FOSTER'S SKAT MANUAL by R. F. FOSTER. Originally published in 1906. PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION: AMONG those who play cards for the intellectual amusement they afford, rather than as an excuse for gambling, Skat still holds its position as the best of all card games. It has all the strong points of bridge in giving full scope for the display of skill and judgment, both in bidding and play, with the additional advantage that the player who is chiefly responsible for the result is not at the mercy of ny partner, which is, and has always been, the one fatal defect of bridge. The one objection usually made to Skat, is the sup posed difficulty of learning the game, it having, unfor tunately, started with the reputation of being compli cated. At the time this charge was made, the com parison was with whist, then the public favorite, and the easiest game in the world to learn. Follow suit or trump. That is all there was to learn about playing whist. The objections to the complications of Skat have been largely removed by the introduction of what are technically called Gucki Solos the highest bidder taking the Skat cards into his hand before naming his game. This cuts out a great many of the uncertainties of the bidding and complications in the scoring, and removes one of the chief difficulties of learning the game as first played in this country, fifteen or twenty years ago. As now generally played, there is no un certainty as to what cards are in the skat, or out against the highest bidder. The game has now all the fascina tions and possibilities of Auction Bridge, with none of its drawbacks. At no distant day, Skat may be the national game. The game described in the following pages is the official game, as regulated by the laws of the American Skat League, but the remarks made in connection with Solos, page 84, 93 and 161, will explain the difference between the official game, as still played in the annual tournaments of the American Skat League, and the popular game of the clubs. R. F. FOSTER. 532 MONROE STREET, BROOKLYN, N, Y. January, 1922. PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION: THE following pages are an attempt to present the elements of the modern game of Skat in such a man ner that the reader may understand it, and the student may sit down and play it. Many persons have played Skat for a number of years without understanding it as they should, and th few who have read any text-books on the subject seem to have learnt little or nothing from them. While the authors of these books may have been masters of the game they wrote about, they do not seem to have pos sessed the ability to communicate their knowledge to others. The matter contained in these text-books is presented to the mind in such a manner as to confuse, rather than assist, and the usual result of their perusal is to discourage and dismay. The complications and difficulties of which one hears so much exist only in the imagination of those who have not studied the subject. If the game is properly pre sented to the pupil, it is easily mastered, and I have found that in ten lessons of one hour each I can make any person of ordinary intelligence a better Skat-player than the majority of those who have simply picked up the game, although they may have played it for years. The results of this experience in teaching are given in the chapters that follow. I wish to express my indebtedness to Herr K. Buhle of Leipzig whose works on the game in German I have always recommended as classics in their way, for many of the illustrative hands and principles which are used in the present work. R. F. FOSTER.