The curse of Scotland, also known as the Scourge of Scotland, is a term used in poker, bridge and various other card games for the nine of diamonds. The exact origins of the term are unknown but several theories exists.
The most common myth is that the term arose after the Massacre of Glencoe due to a resemblance in the playing card and Sir John Dalrymple coat of arms. Another myth is that the order for no quarter at the Battle of Culloden written on a nine of diamonds by the Duke of Cumberland.
Other less popular theories include the term deriving from a tax levied to pay for nine diamonds stolen from the crown of Scotland or that the term is a mispronunciation of “The Cross of Scotland” due to a resemblance in the patterns of St. Andrew’s Saltire and the playing card.
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