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This is a betting poker game popular among Americans of Italian extraction, and is the biggest money card game in Italy.  As you read this line, hundreds of Ziginette games are going on in smoky little clubrooms throughout the nation; thousands of dollars are changing hands; the yearly turnover is the millions.  Although it is a banking game, the house never banks Ziginette; it just runs the game, and cuts itself 10 percent of the dealer’s winnings per game.

  1. A 40-card deck a standard pack from which have been removed the eights, nines, and tens.
  2. A metal card box, like a Faro box, permitting the removal of only one card at a time.
  3. A houseman, called the cutter, who collects and pays bets for the dealer (as does the croupier in Chemin de Fer), and who extracts the house’s cut.
  4. A dealer who is the banker.  One or more players, eights constituting the average game.

Object of the Game.  For the player to guess which card of his will not be matched before the dealer matches his (the dealer’s) card.  To match means to deal from the box a card of the same denomination as the player’s or dealer’s card in action.  Whenever a card is matched from the box, the player or dealer holding that card loses his bet.
Selecting the Dealer.  The houseman shuffles the cards, allows any player to cut them, and squares the cut.  He deals to each player, starting with the player at his left and dealing clockwise, one card at a time face up until a player is dealt an ace.  That player becomes the first banker or dealer.
Thereafter, on the completion of each deal, the bank rotates to the player immediately to the right of the dealer providing the dealer has matched his card.  Should the deal run out before the dealer has matched his card, the bank remains in his possession until he does so.  But even though his card has not been matched, the dealer may, if he likes, pass the bank at the completion of a deal and he may also pass the deal if the table is barren of unsettled bets.
The Betting Limit.  The dealer-banker may establish his own limit by specifying the smallest and largest amount anyone may bet on any card.  He may increase or decrease his limits at will.  The cutter collects poker winning bets for the dealer.  He pays off his losing bets.  If the dealer wins, he must pay the house its cut of 10 percent of his winnings on that deal.
Shuffle and Cut.  The dealer shuffles the cards.  any player may demand the right to shuffle, but the dealer may shuffle last.  He then puts the cards in the center of the table to be cut by any player who wants to cut them.  Then the pack is squared and deposited in the card  box face upward.  The dealer does this.
The Betting.  The first two cards are dealt onto the table face up, and any player may lay a bet on either card.  He does not remove it from the box until bets, if any, are made on the cards on the table.  By putting his money on a faced card, the player bets that this card will not be matched before the dealer’s card is matched.   Example: Should the first two cards be an ace and a deuce, and the dealer’s card is matched.  Example:   Should the first two cads be an ace and a deuce, and the dealer’s card a three, the player’s bets are laid on the ace and deuce; only then does the dealer take his three out of the box.  He puts it under the box, its surface protruding so that perhaps four-fifths of it is visible.  If the top card now is another three,  matching the dealer’s, he loses; he must pay off the two player who have bet on the table cards; he loses the bank.  If the top card is an ace or deuce, the player who has bet on the table deuce or ace loses; the dealer collects from him.
The same procedure is followed with each fresh card (i.e. a card that has not been matched).  When a fresh card appears on top of the pack, it goes onto the table face up, and the players bet open it.  This goes on until the dealer matches and pays off all remaining bets.  Whenever a player matches, the dealer wins the bet.
When two cards of the same denomination are dealt in the first three cards, it’s called a playette.  Most houses call it no play poker , and the cards are reshuffled and redealt until the first three cards of the same denomination appear for the first three cards, they  must be doubled or tripled.  Example: If three aces appear on the first three cards, they are put on top of each other representing a single card the fourth card is placed on the table face up and the fifth card becomes the dealer’s card.  But before the dealer can lose, he must draw three cards of the same denomination as his card.  In other worlds, a player loses a bet when all four cards of the same denomination are dealt before all four of the dealer’s. If  two of the first three cards were of the same denomination, three cards were of the same denomination, three cards of any denomination would have to be dealt before a decision is effected.
The house assigns a lookout to the game.  His job is to see that no monkey business takes place, that all players who win get their money, that all players who lose pay off, and to guard against dead cards getting into the play.  (A dead card is a card that has been matched in that round of play.)  The holder of that card has already lost a bet on it.  Whenever a card has been matched, it and the matching card are picked up by the lookout and put aside they as well as the two remaining cards of that kind cannot have action again for the remainder of that deal.
As to the Odds.  Zinginette is dead even that is, there is no advantage to either player or dealer.  Thus, in the long run, the only consistent winner will be the house, because its 10 percent deal cuts into the dealer’s winnings.

