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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

This duty on cards went on increasing its annual addition to the
revenue, so that about the year 1820 the monthly payments of Mr
Hunt alone, the card-maker of Picadilly, for the stamp-duty
on cards, varied from L800 to L1000, that is, from L9600 to
L12,000 per annum. In 1833 the stamp-duty on cards was 6d., and
it yielded L15,922, showing a consumption of 640,000 packs per
annum. Much of this, however, was sheer waste, on account of the
rule of gamesters requiring a fresh pack at every game.

In the Harleian Miscellany[65] will be found a satirical poem
entitled 'The Royal Gamesters; or, the Odd Cards new shuffled for
a Conquering Game,' referring to the political events of the
years from 1702 to 1706, and concluding with the following
lines--

'Thus ends the game which Europe has in view,
Which, by the stars, may happen to be true.'

[65] Vol. i. p. 177.


In vol. iv. of the same work there is another poem of the kind,
entitled 'The State Gamesters; or, the Old Cards new packed and
shuffled,' which characteristically concludes as follows--

'But we this resolution have laid down--
Never to play so high as for a Crown.'

Finally, as to allusions to gaming, the reader may remember the
famous sarcasm of the late Earl of Derby (as Lord Stanley) some
thirty years ago, comparing the Government to Thimble-riggers in
operation.

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