The Games People Played (for money)

We are focused on gambling games once popular with the gaming public but now extinct and almost forgotten. Learn to play them here.









Ace In The Pot - Dice Game

Any number can play, and two dice are used. The game is for a pool, which is won by the final possessor of a single counter.

At the beginning each player has two counters, and each in turn throws the two dice. If he throws an ace he pushes one of his counters into the pot, two aces get rid of both. If he throws a six on either die, he passes a counter to his left hand neighbor, who will have the next throw. Two sixes passes both counters if the caster has so many. The players throw in turn until all the counters but one haven't placed in the pot. If a player has no counters, the throw passes him to the next player on his left who has the counters in front of him. The last counter of all cannot be put in the pot by throwing an ace, but it must be passed along to the left when a six is thrown. The player with the last counter in front of him must throw both dice three times in succession, and if he succeeds in avoiding the six, he keeps the counter and wins the pool. If he throws a six the player who gets the counter must throw three times, and so on until someone throws three times without giving a six.

Instead of the pool, it is sometimes agreed to final holder of the last counter shall pay for the refreshments.


THIS game is much played by all classes of gamblers. Mr. Hoyle gives the following rules for this game:

The game of all fours is played by two persons with an entire pack of cards. It derives its name from the four chances therein; for each of which a point is scored, viz.:

High—the highest trump out;

Low—the lowest trump out; Jack—the knave of trumps; Game — the majority of pips reckoned for the following cards, as the players may have in their respective tricks, namely: for an ace, four; for a king, three; a queen, two; a knave one; and ten for a ten

Hand.—The cards each player receives from the dealer constitute a hand.

Trick.—When each player has played a card, they constitute a trick, and the person who plays the best card wins the trick.


1. If, in dealing, the dealer exposes the face of any of his adversary’s, or his own, cards, a new deal may be demanded.

2. If discovered, before playing, that the dealer has given his adversary or himself too many cards, there must be a new deal; or, if all agree, the extra cards may bedrawn by the dealer from the opponent’s hand; but if a single card has been played, there must be a new deal.

3. No person can beg more than once in a hand, unless all agree.

4. In playing, you must either follow suit or trump, on penalty of your adversary’s adding one point to his or their game.

5. If either scores his game erroneously, it must be corrected, and his opponent is entitled to one or four points, as shall have been agreed upon.

6. A person laying down a high or low trump, may inquire if it be high or low.


1. The game consists of points. After cutting for deal, the highest or lowest, as may be agreed upon, wins. The dealer will then give each player six cards, beginning at his left, dealing one or three at a time ; after which, the topmost card of the remainder of the pack is turned up, and is the trump.

2. If the card turned up should be a jack, the dealer is entitled to score one point to his game.

3. If the eldest hand should not like the cards dealt him, he may say, “ I beg when the dealer may give each player a point, or deal three more cards to each, and then turn up the top for trump. But if that should be of the same suit as the first trump, he must continue dealing three, and turning up, until a different suit occurs.

4. The cards rank as at whist; and each player should strive to secure his own tens and court cards, or win those of his adversary; to obtain which, except when commanding cards are held, it is usual to play a low one, in order to throw the lead into the opponent’s hand.

5. Endeavor- to make your knave as soon as you can.

6. Low is always scored by the person to whom I is dealt; but jack being the property of whoever can win or save it, the possessor is permitted to revoke, and. trump with that card.

7. Win your adversary’s best cards when you can either by trumping them, or with superior cards of the same suit.

Black Jack

The Pack. - Full pack, 52 cards.

Number of Players —Any number may play. Rank of Cards —Cards have no relative rank, but the counting value is as follows: K’s, Q’s and J’s, 10 each; Aces, 11 or 1; others are counted at pip value, 9’s 9; 8’s 8, etc.

Stakes and Counters—Each player begins with an equal number of counters. A limit to the betting is decided upon before play.

Cutting —Any player deals cards, one at a time, around to the left. Player first receiving an ace is dealer and banker for the first hand, after which the deal passes to the left; or he may be the banker until some other player turns up a natural, the banker having none to offset it. There are various ways of changing the dealers, as, for instance, allowing dealer to deal a certain number of hands, or until he has won or lost a certain amount, or until pack is exhausted, or until some player holds a natural, and takes the bank. Usually, however, deal passes to the left, each player dealing one round, in turn.

Betting Before the Deal—Before cards are dealt, each player, except the dealer, makes a bet, placing the counters or chips before him. This bet must not exceed the limit, and in some localities a fixed amount is set for this bet, such as one or two chips. (In one variation, player is allowed to look at the first card dealt Him before staking.' Another allows a player, when he gets a pair in the deal, to separate the two cards and place a stake upon each one.) Dealer makes no bet, but is the banker, who takes and plays all player’s bets.Objects of the Game—To hold cards, the collective pip value of which most nearly approaches 21, without passing that number.

Dealing.—Dealer gives each player two cards, face down, one at a time, in rotation to the left. Deal passes to the left.

Drawing and Settling of Bets —Each player examines cards dealt him. If dealer’s cards consist of an ace and ten (or court card), it is called a “Natural,” and each player (unless he also has a natural) loses twice the amount he has staked. Should a player have a natural and dealer none, dealer must pay player double. (In some localities, player holding a natural is allowed to take all stakes on table, but this custom is not general.) If no player receives a natural (or after players, other than dealer, have been paid for naturals held. Each player in turn may ask for a card so as to bring the pip value of his hand nearer to 21. Drawing begins with the eldest hand, and he may draw one card at a time until he is satisfied, or until the pip vale of his hand exceeds 21. In the latter case he must abandon his hand and pay his stake to the dealer. The next player on the left draws in the same manner until each player is satisfied or has over drawn. The dealer then turns up his two cards and draws. If the dealer over draws he pays each player who has not over drawn the amount of the players stake. If the dealer has 21 or less players having the same amount are tied and neither win nor lose; those holding less lose their stake, while those holding more than the dealer but not more than 21 win their stake. A player having two aces can sperate them making a bet for each.

For Naturals - the dealer must pay double for each natural if he does not also draw a Natural, if he does they are tied, neither-winning nor losing.

Splitting.—When splitting a pair the player finishes drawing to the first card before drawing to the second.Next deal is made with remainder of pack left over from previous deal. When entire pack is dealt out, all discards are gathered and shuffled, and deal continued.

It is interesting to note that this version of today's popular game, Blackjack, "Blackjack's get paid two to one, while other version from the time period gave no buns to getting a natural 21 at all.

Big Injun

How to play the gambling game Big Injun remains a mystery . So far we have uncovered references to the game being played in Nevada mining camps as far back as 1892, but no explanation of the game has revealed itself as of today.

"Big Injun" is the popular gambling game in Chico right now, but there are no rake-offs for the gamekeepers and no boosters." -Marysville Daily Appeal 09/24/1903"

A game of "Big Injun" was played in a saloon in Wellington, Nv in 1903 according to the Nevada State journal.Any information on Big Injun would be greatly appreciated and rewarded with a pdf copy of any of the books for sale on this site.

Chuck a Luck - Dice Game

This game is played with three dice and a cloth, on which is painted the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. When this game is played on the square, the percentage in favor of the game is enormous, probably fifty or one hundred percent. Although having such a percentage in its favor, this game is seldom or never played fairly. Persons who play against this game are swindled in the following manner: We will suppose that a bet is placed on the six; the gambler, while putting the dice in the box, will skillfully conceal one, and sometimes two of the dice, in the bend of his little finger, with any other number except the six on top; the box is then shaken and the dice thrown, the concealed dice being held close to the mouth of the box; when the box is raised, there are all three of the dice, apparently having been thrown honestly. Neither of the one or two dice which were hooked will be sixes, thereby reducing the chances of the bettor to one dice, which is six to one against him. Some gamblers who play this game, have a false bottom to the box, which rattles in the absence of the dice which are hooked; others can rattle the box with their fingers, which sound very much like the dice. Others again have a dice suspended about one-third of the distance from the bottom to the top of the box, which rattles against one dice when two are hooked, and, of course, answers the purpose for which it was designed.

