Although there exists no very great difference between the two games, the essential point is to seize this difference, and to make a skilful application of the general rules of the old game, modified as circumstances may require—a quality which stamps the good player. The advantage, however, which in the old game eight has over nine, does not exist at Short Whist at the corresponding points of four and three, for as at the latter the honours are never called, three is no better than two, as unless you make the odd trick you lose the game. It follows, therefore, that the most approved tactique is a bold, dashing, enavant system, almost the verv reverse of the Fabian policy of the old one, which presents so wide a field for stratagem and manoeuvre. Short Whist is very fast encroaching on the popularity of its parent; and the reason is obvious—it affords the excitation of higher play in the ratio of 2 to 1.
In order to reduce the operation of chance, which at this game so narrows the exercise of skill, it has long been the practice at some clubs to halve the honours—that is, to make four count for two, and three for one.
There is one very curious fact connected with Whist, and which has been passed over in silence by every writer upon this beautiful game. It is this, that after a mis-deal, on dealing with the same pack, one of the players will hold at most but one of a particular suit. To account for the fact itself, or to measure even its variations, viz. the particular suit or the hand in which the phenomenon may occur, bids defiance to all human ingenuity, but it is a fact that occurs nine, times in ten, and which without any further observation, will suggest to the reader the policy of calling for a new pack of cards everv time a misdeal occurs.