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Parlor Games for All

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The Tossing Game

This game is also called the Penny Game, Two Up, and the Penny Tossing Game.  Actually, American poker sailors learned to play the game in Australia under the name of Two Up and introduced it in the United States where it became known as the Tossing Game, the Penny Tossing Game, and the Penny Game.  Some highly substantial bookmakers who used to be Craps specialists have switched to the Tossing Game since most law - enforcement agencies pay no heed when they hear of a Penny Tossing Game taking place in their community. A professional Craps game, on the other hand, is not tolerated.
            There is a private variety, of course, in which some fanciers get together may be in a lot or back alley and work their own money against each other without benefit of book or take.  The professional game is divided into two kinds.  The first is the take-off game, in which the operator takes a cut from the shooter (the player tossing the pennies) when the shooter makes a pass and wins.  This is the cut familiar to any Craps player.
            The second professional variety is the book game.  Its distinguishing feature is the presence of a bookmaker who accepts bets from players and charges 5 percent of the bet for his banking services.  Believe it or not, this is the more prevalent of the two kinds of play.  The book game has to have the same kind of employees as are needed to run a Craps game.  To wit:
            A Cutter, who takes the house charge out of a player’s profits for making a winning decision.
            The bookmaker, who accepts all bets up to the limit, generally $300, and charges 5 percent.
           Luggers who are chauffeurs who drive or direct players   to the joint.
            Lookouts, who are there to prevent or minimize thievery among the players and to see that the book pays off and collects correct amounts from poker winner and losers.
            The Penny Game gambling house is no plus establishment.  Generally, it is a stripped down, purely functional old barn or garage just off some main-traveled highway.  It is patronized  almost exclusively by professional or habitual which is not quite the same thing gamblers.


  1. Ten or more one-cent piece, of which two at a time only are in use.
  2. A little paddle 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.


  1. Any number may play.
  2. The player whose turn it is to play is the shooter.
  3. The player or players covering the shooter’s bet are the fader or faders, and what they do is fade the bet.
  4. The players stand forming a circle.
  5. By mutual consent, or by any method in local usage, any player may start the game by becoming the first shooter.

The Play

  1. The shooter puts any amount he elects in the center of the playing circle and says, “I shoot X dollars.”  One or more online poke r players fade him by covering part or all of the bet.
  2. The shooter selects two pennies from the supply of ten or more, and puts them tail-side up on the little stick or paddle.
  3. The shooter selects two pennies into the air so that they spin to the satisfaction of the observing cutter or operator.

Note well:   If the pennies sail or slide or otherwise fail to spin uncontrollably, the cutter calls, before they land, “No toss!” This is final.  The toss is void.  Its result cannot and does not count.

  1. If the pennies fall so that the two heads face up the shooter has won; he has passed, or made a pass.
  2. If they fall so that the two tails face up, the shooter has lost (made a miss-out), and the player to his left becomes the next shooter.
  3. If the pennies fall so that a head and a tail face up, the shooter has made a no decision, and the shooter keeps tossing until he wins or loses.
  4. As long as a shooter tosses passes or no decisions, he keeps shooting; when he loses, the stick and the right to shoot move to the player at his immediate left; and the play rotates clockwise.
  5. Right and wrong bets are made among the other players.  A right bet is that the shooter will toss a pass and win.  A wrong bet is that he will toss tails, miss out, and lose.
  6. If a shooter or any other player can’t get a bet from the rest of the company, they are accommodated by the bookmaker for a 5 percent commission on the amount they propose to bet.  The bookmaker’s action is both ways; he will accept right and wrong bets.
  7. Most games employing a cutter levy a charge of 25 cents or 50 cents on each pass made by the shooter.  The cut comes out of his winning poker .  The wrong bettor is often compelled to pay a cut.

Variation of the Penny Game.  To speed the game, some operators and cutters use three pennies for the toss instead of two.  This makes every toss a winning or losing decision, since of course at least two heads or two tails must face up on each toss.  To avoid ambiguity, let me add that three heads win and three tails lose.

The Financial Section

  1. The game is dead even; there is no mathematical advantage for shooter or fader.
  1. But, if you like to play the book, you might want to bear in mind that its edge is really 4 16/21 percent rather than the 5 percent it charges.

This would seem to be the crook proof gambling game every move is away out in the open under a strong light, watched by 20 or 30 intelligent and experienced realists.  But the assumption that here at last is a game whose only defect is that it’s illegal would be a pathetic assumption.  Double-headed and double-tailed pennies, which any competent machinist can produce, have been switched into and out of games by gamblers skilled in sleight of hand.