Assuming the banker paid 3 to 1 for three matching dice, 2 to 1 for two, and 1 to 1 for one the house advantage was actually 7.87%.

If the banker “holds out” two dice, his edge over the player is 66.7%

Diana - Card Game

The Equipment - The Diana game consists of a handsome layout, a dealing box (similar to faro) and two decks of 52 cards.

The Play - The cards are shuffled and placed in the box face downward; the dealer then draws out two cards, leaving them as they came from the box, then turns the third card face up, say deuce of spades, this means low wins, the black wins, both paying even money. The spade suit wins, paying 3 to 1, the deuce wins paying 8 for 1. Whenever the dealers turns a jack he takes he takes all the bets except those placed on the jacks, which pays 8 for 1. The jacks taking all non jack bets is where the house derives their advantage over the bettors. The players may bet on any specific card, say the nine of diamonds, and in the event of winning is paid 32 for 1.

E. O. Wheel

The game of E.O. was a subject of a newspaper article written in England in 1754. The game is older than that. The wheel game known as E. O. is a likely ancestor of roulette. An E. O. wheel resembles a roulette wheel but in place of numbered pockets on the wheel there are only the letters "E" and "O" as well as "Barred" pockets, from which the game operator derived his advantage. "E" represents "even" (20 pockets) and "O" for odd (20 pockets). There were/are usually 41 or 42 pockets on the E. O. wheel. Players bet on where the ball would land.

The following description of E. O. was found in Rice’s History of the British Turf:

“The E.O. table was circular in form, and, though made in various sizes, was, commonly, four feet in diameter. The outside edge formed the counter, or depot, on which the stakes were placed, and was marked all round with the letters E.O. from which the game took its name. The interior of the table consisted of a stationary gallery, in which the ball rolled, and an independent round table, moving on an axis, by means of handles. The ball was started in one direction, and this rotary table turned in the other. This part was divided into forty compartments of equal size, twenty of which were marked E and twenty O. The principle was pretty much as that of roulette without a zero; but the ingenuity of the proprietors appears, at an early date in the history of these tables, to have supplied this defect. At first the game was played on the same terms as hazard then was, viz., whoever won, or threw in three times successively, paid, when gold was played for, half a guinea to the proprietors of the table. This, however, as might have been expected, was too simple and unsophisticated a method of procedure to last. The game was too fair; but, as it was very popular, it must be made profitable to the man of business, who could not be expected to travel from race meeting to race meeting all over the country, for half guineas in cases of exceptional luck. Accordingly, he became obliged to take all bets offered either for E. or for O., and made two of his forty spaces into ‘bar holes.’ The name sufficiently explains the utility of the device to the keeper of the table. If the ball fell into either of these ‘bar holes,’ he won all the bets on the opposite letter, and did not pay to that on which it fell.

Unfair tables, having the compartments of one letter larger than another, abounded; but there seems to have been little necessity to cheat at the game, as, with a proportion of two in forty, or five percent., in his favor, the keeper should have reaped a heavy harvest of profit from his venture."


Euchre may be played either as a two-, three- or four-handed game, the latter being the most popular form. For greater facility of explanation, however, we will commence with the two-handed game.

Euchre is played with the "piquet" pack of thirty-two cards, consisting of the ace, king, queen, knave, ten, nine, eight and seven of each suit. The above is their rank in play, subject to the qualification that the knave of the trump suit for the time being is known as the "Right Bower," and takes temporary precedence of all other cards. The knave of the opposite suit of same colour (e.g. of diamonds when hearts, or of spades when clubs are trumps) is known as the "Left Bower," and ranks next in value. The Left Bower is considered for the time being to belong to the trump suit, so that if this card is led, the trump suit, and not its own, must be played to it.

Two-handed Euchre. The players having cut for deal, five cards are dealt (by twos and then threes, or vice versâ, at the pleasure of the dealer) to each player. The eleventh card is turned up by way of trump. If the non-dealer thinks his hand good enough, with the suit of the turn-up card as trumps, to make three tricks, he says, referring to that card, "I order it up." This fixes that suit as trumps. The dealer discards the worst card of his own hand, placing it face downwards under the pack, and the turn-up card is thenceforth considered to form part of his hand. He does not, however, actually take it into his hand until the first trick has been played.

If the non-dealer does not consider his hand good for three tricks, or is of opinion that he would be likely to gain by a change of the trump suit, he says, "I pass," and the dealer examines his own cards from the same point of view. If he thinks his hand is good enough with the subsisting trump suit to make three tricks, he says, "I take it up," and proceeds to place, as before, one card under the pack. If he does not think his hand safe for three, he says, "I turn it down," and places the turn-up card below the rest of the pack. This annuls the trump suit, and the non-dealer has now the option of saying what suit shall be trumps. He considers what will best suit his hand, and says, "Make it hearts" (or otherwise, as the case may be), accordingly.

If he decides to "make it" of the same colour as the previous turn-up card (e.g. spades in place of clubs, or hearts in place of diamonds), he is said to "make it next." If otherwise, to "cross the suit."If, even with the privilege of making the trump what he pleases, he doubts his ability to win three tricks, he again "passes," and the dealer "makes it" what best suits him. If he too has such a bad hand that he thinks it safer to "pass" again, the cards are thrown up, and the deal passes.

The trump suit having been "made" by the one or the other player, the non-dealer leads a card, and the dealer plays to it, the two cards constituting a "trick." The second player must follow suit if he can, subject to the qualification that (as already stated) if the Left Bower be led, a trump must be played to it. The higher card wins, trumps overriding plain suits; and the winner of the trick leads to the next.

The player who has "ordered up," "taken up" (save in obedience to order), or "made" the trump, thereby tacitly undertakes to win at least three tricks. If he makes less than this number, he is "euchred," and his opponent scores "two." If he makes three tricks he wins "the point," and scores one. Four tricks are no better than three, but if he make all five he wins a "march," which scores two. The non-challenging player is not under any obligation to win, but scores if his adversary fail to do so. Five points constitute "Game."

Four-handed Euchre. - Where four players take part, two play in partnership against the other two, partners facing each other, as at Whist. Five cards having been dealt to each, and the twenty-first turned up by way of trump, the elder hand (i.e. the player to the left of the dealer) declares whether he will "order up" the trump card or "pass." In the latter event, the option passes to the dealer's partner; but he expresses it in a somewhat different manner, inasmuch as he is dealing with a friend instead of an enemy. If he thinks his hand good for two or more tricks he says, "I assist." This is considered a call to his partner (the dealer) to take up the trump, which he does accordingly, he himself having no choice in the matter. If the second player passes, the option rests with the third player, who "orders it up" or passes, as his hand may warrant. In the latter case the dealer decides for himself whether to take it up or turn it down. If the trump has either been ordered up or taken up voluntarily by the dealer, the play proceeds as in the two-handed game. If, on the other hand, the dealer "turns it down," the players, beginning with the elder hand, are invited in succession to "make it" what they please; the challenging party in either case being bound, in conjunction with his partner, to make three tricks, under penalty of being euchred.

A player with an unusually strong hand may elect to "go alone." In such case his partner turns his cards face downward on the table, and leaves the "lone hand," as he is termed, to play the game singly against the two opponents.

If a player "going alone" is lucky enough to win all five tricks, he scores four (instead of three) for the "march"; but if he make three or four tricks only, he scores one for the point in the ordinary manner.

Three-handed Euchre - Here each plays for his own hand. The value of the march and point are the same as in the two-handed or four-handed game, but if the challenging player is euchred, each of his adversaries scores two points. If this should carry them both "out," the elder hand is the winner. To avoid this, which is hardly a satisfactory termination for the younger hand, another method of scoring is sometimes adopted, the points for the euchre being deductedfrom the score of the euchred player, who is "set back" accordingly. Should he have made no points towards game, he is considered to owe the points for the euchre; so that a player, standing at love when euchred, has seven points to make before he can win.

