Sport and Leisure/Toys and Games

From Quiz Revision Notes

Card games

Playing cards were invented in imperial China. They were found in China as early as the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty

Right-facing playing cards – Jack of Clubs, Jack/Queen/King of Spades

King of Hearts does not have a moustache

King of Diamonds has an axe behind his left shoulder

Queens in a pack of cards hold flowers

Nine of Diamonds is known as the ‘curse of Scotland’

Ace of spades is also known as the ‘death card’

Ace of spades used to show the tax on a set of playing cards

Swiss playing cards – acorns, bells, flowers and shields

German playing cards – acorns, bells, hearts and leaves

Tarot – a set of cards featuring 21 trump cards, the fool, and an extra face card per suit, in addition to the usual suit (face and pip) cards found in ordinary playing cards. Tarot cards came to be utilized primarily for divinatory purposes with the trump cards along with the fool card comprising the 22 major arcana cards and the pip and four face cards the 56 minor arcana. 78 cards in total. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups

Poker hands.svg

Ranking of poker hands –

1.Straight flush – five cards in sequence, all of the same suit

2.Four of a kind – four cards of one rank and an unmatched card of another rank

3.Full house – three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank

4.Flush – all five cards are of the same suit

5.Straight – five cards of sequential rank

6.Three of a kind – three cards of the same rank, plus two unmatched cards

7.Two pair – two cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank (that match each    other but not the first pair), plus one unmatched card

8.One pair – two cards of the same rank, plus three other unmatched cards

9.High card – highest card

Odds of a royal flush (an ace-high straight flush) are 649,739:1

Blaze is a poker hand consisting of five face cards

World Series of Poker is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and, since 2005, sponsored by Caesars Entertainment

World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is considered the most coveted non-monetary prize a poker player can win

Community card poker refers to any game of poker that uses community cards (also called ‘shared cards’ or ‘window cards’), which are cards dealt face up in the centre of the table and shared by all players

Omaha hold 'em is a poker game similar to Texas hold 'em, where each player is dealt four cards and must make his best hand using exactly two of them, plus exactly three of the five community cards

Pineapple hold 'em exists halfway between Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em. Players are initially dealt three cards. Each player then discards one of the three cards, and the game proceeds exactly as in Texas hold 'em

Poker players – Dave ‘The Devilfish’ Ulliott, Phil ‘The Unabomber’ Laak

Thomas Preston was a poker player known as Amarillo Slim

Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bridge is a development of whist

Duplicate bridge is the most widely used variation of contract bridge in club and tournament play. It is called duplicate because the same bridge deal is played at each table and scoring is based on relative performance

Rubber bridge is a form of contract bridge, played by two competing teams of two players each. A rubber is a best-of-three competition which is completed when one team is first to win two games. A team wins a game when it is first to score 100 or more contract points

Yarborough is a hand with no card higher than a nine

A pinochle deck consists of two copies of each of the Ace through 9 cards of all four suits, for 48 cards per deck. Aces are considered high. Pinochle follows a nonstandard card ordering. The complete ordering from highest to lowest is A, 10, K, Q, J, 9

In Baccarat, cards 2 to 9 are worth face value, 10s and face cards (J, Q, K) are worth zero, and Aces are worth 1 point. Baccarat is a simple game with only three possible results – 'Player', 'Banker' and 'Tie'

Players attempt to score nine (known as ‘le grande’) in Baccarat

The piquet deck is a subset of the French-suited 52-card deck, with all values from 2 through 6 in each suit removed

A two-handed bezique deck is a 64-card deck, consisting of ace through 7 of each suit twice (two piquet decks)

Cribbage was invented by poet John Suckling

Cribbage is played to 121 points. The highest possible hand score is 29

Pegging, two for his heels, one for his nob, muggins, skunking – terms used in cribbage

Euchre is played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs

Skat is a trick-taking card game for three players

In Germany, Doppelkopf is nearly as popular as Skat. Trick-taking card game for four players

Pelmanism is a card game in which all of the cards are laid face down on a surface and two cards are flipped face up over each turn. The object of the game is to turn over pairs of matching cards. Also known as Pairs

Patience (UK) also known as Solitaire (US)

