[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
The Cover
January 3, 2001

The Card Players

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(1):13. doi:10.1001/jama.285.1.13

Card games have been around at least from antiquity. They can be as innocent as Snap or Old Maid but often they suggest a shadier side of life—a microcosm shadowed by finagling, guile, cheating, fraud, greed, temptations of the flesh, loss of fortunes (and kingdoms), even love and death, all for the thrill of betting on an unknown future. Even our language calls attention to some of these nuances. We speak of something certain as being "in the cards." We admire someone who "plays one's cards well." To "put one's cards on the table" is to be honest; "having a card up one's sleeve," on the other hand, while perhaps only prudent, also bears a faint whiff of trickery. When the trickery becomes outright cheating or fraud, we speak of "cardsharps" and "cardsharping." (Related terms might include "ace in the hole" as well as "within an ace of" to designate someone with an advantage or someone just short of winning, respectively.)

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview