Which One Is the Big Joker? A Black Supreme Court Ruling

Illustration for article titled Which One Is the Big Joker? A Black Supreme Court Ruling
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In one of the most anticipated rulings since the Jerome Franklin v. the Rest of the Franklin Family case decided that the Uno “Reverse” card does endow the issuer with the right to play twice, the Supreme Court of Black America has ruled on one of the biggest disputes on the social media network known as Black Twitter:

Instead of summarizing the Prescott v. Prescott decision, The Root has decided to print the full decision as well as the minority opinion.

Statement of facts:

On July 4, 2016, at a family barbecue, Keisha Prescott was engaged in a spades match with her cousin James “J-Mac” McDaniel. They were battling Keisha’s aunt Margaret Parnell and her uncle Manuel Prescott (heretofore referred to by his more accepted moniker, “Man Man”). Records show that “Aunt Margie” is not a blood relative, but just a woman who lives across the street from Keisha’s grandmother. (The court, however, allowed Parnell to ride with the “aunt” designation because of the precedent set in the 1983 case of Aunt Wilma v. the State of Georgia.)


The contest, scheduled to end when one of the contestants reached a total of 350, was abruptly interrupted during the first hand. Holding the last card, after winning six of the seven books bid by her team, Keisha played the monochrome card with the word “Joker” emblazoned across the top. Man Man, in response, played the colorful version of the joker card and proceeded to rake the book (Rake’em v. Take’em, 1971), setting Keisha and James.

A dispute emerged when both parties claimed to have won the book. Keisha noted that no one had stated which joker was the big joker, so she assumed that hers was the bigger because it had the word “Guarantee” on it, while Man Man countered that his joker was obviously larger in size, meaning that it was, by definition, the “big joker.”

A lower court decision by Uncle Lester declined to solve the debate when he ruled: “My name is Bennett, and I ain’t in it.” The group then appealed to the district court. That court’s hearings were interrupted when the “Cha Cha” Slide interrupted the proceedings, bringing the issue before this court.


Majority opinion:

It is the opinion of this court, by a 5-4 decision, that the black-and-white joker is the supreme card in the game of spades.


While the court recognizes that this opinion can be overridden by house rules, as stated in the 1953 decision This Is My Damn House v. That Don’t Make You Right, Luther, this specific case applies only in the rare instances that the big joker is not determined before the commencement of spades-related activities.

The majority of the bench agrees with Keisha’s oral argument that “if the biggest joker was always the big joker, there would be no need to mention it.” Furthermore, the court found that Keisha’s spades-playing abilities are impeccable.


In reviewing the score from the game in question, it was determined that Keisha had not overbid, even turning a “possible” into a book when she led with a queen of hearts, holding the ace even though she only had two cards in said suit. The fact that she cut the king demonstrates a level of ability rarely seen by the bench.

Because of this demonstrated ability, the court finds it highly unlikely that Keisha would have held her joker to be played last if she thought it was the little joker.


Margie, on the other hand, was found to be deficient as an opponent and card player. She underbid by two books on this hand, and a subsequent investigation found her to have reneged on three previous occasions. Also, several witnesses testified, under penalty of perjury and not being allowed any more of Uncle Junior’s ribs, that Margie referred to the clubs suit as “puppy toes” more than once, indicating that she was a novice spades player at best.

Because Man-Man licked the card and affixed it to his forehead, we were able to order a DNA analysis. We discovered that—although it is likely that he assumed his was the big joker—Man Man’s consumption of three Bud Lights and no fewer than three red Solo cups of brown liquor may have played a part in his lack of clarity in the matter.


Therefore, based on the available evidence and Keisha’s argument of “Nigga, what do you think ‘Guarantee’ means?” We declare that the black-and-white joker—despite the size of the drawing—is definitely the big joker.


Dissenting opinion:

In this matter, we determined that Man Man and Margie’s joker is the big joker based on one essential fact:

It. Is. Bigger.

If the card manufacturers had not intended for the card in question not to be identified as more important, would they have spent more time coloring it in? Furthermore, ignoring the size of the illustration belies the fact that it is, according to the laws of science, a bigger joker.


We also reject the premise that Man Man’s seeming intoxication means that his judgment may have been affected. In the 1964 case Johnson v. Everybody Else, the lower court’s decision was overturned when the Supreme Court found that alcohol played no part in his renege accusations. Research shows that 82 percent of all spades games are played with one or more players under the influence of alcohol.

The court recognizes that a better decision could have been reached by replaying the hand. However, we recognize the house rules that being set in the first hand eliminates the opponents from contention.


It is the opinion of this court that, for reasons of clarity and by every metric of common sense, the big joker should be the bigger joker. We do, however, acknowledge the precedent of house rules.

Our ruling:

By a 5-4 margin, the court rules in favor of the plaintiff.

However, we also rule that J-Mac’s slur that referred to his opponents as “cheating motherfuckers” no longer applies, as this was a legitimate dispute. As such, he must compensate Man Man with the fifth of Crown Royal that spilled when J-Mac knocked over the spades table.


We suggest that the person taking score write “big” on the agreed-upon joker and clarify whether or not the deuce of diamonds is a spade. (This ruling does not apply when playing “ace down” or with a “kitty.”)

In conclusion, the court also reprimands both the plaintiffs and the defendants in that disputes of this sort will never be addressed by this judicial body without the appropriate future consideration:

You must bring us a plate.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

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You “The Big Joker is the Guarantee Joker” nyuckas is wrong, wrong wrong. The Big Joker is the BIG. JOKER.

According to https://www.bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/spades-with-jokers/: “The standard 52-card pack is used. Two jokers are added, the “Big Joker” and “Little Joker” or the “Full-Color Joker” and the “One-Color Joker.”