What's the Deal?

An old-fashioned card game is new again.

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Already a hit in black clubs in Chicago and Detroit, the Bid Whist card rage barrels into Cleveland tonight. Shanel Gibson is ready to deal a few decks during the weekly Tuesday-night games at her Caribbean-themed downtown lounge, A Better Place. Similar to bridge, bid whist rose to popularity about 100 years ago, when black Pullman porters played it on their breaks. Two-person teams bid on the number of "books" (four cards with equal value) they can build during a hand; the team that matches its bid wins. "A lot of people play it at private parties," says Gibson. "But there's no way you [get] a diverse group of people like [you do] here."
Tuesdays, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., 2006

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