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  • Sheepshead or Sheephead is a trick-taking card game related to the Skat family of games. It is the Americanized version of a card game that originated in Central Europe in the late 18th century under the German name Schafkopf. Although Schafkopf literally means "sheepshead," it has nothing to do with sheep. The term probably was derived and translated incorrectly from Middle High German and referred to playing cards on a barrel head. Since kings are very weak cards, some say that playing the game was a way to insult the Kaiser without getting your head chopped off. In the United States, sheepshead is most commonly played in Wisconsin as well as the German counties in Southern Indiana, which has large German-American populations, and on the internet. Numerous tournaments are held throughout Wisconsin during the year, with the largest tournament being the "Nationals", held annually during a weekend in September, October or November, and mini-tournaments held hourly throughout Germanfest in Milwaukee during the last weekend of each July. The 2012 "Nationals" was held in Wisconsin Dells on September 21-22, 2012.

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