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The History Of Dice And Cards

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV

The History Of Dice And Cards

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Casino Gambling in history

It seems also probable that the cards then used (whatever they
might have been before) were of Spanish form and figure, in
compliment to the imperious Philip; since even to this day the
names of two Spanish suits are retained on English cards, though
without any reference to their present figure. Thus, we call one
suit spades, from the Spanish espada, 'sword,' although we retain
no similitude of the sword in the figure,--and another clubs, in
Spanish, bastos, but without regard to the figure also.

Old Roger Ascham, the tutor of Queen Elizabeth, gives us a
picture of the gambling arts of his day, as follows:--How will
they use these shiftes when they get a plaine man that cannot
skill of them! How they will go about, if they perceive an
honest man have moneye, which list not playe, to provoke him to
playe! They will seek his companye; they will let him pay
noughte, yea, and as I hearde a man once saye that he did, they
will send for him to some house, and spend perchaunce a crowne on
him, and, at last, will one begin to saye: at, my masters, what
shall we do? Shall every man playe his twelve-pence while an
apple roste in the fire, and then we will drincke and departe?"
"Naye" will another saye (as false as he), "you cannot leave when
you begin, and therefore I will not playe: but if you will gage,
that every man as he hath lost his twelve-pence, shall sit downe,
I am contente, for surelye I would Winne no manne's moneye here,
but even as much as woulde pay for my supper." Then speaketh the
thirde to the honeste man that thought not to play:--"What? Will
you play your twelve-pence?" If he excuse him--"Tush! man!" will
the other saye, "sticke not in honeste company for twelve-pence;
I will beare your halfe, and here is my moneye." Nowe all this
is to make him to beginne, for they knowe if he be once in, and
be a loser, that he will not sticke at his twelve-pence, but
hopeth ever to get it againe, whiles perhappes he will lose all.
Then every one of them setteth his shiftes abroache, some with
false dyse, some with settling of dyse, some with having
outlandish silver coynes guilded, to put awaye at a time for good
golde. Then, if there come a thing in controversye, must you be
judged by the table, and then farewell the honeste man's parte,
for he is borne downe on every syde.'

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