Marking the Score. -The method of scoring at Euchre is somewhat peculiar. The score is usually kept by means of spare playing cards, a three and a four (of any suit) being used by each side. The "three" face upwards, with the "four" turned down upon it, indicates one (however many pips may chance to be exposed). The "four" face upwards, with the "three" turned down upon it, indicates two. The face of the "three" being uppermost counts three; and the face of the "four" being uppermost counts four.Another method of keeping the score is by means of a cross × chalked at the outset of the game on the table beside each player. "One" is scored by rubbing out the centre of the cross, leaving the four arms still standing, and these in turn are rubbed out, one for each point which the player becomes entitled to score.The hints for play which follow are borrowed, with slight modification, from the American Hoyle. They refer more especially to the four-handed game.

Fan Tan

THE PACK—Full pack of 52 cards.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS—Any number may play—best six or seven-hand.

RANK OF CARDS—A (low) to K (high).

CUTTING—Cut for deal; low deals, ace being lowest card.

SHUFFLING—Any player may shuffle cards, dealer last, and player to dealer’s right cuts, leaving at least five cards in each packet.

DEALING—One card at a time to each player in rotation, beginning with player next to dealer on the left, until all cards are dealt. Deal passes to the left.

OBJECT OF THE GAME—To get rid of all cards in the hand before other players have done so.

THE PLAY—Each player is provided with an equal number of chips or counters. Eldest hand (player to dealer’s left) plays a seven face up on the table. If he has no seven, he puts one chip into the pool. Next player then plays a seven, or if eldest hand has played a seven, next player may play a six or an eight of the same suit. Each player in turn then plays a card (either seven or a card next in sequence and suit to the one last played). Sixes are placed on one side of the sevens and eights on the other. Fives are played on sixes and build down to aces, and nines are played on eights and build up to kings.

Should any player be unable to play at his proper turn he must add one chip to the pool. First player getting rid of all his cards wins the pool. Each player with cards remaining in his land must pay the winner one chip for each card he has left.

Should a player fail to play when possible, he forfeits three chips. If he overlooks the play of a seven, he forfeits 5 chips each to the holder to holders of six and eight of that suit. In two hand games, cards are dealt as though three were playing, the third hand remaining face down on the table. In case either player cannot play at his proper turn he must draw the top card from his extra hand. If still unable to play he must forfeit a chip and draw again.

Sixty-card packs, containing 11 and 12-spots, are coming into general use for Fan Tan, as they divide equally among almost any number of players. With this pack eights are used for starters instead of sevens.

There is another form of Fan Tan in vogue, in which eldest hand leads any card he pleases and other players must play on it in ascending sequence until the entire suit is played. Each failure to play forfeits one chip. Player of last card of a suit starts with any card he chooses for the next suit. After king has been reached, the sequence is continued by ace, two, etc. The player who first plays out his entire hand wins the pool, and gets one chip from each other player for each card held at the time winner plays his last card.

Fan Tan "Chinese Coin"

PLAYERS: Any number of players may play "Coin" Fan-Tan

OBJECT of THE GAME: Guess correctly the number of coins remaining

EQUIPMENT: Coins or shells, 8 in Wooden or Bamboo Rake, "Fan Tan Board", "Quong" (a bowl), Large Table

BETS: "Fan", in which the wager is on a single position to win.

"Hong", in which the wager is on three positions, one of which (the primary bet) is selected to win; if either of the other two positions (the two secondary bets) are selected, the bettor does not lose, but it is considered a push and the bettor's money is returned.

"Kwok", in which the wager is on two positions (two primary bets); if either is selected, the bettor wins.

"Nim", in which the wager is again on two positions, one of which is selected to win (one primary bet), and the other (one secondary bet) is selected to push.Played on a table with a square piece of wood or tin in the center.

The players sit around a table, and the dealer takes a large handful of coins from the hole in the table or even his lap, generally a double handful, and places it on the center of the table and under the Quong. Bets must be placed before the coins are piled on the table or before the pile of coins is uncovered when a Quong is used to hide the coin heap.

The players guess at the pile, the guessing based upon the number that will remain after the coins have been removed, four at a time, until three, two, one, or none, are left. A bettor may place a wager on a number and upon winning receives three times his stake. He may also bet on two numbers by pacing his stake on a corner, these bets pay even money when they win. "Blind" bets are sometimes allowed where the other players and the dealer do not know how much is wagered due to the paper money bet being folded in a way to hide the value. All winning bets must pay a commission to the dealer. The commission ranges from 5% to 25%. Without the commission Fan-Tan is an even proposition for the punter. With the 10% vigorish applied to the winning bets the house has an advantage of 7.5% for the 3 to1 bets and 5% for the even number wagers.

The removal of the coins is made with a foot and a half long rod, it being forbidden to the dealer to touch the pile with his fingers in any way. The dealer tuning his voice to a professional monotone, sings “one”, “two”, “three”, “four”, in his mother tongue, separating as he does so coin after coin from the heap with his rake until less the five coins remain.

If a dealer is caught cheating, normally raking five or three coins rather than the required four coins, he must pay all wagers 3 time their value. Another popular cheating method is by means of slight of hand, flick one or more coins into the hole unnoticed.

NOTE: The game has been know as "Chinese Faro" and "Fan Tan La" as well as other names.


THE PACK - Fifty two cards.

THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS - Any number of players may play Faro

DEALING THE CARDS - The players having placed their stakes upon the “lay out" and all other preliminaries being settled, the dealer shuffles the cards, cuts them and places them face up in a small metal box, usually silver, which is a little longer than the pack to be admitted; this box is open at the top, so that the top card may always be in view. It also has a small opening at the side, sufficiently large to permit one card to pass through it conveniently. As the cards are pushed out, or dealt from the top through this opening, the remainder of the deck is forced upwards by springs placed in the bottom of the box and thus the cards are kept in their proper place until the pack is exhausted.

THE PLAY - The dealer sits at the table prepared for the purposes, with an assistant or “looker out” at his right hand. Upon the centre of the table is a suit of cards arranged in a certain order, upon which the players place their stakes or money, and which is called the “lay out.” The lay out is composed of thirteen cards pasted or painted on a cloth. These cards are placed in two rows running parallel with each other. The row next the players contains the King, Queen and Jack (which are called the big figure), ten, nine and eight. The row next the dealer contains the ace, deuce and trois (which are called the little figure), the four, five and six. Next the six and eight is placed the seven. These three cards comprise what is called the “Pot.” Four connecting cards are called squares. For example, the King, Queen, Ace and Deuce is called the “Grand Square;” the Jack, Trois, four and ten the “Jack Square;” the nine, eight, six and five, the “Nine Square.”

A bet placed in a square includes the four cards; one placed behind any named card except the King, Ace and seven includes that card and also the two adjoining ones. For instance, a bet placed behind the Queen would include also the King and Jack. A bet placed on the inside corner of any card, includes the two cards next to it, as well as the one it rests upon in all the States and Territories South and West, of the State of New York but in the latter State and those East of it, such a bet would bar both cads alongside of it and include the one it rested upon and the one diagonally opposite.

A bet placed between any two cards includes these two. A bet placed on the corner of a card on the outside connects two cards, as a bet placed on the outside corner of the King would include the jack or one placed on the corner of the Ace would the Trois leaving out the Queen in the first and the Deuce in the other. The stakes usually consist of counters or checks representing different sums. They are purchased of the banker and are redeemed by him at the option of the holder. The banker usually limits the sums so bet according to the amount of his capital. The game may be played by any number of players and each player may select any card or number of cards upon the “lay out” and may change his bet from one card to another whenever he please.

