Edmond Hoyle

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The originator of Hoyle's rules for playing cards

Writer Edmond Hoyle's expertise on the card game of Whist led to a book in 1742, and ultimately to the phrase "according to Hoyle," a term to connote universally accepted rules (and now applied to any situation). Almost nothing is known about his early life, but in the 1740s he was in London, making money by teaching people how to play the popular game of Whist. In 1743 he published A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist: Containing the Laws of the Game and Also Some Rules, considered by many to be the first book of rules for a card game. His authority was accepted, but "the Father of Whist" sold the copyright, and over time his name became used generically for books on game rules. Modern Hoyle books include the rules to backgammon and chess, in addition to many card games (Hoyle himself followed his book on Whist with books on backgammon and chess).

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