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All Fours, also known as High-Low-Jack or Seven Up, is an English tavern trick-taking card game of possibly Dutch ancestry and popular as a gambling game until the end of the 19th century. In its first description in 1674 it was reported as popular in Kent. According to David Parlett it is responsible for attaching the name Jack to the knave. All Fours is the eponymous and earliest recorded game in a family that has flourished most in 19th century North America, notable other members being Auction Pitch, Pedro and Cinch, which competed against Poker and Euchre. Nowadays the game is especially popular in the Caribbean, but a simpler variant has also survived in parts of England.[1][2]

Each player is dealt six cards. In trick play, players are allowed to trump instead of following suit. The title refers to the possibility of winning four game points by being dealt both the highest and the lowest trump in play, capturing the Jack of trumps and winning the greatest number of card-points.[3]



The game of All Fours is to be found amongst the oldest games of cards in England for it was the Tudor version of Seven Up[4] during the English Renaissance. One of the earliest references to the game is recorded in Charles Cotton's Compleat Gamester of 1674, noted to have been played in Kent.

In the 19th century, the game of All Fours was taken to America, where it was very popular among the African Americans on slave plantations. Also called Seven up[1], it gave rise to other variants like Pitch, which probably developed in the New England States[5], Pedro, and California Jack, also known as High-Low-Jack. Modern descendants include Don and Phat, developed in Britain and Ireland. It is still played in north-west England and Wales, and has since become the national game of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.[2]

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