The drawing of two cards is called a “turn,” which being made the dealer takes and pays all the money won and lost and then proceeds as before, drawing out two cards--the first for the bank and the second for the players and thus he continues until the whole pack is dealt out.

Whenever two cards of the same denomination, as for example two sevens or two fours appear in the same turn, the dealer takes half the money upon such card. This is called a split and is said to be the banks greatest percentage, to avoid which old faro-players wait until there is but one seven or one four or card of any other denomination left in the box, and then place their heavy bets upon that, thus avoiding the possibility of a “split.”

If the player wishes to bet upon the banker’s card, or to bet any certain card will lose, he indicates it by placing a copper upon his stake, and if this card wins for the banker, the player also wins. When there is but one turn left in the box, the player has the privilege of “calling;” of calling the last turn; that is, of guessing the order in which the cards will appear, and if he calls it correctly he receives four times the amount of his stake.

Going To Boston - Dice Game

This game is known in the colonies as Yankee Grab, or New Market. Each player has three throws with three dice, and the highest die in each row is laid aside. If two are equally high, only one is retained. The others are returned to the box and thrown again. The higher of these two is retained, and the third die is thrown again. The final total of the three dice is the players score, and the highest wins. In the colonies the ace counts as seven. The game is usually played for a pool of money.


NUMBER OF PLAYERS - Any number of persons may play.

THE PLAY - Each one desiring to participate in the game buys a card on which are three horizontal rows of five numbers each, arranged altogether without regularity. The price paid for a card is commonly twenty-five cents, although sometimes the stakes are considerably higher. None of the cards contain a higher number than ninety-nine.

The conductor of the game—who is known as the “roller”—takes his position, usually upon a raised platform, in full view of the players. Before him is placed a globe containing ninety-nine balls, numbered consecutively from one to ninety-nine, to correspond with the figures on the players’ cards. The balls having been thoroughly mixed, the “roller” presses a spring at the bottom of the globe, opening an aperture just large enough to permit one ball to drop at a time. As soon as the first one has fallen, the aperture is closed and the “roller,” in a loud voice, calls out the number inscribed upon it. If a player finds the number in either of the three horizontal rows on his card he places a button over it. When any player has all five, numbers in any one of his rows thus called out, he exclaims “keno,” after which the “roller” takes no more balls from the globe. His card is then inspected by one of the “collectors”—of whom there are usually two—and if his tally is correct he is given the entire amount of money paid by all the players (which is called “the pot”) less a discount of fifteen per cent., which is retained by “the house” as its “percentage.”

Thus, if there are a hundred players, each of whom has paid twenty-five cents for a card, the winner receives twenty-one dollars and twenty-five cents, the bank reserving to itself three dollars and seventy-five cents as “percentage.”Matters having been thus arranged, fresh stakes are advanced by those wishing to play again, the balls put in the globe and the game is resumed.

Klondike/Klondyke - Dice Game

Dice Game Known as Klondike. Version without a layout -There is nothing complicated about Klondike and any person may learn to play at a glance. The player places his stake in the board, which is merely a plain table, and the dealer makes throw with five six sided dice. Ace count as low and sixes high. The player throws against the dealer. If his total is higher he wins, and vise versa. If the two shakes are ties the dealer wins. This is the percentage of the game for the house. Pairs are shaken for as in Poker Dice. Shake without a pair is called a "Klondike" or a frost.


The Pack—40 cards, leaving out the 10’s, 9’s and 8’s of each suit.

Number of Players —Any number can play, one being selected as banker, who places upon the table the full amount that he purposes risking on the game.

The Play —The banker takes the pack and shuffles it thoroughly, offering it to the players to cut. Holding the pack face down, he draws two cards from the bottom and places them face up on the table. This is known as the “bottom layout.” He then takes two cards from the top of the pack, still holding it face down, for the “top layout.”

The players bet on either layout any amount they please up to the limit of the bank. The remainder of the pack is then turned face up and the card that shows is known as the ‘gate.” If it is the same suit as either of the cards in the top layout, the banker pays all bets on that layout. If there is a card of the same suit as the gate in the bottom layout the banker pays that also. The banker wins all bets on a layout which has no card of the same suit as the gate.All bets settled, the two layouts are thrown aside, the pack is turned face down, the old gate discarded, and two fresh layouts are made and bet upon. A new gate is shown, and this process is continued until the pack is exhausted.

Multiplication - Dice Game

Any number of people can play, and three dice are used.

Each player throws in turn, and the highest die is left on the table, if two are equally high, only one remains. The other two dice are thrown again, and the higher kept. The sum of these two is then added together and the third die is thrown as a multiplier, the result of the multiplication being the players score.

Highest score wins.

Over and Under Seven— Dice Game

This is a game which is played with a 'layout,' or painted cloth, upon which the players place their stakes. The form most generally used is divided in the following manner:— The players having placed their stakes upon either of the three divisions they may individually choose, the 'banker' shakes two dice in the box and throws them out upon the table. If the throw proves to be over seven, those players who have put their money upon 'over seven' in the layout receive the amount of their stakes, whilst those who have bet upon the other squares will lose to the banker. In the same way, if the throw is under seven the players who have backed 'under seven' will win. If, however, the throw should prove to be exactly seven, those players who have staked upon the centre square of the layout will receive three times the amount of their stakes.

Over and under seven.—This is a game which is played with a 'layout,' or painted cloth, upon which the players place their stakes. The form most generally used is divided in the following manner:— The players having placed their stakes upon either of the three divisions they may individually choose, the 'banker' shakes two dice in the box and throws them out upon the table. If the throw proves to be over seven, those players who have put their money upon 'over seven' in the layout receive the amount of their stakes, whilst those who have bet upon the other squares will lose to the banker. In the same way, if the throw is under seven the players who have backed 'under seven' will win. If, however, the throw should prove to be exactly seven, those players who have staked upon the centre square of the layout will receive three times the amount of their stakes. A little reflection will show that even in a fair game, if players can be found to back the '3 to 1 against seven' square, the bank has a large percentage of the chances of the game in its favor. Indeed, in an infinite number of throws, the banker stands to win two-fifths of all the money staked upon the centre square. The chances against seven turning up are really 5 to 1, and not 3 to 1.A little reflection will show that even in a fair game, if players can be found to back the '3 to 1 against seven' square, the bank has a large percentage of the chances of the game in its favor. Indeed, in an infinite number of throws, the banker stands to win two-fifths of all the money staked upon the centre square. The chances against seven turning up are really 5 to 1, and not 3 to 1.


There are several varieties of Poker, distinguished by the names of "Straight," "Draw," "Stud," and "Whiskey" Poker respectively. These, again, are played in different ways, varying with the locality, scarcely any two States of America, the home of the game, being fully agreed as to its correct form. So fully is this divergence recognized, that even in America a company, sitting down to play Poker together for the first time, usually begin by discussing how the game shall be played in respect of the various points of difference. We shall endeavor to give a clear idea of what (if any) may be called the standard games, with a few of the more important variations.

The most popular variety is Draw Poker, though the full name is rarely used, the single word "Poker" being usually understood to indicate the "Draw" game.

Draw Poker is played with the full pack of fifty-two cards. There is no set limit to the number of players, but five make the best game and six should be the maximum. As each player holds five cards at the outset, and has the right, if he so pleases, to "draw" five more, it is obvious that if even six players exercised their right to the full extent, the pack would not suffice to supply their demands. As they never do fully exercise it, with six players there is a sufficient margin; but with seven the margin is inconveniently small.

The stakes are represented by counters, known in America as "chips." We will suppose that these are equivalent to pence. A certain amount, say twelve counters, is fixed upon as the limit of the stake. As will be seen hereafter, such limit is rather imaginary than real, applying merely to the successive stages by which the ultimate total is reached, the latter being (unless, by agreement, a limit is placed on this also) an unknown quantity.