Klondike, Sultan, Miss Milligan, Clock – types of Patience

Top Trumps is a card game whereby the aim is collect all the cards in the pack. Each card in the pack describes an item from a selected theme, such as cars or aircraft

Canasta uses two complete decks of 52 playing cards plus the four jokers

Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is the most widely played casino banking game in the world

Pontoon is the British variant of blackjack

Royal pontoon – Ace and court card of the same suit (or three sevens)

The objective in gin rummy is to score points and reach an agreed number of points or more, usually 100, before the opponent does. The basic game strategy is to improve one's hand by forming melds and eliminating deadwood

Misere is call by a player who is bidding to win no tricks

Board games

Abalone is a two-player strategy board game. The objective is to push six of the opponent's marbles off the edge of the board

Backgammon was first played 5,000 years ago


Each side of a backgammon board has a track of 12 long triangles, called points. The points are considered to be connected across one edge of the board, forming a continuous track in the shape of a horseshoe, and are numbered from 1 to 24. Players begin with two checkers on their 24-point, three checkers on their 8-point, and five checkers each on their 13-point and their 6-point

Tric-tric is another name for backgammon

Edmund Hoyle published A Short Treatise on the Game of Back-Gammon in 1743

Candy Land is a simple racing board game. It has become a cultural icon in the U.S., where it is often the first board game played by children because it requires no ability to read and only minimal counting skills

Chinese checkers is a variety of Halma

Cluedo was invented by Anthony Pratt in 1947

Cluedo: Discover the Secrets was released in 2008. The six suspects from the original crime have been updated to include first names and more modern-day lifestyles. Each character has a special ability or ‘power’ which can be used once during a game

Go originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago

The two players alternately place black and white playing pieces, called ‘stones’, on the vacant intersections (‘points’) of a board with a 19x19 grid of lines

Hex is a similar game to Go and was invented by John Nash

Halma (from the Greek word meaning ‘jump’) is a board game invented in 1884 by an American plastic surgeon at Harvard Medical School, George Howard Monks. The goal of the game is to transfer all of one's pieces from one's own camp into the camp in the opposing corner of the 16x16 board

Ludo (from Latin ludus, ‘game’) is a simplification of the traditional Indian Cross and Circle game Pachisi. It originally appeared in 1896. The game was patented in England

Parcheesi is an American adaptation of Pachisi

Mancala is a family of board games played around the world, sometimes called sowing games or count and capture games, which comes from the general gameplay. Mancala games play a role in many African and some Asian societies comparable to that of chess in the West. The mancala games best known in the Western world are Kalah, Oware (or Awele), Congklak, Omweso, and Bao

Monopoly was invented by Charles B. Darrow in 1933

Best Monopoly strategy – buy orange properties, ignore utilities

Monopoly rentals – site only £2, house on Old Kent Road £10; site only £50, hotel on Mayfair £2000

On a Monopoly board, there are three Chance and three Community Chest squares

Electric Company – only property that includes all the letters of the word Monopoly

Here and Now – limited 70th anniversary edition of Monopoly, brought up to date. Played with Visa credit cards. Cheapest property – Bishopsgate (£600,000), most expensive property – Kensington Palace Gardens (£4,000,000). Airports instead of stations. Playing pieces include a skateboard and mobile phone

The history of the board game Monopoly can be traced back to the early 1900s. Based on original designs by the American Elizabeth Magie, several board games were developed from 1903 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land. The first game was called The Landlord’s Game

The character locked behind the bars is called Jake the Jailbird. Officer Edgar Mallory sent him to jail

The Monopoly games mascot, Rich Uncle Pennybags, is intended to be a representation of the late financier, J. P. Morgan. However the monopoly game mascot is now called Mr. Monopoly

US Monopoly – based on Atlantic City. Most expensive property – Boardwalk, cheapest property – Mediterranean Avenue

Anti-Monopoly is a board game made by San Francisco State University Professor Ralph Anspach in 1973, in response to Monopoly. Players compete to return the state of the board to a free market system

The first Monopoly World Championships took place in New York, in 1973

Risk was invented by Albert Lamorisse and released in 1957 as The Conquest of the World. The standard version is played on a board depicting a political map of the Earth, divided into 42 territories, which are grouped into six continents