In my opinion, Skin, Skinball, or Skinning is the fastest gambling game played with cards.  if you like to bet big and often , this is for you.  It seems to be of Negro origin, is played mainly  in the South and Midwestern states, and probably gets its name from its high incidence of bald cheating.  However, it is so similar to Zitginette that Skin may merely be short for zigin (-ette).  Although it is a banking game, the houses don’t bank it they just run it, and collect a fixed charge.

  1. A deck of 52 cards.
  2. A card box.
  3. A houseman, who acts as lookout and cutter.
  4. A banker and two or more players up to six, which is best.

Value of Cards.  The cards have no relative value neither do the suits.
            Object of the Game.  To win a bet that the dealer’s card or another player’s card will be matched before your card.  A card is matched when another card of its kind is dealt from the box.  Example: Your card is the ace of spades.  The dealer draws one of the three remaining aces from the deck in the box.  Your card has been matched.  You lose.
            Selecting the Dealer. By mutual consent, any player may poker shuffling the deck. He puts it in the center of the table, and any player may cut. The acting dealer squares the cut and deals each player, including himself, one card face up, starting with the player at his left and continuing clockwise until a player is dealt the first ace. That player becomes banker-dealer. When the pack is exhausted on the banker’s deal, the bank passes to the player at his right; and so on, counter clockwise.
The Shuffle and Cut. The banker-dealer shuffles. Any player may demand the right to shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to his right cuts. If he declines, any other player may cut. The dealer then squares the deck and puts it into the card box face down.
The Deal and the Betting. The banker slides the top card out of the box and deals it to the player on his right, turning the card face up.
 The player may do one of two things: He may accept the card, or he may refuse it. Some players entertain the belief that certain cards are unlucky for them; others believe certain cards are so lucky they can be taken down to the bank and put up as collateral on a substantial loan. For any reason, a player may decline a card. But if he refuses the first card dealt to him, the player is out of the game for that turn of play. He must wait  until it comes his turn to make a bet.
Should the first player refuse the card, the right to take it passes to the player at the first player’s right, and so on. The right to the card moves counterclockwise around the table.
After the first card has been accepted by a player, the dealer gives himself the second card out of the box. The player now states his bet. He may bet any amount up to the limit, but the dealer is not compelled to accept the entire bet, even within the limit; the dealer has the right to reduce the bet to any amount he chooses, and the player must adhere to the dealer’s rulings. He (the dealer) cannot withdraw his bet after making it. In accepting the player’s bet, the dealer puts an amount of money equal to the bet directly on the center of the player’s card. The player covers the bet by putting his money on the dealer’s easy gaming money .
The player is betting that the dealer’s card will be matched before his own card is matched. Should he also bet against another player, the bet is that the other player’s will be matched before his card is. Example: The dealer’s card is the ace of diamonds, and the player holds the ten of diamonds. If the next card dealt is one of the other three aces, the dealer has been matched, and loses all bets on the board. If it is one of the other three tens, the player has been matched and loses his bet.
Should the third card dealt not match either the dealer’s or the player’s card, it is dealt to the next player whose turn it is. The player makes a bet in the manner described above against the dealer. But he may, if the first player accedes, make a bet against that player. And, in turn, he may make a bet against any other. The same rules prevail as between dealer and player.
This goes on until each player has had his turn. Often a player will be betting against every other player in the game, plus the dealer. But note that the first bet a player makes must be with the dealer. If the player refuses to bet against the dealer, he has refused the card and cannot bet with any other player. When players bet against each other, the money is stacked to one side to avoid confusion with the dealer’s stakes.
The house assigns a lookout to the game. His job it is to see that no monkey business takes place, that all players who win get their money, that all players who lose payoff, and to guard against dead cards getting into the play. (A dead card is a card that has been matched in that round of play.) The holder of that card has already lost a bet on it. Whenever a card has been matched, it and the matching card are picked up by the lookout and put aside; they as well as the two remaining cards of that kind cannot have action again for the remainder of that deal.
A player who has refused a card or has lost his bet may, after each other player has had a turn of play, take a fresh card (that is, a card that has not been matched); and the betting continues as before. If, with all players holding a card already, a fresh card is dealt, it is placed in the center of the table.
Whenever a player has been matched, so that he does not hold a card, he may take any of the fresh cards he wants. Whenever the dealer’s card is matched, he must payoff all the players. Should the players have bets riding against each other when the dealer loses his bets, the dealer may (a) complete dealing for the players or (b) I take the first fresh card dealt off the pack.  Players still in the game are not obliged to bet against the dealer once the dealer’s card has been matched, but may do so if they choose. 
As to the odds.  The game of skin is dead even; that is dealer and player have exactly equal chances of winning poker .  For that reason since there is no percentage in the dealer’s favor the house runs the game instead of banking it. In return for supplying a place and the equipment plus a lookout it extracts a 25 percent charge from the player or dealer winning the last bet of the deal.  (variation : some houses charge a flat 2 percent of the dealer’s winnings on any deal if there are any winnings.)