The dealer having been selected, and the pack shuffled and cut, he proceeds to deal round, one at a time, five cards to each player. First, however, the elder hand, at this game known as the "Age," before seeing his cards, starts the pool with a preliminary stake known as the "ante." This must not exceed one-half the limit. Thus, in the case supposed of the limit being twelve counters, the Age has the option of putting up any number from one to six, as he pleases. This stake, from the fact that it is made without seeing the cards, is known as a "blind."

We will suppose that five players are taking part, whom we may distinguish as A, B, C, D and E; that they are seated in the order indicated in the diagram, and that A is the dealer. The deal passes from A to B, and so on. B is in such case the Age, and has put up, by way of ante a single counter. Each player looks at his cards, whose value depends upon his possession of certain combinations, ranking in proportion to the rarity of their occurrence. C is the first to declare. If his cards are so bad that he has no hope of winning, he may "pass," i.e. go out of the game altogether for that hand. In such case, he throws his cards, face downwards, in front of the Age, who will in due course be the next dealer. If, on the other hand, C thinks his cards worth playing on, he "goes in," i.e. he puts in the pool double the amount staked by the Age. D, E and A in rotation do the same, either "passing" and throwing up their cards, or "going in" and placing in the pool a like amount to that just contributed by C. When the turn of B (the Age) is reached, he has to make a similar decision, and, if he decide to go in, must put in the pool a like amount to that which he first staked, thereby placing himself on an equal footing with the other players.

There is, however, another possible contingency. B has put up, by way of ante, the minimum, one counter only. If either of the players holds a hand which seems a probable winner, he may desire to put a heavier stake on it. In such case, he must first make good the ante (i.e. hand in two counters), and may then "go better," or offer a higher stake to the extent of the limit. C, we will suppose, has simply made good the ante. D not only does the same, but goes four better. He thus contributes in all, six counters to the pool, and any subsequent player who desires to "go in," must also hand in six counters. Having done so, such subsequent player has the option of again going better on his own account. We will suppose that E makes good D's "raise," and goes three better, making in all nine counters. A, we will assume, has but a poor hand, and sees small chance of winning. Such being the case, he passes out, and throws up his cards, still, however, retaining his functions as dealer. It is now the turn of B, the Age, who has to consider whether, under these conditions, it is worth his while to go in. Should he elect to do so, he must hand in eight counters, i.e. nine, less the single counter which he staked by way of ante. If C still elects to go in, he must pay seven counters, in addition to the two he has already paid. D, in like manner, three counters.

Having reached this stage, the standing players proceed to draw to "fill their hands," i.e. discard their least valuable cards (throwing them face downwards on the table), and receive a like number from the dealer.

At this point, it may be convenient to state wherein the strength of a poker hand lies, and what, therefore, is the object of the players. A poker hand is valuable in so far as it contains certain cards, or combinations of cards, ranking as under. We begin with the highest.

1. A Straight Flush, i.e. a sequence of five cards, all of the same suit.

N.B.—As between two sequences, that beginning with the highest card has the preference. The ace may be treated at pleasure either as the highest card or the lowest, and will, therefore, form a sequence either with king, queen, &c., or with two, three, &c. Ace, king, queen, knave, ten is the highest possible sequence. Ace, two, three, four, five, the lowest.

2. Fours, i.e. four cards of the same denomination, with one indifferent card, the higher four having priority.[Aces in this case count as highest, so that a four of aces is the best possible.]

3. A Full, i.e. three cards of the same denomination, and a pair.[As between two fulls, the comparative value of the three cards in each case decides priority.]

4. A Flush, i.e. five cards of the same suit.

5. A Straight, i.e. five cards in sequence, but not of the same suit.

6. Threes, i.e. three cards of like denomination, with two indifferent cards.

7. Two Pairs, with an indifferent card.

8. A Pair, with three indifferent cards.

9. Highest Card. Where no hand has either of the above combinations, that containing the highest card is the winner.[As between pairs or sequences in opposing hands, the highest wins. Where each holds two pairs, the two best are compared, and the highest wins. In the event of equality of pairs, the hand containing the highest indifferent card wins. In the event of absolute equality between the two best hands, the pool is divided.]

A study of the foregoing table will make clear the objects aimed at by each player, and the principles which regulate his discard. It may be taken for granted that a player, having received a scoring combination, however small, will certainly hold it. Thus with a pair and three indifferent cards, the player would certainly retain the pair and exchange the rest, in the hope of converting his pair into threes, or something better. With threes, he would, as a rule, exchange the two indifferent cards, in the hope of receiving a pair, and so transforming his "threes" into a "full." With two pairs, he would exchange the odd card, in the hope of receiving another of like denomination with one or other of his pairs, which again would give him a "full."

It may occasionally happen that a player receives in the first instance a hand so good that he is not likely to gain anything by drawing, and prefers, therefore, to stand on the cards given him. Such a hand is known as a "pat" hand. The most obvious example of a hand which cannot gain by drawing is that of fours. This, as we have seen, is the second highest hand that can be held; indeed, a straight flush is of so rare occurrence, and the holding of two fours by different players so unlikely a contingency that a hand of "fours" is practically a safe winner. The odd card is in such case worthless, but nothing for which it could be exchanged would add to the value of the hand.

There is, however, another consideration to be taken into account in determining whether to draw or not. This we shall deal with hereafter. For the moment we will revert to our imaginary game. A has passed out; B, C, D and E have respectively raised or made good the raise (to the extent, including the ante, of nine counters each).

We will now examine their cards. B's hand consists of ace of hearts, queen and three of diamonds, queen of clubs, and five of spades. He has thus a pair of queens, but the remaining cards are at present worthless. C has ace of clubs, three and four of spades, nine of hearts and two of diamonds, four out of the five cards being in sequence. D has ten and eight of hearts, ten of spades, knave of clubs, and eight of diamonds; a fairly good hand, for it contains two pairs. E has five cards without any scoring combination, say eight and three of clubs, king and four of hearts, and knave of spades.B has the first claim to draw. He might very well discard all three of his non-scoring cards, but such a proceeding would be tantamount to an acknowledgement that he only had as yet a pair and one of the main points at Poker is to keep the adversaries in the dark as to the strength of the player's hand. He has nearly as good a chance of making a three, or two pairs, by exchanging two cards only, and accordingly does so, retaining the pair and the ace of hearts. We will suppose that he draws the queen of hearts and nine of diamonds. He has now threes of queens. C exchanges the nine of hearts, in the hope of completing his sequence, but draws, say, the knave of diamonds, which makes him no better. D, having already two pairs, discards the odd card on the chance of drawing another eight or ten, either of which would make him a "full," but actually draws, say, the five of diamonds, which is useless. E's hand is absolutely worthless as it stands. He might exchange all five cards, in the hope of drawing better, but to do so would be to confess his weakness, and at Poker it is not always the best hand that wins. He exchanges one card only, leaving it to be inferred that he has either two pairs, threes, fours, or a flush or sequence lacking one card. He discards the three of clubs, and receives, say, the ace of spades, leaving his hand still worthless.

