Deck Design – The Queen

How Playing Cards Got Their Queen

Can you imagine a royal flush without a queen?

For almost a thousand years, women were not represented on playing cards.  The earliest evidence for playing cards could be found in 9th century China, but didn’t arrived in Europe until the late 1300s as an import from Egypt.  These early European decks infiltrated France in 1377 and made their way to Germany by 1480.  Continue reading “Deck Design – The Queen”

Tipi or Cabin?

Staying Warm and Dry on the Plains

European settlers built squat, square structures out of wood with dirt floors and rectangular openings for doors, windows. They cut a hole in the roof for a chimney.  These cabins were familiar and deemed sufficient to keep enough of the cold and wet out to make life bearable.  Settlers considered the Native Peoples’ dwellings to be less civilized, but what they didn’t realize is that the tipi is a resourceful and innovative dwelling.     Continue reading “Tipi or Cabin?”

The Map Deck

How Playing Cards Helped POW’s Escape During WWII -The Map Deck

Throughout WWII, the British produced hundreds of thousands of maps on thin cloth and tissue paper for soldiers to carry with them.  It was hoped that if a serviceman was shot down behind enemy lines, he could use the map to help him evade capture and find his way back to safety.  The size and weight of these British maps also made them useful in clandestine wartime activities.     Continue reading “The Map Deck”

The Longest Poker Game

The Longest Poker Game

Longest Running Poker Game in History at The Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona

In 1881, inspired by the packed houses of San Francisco, Billy and Lottie Hutchison opened The Bird Cage Theater.  They hoped to bring respectable entertainment to the inhabitants of Tombstone, Arizona, and profit from the silver mining boom.  The Hutchisons quickly learned that reputable entertainment would not draw the mining crowd.   Continue reading “The Longest Poker Game”

Slot Machine Symbols

Fruits and Bars: How Slot Machines Got Their Symbols – Slot Machine Symbols

You’ve deposited your coin in the slot. A tug on the handle sends the three reels spinning as you watch with giddy anticipation.  You can feel it; this is the spin that will win.  The first reel clicks into place. It’s a Bar. The second reel stops, another Bar. The third reel slows, ticks past a cherry, then lemon, and stops.  The final Bar aligns with the rest – you’ve hit the jackpot! Continue reading “Slot Machine Symbols”

Cheating Gamblers Were Thrown Off The Riverboat

Cheating Gamblers – If You Don’t Want to Be Thrown Off a Casino Riverboat, Don’t Cheat!

Think back before regulations, before surveillance teams and before security cameras and you’ll be back to an era where gambling and cheating often went hand in hand. In the early 1800’s the best transportation in the US was still by river or around the coast by ocean. Paddleboats, riverboats and steam ships transported goods all across the country, and for Continue reading “Cheating Gamblers Were Thrown Off The Riverboat”