  And many a player, once caught in the meshes of this oddly fascinating game, has put in hours practicing the control of the tossed pennies.  The principle is, of course, merely an extension of the game of mumbly–peg that every kid plays in soft earth with a jackknife a matter of controlling the arc and spin of a thrown object.  Some fanatics have actually succeeded in mastering this bizarre skill they will never make perfect scores, but by passing just a little oftener than average they have a cold lock on the game.
            This sets up about the only clue I   can give you.  When the Penny Game is played on a hard surface, the pennies must bounce after they hit the floor, and then roll and wobble and topple.  On this kind of playing surface the controlled toss is utterly useless.  For advice:

  1. Don’t play on a soft surface like earth, a billiard table, or any padded gambling table.
  2. Don’t play unless you can hear those pennies ring when they hit the ground.

If you’re losing a little too often to one special player, make it your or the house’s business to pick up one of his tosses before he does and have the pennies examined.  A penny with two tails is quite a curio, but is a possibility.


Mora, also known as Fingers, is a popular guessing game with Americans of Italian extraction.  Mora is probably the oldest guessing game in history and the reason is that no equipment whatsoever is required to play the game.  The game is usually played for refreshments.

Mora Two-Handed

              Requirements.  Two players.  Although the game may involve three or more players, only two of these may be in play against each other simultaneously.
            The object of the Game.  A Mora match consists of  a series of mutually agreed-upon  total number of games, which may be three, five, ten, or 15, and terminates at the end of a game in which the agreed-upon total number of games has been won by a player.
            How to Score a Game.  A game is won by calling correctly the combined total of open fingers of each player’s right hand.  A player has the privilege of throwing as many open fingers as his hand permits, which may be one, two, three, four, five, or a closed fist which counts zero.  The thumb is considered as a finger.
            If both players fail to call the correct total, it is a no-game (a game that does not count) and the players throw again.  Should both players call the correct total it is also a no-game and the players throw again.
            The Actual Play of a Game.  The two players face each other, the right fist of each resting on his chest.  They eye each other for a moment in an attempt to try to figure or guess how many open fingers his opponent will throw.  Then, they raise their right fists which indicates that they are ready to throw (play).  Both right fists are snapped downward and the played fingers opened en route.  The instant the fists   start their downward movement each player calls a number which he hopes will match the total number of open fingers of both player’s hands. Example:   Player  A calls “five,” and shows two open fingers.  Player B calls   “Mora,” or “Ten,” and shows five open fingers.  Since seven was the correct total of open fingers.  Since seven was the correct total of open fingers, and since player A called five and player B called ten, the game does not count it’s a no-game.   Another game follows immediately.  And so it goes, from game to game, until a player wins the match by scoring poker the agreed upon number of games that constitute the match.
            As the game are won and the lost each player keeps a mental count.  Example: Player A wins the first game and calls aloud “One up.”  B wins the second game and calls “One and one.”  A wins the third game and calls “Two for me, one for you.”  And so it goes, from game to game, until a player wins the match which may be three, five, ten, or 15 games.

Mora for Three Players.

Mora, though primarily for two players , makes an enjoyable game for three players.  Although three players take part, only two are in play against each other simultaneously.  To determine which two shall start, a player is designated as the counter-starter.  Then each of the three players throw out their desired number of open fingers without announcing a total.  The open fingers of the three players are totaled, and a progressive count begins with the count-starter as number one, the player on his left as number two, the third player as number four.  And so it goes, from player to player, until the progressive count matches the total number of the open fingers.  When this occurs, the player that the count stops at becomes the nonplayer in the first game.  After the first game is played, winner is credited with one game and he plays the next game with the nonplayer.  The loser of the first game now becomes the nonplayer.  So it goes, loser giving way to nonplayer, game by game, until one of the players scores the required number of winning games that make up the match.

Partnership Mora

This is four-handed Mora.  Two players are teamed against the other two.  Two games of Mora are played simultaneously and the partners score as one.  The rules for Mora Two-handed apply.  The only variation is in the scoring and who plays whom and when.  Partners are usually decided by mutual consent and engage their opponents as follows:
            A and B are partners, playing against C and D.  A plays the first game against his opponent C, and his partner B plays against opponent D.  After the first game (one for each two players) is played.  A plays D and his partner B plays C.  This alternation continues with each card game until the match ends.



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
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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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