"Eight kings threatened..." Card Order

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Postby Guest » 04/20/02 02:46 PM

I've lost track of the completed phrase that begins, "Eight kings threatened..." It's the card order phrase for setting up the 13 cards in a suit. Could someone help me in completing the phrase? Thanks!

Postby Guest » 04/21/02 12:16 PM

Eight Kings Threatened (three- ten) to save ninety-five lady's from one sick (six) knave (jack).

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat


Postby Guest » 04/21/02 12:17 PM

It is: "Eight kings threatened to save ninety-five queens for one sick knave" representing the values Eight, King, Three, Ten, Two, Seven, Nine, Five, Queen, Four, Ace, Six, and Jack.

Another one by John Mullholland went: "Jackass ate live tree, king intends to fix several for benign queen" representing the values Jack, Ace, Eight, Five, Three, King, Ten, Two, Six, Seven, Four, Nine and Queen.

The above are usually used with a full deck and suits intermixed in CHaSeD order: Club, Heart, Spade, and Diamond. Both of these mnemonic systematic stacks were devised to circumvent the noticable mathematical stack of Si Stebbins.

Postby Guest » 04/21/02 08:24 PM

Thanks, everybody, for the card order I requested -- and I even got more than I asked for! Thanks again! :)

Postby Guest » 04/22/02 04:36 AM

The 8-Kings stack has been published in Hoffmanns Modern Magic allready and must have been devised earlier than the mathematical stack of Si Stebbins.
But, what i try to figure out since i first read that magic sentence: Why is it a threat to save all these ladys to care for the poor knave? Maybe dit i get the word "sick" wrong...

Postby Guest » 04/22/02 05:21 PM

Hi Franz,

It is "Sick", unless it's easier to change to "Six Knaves" for your memory.

Thank you for pointing out the reference in Hoffmanns' Modern Magic. That was first published in 1876. Si Stebbins was born in 1867 which doesn't give him much time to invent and popularize his famous stack. I was always under the impression that his mathematical stack was first followed by the mnemonic stacks later. My investigation into this has revealed nothing. Right now I will agree with your astute findings and say "Eight Kings" was first until the history of the Stebbins stack is factually assessed.

Does anyone know the history of the Stebbins Stack?

Thanks again Franz,


Postby Guest » 09/04/02 12:59 PM

... and it's not "ninety-five ladies", but "nine fine ladies".

The CHaSeD order is that most commonly seen in American books, but the SHoCkeD order has the advantage of also supporting the common numeric mnemonic for suits:
Spades = 1 (one point)
Hearts = 2 (two lobes)
Clubs = 3 (three leaves)
Diamonds = 4 (four points)

... Doug

Postby Steve Bryant » 09/04/02 02:16 PM

But it IS 95 in most of the texts I have seen. And it is also "threatened to save" in most texts, though I have seen it as "threatened to sell" in some, which seems nuts as it is less like "seven" and does not rhyme with "knave." But we all stand to be corrected. What is your source, or, even better, how far back does this thing go? I've never tried to track this one down. I used the "save" word as a password clue once in The Little Egypt Gazette and accidentally stumped some people, as different versions are floating around.
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Postby Guest » 09/04/02 03:20 PM

If you're just looking for the oldest recorded version, you'll want to use:

Eight kings threatened to save
Ninety-five ladies for one sick knave

This at least is how it appeared in Modern Magic (1876), though I know there are several earlier references (back to at least 1805, in William Frederick Pinchbeck's The Expositor).

But wouldn't you agree that "nine fine" is an improvement over "ninety-five" (which has no mnemonic value whatsoever; you just have to remember it)? I don't recall who first made this advancement, but it's been around for at least 30-40 years.

... Doug

Postby Guest » 09/04/02 03:51 PM

Originally posted by ddyment:

But wouldn't you agree that "nine fine" is an improvement over "ninety-five" (which has no mnemonic value whatsoever; you just have to remember it)?
Ninety-five has a better rhythm. Why is remembering "fine" means "five" better than remembering "five" means "five"????

Ninety-five works better for me.

Postby Guest » 09/04/02 04:09 PM

Bill asked
Why is remembering "fine" means "five" better than remembering "five" means "five"????
For the same reason that "save" is used in place of "seven", "sick" instead of "six", etc. If you're happy just remembering the numbers, then you don't need the mnemonic; most people who wish to use a mnemonic, though, will prefer the one with the greatest mnemonic value.

Obviously, individuals should use what they prefer (probably the version they first learned); there's no reason that everyone has to agree on a common one!

... Doug

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