According to Hoyle

Meaning of “According to Hoyle”

This phrase means that the rules of the game dictate to follow a specific procedure. It also means if the highest authority has decided to do say or do something, it is done and the task must be completed as instructed, with no questions asked.

Origin of “According to Hoyle”

It is stated that this phrase has been inspired by Sir Fred Hoyle, a controversial British astronomer. Not only did he express anti-Darwin opinions, but he also believed that humanity must have originated from space. Hoyle never cared about others’ views, spoke plainly, and gave a significant contribution to scientific research.

This phrase is, therefore, attributed to an English lawyer, Edmond Hoyle, who was also a great card player. He formed rules of the game and wrote Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. He has discussed the rules and strategies of playing this game, the reason that The Town and Country Magazine, in its publication of 1786, used this phrase in attribution to Hoyle. Since then, it has come into common usage. It was used as; “His noble friends, who had adulated him for his great judgment and skill at play, and that he played every card according to Hoyle, nay that he frequently made improvements on him, appeared in their true light.”

Examples from Literature

Examples #1

According to Hoyle by Micheal Olaniyi

If i tell my girl the truth
this is where i belong to
and these are my basic root,
then our love tone ‘ll be tune
to a frustrating frequency

but if i tell my girl those lies
and place my status up high
muster those artistic feelings,
and make my girl feel it
also my mischievous hit
won’t be left behind this
then, i made it!
according to hoyle
but this won’t pay the world

Michael Olaniyi believes that if he goes by rules, his beloved will immediately despise him and the tone of their love with change. However, the last two lines of the poem mean that though the rules are already set by the highest authority, it doesn’t matter as it would be based on lies. The use of this phrase in the title and the second last line has given its meanings in the body of the poem.

Examples #2

According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux

This novel revolves around the main thematic strand of whether to play according to the rule, or just go by instinct, or use power. Two marshals, Eli Flynn and Henry Washington, found themselves in such a tricky situation when taking two prisoners to New Orleans to find out the truth about Dusty Rose and Cage. They are forced to make a choice between trusting the prisoners or go by the rules or according to Hoyle. The use of this phrase in the title reflects the benefit of going by the rules, but the problem for them is that sometimes rules do not work. The entire story reflects this dilemma and explains the meanings of this phrase.

Examples #3

Home is Where the Heart is – written by Hal David and sung by The Chameleons

So here we are waking
Savages shaking
The road that we’re taking
We’ve walked before
And if these times
Should seal our fate
You won’t see me
At Heavens gate
Danger is lurking
Evil is working
Yet here we are hiding
Behind our doors
Come out come out
It’s time to grow
Enjoy the ride
One more time before you go
According to Hoyle
All cards on the table
What else can you do
When life is unstable
The night’s growing colder
The enemy bolder
But as you grow older
You cease to care
But if we run
Or try to hide
And turn our faces
We’ll have no hopes
To keep alive
According to Hoyle
All cards on the table
Reactions cool
The world is unstable
According to Hoyle
All cards on the table
What can you do
When life is unstable
So here we are waking
Savages shaking
Here we are hiding
Danger is lurking

This is a very beautiful and melodious lyric written by Hal David. The phrase “according to Hoyle” has been used four times, which is also repetition. However, Hal David has stated it is referring to the card game rule, which he thinks is similar to life.

Examples #4

Tobin’s Palm by O’ Henry

“By the two signs,” answers Tobin, trying to explain, “which ye display according to the reading of the Egyptian palmist from the sole of me hand, ye’ve been nominated to offset with good luck the lines of trouble leading to the nigger man and the blonde lady with her feet crossed in the boat, besides the financial loss of a dollar sixty-five, all so far fulfilled according to Hoyle.”

This paragraph, where this phrase has been used, has been taken from “Tobin’s Palm” by O’ Henry. Here the use of this phrase means, according to rules. Tobin, the main character of the story, uses this phrase in these meanings when explaining how that man shows two different signs and what they mean.

 Examples in Sentences as Literary Devices

Examples #1: “Although he becomes quite relaxed at home, yet out of the home, he poses himself as if he is acting to Hoyle in all matters.” Here this phrase has been used to make the sentence parallel as well as to make it a paradoxical statement. In fact, the first part of the phrase is paralleled with the second part with the use of “yet.” While the first part shows the softness of the application of rules, the second part shows the strict application of rules. Therefore, this becomes a paradox.

Examples #2: “If all goes well, and according to Hoyle, we shall boil and toil to eat what is boiled.” This phrase has been used in this sentence with its last word rhyming with the next two “boil and toil.” Therefore, this is a good use of the rhyming pattern, a poetic device.

Examples #3: “He acts like according to Hoyle and does not seem to get himself trapped in any untoward situation.” Here the phrase has been used as a simile as the word “like” suggests.

Examples #4: His acts are according to Hoyle.” This use of phrase shows it as a metaphor as it seems a comparison of the acts and the rules.

Examples #5: “He always goes by according to Hoyle and does not budge from it.” Although this phrase has not shown any literary device, the sentence, after its use in it, has become a metaphor of “stubbornness” of the behavior of the person in question.