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The card game of whist has been said to originate in Turkey and was brought to the states during slavery, although the Encyclopedia Britannica originates the game of whist to start in Europe in 1529 as the game “Trump”.  Black slaves weren’t allowed to read or write, but slave owners believed that the game of whist would help them count the cotton barrels and produce, so they were allowed to play. As the game evolved, so did the name – thus the birth of bid whist, spades and bridge.

As the years evolved, bid whist became a favorite among pullman porters on the railroad cars. The men were model citizens of the African American culture so many looked up to the practices of the prestigious sleeping car porters. The pullman porters adopted the ‘travel game phrases’ used to describe the plays of the game like ‘going all the way’ and ‘running a Boston’ when a team takes all the bids.

The game of bid whist is a variation to the original game of whist, along with other regional versions such as Norwegian whist, Minnesota Whist, Knockout Whist, Boston Whist and Dummy.