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Wooden Pope Joan board
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Wooden Pope Joan board

Our most popular multi-player game!
Pope Joan Game

Pope Joan 2 to 6 players An 18th century ancestor to modern Rummy Royale, Tripoly & Michigan Rummy. The name is from a Medieval myth that Pope John VIII was a woman. Easy to learn, but fast-moving enough for experienced card players. The board is divided into eight "bowls." Players win markers/coins out of the bowls as they play the face cards of the trump suit, and the first one to get rid of his cards wins the hand.

Also includes the rules for "Poch" (4 to 8 players). A German game from the 1440's using a similar board. It is a cross between a game like Pope Joan and betting games like Poker. Both require a standard deck of cards (not included). Queen Nazareen a related 17th century game that can be played without the board.

The hand decorated lazy Susan style board is 15" in diameter comes with a deck of cards and 100 glass drops to use as chips. Color of the chips may vary.

$65.00 + shipping

Or upgrade to 100 (50 silver, 50 gold) of our period coins pictured at the right to use as chips for another $35.
($5.00 off the normal price per 100)


  • $65.00
Out of stock

Although it involved gambling, Pope Joan was popular during the Victorian era as a social activity, because it did not require the betting competition that occured in games like Poker and normally used chips not actual money. The earliest reference to Pope Joan dates from the 1730's, but very similar game boards were used in the German game "Poch" which is first recorded in 1441. Poch is one of the oldest identifiable card games. Two Early 16th century Poch boards are in the Bavarian State Museum, and another from 1535 is in the Victorian and Albert Museum, London. Poch is the equivalent of "Glic" (one of the most frequently mentioned French games of the 15th and 16th centuries) as evidenced by a late 15th century Glic board surviving in a museum at Cluny, France. The name "Pope Joan" comes from an early myth that Pope John VIII was actually a woman. The secret supposedly came to light when the Pope fainted during a procession, and it was discovered that "he" was pregnant. In the game, the 9 of diamonds is always the "Pope." It was also nicknamed the "Curse of Scotland" probably because it resembles the 9 lozenges in the Dalrymple coat of arms. It was John Dalrymple who engineered Scotland's infamous Glencoe Massacre of 1692.



    • Weight
      4.0000 lbs
    • SKU
  • Game pieces
    Glass drops as chips, Period style coins
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