Back home, trump card games are popular. The two big ones are Auction and Forty-Fives. Both use a trump-scheme (card ranking) that is, simply put: insane. I remember being in the hospital at age 11(ish) and having my father teach me the scheme. (As an example, from the top down: 5 of trump, Jack of trump, Ace of Hearts, Ace of trump, and so on... i.e. You really want the 5.)
Since I left the Maritimes, I have never met anyone who was familiar with this crazy setup. I have often wondered about its origin.
Well, Wikipedia to the rescue. Even though Auction has a different description, the background on Forty-Fives (click here) is amazingly accurate.
The history is impressive:
Forty-Fives is a descendant of the Irish game Spoil_Five, which in turn is a descendant of a game that King James VI of Scotland popularized in the 17th century called Maw. Maw was first seen being played in 1511 and the earliest written rules come from 1576 Scotland.Neat stuff!
ps. Our version of Auction uses the same trump-scheme as that of Forty-Fives.