This game is also called Spanish Monte and Monte Bank. Due to its big money making feature and its lack of bulky equipment, which minimizes police raids and arrests, Monte has replaced Bank Craps as the number one banking game in most illegal gambling clubs operating in the big cities of the United States.


  1. A standard deck of 52 cards from which the eights, nines, and tens have been removed, making a 40-card deck.
  2. A banker chosen from two or more players. As a rule, the admissible maximum is the number that can crowd around the card table.
  3. A houseman, called a cutter, whose official duty is to aid the player-banker in his dealing chores, including the payoff, the collection of losing and winning bets, and the collection of a 25 percent charge from each player’s door or gate winnings. This 25 percent charge is known as a “cut” and is divided equally between the banker and the house at the end of a player’s banking role.

Object of the Game. To win a bet that one or more face-up cards on the table layouts will be matched before one or more of the remaining face-up cards of the monte layout.
Value of the Cards. The cards have no special value relative to each other, and neither do the suits.
Selecting the Banker. By mutual consent any player shuffles the pack, then puts it in the center of the table. Each player cuts a group of cards off the pack. The player cut- ting the low card is the first dealer and banker. In case of a tie for low card, the tied players cut until one is low. On completion of the banker’s deal, the deck and the deal pass to the player on the dealer’s left; thereafter, it rotates to the left, clockwise. At any time, the dealer may pass the bank (i.e., decline to bank the game) if there are no unsettled bets on the table. To announce that he means to pass the bank, the dealer utters the word “Aces!”
Betting Limit. The dealer is privileged to place as much money in the bank as he chooses. If a player wagers more money than is in the bank, and the bank loses the bet, the largest wager is paid off first; the second largest is paid off next etc. Other bets are called off. The banker poker broker is only responsible for money in the bank. The wagers are always in cash.
The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer shuffles the pack. Any player may call for a shuffle before the cut, but the dealer is entitled to shuffle last. After the shuffle, the dealer puts the cards before the player at his right to be cut. That player must cut, although the other players may also call for the right to cut before the player to the dealer’s right completes his own cut.
Start of the Deal. After the cut the banker, holding the pack face down, deals two cards off the bottom of the deck, facing these two cards and putting them in the center of the table two or three inches apart. This is known as the top layout. Then the dealer takes two cards off the top of the deck, and puts them face up two or three inches below the first two cards, about the same distance apart, forming the bottom layout.
Should the two dealt cards of the bottom layout be of the same rank, there is no play and a new deal is in order. If the two dealt cards of the top layout are of the same rank, the dealer places one card on top of the other and then deals a third card alongside it. Bets placed on a pair indicate that a player is betting against two same rank cards of the opposite color of the other card in the top layout. Example: If the other card is red, the player is betting against a black card (spades or clubs) of the same rank; or vice versa. Should three cards of the same rank appear in the top layout, they are grouped in threes and a bet on a triple means that the player is betting against the same color of the other card. The above bets are all paid off at even money.

