WWII 1940s style reproduction of U.S. Government Pinocle Playing cards package, containing modern Pinocle playing cards. Style of cards may vary. The back is marked Gift of the Red Cross.
Red Cross parcels often contained a deck of cards. From hospitals to POW camps to bored soldiers behind the front lines, card games were a way to pass the time. Their pocket-size made them easy to store and carry.
Pinocle was derived from the French card game, Bezique (Winston Churchill was an avid player of Bezique). The name was originally Binocle, but it was later mispronounced and misspelled when the game was brought to America by German Immigrants. During WWI, Syracuse NY outlawed Pinocle in a wave of anti-German sentiment.
Pinocle was the favorite game of American Jews and Irish immigrants, while Skat was a favorite among the German Immigrants.