The betting is now resumed. In regular order it would be for B (the Age) to start it, but he has the privilege, if he so pleases, of "holding the age," i.e. reserving his stake till the other players have had their say. C, therefore, is the first to declare. His cards are worthless, and he decides to pass out. D has but a moderate hand, for two pairs may easily be beaten. On the other hand, they frequently win, and it would be foolish to show the white feather until he knows a little more about the hands of his adversaries. He goes five counters. E, as we have seen, has nothing. He has two alternatives, either to go out and sacrifice what he has already staked, or to endeavor to drive others out by a false pretense of strength. Deciding for the latter alternative, he not only makes good D's stake, but goes ten better, as though he held a capital hand. A has already passed out; and it is, therefore, B's turn. He has "threes," a much more than average hand, and far too good to be driven out of the field without a struggle. Under such circumstances two alternatives are open to him. He may simply make good the last raise, and say, "I'll see you" (in which case all turn up their cards, and, having the better hand, B wins the pool), or he may be inclined to speculate a little further. He makes good the raise, and goes five better. C, it will be remembered, has already passed out; and D, inferring from the persistence of E and B that they hold pretty strong hands, thinks discretion the better part of valor, and goes out also. The battle is now solely between B and E. B has a good hand, and E has nothing; but if he is a bold player, he may still win. B's last raise, which was to only half the limit, tends to indicate that he has not a very strong hand, and perhaps a little "bluffing" (as the betting upon a worthless hand is called) may frighten him out of the field. Accordingly, E not only makes good B's raise, but again goes the maximum(ten) better. Unless E has the reputation (a very undesirable one) of a habitual bluffer, B will probably begin to feel alarmed. E's repeated raises, coupled with the fact that he only drew one card—a sign of a pretty strong hand—suggest that he holds probably fours, if not a "full," "sequence," or "flush," either of which would put B out of the running. He is again confronted with the same alternatives—viz. to make good E's raise and see him (in which case B would win); to go better, which seems hazardous; or to pass out, thereby avoiding the necessity of making good the last raise. If he is a timid player, he may possibly (either at this stage or later) adopt the latter course, in which case E takes the pool without showing his cards, thereby concealing the fact that they were worthless. This privilege is very important, for "bluffing" is an essential part of the game of Poker, and to bluff with success depends mainly on the adversaries' ignorance of the habitual tendencies of the player in this particular.

If a player is known to be in the habit of bluffing, he does so at a great disadvantage. The man who can bluff most successfully is the steady-going player with whom high stakes are the usual indication of good cards. When such a one begins to "plunge," the other players are apt to place themselves in the position of the coon sighted by the crack marksman in the American story, "Don't fire; I'll come down." Obviously, to expose the cards on which a player has been steadily raising all competitors, and reveal the fact that, instead of the expected "full," or "flush," there is not even a solitary "pair" among them, would tend heavily to discount the effectiveness of the same player's bluffing in a subsequent round. Hence the rule of not showing the cards in such a case, which is always adhered to.

The probabilities of receiving by the deal one or other of the Poker combinations are thus stated by "Cavendish:

" Odds against a straight flush 649,999 to 1

" fours 4,164 to 1" a full house 693 to 1

" a flush 507 to 1" a straight 254 to 1

" triplets 45 to 1" two pairs 20 to 1

" one pair 13 to 10

It is obvious that the privilege of filling the hands tends greatly to diminish these odds against any given hand (say by one-half, as the player may if he pleases have ten instead of five chances), but the relative frequency of the hands will remain pretty much the same. Bearing in mind the considerations above suggested, it is obvious that the ultimate chances are in favour of holding a pair, and as each player has the same chance, a pair, and particularly a low pair, is but a poor hand. From this to two pairs is a long step, and a player who invariably held triplets would, in the long run, be a heavy winner. A fortiori, any hand above this limit stands to win, and should be backed accordingly.

The smaller the number of players, the more freely may a fair hand be backed, as there is the less probability of its being surpassed by other playersIn drawing to a pair, if one of the indifferent cards should be an ace or court card, this card should be retained, and only the other two exchanged.Holding "threes," the player may please himself whether to draw two cards or one only, but the latter is preferable, as giving less information to the enemy.

With "fours," the odd card should always be exchanged, for the same reason. The hand cannot be improved by the exchange, but the adversaries are left in uncertainty as to its value.Holding four of the needful cards to make a flush or straight, the player should go in, and exchange one card, in the hope of completing the desired combination. With less than five cards, the attempt has but little chance of success.

Poker Dice - Dice Game

If ordinary six sided dice are used, the aces rank above the sixes, the deuces being the lowest. Any number of persons may play, and five dice are used. Each in turn takes the box and has three throws, the first being made with all five dice. After the first throw the caster may lay aside any of the five dice he chooses. Putting the others back in the box for a second throw. The same process of selection is allowed for the third throw, any or all five being available for the last throw. The second and third throw have the same effect as the draw at poker, except the dice player may draw twice if he wishes to, and may put back all or any of the dice that he kept on the first or second throws, or he may stand pat on any throw.

The object of the game is to secure pears, triplets, full hands, and four or five of a kind. Straights do not count in poker dice. Suppose the players first row to be a pair of sixes he places them on one side, and picks up the three other guys, throwing them over again. If the second throw produced another six it would be placed with the first pair, making the triplet, and the two remaining dies would be thrown again. Whenever they produced would be in the final value of the hand. The player is not obliged to throw again, if he is satisfied with the first or second throw, neither is he obliged to leave any pairs or triplets. A player getting too small pairs in the first row may put both of them back in the box again if he chooses.

In throwing for drinks or cigars, it is usual to throw horse and horse, that is if several persons are in the game the highest man in each rung goes out, Thais shake it off immediately, one hand each. After it gets down to two men, they shake for the best two out of three hands, and if each wins a hand they are horse and horse, and throw a third to decide it. The last person to throw on each round follows his lead, throwing the first hand on the next round.


THE EQUIPMENT - The game is played with nine ivory balls on a billiard or similar table. A later version known as Rondo Coolio used either 10 or 12 balls. A stick is used to strike the balls. The balls used for Rondo were smaller than standard billiard balls.

THE BET – Players bet that there will be an odd number of balls or an even number of balls left on the table. The game operator takes a percentage (rake) of the bets after every game.

THE DEALER - The men who pay the bets stand on each side of the table and as rondo wins settle the bets.

THE PLAY- The banker calls for bets for inside (odd) or outside (even), and the wagers made on each side must balance. Once they have, the banker says something like, “Roll, the game is made.” With only two outcomes (odd or even) and the bets booked on both sides being equal the game operator risks no money, and cannot lose.

The Rondo balls are arranged on one end of the table in a pyramid shape and using a stick, a player forces the balls to the opposite diagonal pocket. At least one ball must go inside a pocket and at least one must remain outside the pocket; otherwise, the roll is invalid and must be redone. Once all balls have stopped rolling and the game criteria met, the balls that didn’t make it into the pocket are counted. Whether that number is odd or even decides if inside bettor or outside bettor wins. The banker takes a percentage of all bets made after every game. The balls are then gathered and repositioned in a pyramid shape by one of the game operators and the betting begins again.Note that in a different reported version of the game, there is no inside or outside. Instead, an odd total of balls left outside the pocket means the player wins. An even number is a win for the house.

Presumably the house takes no rake on this version of the game.Operators of Rondo claimed adamantly that is was a game of skill and according to them it was not a banking game. However, most jurisdictions declared that Rondo was in fact a banking gambling game and made it’s play illegal.

Rouge Et Noir

THE LAY OUT - As played in this United States, this game differs materially from the mode of playing in vogue on the continent of Europe. The game is always played with the adjunct of a “lay-out,” which is covered with a green cloth. The middle line serves no special purpose, but adds one more striking feature to the device. The inner line serves to mark off that portion of the table on which are depicted the representation of the four jacks found in every pack of cards. At the two ends of the table and on the right hand side are blank spaces. Those at the ends are colored—the one at the top red, the one at the bottom black. The space on the right hand side is for the placing of wagers.

THE PACK - 52 Cards

NUMBER OF PLAYERS - Any number of persons may play.

THE BETS - Bets may be made in either one of the four ways—on the red; on the black; on either jack, or on any one of the four jacks. In the two cases first mentioned the bettor places his wager on the color which he selects. If he wishes to bet on any particular jack (that of hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades), he lays his money on that one which he chooses. If he prefers to bet that some jack (without indicating which) will win, he lays his venture upon the blank space at the right hand side of the table. If he bets on the winning color, the bank pays him an amount equal to the sum staked, which latter, of course, he receives back. If he selects a particular jack and the one on which he has placed his wager happens to win, his stake is returned to him, together with an increment of ten times the amount. If he places his wager on the blank space to the right he is understood to have bet that some one of the four jacks will win, and if his hazard prove successful, his gains are measured by a sum twice that of his original bet.