Castle Risk is a version of Risk that is played on a map of Europe

Senet, a board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt, is the oldest board game whose ancient existence has been confirmed, dating to c. 3500 BC

Shogi is a Japanese board game played by two players. The object of the game is to capture the opponent's King. It is played on a nine-by-nine board. The vertical rows are called files, the horizontal ones ranks or just rows. Each player has twenty pieces: one King, two Gold Generals, two Silver Generals, two Knights, two Lances, one Rook, one Bishop and nine Pawns

Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game. The most widely known edition of Snakes and Ladders in the United States is Chutes and Ladders from Milton Bradley

Sorry! is a Cross and Circle board game that is based on Pachisi

Stratego is originally a Dutch board game featuring a 10x10 square board and two players with 40 pieces each. Pieces represent individual officers and soldiers in an army. The objective of the game is to either find and capture the opponent's Flag or to capture so many of the opponent's pieces that he/she cannot make any further moves

The Game of Life is a board game originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley. The game simulates a person's travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriages and children (or not) along the way

Totopoly is a commercial board game, based on the events leading up to, and during, a horse race. Originally made in 1938 by Waddingtons

Trivial Pursuit was created by Scott Abbott and Chris Haney. Released in 1982. Owned by Hasbro

In the classic version of Trivial Pursuit, the Genus edition, the six categories are Geography (blue), Entertainment (pink), History (yellow), Arts & Literature (brown), Science & Nature (green), and Sports & Leisure (orange)

Trouble is a board game in which players compete to be the first to send four pieces all the way around a board. It is a variant of Frustration

German-style board games

German-style board games, frequently referred to in gaming circles as Euro Games or Euro-style, are a broad class of tabletop games that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction and abstract physical components. The games emphasize strategy, play down luck and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends. German-style games are sometimes contrasted with American-style games, which generally involve more luck, conflict, and drama

Agricola was created by Uwe Rosenberg, and published by Lookout Games. The goal of the game is to build the most well-balanced farm at the end of 14 rounds

Carcassonne is a tile-based game. It is named after the medieval fortified town of Carcassonne in southern France, famed for its city walls

El Grande game board represents renaissance-era Spain where the nobility (the Grandes) fight for control of the nine regions

Imperial – the object is to accumulate wealth in the form of bond holdings in successful countries and cash. Players take on the role of international financiers who purchase government bonds in the six pre-World War I empires

Puerto Rico – players assume the roles of colonial governors on the island of Puerto Rico during the age of Caribbean ascendancy

The Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer game Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are rewarded points as their settlements grow

Other games and puzzles

Tile-based games

Dominoes – the earliest mention of dominoes is from Song Dynasty China

The traditional domino set consists of 28 dominoes, which have a total of 168 dots

Mahjong is played with a set of 144 tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving 13 tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are two different honour suits: the winds and the dragons (red, green, and white)

Mahjong – Chinese for ‘sparrow’

Qwirkle shares some characteristics with the games Rummikub and Scrabble

Rummikub was invented by Ephraim Hertzano, a Romanian-born Jew, who immigrated to Mandate Palestine in the early 1930s. The game combines elements of rummy, dominoes, mahjong and chess

Scrabble was invented by Alfred Butts in 1931

Lexico, Criss-Cross Words – forerunners of Scrabble

Scrabble board is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. In an English-language set, the game contains 100 tiles. Players have seven tiles

SOWPODS is a term used to refer to the word list used in tournament Scrabble in most countries

‘Twelve’ is the only number equal to its score in Scrabble

In the Polish version of Scrabble, Z score one point


Eternity is a tiling puzzle created by Christopher Monckton and launched by the Ertl Company in 1999. Consisting of 209 pieces, it was marketed as being practically unsolvable, with a £1 million prize on offer for whoever could solve it within four years. The prize was paid out in 2000 for a winning solution arrived at by two mathematicians from Cambridge

Futoshiki is a logic puzzle game from Japan. Its name means ‘inequality’. The objective is to place the numbers 1 to 5 (or whatever the dimensions are) such that each row, and column contains each of the digits 1 to 5. Some digits may be given at the start. In addition, inequality constraints are also initially specified between some of the squares

