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For Many Wisconsinites, Sheepshead Is 'Part Of The Fabric Of The Family'

Illustration by Lauren Marvell
Milwaukee Magazine
Originally brought to Wisconsin by German immigrants, sheepshead today has turned into something uniquely Wisconsin.

Sheepshead – it’s a family gaming tradition that is as uniquely Wisconsin as fried cheese curds and bubblers. This card game is (to simplify it) a trick-based, team-oriented game. Sheepshead is a bit complicated, and the variations are as unique as the different people and families that play it.

Chris Drosner, executive editor of Milwaukee Magazine comes from a sheepshead family and wrote “An Ode to the Game of Sheepshead” for this month’s issue. 

"It's that serial nature of it — this is the thing that we go back to all the time and it becomes part of the fabric of the family," he says.

Drosner joined Lake Effect's Audrey Nowakowski to talk about sheepshead and shares some of the fun, and at times odd, memories it has created:

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.