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Spit Card Variants Poker
Miscellaneous Draw Poker Variants

Stud Poker

Stud Poker
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Rummy Games

Rummy Games
Six Seven Card Straight
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Coon Can
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Kalooki (CALOOCHI)

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy
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Variation of Canasta
Typical Four-Handed Score Sheet

Bridge: Contract and Auction

Contract and Auction
Contract Bridge Scoring Table
Bridge Poker
Minimum Biddable Suits
The Laws of Progressive Contract Bridge
The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge
Auction bridge

Cribbage and How it is Played

Cribbage how to Play
Strategy at Cribbage


Strategy at Casino

Children and Family Card Games

Family Card Games
Old Maid
Animals or menagerie

Miscellaneous Card Games

Miscellaneous Card Games
Scotch whist
Lift smoke
Crazy eights

Solitaire and Patience Games

Solitaire and Patience Games
Single-deck solitaire
Auld Lang Syne
Four Seasons
Beleaguered Castle
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Chess, checkers, and Teeko

Standard Teeko Strategy
Start Teeko Game
Standard Checkers Law

Parlor Games for All

Parlor Games
Twenty Questions

Banking Card Games

Properly speaking, so-called games are games in which the gambling establishment or one player is continually opposed to all other players.  There are two distinct classes of banking games: casino games and private games.  casino games are those that require special apparatus, have a mathematical advantage for the bank, and as a rule are played mostly in gambling casinos and sporting clubs.  Among these games the best known are probably Black Jack Casino Style, chemin de Fer, baccarat, Trente et Quarante, Monte, and Faro.  Private banking games are those that require no apparatus but a pack of cards and some checks (chips) or money.  Among these we find Black Jack, Farmer, Red Dog, banker and Broker, Yablon, and Slogger.  Some of these banking or showdown games are good for sociable group participation.  Stakes need not be high for full enjoyment of such games.  Many people have an excellent time playing for the fun of it with chips, matchsticks, or tokens – the main satisfaction coming from being the winner.


It is a matter of record that this game is the most widely played banking card game in the world.  Black Jack is played in every casino, private card room, and gambling club from California to New England and from New York to Panama.  Every major casino in Nevada, Puerto Rico, Netherlands Antilles, Grand Bahamas, England, North Africa, Macao, Yugoslavia, France, Italy, Turkey, Monte Carlo, and elsewhere harbors at least five Black Jack tables.
            There is almost as tense a scholarly dispute over the origin of the game as there is over Coon Can.  Italy and France have claimed it as their own, the French alleging a blood relationship with their Ferme and Chemin de Fer (Shimmy), the Italians insisting that it is a vulgarization of their  Seven and  a Half.  These games are obviously similar, structurally.  To identify who first played Black Jack, and when and where, is obviously outside the purview of the present work; I should as soon undertake to arbitrate when and where the first blackjack was bounced off the first human skull.
            The etymology of the game seems to have escaped the attention of the professors, although it might be a rewarding inquiry.  The American Hoyle of 1875 calls it Vingt-Un, Foster’s Hoyle, thirty years later, lists it as Vingt-et-Un.  Now see what happens to French in a half century of abrasion in everyday speech.  Today substantial minority of Americans call the game Van John or Pontoon.  Fro0m Vingt-et-Un to Pontoon; from Chemin de Fer to Shimmy! A man with a sensitive ear can have a lot of fun at a gambling table and never lose a dime..
            Let me stipulate at the outset a distinction which I shall have to emphasize later.  There are two kinds of Black Jack:

  1. The private, sociable, reasonably equitable game, in which every player has a right and chance to become dealer and banker.
  2. The professional or casino game, in which the house man does all the dealing and all the banking.  First, let’s talk about the private game.

Private Game of Black Jack


  1. Two or seven players constitute the best game.
  1. Onlookers   (kibitzers) may bet on the hand of any player except the dealer.
  2. The standard 52-card pack plus joker is used.

Value of Cards

  1. Any ace counts either 1 or 11 according to the discretion of its possessor.
  1. King, Queens, and jacks count 10 each.
  2. All other cards count their face value, two 2, three 3, four 4, etc.
  3. The joker has no value, and does not enter into the play; it is used only as a locater in the deck.

Object of the Game.  To get a higher count (total value of cards in hand) than the dealer up to but not over 21.  Should the player draw cards forcing his total over 21, he must immediately pay the dealer –banker and he sacrifices any chance to beat or tie the dealer.  The player may demand and draw any number of cards until he reaches or exceeds a count of 21.
Selecting the Dealer.  The first dealer shall be selected as follows and in no other manner:

  1. Any player by mutual consent shuffles the deck.
  1. Any other player may cut it.
  2. The player acting as dealer pro tem deals cards one each, face up, to each player clockwise until an ace is dealt.
  3. The player dealt the first ace becomes the dealer-banker.

Losing the Deal and bank.  Ordinarily, I don’t think the lawmaker on games should build variations into the basic structure of the game, but for reasons to be stated below Black Jack is an extremely special case.  Here-with are specified two alternative rules under which the bank may be lost.  Either is legal.  I recommend that the second be adopted for the private social game.  I must emphasize that before play starts all players must be acquainted with the rule under which they are playing.

