 44 when the original concept for Cluedo was developed)...albeit, may have been so who knows.
posted by jmd82 at 10:46 PM on March 20, 2005

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