THE PLAY - The bets having all been made and placed, the play commences. The banker places a full pack (fifty-two cards) in a dealing box, similar to those used in playing “faro,”, but with this variation: In “faro” the cards are inserted and dealt face uppermost, the opening being large enough to afford a clear view of the card; in rouge et noir they are inserted and dealt face downward, and the aperture in the box is only large enough to permit the dealer to run them off readily with the index and second fingers of the left hand.The first two cards, after being withdrawn from the box, are laid upon the table, faces downward, and the third is turned over. This constitutes a “run,” and the gains or losses of the players are determined by the color (and sometimes the denomination) of the third card. If it happens to be red the bank pays all bets placed on the space at the upper end of the table, marked “red,” and gathers in all other wagers placed upon the table. If it chance to be a jack, and any player has placed his money on the representation of that particular jack upon the “lay-out,” the fortunate individual wins ten times the amount which he ventured. If a player has bet upon “jacks,” without naming any particular one—placing his money in the space at the right hand side of the table—and a jack of any suit is turned up, he is given, as his winnings, double the amount of his wager.

On the other hand, if the bettor has laid his stake either upon “jacks” or on any particular jack, and no jack turns up, he loses.Even when fairly played, the chances in favor of the bank are large enough to satisfy any banker whose greed for gain is not abnormal.

Roulette - 1800's

At this game there are thirty-one figures. Numbers 1 through 28, a zero, a double zero and the American Eagle symbol.*

The Bets- A player may place wagers on several different bets.

Inside Bets

Straight Up - Placed on a single number on the layout. Paid 28 to 1

Splits - Placed on the line between two numbers

Corners - Placed on the order of four numbers

Rigged Wheel -If the bettor should hit a single figure, he is only paid twenty-seven for one; if he should bet on the black or red, he has the eagle, single 0 and double 0 against him, which almost precludes the possibility of the game being beaten. The first kind of cheating roulette I will describe as follows:—The roulette is manufactured for the purpose; the machinery being entirely concealed from view. The circular revolving wheel, and the rim of this wheel, although moving together, and having the appearance of being immovably connected, can be moved either to the right or left, while the rim remains stationary; in other words, the gambler who manages the game can cause the ball to fall in a red or black number, as he may think proper. After throwing the ball, the gambler watches the ball closely, and if it should fall in the red, and the gambler desired it to fall in the black, while the wheel is still revolving the ball is quickly changed to the black, without its being seen by the bettors, which is done by a lever attached to this circular wheel, and connecting: with one of the legs of the roulette. This leg has the same appearance as the others, only it is a trifle shorter, not quite touching the table on which the roulette rests

*The house advantage for the 31 number roulette game was 9.68%. Compare that edge to modern casino roulette games with advantages over the player of 7.69% (Triple 0, 39 numbers), 5.26% (Double 0, 38 numbers), 2.7% (Single 0, 37 numbers)

Seven and a Half

The Pack —40 cards (the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s of each suit being discarded.)

Number of Players —Any number may play.Rank of Cards—Cards have no relative rank, but their counting value is as follows: K’s, Q’s and J’s, one-half point each, spot cards counting their pip value, aces 1, deuces 2, etc.

Cutting —Usually one player is selected to act as banker, and to receive the first deal. If desired, any player may deal the cards, one at a time to the left, the first player receiving an ace taking the deal.

Object of the Game —To hold cards, the collective pip value of which most nearly approaches Seven and One-half, without passing that number.

Dealing —Dealer gives each player one card, dealing to the left.

Betting —After examining his card and before any further cards are served by the dealer, each player examines the card given him and bets any amount within the limit, fixed at the beginning of the game. As all bets are made after the player has seen his card, the dealer may, after examining his card, and before serving any of the players, require all players to double their bets. There is no redouble.

Drawing —After all bets are made, the eldest hand may stand or draw cards, as he may elect. Cards may be drawn until he is satisfied, or the collective pip value of the hand exceed seven and one-half. A player who overdraws must announce the fact at once, abandon the hand and pay his stake to the dealer. All cards drawn are served face up. The remaining players are served in a similar manner. The dealer then turns his card face up and either draws or announces that he will stand. Should he elect to stand, he takes all bets from players having an equal or less number of points in their hands and pays to those having a greater amount. Should he overdraw or break, he must pay all players who have not previously overdrawn.

Should any player draw exactly seven and one-half, he must announce the fact at once and expose his entire hand. Should the dealer not draw exactly seven and one-half, after serving the remaining players, he must pay to each player drawing seven and one-half, double the amount of their stake. Should the value not exceed seven and one-half, he may “split” the pair, betting on the second card an amount equal to the original bet. cards are served to either hand first, but one hand Sust break or be satisfied before cards are served to the second. The first card served to either card of the split pair is served face down. Should the first card served to either of the split pair be of the same value as the split, a third hand may be formed, etc.

For Example: The first card served a player is an ace. He bets two chips and asks for a card. This card proves to be an ace and he announces a split, betting two chips on the second ace. He then draws to the first hand again and receives a third ace. Another split is announced and two chips bet on the third hand. He then draws to each hand separately until satisfied or until he overdraws.

Change of Deal —The first player to the dealer’s left to expose seven and one-half, when the dealer fails to draw a similar hand, takes the deal. If more than one seven and one-half is turned, each player holding such hand has the option of dealing, should those ahead of him decline the deal. Should all decline, the deal remains unchanged, but the dealer must pay double on these hands, even though he retains the deal. In some localities a player who does not desire to deal when he has the opportunity, may dispose of the deal to another player, or he may pool his chips with another player. In this rase only one card is served to both players pooling their chips When the deal is lost, the chips in the pool are equally divided.

Seven Up

NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 2 or 4 players may play Seven Up

THE PACK - 52 cards The game, sometimes called Old Sledge, All-Fours and Seven-Up, is played with a full pack of fifty-two cards, which take rank as at Whist—the Ace being the highest and the Deuce the lowest.

The players cut for deal. The dealer then gives six cards to each player, three at a time, and turns up the thirteenth, if there be two players, and the twenty-fifth if there be four. The turn-up is the trump.The non-dealer then looks at his hand, and determines whether he will hold it for play, or beg. If he is satisfied with his hand, he says, “I stand;” but if he is not satisfied with his cards, he says, “I beg,” in which case the dealer must either suffer his adversary to score one point, saying, “Take one,” or give each three more cards from the pack, and then turn up the next card, the seventh, for trumps; if however, the trump turned up be of the same suit as the first, the dealer must go on, giving each three cards more, and turning up the seventh, until a change of suit for turn-up takes place.

After these preliminaries have been settled, if two only are playing, the non-dealer leads a card, and the dealer plays a card to it; these two cards constitute a trick.The player who plays the highest card of the suit led, or trumps, wins the trick, and has the next lead. The play proceeds in this way until all the tricks are played.Each player must follow suit, if he can, unless he chooses to trump.The points that may be scored are herewith given in their order of precedence.High.—The highest trump out; the holder scores one point.Low.—The lowest trump out; the original holder scores one point, even if it be taken by his adversary.Jack.—The Knave of trumps. The winner of the trick containing it scores one point.When the Jack is turned up for trump, it counts one point for the dealer, and in that case takes precedence of every other point in the score.

Game.—The greatest number that in the tricks gained, can be shown by either party; reckoning for each Ace four towards game.”

King three ” ””

Queen two ” ””

Jack one ” ””

Ten ten ” ”

The other cards do not count towards game; thus it may happen that a deal may be played without either party having any score for game, by reason of holding neither face cards nor tens.When the players hold equal numbers, the dealer’s hand scores the point for game.

