Charles Anderson Worsley (1809-1897), second Earl of Yarborough, was a knowledgeable card player and was quite successful at the game, especially at bridge. He would wager a bet with his card-playing companions of 1,000 to 1 against receiving a hand in which no card was higher than nine. He did very well with the wagers because the actual mathematical odds are 1,827 to 1 against, giving him a healthy percentage in his favor. In 1900, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word yarborough was admitted into respectable dictionaries. The opposite of a yarborough is a hand in which all the cards are pictures. This hand is called a fairbanks, the name coming from the prominent actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., whose greatest pleasure was to associate with members of the royalty, even if they were only faces on playing cards.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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