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Bezique is a 19th century French melding and trick-taking card game for two players derived from Marriage via Briscan by the addition of more scoring features, notably the peculiar liaison of Q♠ and J, under the names Bésigue, Binokel, Pinochle, etc., according to the country.[1]



Bezique was developed in France from the game Piquet, although the word Bezique, formerly Bésique, was known in France in the 17th century,[2] coming probably from the Italian card game Bazzica.

The word bezique means "correspondence" or "association".[3] Binocles also meant eyeglasses, and this pronunciation, along with minor rule variations, ultimately evolved into Pinochle.[citation needed] Two-handed Pinochle and two-handed Bezique are almost identical. The former, together with Six-Pack Bezique and Rubicon Bezique, is still played in the United States of America.

The game gained its greatest popularity in Paris by 1860 and in England a few years later.[4] Perhaps the most famous proponent of the game was Winston Churchill, an avid player and early expert of Six-Pack, or "Chinese" Bezique.[5] But since the late nineteenth century the game has declined in popularity. There is some evidence that the English writers Wilkie Collins and Christina Rossetti were also enthusiasts.[6]

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