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Thomas Wells

7 Card Brag (Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard)


'7 Card Brag' is a card game passed down through a generation of Wells’ by my Nana (pictured above) and developed in many working mens' clubs in South Manchester.

It was an honour to be asked to enter the game, and marked the journey into adulthood (as card games are not for children!).

Adult players can join if 1.they learnt the rules quickly, and 2. provided their own coins for the kitty (children who are not in bed can be utilised to fetch cans of bitter – preferably John Smiths – for experienced players)

7 Card Brag is a regularly played at home on the first polished kitchen table (this allow the cards to slide more easily when being dealt, and safeguards against flippage) when we get together as a family. The game is played at a pace to allow the kitty (the money) to build up, this requires a level of concentration and wit to win.

NB. The game does not require a silly hat or wig (see above).

Due to the the ongoing global pandemic, we have not been able to get together as frequently to play in 2020.

In January 2021, I asked my Mum and Dad and two brothers to send voice notes explaining the rules of the game (play audio) in typical Wells tradition, we all spoke over each other!

Thanks to Mum, Dad, Aódhan and Jack. I can’t wait to take your money off you soon!

(Maureen Wells ‘Nana’ RIP 2012)

‘7 Card Brag' - (Digital Print, Photograph and Instructional Audio) 2020. 


Thomas Wells is a visual and performance artist in Northern Ireland with a particular interest in socially engaged practice inspired by the telling of tales.

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