Jigsaw puzzle made by John Spilsbury in 1766

Kakuro is a Sudoku type puzzle, aka Cross Sums

KenKen is a Sudoku type puzzle, where grids are divided into ‘cages’. KenKen translates as ‘square wisdom’

Rubik’s Magic – the goal of the game is to fold the puzzle into a heart-like shape and unscramble the picture on the back side, thus interconnecting the three rings

Sudoku was originally called Number Place. Numbers in a Sudoku puzzle add up to 405

Tangram is a dissection puzzle consisting of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. The objective of the puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap

Tredoku is a Sudoku that appears to exist in three dimensions

Word games

Pictionary is a guessing word game invented by Robert Angel with graphic design by Gary Everson and first published in 1985. The game is played with teams with players trying to identify specific words from their teammates' drawings

Dice games

Poker dice are dice which, instead of having number pips, have representations of playing cards upon them. Poker dice have six sides, one each of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, ten and nine, and are used to form a poker hand

Yahtzee is made by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro), which was first marketed by game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe in 1956. The object of the game is to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations

Snake Eyes – two 1’s in dice

Role-playing games

Gary Gygax, the author of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), co-created with Dave Arneson and co-published with Don Kaye in 1974 under the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), which was bought by Wizards of the Coast

Avalon Hill is now a division of the game company Wizards of the Coast, which is itself a subsidiary of Hasbro

Wizards of the Coast produce Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon Trading Card Game

Traditional games

World conker championships held annually at Ashton, in Northants

World marbles championships held at Tinsley Green in West Sussex every Good Friday

Each player has five marbles and a larger shooter or ‘taw’. The simplest variant is called ‘shooting the ring’

Tiddlywinks – players use a ‘squidger’ to propel a wink into flight by pressing down on a wink, thereby flicking it into the air. The objective of the game is to score points by sending your own winks into the pot and preventing the opponent from ‘squopping’ your winks by placing your own winks on top of them

Bomb, boondock, doubleton, nurdle, scrunge – terms in tiddlywinks

Mathematical games

Nim is a two-player mathematical game of strategy in which players take turns removing objects from distinct heaps

Tower of Hanoi consists of three pegs, and a number of disks of different sizes which can slide onto any peg. The puzzle starts with the disks neatly stacked in order of size on one peg, the smallest at the top, thus making a conical shape. The puzzle was invented by the French mathematician Edouard Lucas in 1883

Other games

Subbuteo is derived from the scientific name Falco subbuteo (a bird of prey commonly known as the Eurasian hobby), after a trademark was not granted to its creator PeteAdolph to call the game ‘Hobby’. First sets sold in 1947

Jenga is a game of physical and mental skill, marketed by Hasbro, in which players remove blocks from a tower and put them on top. The player who causes the tower to collapse loses. The word jenga is derived from kujenga, the Swahili verb ‘to build’

Pachinko is a Japanese gaming device used for amusement and prizes. Although pachinko machines were originally strictly mechanical, modern pachinko machines are a cross between a pinball machine and a video slot machine

Rock-paper-scissors is also known as Roshambo. It is a type of a zero sum hand game

Escalado was invented and patented in 1928 by Swiss inventor Arthur Gueydan and produced by Chad Valley. Model race horse game pieces, originally made of lead, make their way across a long fabric race track towards the finish line at the other end. The horses move across the race track by means of a mechanical hand crank


Lego comes from Danish ‘leg godt’ which translates to ‘play well’. The name could also be interpreted as ‘I put together’ or ‘I assemble’ in Latin. Toy of the year in 1974 and 1975

The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark. Christiansen began creating wooden toys in 1932, and began calling itself Lego in 1934

Bionicle – Lego toys. Portmanteau constructed from the words ‘biological’ and ‘chronicle’

Duplo – Lego for young children

Lego initiated a robotics line of toys called Mindstorms in 1999

Lego Friends is a product range of Lego designed to appeal primarily to girls. Introduced in 2012

