- Edmond Hoyle
card gameauthority, "the Father of Whist"
Edmond Hoyle (1672 -
August 29, 1769), also known as Edmund Hoyle, is a writer best known for his works on the rules and play of card games. The phrase "according to Hoyle" came into the language as a reflection of his generally-perceived authority on the subject; since that time, use of the phrase has expanded into general use in situations in which a speaker wishes to indicate an appeal to a putative authority.Little is known about most of Hoyle's life, though he is widely believed to have been trained to become a barrister. In 1741, Hoyle began working as a whisttutor to members of high society. Along with personal instruction, he sold a short booklet on the game to his clients, describing his basic approaches to the game. The booklet became quite popular, and unauthorized copies of it were circulated about London. To prevent this, Hoyle published "A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist" in 1742, copyrighting his work.
Because of his success, Hoyle followed with similar treatises on
backgammon, chess, quadrille, piquet, and brag. In 1750, a compendium of these was published, as "Mr. Hoyle's Games Complete", and over time it pushed off the market Charles Cotton's aging " The Compleat Gamester", which had been considered the "standard" English-language reference work on the playing of games – especially gamblinggames – since its publication in 1674.Cite book|last=Cotton|first=Charles|coauthors=Marston, Thomas E. (writer of the introduction cited here)|title=The Compleat Gamester|edition=modern reprint|publisher=Imprint Society|location= Barre, Massachusetts|year=1970 (from 1674 original)|accessdate=2007-02-15|chapter=Introduction|pages=p. ix]
The first fifteen editions of Hoyle's works are now extremely rare and mostly owned by collectors. Only two copies of Hoyle's original work on whist (the first edition) are known to still exist; one is in the
Bodleian Library.Clarifyme|date=February 2008 Only one copy (a fore-edge painted volume now at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center) is known to exist of his first edition work on Backgammon [http://www.utexas.edu/supportut/news_pub/yg_foreedge.html] .
"A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist" was regarded as authoritative until 1864, after which time it was superseded by the new rules written by
John Loraine Baldwinand adopted by the Arlington and Portland clubs.
Many modern card game rule books contain the word "Hoyle" in the title, but the moniker does not mean that the works are derivative of Hoyle's. Because of his contributions to gaming, he was a charter inductee into the
Poker Hall of Famein 1979.
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