The Gist of Bid Whist

The Culturally-Rich Card Game from Black America

The world’s greatest card game awaits you.

This may sound like a big claim, but you will agree as you come to know Bid Whist, the fast-paced game that has inspired a passionate following in Black American communities for generations.

Combining the strategic engagement of Bridge and the risk-taking swagger of poker with creative twists, Bid Whist has captivated luminaries like Justice Thurgood Marshall, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan—not to mention legions of everyday students, soldiers, parents, achievers and fun-seekers.

The Gist of Bid Whist welcomes you to the table by equipping you with a firm grasp of fundamentals, a deep understanding of Bid Whist strategy, and the “card sense” to thrive in the game’s fluid complexity. It explores the game’s fascinating cultural backstory, including the role played by the singular group of men most responsible for popularizing it: the Pullman porters. As they crisscrossed the nation, the porters shared the latest jazz and blues records, along with information and insights that helped fuel the Great Migration. They also introduced the game that was integral to life as a porter. Poetically, Bid Whist, in turn, ultimately contributed to the porters’ heroic impact on America.

Bid Whist is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, welcoming those who appreciate the camaraderie and smart play that rewards teamwork worthy of the best jazz ensembles and basketball teams.

The Gist of Bid Whist is part celebration, part workshop, part cultural history—with a generous dash of buddy-comedy and daddy-daughter card game journey elements. The Gist of Bid Whist enthralls newcomers and veteran players alike with the thrills and fun of a storied cultural touchstone.


The Gist of Bid Whist puts it all on the table! Its fun insights share everything you need to know about America’s coolest card game—our card game! 

Tom Joyner, “The Fly Jock”

As a businessman and entrepreneur, I’ve learned that success comes from taking smart risks and working with the right partners, no matter which cards life might deal you. That’s why I love Bid Whist and have so enjoyed playing across the table from Lamont Jones. I applaud his effort with The Gist of Bid Whist to share the enduring values and appeal of this rich card game that has been the source of so much camaraderie, competition and delight in Black communities for generations.

James Reynolds, Jr.,
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital
Founder and Managing Partner of JLC Infrastructure

AMAZING read – blending history, strategy, personal narrative, and game connections. Lamont does a fantastic job explaining key principles with smooth, lively prose. Whether you’ve played the game or not, you’ll be ready to join the table after just a few chapters.

Dr. Adam J. Banks
Author, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age

If you claim to know Black American life, you know Bid Whist!

My brother Lamont Jones has just written THE authoritative history + guidebook of this Black cultural treasure. Can’t believe it hadn’t been written but he did it so salute and support this work!

Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin
Author, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower

All in all, this book is a fantastic way to learn the history behind Bid Whist, how the card game became a staple into the Black community, and giving some really intricate pointers on how to win at your next game of Bid Whist.

Creator of Maddblackreads

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