Jack of Diamonds

“My siblings, cousins, and I have been playing Hearts for years.  I’ve always played with the Jack of Diamonds.  It’s kind of a rule, I guess, that my family has passed down from generation to generation.  It’s like the opposite of the Queen of Spades.  Instead of getting thirteen points, if you get the Jack of Diamonds you get minus eleven points. Cause you know in Hearts you don’t want points. It makes playing the game for longer, funner.”

The informant said that he grew up in a very big family who loved to play card games.  He recounts playing Hearts with other people and being so excited to get the Jack of Diamonds.  Those he was with did not understand his excitement as they just viewed the Jack of Diamonds as another card.  This specific folk game is played with the informant’s family.  Outside this context would not make sense to the other participants.  The informant says they add the Jack of Diamonds to the game because “it’s a fun addition and a game changer”.  The card allows for a second chance.  He prefers to play Hearts with the Jack of Diamond rule.

The addition of the Jack of Diamonds to the game of Hearts provides the players with a card to keep them from being the “biggest loser” and provides a clear winner.  Often when the game is played more than one person can earn zero points while a few of the other people will have points based on if they have Hearts or the Queen of Spades.   American society is a winning-driven culture.  Without the Jack of Diamonds more than one winner is very possible, but with the card the players are able to control the game and most of the time there is a clear winner.