One card may count all “fours;” for example, the oldest hand holds only the jack of the trump suit, and stands his game, the dealer, having neither trump, ten, ace nor court card, it will follow that the jack will be at once high, low, jack and game.The game consists of seven points, and the player who first scores that number wins the game. If the non-dealer is dissatisfied with his hand, he may “beg,” i. e., ask the dealer to “give” him one point on his score. If the latter refuse, he must “run the cards,” by which is meant, turn down the trump, deal three cards each to his antagonist and himself, and turn another card. If the latter happen to be of the same suit as that previously turned, it is turned over, and the “running for trumps” is continued until some card of a different suit is turned.

In four-handed Seven-up the parties usually decide who shall be partners by cutting the cards, the two highest and the two lowest playing together. The four players divide themselves into two sets, each player sitting opposite his partner, as at whist. The first deal is decided by cutting the cards, the highest cut having the deal, but afterward it is taken by each player in rotation.

The dealer and the player on his left only are permitted to look at their cards, previous to the latter deciding upon his hand, and in case he begs, the other parties must not raise their cards until the dealer announces whether he will “give one” or “run the cards” for another trump.

Three Card Monte

The cards are thrown by the “spieler” upon some flat surface, faces downward. Before throwing them, he shows the bystanders the cards which he holds in his hand, and after they have been thrown he invites bets as to the location of some particular card.

To illustrate: he may hold in his hand two aces and a queen; these he shows; he then places them in his right hand, in the position above described, and throws them upon the flat surface, faces downward; he then asks someone to bet which is the queen. The queen may have been the middle of the three cards as they were held in his hand, but it by no means follows that it will be the middle of the three cards as they lie upon the table.

To work the game successfully, at least one and generally two confederates are necessary. It has already been said that the favorite place of operation is the railroad train, and perhaps the reader will gain the best idea of how the trick is done by describing the manner in which these sharpers secure and fleece their victims under these circumstances. The “spieler” is usually attired after the manner of a well-to-do country farmer or stock-raiser. On his head he wears a battered slouch hat, his neck is ornamented with a loosely tied red cotton handkerchief; and his worn trousers are stuffed carelessly into the legs of his cow skin boots. His confederates, who are technically called “cappers,” are dressed after the manner of respectable business men of easy circumstances. It should be remarked, however, that when the precious trio board the train the “spieler” presents a far more fashionable appearance than when dressed for business. He usually carries with him a false shirt bosom, an old overcoat and the slouch hat mentioned above. After he has entered the cars he takes his seat in the rear end of the coach, and the two “cappers” pass through the car looking for someone who promises to be an easy prey, and who is commonly known to the fraternity as a “mark” or a “sucker.” If none is found upon the first car entered, the gang repairs to the next one, the “spieler” taking up his position in the rear as before. As soon as a “mark” is selected, one of the “cappers” takes his seat beside him and raises his hat. At this signal the “spieler” arranges his cotton handkerchief, puts on his disreputable hat, dons his well-worn overcoat, and tucks his trousers in his boot legs. The effecting of this transformation scene is known among gamblers as “ringing up.”

The “spieler” goes forward and takes the seat either just before or directly behind his confederate and intended victim. He engages the former in conversation, representing himself as a heavy stock-raiser from the Southwest. He goes on to explain how he has been swindled or “slicked” out of $500 by a “card sharp.” He adds, however, that they failed to get all that he had, and thereupon displays or “flashes” a large roll of money, and slapping his hand upon his side, remarks in a loud tone, that he has $10,000 more in his belt. At this point the confederate, with the air of a man of kindly disposition and one who is familiar with the wickedness of the world, remarks to him that he perceives that he (the “spieler”) has traveled very little, and advises him to avoid displaying money in the presence of strangers. The “spieler” laughs, and says that “he reckons he is able to look after himself.” He adds that he bought the “paste boards” with which he had been cheated from the man who had swindled him, and that he intends to take them home and get his money back by betting with his friends, mentioning, perhaps, by way of illustration, that he means to “win Bill Jones’s mule, and make him walk home the very next night that he comes to see his sister.” His accomplice thereupon asks to see the cards, and they are promptly produced. The “spieler” begins to exhibit his skill and urges the partner to bet. The latter says that he can distinguish the cards readily enough, but does not wish to win the man’s money. After much urging, the “capper” consents to bet and usually wins two wagers as a matter of course. The “spieler” thereupon remarks that he does not care to bet with him any longer, as he is too lucky, and asks the stranger to make a bet. If the latter shows any hesitation, or if, perchance, he expresses some scruples on moral grounds, the “capper” whispers to him that he has a dead certainty of winning and that he had better bet and win, and “teach the fool a lesson,” after which he can return the amount won if he chooses. The “spieler” next throws the cards, and while he turns his head the confederate raises the card and shows the stranger which it is, slightly bending the corner in order that it may be readily recognized.

The victim is now satisfied that he can bet with certainty, and when the “spieler” again picks up the cards to throw them he stakes his wager. The operator, however, with his little finger dexterously flattens out the corner which his accomplice had bent up and bends up the corner of an entirely different card. When the cards are next thrown, the victim selects the one with the bent corner, and is deeply chagrined to discover that it is not the one which he believed it to be.

Sometimes, instead of bending the corner of one of the cards, resort is had to another and equally effective device. While the three cards are lying faces downward, the confederate, with a pencil, makes a mark upon the corner of the winning card. When the “spieler” again turns his head toward the cards, he picks them up and thrusts them into his pocket with the remark, “oh, you fellows wont bet anyway.” In his pocket he has three other cards, duplicates in all respects of those which he has before shown, and on the corner of one of which is a pencil mark precisely similar to the one made by the “capper,” but it is not on the winning card. As he is about to leave, his confederate urges him to remain, saying, “yes we will bet, come back.” The stranger thinks that he recognizes the pencil mark, stakes his money, selects the marked card, finds it is not the winner, and of course loses.

Vingt Et Un - 1800's

It is played by any number of persons, seated around a table similar to that used in faro. The banker always deals, and uses one, two, or three packs of cards, according to the number of players.

After the cards are shuffled he draws one from the pack and places it at the bottom, face upward. This is called “burning” a card. The object is to prevent what is known among gamblers as “bottom dealing,” and this practice measurably interferes with one of the favorite practices of card sharpers. First, all bets are made before they deal. Two cards are given to each player, one at a time. When all have been supplied, the players look at their hands. The king, queen, jack and ten spot each count ten; an ace counts one or eleven, at the option of its holder, but he is always guided in his determination by the exigencies of his hand. The remainder of the cards are reckoned according to the number of spots upon their faces.

Each player signifies his satisfaction, or dissatisfaction with his hand by “standing” or calling for a card which is dealt to him, face upward. If this does not satisfy him he can call for a second or even a third, as long as it does not count more than twenty-one. If a player, who elects to draw to his hand, finds that the number of spots on the cards drawn, added to the number on those which he first received, exceeds twenty-one, he is said to have “burst,” and throws his hand face downward upon the table, the stake being forfeited to the banker, who is always the dealer.

After all have stood or drawn, the dealer turns his hand face upward on the table, and either stands or draws. If he draws and “bursts,” that is makes his count exceed twenty-one, he pays to each player the stake which he has advanced, provided such player has not already overdrawn. If he stands, or draws so that his hand does not exceed twenty-one, he receives from or pays to each player in rotation; the one whose cards reckon up nearest twenty-one being considered the winner. In the case of a tie between the dealer and any of the players, the former takes the stakes.

Notice there is no mention of any additional payout for being dealt a natural 21. The banker's massive edge comes from wining tie hands and the fact the players "burst" before the dealer draws.

Wheel of Fortune - 1887

A wheel (not roulette) with numbers on it, and the corresponding numbers were on the table under the jewelry, etc. Often the players would pay $1 for a spin of the wheel.

The expensive items corresponded to a space on the wheel that was so very narrow that the wheel would not stop on it one time in a thousand.River Boat gambler, George Devol, once beat an operator of the wheel on a river boat by "Snaking" the game the night before. - "Snaking" means breaking into the gaming area when no one is around and rigging the equipment to win for you.