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The Gaming Clubs

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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The Gaming Clubs

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Casino Gambling in history

Among the rules of the establishment, it was ordered 'that every
person playing at the twenty-guinea table do not keep less than
twenty guineas before him,' and 'that every person playing at the
new guinea table do keep fifty guineas before him.' That the
play ran high may be inferred from a note against the name of Mr
Thynne, in the Club-books:--'Mr Thynne having won ONLY 12,000
guineas during the last two months, retired in disgust, March
21st, 1772.' Indeed, the play was unusually high--for rouleaus
of L50 each, and generally there was L10,000 in specie on the
table. The gamesters began by pulling off their embroidered
clothes, and putting on frieze great coats, or turned their coats
inside out for luck! They put on pieces of leather (such as are
worn by footmen when they clean knives) to save their laced
ruffles; and to guard their eyes from the light, and to keep
their hair in order, wore high-crowned straw hats with broad
brims adorned with flowers and ribbons; they also wore masks to
conceal their emotions when they played at quinz.[35] Each
gamester had a small neat stand by him, to hold his tea, or a
wooden bowl with an edge of ormolu, to hold the rouleaus of
guineas.

[35] Quinze, the French for fifteen. This is a game at cards, in
which the winner is he who counts fifteen, or nearest to that
number, in all the points of his hand. Three, five, or six might
play at it. Two entire packs of cards are used, so disposed that
the spades and clubs are on one side, and the hearts and diamonds
on the other. The entire art of the game consists in making
fifteen; below that number the party loses.

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