Somerset History

The inventor of the ‘Some R Set’ game was Arthur J. Hodges of Carroll Iowa. The name of the game comes from the fact that in bidding zeal to win sometimes outweighs judgment and “some are set.”

The original game of Somerset was invented in 1903 and now goes by the name of, “Single - Somerset”. The reason for “Single” was that the more popular game of “Double Somerset” came out in 1913. The original was played with 28 cards, the more popular version (Double Somerset) used 50 cards. In the original rules it said, “The game is unique, do not be misled by their (cards) appearance, these figures have no reference to tiresome fractions or mathematical problems. The game will not weary you and unlike some games, you will not grow disgusted after playing a few times. The more you play the better you will like it and while you amusing yourself in a delightful manner, you will also be developing the powers of memory, observation and deduction, faculties of the utmost importance in a successful life.”

Hodges was born in 1870 and came to Carroll Iowa in 1896. He was a court clerk, and after coming to Carroll he became a mail clerk and worked for many years on the mail trains of the Chicago & North Western Railway. In 1908 his daughter in-law said, “The game is easily learned, it is not a game of numerals or fractions. The lower numbers (denominator) on the cards merely represent suits and the upper numbers (numerator) the individual value of each card in the suit.” He published it for many years under “The Some’R’Set Card Company, Chicago ILL. After copyrighting ‘Some R Set’ Hodges received royalties for many years on sales of the game. About 1934 he sold the rights to Parker Brothers. They published it until about 1960.

There are a least two places where ‘Double Somerset’ can be purchased. One is online ( and the other one you can call (308-832-2657) or write Minden Hardware, 338 E 5th St. Minden, NE 68959.

Times Herald, Carroll, Iowa Newspaper Article

This human interest article is about the inventor of Somerset. It was printed in the Times Herald, Carroll, Iowa in 1980. Read the Somerset newspaper article.

Decades of SomeRset Played in Minden

This article is about the active community of players in Minden, Nebraska. It was printed in the Minden Courier, Minden Nebraska in January, 2010. Read the article title, Decades of SomeRset Played in Minden.