Encyclopedia of card games: games of combinations, of trick, of chance, patience, etc.
Author: Boussac, Jean
Publisher: L. Chailley (Paris)
Date of publication: 1896
Subject: Card Games – Encyclopedias
Translation: Lydie M.
The Crapette is a competitive patience card game, also known as "Russian Bank". It is played by two players and is over one hundred years old.
Each of the players or opponents takes a complete set of fifty-two cards and, after having drawn the hand, the first player spreads eight of his cards in front of him and puts them in two columns of four cards; he then makes a pack of nine cards which he returns last. This package is called the Crapette.
If he finds an ace in these cards, he puts it down; it will form the head of a future column, which will be parallel to the first.
He immediately fills the empty place by the first card of the Crapette, then he returns the second card of the Crapette if it can be placed either on the column of aces, or on one of the two columns in a descending way, it places and returns the third; otherwise, he leaves it and then returns a card of the game he has in his hand, and he looks again if one back four cards of the two born columns cannot be placed in ascending order on the ace’s column. It is good to say right now that the goal he proposes is to be able to constitute ascending hierarchies from ace to the king.
If the last exit map cannot be mounted, we must also consider whether it cannot be placed in descending order on the two columns, called columns of the combinations, in which case it would be put, and it would draw a new map after having still done all that has just been said.
When he made up his four-card columns, taken out the aces, filled in the gaps, mounted the cards that could be mounted, made the combinations, etc., he still draws a card from the deck that was in his hands, until he can no longer do any of the requirements indicated above. At this point, the last exit map will be placed in front of him, at the bottom of these columns, and will constitute his heel. The hand will then go to the second player, who will do exactly the same as the first player has done. He will also have to examine whether one of the cards he has taken out of his game is not going, in ascending or descending order, on the heel of his opponent; he would hasten to put it there.
The first player will resume the hand when his opponent cannot fit a card or make a combination. It is always from its Crapette that he will seek to mount a card or has to do a combination on the appropriate column.
Thus, we continue the game, each player has his turn. The interest of each player is to move cards around and create more openings.
One of the two players who first manage to get rid of their fifty-two cards is the winner. When there are no more of the cards in hand, the player takes their Crapette as the heel and proceeds as the first time, each player playing on their own tower. They cannot take their Crapette in hand as long as they still have other cards. But it happens more often than the Crapette is exhausted before the end.