Happy Families

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For other uses, see Happy Families (disambiguation).

Happy Families is a traditional card game played in the UK, usually with a specially made set of picture cards, featuring illustrations of fictional families of four, most often based on occupation types. The object of the game is to collect complete families. The player whose turn it is asks another player for a specific card from the same family as a card that the player already has. If the asked player has the card, he gives it to the requester and the requester can then ask any player for another card. If the asked player does not have the card, it becomes his turn and he asks another player for a specific card. Play continues in this way until no families are separated among different players. The player with the most cards wins. One of the rules states that a player cannot ask for a certain card to deceive any player if he does not have a card in the set he is asking for.[1] The game can be adapted for use with an ordinary set of playing cards (see Go Fish).

Development[edit]

The game was devised by John Jaques II, who is also credited with inventing tiddlywinks, ludo and snakes and ladders, and first published before the Great Exhibition of 1851. Cards following Jaques's original designs, with grotesque illustrations possibly by Sir John Tenniel[2] (there was no official credit), are still being made.

Literature[edit]

The Happy Families children's storybooks, written by Allan Ahlberg, are titled in a similar way to the names of characters in this game.

Family members[edit]

The names of the family members are structured as follows, where X stands for a surname and Y for an occupation.

  • Mr X the Y
  • Mrs X the Y's Wife
  • Master X the Y's Son
  • Miss X the Y's Daughter

Family names[edit]

Family names, which vary from edition to edition, include:

The eleven families indicated by italics are from Jaques's original edition.

CBBC[edit]

CBBC also showed a children's TV series based on the Happy Families Card Game, including the characters from the game.

Special Editions[edit]

In the 1987s, the town of Dartmouth in Devon, UK, produced a special version[3] of the game to commemorate the many real business owners in the town that had names appropriate to their jobs.[4] These were:

  • The Drews (artists)
  • The Hairs (vets)
  • The Crews (boatsmen)
  • The Pillars (builders)
  • The Sleeps (B & B)
  • The Nashes (Dentists)
  • The Carrs (car hire)
  • The Measures (pharmacists)
  • The Crisps (greengrocers)
  • The Rains (fruit growers)
  • The Legges (athletes)
  • The Cutmores (butchers)
  • The Swindells (bankers)
  • The Prices (bank managers)

Many of the businesses are still there as of 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.pagat.com/quartet/gofish.html#families
  2. ^ "Jaques' Happy Families"
  3. ^ http://lydiadimitrova.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/dartmouth-happy-families.html
  4. ^ "Holdsworth Room - War - Peace - Oldstone Dolls House - Dartmouth Museum". Dartmouth Museum. Retrieved 23 July 2012. "In one of the many drawers [...] you will find a very special pack of cards; Dartmouth's own local Happy Families game, devised by local artist Simon Drew and sold in 1987 to raise money for the swimming pool fund."