Card games


Allison Jirsa

Hello everyone!

I've been trying to find information on what kinds of card games the passengers might have played, but am coming up empty-handed on the specific type I need. I know whist and bridge were popular (in Second Class, specifically), as was patience, but I'm looking for something that two people could have played. From what I've read, both whist and bridge were 4-handed games. There is a 2-handed version of whist, but I'm not sure it was played then.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Allison Jirsa


Thanks for the help. I hadn't even thought about the 2-handed versions of solitaire. So far all I'd come up with in terms of games that were around at that time were either pinochle, cribbage, whist, or canasta (they all have 2-handed versions). But aside from whist, I'd never seen any mention of the others in all of the material I've studied on the disaster, so I'm leery of using one without confirmation. I'm writing a book, you see, and even though it's a novel, I want the historical details to be as accurate as humanly possible. Needless to say, this can be a bit headache-inducing when it comes to nitpicky details like this. But I'm a perfectionist...

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I may use it!


Allison Jirsa

It is solitaire, but there are some versions of the game that allow two people to play, hence the "double." I've played it before, a long time ago, though I admit I can't remember exactly how it works anymore.

Aug 31, 2004
What types of card games would be played by First Class passengers aboard the Olympic and Titanic in 1912? Whist? Auction Bridge?

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted as a separate thread, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]

Mike Poirier

Dec 12, 1999
I know from the Lusitania there was Whist, Bridge, Solitaire... I am sure if Hi-Low-Jack was around back then- it could have gotten heated!
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
I suppose they would have played any sort of game they wanted to from contract bridge to poker. I'd also mention that they were willing to bet real money on such games, which was the reason that nearly all the liners had problems with professional card sharps coming along for the ride to clean out the unwary.

It was a serious enough problem that the competing shipping lines shared information on known professionals to keep them off their ships. Since they knew they couldn't possibly stop them all, their literature would frequently include warnings to passengers to be wary of such vermin.

Mike Stevens

Nov 18, 2019
One could always depend upon finding a Faro game on any of the early liners. I recall reading that White Star only forbid gambling among the crew, and for everyone on Sundays.

LAS VEGAS (PRWEB) April 10, 2017

Five rare artifacts, with direct ties to Clark County, recovered from RMS Titanic's wreck site will go on display for a limited-time engagement inside Luxor Hotel and Casino. These artifacts, which include gambling chips that have never before been on public display, will be installed on April 12 in recognition of the 105th anniversary of the Ship's sinking (April 15). The artifacts belonged to first-class passengers Virginia Estelle McDowell Clark and Walter Miller Clark, who boarded the "Ship of Dreams" as a belated honeymoon trip sadly, Virginia returned home as a widow.

Clark and his brother, U.S. Senator William Andrews Clark, built the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad to facilitate shipments between Los Angeles and Salt Lake. The midway point of the route was in Nevada, creating Las Vegas and later resulting in the naming of Clark County.

"The artifacts were found in a small travel bag, which is very fragile and in permanent residence at the Titanic Conservation Laboratory," said Alexandra Klingelhofer, vice president of collections for Premier Exhibitions, Inc. "It's especially exciting when we can link specific artifacts to passengers of the Titanic as it is extremely rare, and we're thrilled to be able to help tell the Clarks' story through this special display."

The display includes:

  • Gambling Chips: Never before been on public display, these gaming chips were recovered from inside a suitcase and appear to be made of horn.
  • 18-Carat Gold Locket Engraved with the Initials "VC": The initials on this locket match those of first-class passenger Virginia Clark, who survived the sinking. The charm was found with other jewelry and toiletry items in the remnants of a small travel bag recovered in 1994.
  • Cuff Link Made of Ottoman Turkish Coins: This cuff link is comprised of two gold Turkish coins held together by a chain on the back. They are both 50 Kurush coins, which feature the image of the "tugra" or royal monogram of Sultan Abd al-Hamid (1842-1918).
  • Gold-Plated Toiletry Item: The insignia "SM," possibly the initials of a Titanic passenger, is still visible on the lid of this little canister.
  • Brass Shaving Stick Canister: This stick canister still contains its original shaving soap inside.

Scott Mills

Jul 10, 2008
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
It is solitaire, but there are some versions of the game that allow two people to play, hence the "double." I've played it before, a long time ago, though I admit I can't remember exactly how it works anymore.


My understanding is that 'double' refers to the fact that two decks instead of one are used, and not to a special variation of the game for two players.