  1. The first player dealt a natural (two cards totaling 21) shall become dealer and banker at the completion of that deal.  If that player refuses the deal, the player holding the natural nearest to that player’s left wins the deal.  If all players holding a natural refuse the deal, it remains in possession of the present dealer.  Should  he refuse to continue dealing, the deal passes to the player at his immediate left.  If that player refuses, it passes to his left.  If all players refuse it, a new dealer is selected by the means stated above under Selecting the Dealer.
  2. This rules is added to stabilize the situation, too often encountered in Black Jack, in which one player gets the bank for a single deal, then loses it to another player who through sheer luck holds it for eight or ten deals.  After the first dealer has been selected by the procedure set forth under Selecting the Dealer, he shall deal (bank) five complete deals.  On completion of these five deals, the deal and bank shall pass to the player at the dealer’s left; and, each five deals thereafter, shall move to the left, clockwise.  When using this alternate rule, natural 21 does not win the bank, although the player drawing it shall still be paid two to one on his bet.

The Betting Limit.  The dealer establishes arbitrarily his own betting limits.  Should a dealer after suffering losses have less money in the bank than the players want to bet, he is privileged to lower his limits.  As a result of a winning streak, he can increase them.
A dealer deciding he no longer wants the bank is privileged to put the bank and deal up for auction and sell it to the highest bidder.  He may auction the deal at any time – provided there are no uncompleted hands on the board.  If the dealer offers the bank at auction and no player bids, it passes to the player at the dealer offers the bank at auction and no player bids, it passes to the player at the dealer’s left.  If he rejects it, the deal passes clockwise around the table  until it is accepted or a new deal for selecting the dealer is compelled.
            The Shuffle and Cut.  The dealer shuffles the cards and puts them in the center of the table to be cut.  Any player may call for the right to shuffle any time he likes, but the dealer has the right to shuffle last.  Any player may cut the cards.  If more than one player wants to cut, he or they must be allowed to do so.  After the cut has been completed, and the cards are squared, the deck is placed on the upturned joker, which has been left resting before the dealer.  This face-up card is used as a locater in the deck.
            If a joker is not handy, the dealer removes the top card of the deck, shows it to all other players, then puts it on the bottom of the deck, face up.  (This is called burning a card).
            Payoffs.  All bets are paid off at even money by both dealer and players, except when a player is dealt a natural, when he is paid two to one.
            Betting.  Before any cards are dealt, each player must put the sum he proposes to bet (within the limit) in front of himself within full view of the dealer.
            The Deal.  To each player, beginning with the player at his left and going clockwise, the dealer gives one card face down, dealing himself the last card face up.  Then a second card is dealt to each player face down, the second card being dealt to the dealer face down.  (I suggest facing the dealer’s first card instead of his second, because, by giving the players more time to study the dealer’s first card instead of his second, because, by giving the players more time to study the dealer’s upcard and possibilities, it tends to speed the game.)
            The Play.  If the dealer’s face-up card is a 10 count (picture card or a 10 spot ) or an ace, he must look at his hole (face-down) card.  If he has caught a natural – a ten or picture card plus an ace, totaling a count of 21- he immediately faces his cards and announces a natural black jack or twenty-one.  The players now announce whether they have a natural.  If anyone does, that sets up a standoff, or push.  The dealer collects the bets of all players not holding a natural.  The payoff is at even money, except in a stand off when no bets are paid.
            If the dealer has not caught a natural, the player to his left plays first.  If that player has 21 he calls a natural, turns over his two cards, and the dealer pays the bet off at 2 to 1 odds.  Then the dealer puts them on the bottom of the deck, faced up.  If the players two cards total less than 21, the player can elect within his discretion to stay or get hit.
            If he is satisfied that his count is closer than the dealer’s to a total of 21, the player may stay by declining another card.  He signifies this intention by putting his bet on top of his cards and/or  saying  “Good,” “I stand,” or “I have enough.”  If he is not satisfied with his count and elects to draw poker more cards he says “Hit me,” and the dealer gives him another card face up.  The player may draw one or as many more cards as he likes, as long as his count does not exceed 21, or bust.  When the player is satisfied with his count, he says.  “I stay,” and puts his bet on his cards.  should a player draw a card forcing his total count over 21, he must call “Bust,” and turn over all his cards.  The dealer collects the bet, and turns that player’s cars face up at the bottom of the deck.  And the player is out of competition until a new hand starts.  Play as here described moves around the table to the left, clockwise, a man at a time.
            The Dealer’s Play.  The dealer plays last.  He may, like the players, elect to stay or draw.  He turns his down card face up, and announces “Stay” or “Draw.”  If he draws one or more cards and goes over 21, he must pay all players still in the game.  If, staying or drawing, he collects bets from players who have a lower count than he, and pays all surviving players having a higher count.  When dealer and player have the same count it’s a standoff, and neither wins.
            Additional Rules.  The above rules will suffice for a private game, but there’s nothing sacrosanct about them.  Players may by agreement incorporate into their private play as many rules as they like out of scarne’s poker Rules for Black Jack, casino Play



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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