Kiddicraft was a toy company founded in 1932 by Hilary 'Harry' Page. The company is notable for the releasing of the predecessor of the Lego bricks, the Self-locking Bricks

Erector Set is a toy construction set invented by Olympic pole vault gold medalist A.C. Gilbert in 1911

Matchbox was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and is now owned by Mattel. Lesney's reputation would be moulded by Jack Odell, Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith (hence the name ‘Lesney’); their first major sales success was the million-selling model of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Coach

Hornby Railways dates back to 1901, when founder Frank Hornby received a patent for his Meccano construction toy. The first clockwork train was produced in 1920. In 1938, Hornby launched its first 00 gauge train. In 1964, Hornby and Meccano were bought by their competitor Tri-Ang

Lines Bros Ltd was a British toy manufacturer of the 20th century, operating under the Tri-ang brand name

Slinky or ‘Lazy Spring’ is a toy consisting of a helical spring that stretches and can bounce up and down. The toy was invented and developed by naval engineer Richard James in the early 1940s

View-Master – the trademark name of a line of special-format stereoscopes and corresponding View-Master ‘reels’, which are thin cardboard disks containing seven stereoscopic 3-D pairs of small colour photographs on film. The View-Master system was introduced in 1939

Etch A Sketch was invented by Andre Cassagnes and subsequently manufactured by the Ohio Art Company. Introduced in 1960

Playmobil is a line of plastic figures produced by the Brandstatter Group, headquartered in Zirndorf, Germany

The American businesswoman Ruth Handler is regarded as the creator of Barbie in 1959, and the doll's design was inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Made by Mattel (founded by Howard ‘matt’ Matson and ‘el’ Elliott Handler). Barbie ditched Ken, is now with surfer Blaine

Fulla is a Muslim Barbie, released in 2009

Sara and Dara are Islamic Barbie dolls, released in 2012

Francie Fairchild was a fashion doll issued by Mattel from 1966 to 1976 and re-introduced in 2011. Marketed as "Barbie's MODern cousin" (sic) from England, the doll had an extensive line of mod-style clothing

Bratz – manufactured by MGA Entertainment. Four original 10" dolls were released in 2001 – Cloe, Jade, Sasha and Yasmin

The original nine Beanie Babies were launched in 1993 by Ty, Inc.

Character Group produce Dr Who and Little Britain toys

Wham-O Inc. is a toy company currently located in California. They are known for marketing many popular toys in the past 50 years, including the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, Slip 'N Slide, Super Ball, Trac-Ball, Silly String, Hacky Sack and the Boogie board. Founded in 1948 by Richard Knerr and Arthur ‘Spud’ Melin

Magic 8 Ball is a toy used for fortune-telling or seeking advice, manufactured by Mattel

Lincoln Logs is the name of a children's toy consisting of notched miniature logs, used to build miniature forts and buildings. They were invented by John Lloyd Wright, son of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah

Jacob's ladder is a toy consisting of blocks of wood held together by strings or ribbons. When the ladder is held at one end, blocks appear to cascade down the strings

Nerf is a toy brand created by Parker Brothers and currently owned by Hasbro. Most of the toys are a variety of foam-based weaponry, but there are also several different types of Nerf toys, such as balls for sports like football, basketball, and others. The most notable of the toys are the dart guns (referred to by Hasbro as ‘blasters’) that shoot ammunition made from Nerf foam

Zhu Zhu Pets, formerly Go Go Hamsters in the UK, is an American line of plush robotic hamster toys

Diabolo is a juggling prop consisting of a spool which is whirled and tossed on a string tied to two sticks held one in each hand

Beyblade is a high-performance spinning top. As of 2005 over 100 million units had been sold worldwide

‘Walking the dog’ and ‘rock the cradle’ are terms used in yo-yo

The My Friend Cayla doll is designed to sync with a smartphone or tablet which allows her to recognize a child's speech and conduct simple conversations

Toy of the Year awards began in 1965. First winner – James Bond Aston Martin die-cast car. Action Man won in 1966. Spirograph won in 1967

Pogo stick was invented by Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall, from Germany, in 1920

Transformers – Toy of the Tear in 1985 and 1986

Furby – Toy of the Year in 1998 and 1999