Types of Bets
Crisscross Bet. To bet that a selected one of four face-up cards on the table will be matched before a designated card of the remaining other three cards. (A card is matched whenever one of three’ remaining cards of the same denomination is dealt from the pack.) Example: Face up on the table are the ace, two, three, and four of clubs. The player puts his bet on the ace, placing his cash in such a way that it points or just touches the deuce as well. He is now betting that one of the three remaining aces will be dealt from the pack before one of the three remaining deuces.
Doubler or Doubler Bet. To win a bet that a card in the top layout will be matched be- fore a card is matched in the bottom layout, or vice versa; or that one of the two cards resting on the dealer’s left will be matched before one of the two cards on his right, or vice versa. This bet is paid off at even money.
Circle Bet or Circling a Card. To win a bet that a specific (one) card will be matched before anyone of the three other cards. This bet is paid off at 3 to 1 odds.
Monte Carlo Bet. To make a combination of the three listed bets at one time. The payoff of such bets is determined by the sum wagered on each. All Monte Carlo wagers are indicated by the placement of the money (bills) as described under the crisscross bet. Bets can be placed any time during a deal.
The Play. After the bets have been placed, the cutter tells the dealer “That’s all,” which formally terminates that phase of the game, and the dealer turns the deck face up in his hand. From then on the cards will be dealt from the pack face up one at a time. Some gambling joints insist that, after each decision, the deck be turned face down and future bets must be placed before the deck is turned face up.
If the top card of the deck matches one of the four faced cards, either the dealer or a player (or players) wins; and the dealer keeps taking cards off the pack (a) until all the cards bet on are matched or (b) the cards the players are betting against have been matched. As a card is matched, it is removed from the board. When all bets are won or lost the deal is completed and a new deal starts.
The House Take. When a player places a bet (any time during the game) and the next (first) dealt card matches his winning card, the cutter takes a 25 percent cut from the player’s winnings. This is called the door or gate. This cut is put aside and is divided equally by the banker and house at the end of the player’s banking session. Percentage wise, this 25 percent cut amounts to an overall advantage of about 3 percent.

Three-Card Monte .

Three-Card Monte was the most popular con game of the Old West. Countless monte operators plied their trade on the steamboats of the Ohio and Mississippi, and throughout the West in the 1850’s. The most notorious monte operator, “Canada Bill” Jones, summed up the whole philosophy of the Three-Card cheat in one sentence: “Suckers have no business with money, anyway.” In recent years, however, the monte operators have returned, apparently figuring that there is a new generation of suckers with cash in their pockets who don’t know that it is a swindle, not a game. I have spotted some 15 Monte men working in various parts of the country within the last year or two.
Three-Card Monte operators and their confederates work the big cities during the winter months, pitching their confidence game in alleys, subway stations, doorways, with the lookout half a block away to give them the office (signal) when he spots a cop. The operator of this swindle, usually a clever card sharp, shows three cards slightly bent length-wise, so as to be more easily picked up by the ends which in turn facilitates the deceptive flipping of the cards. The three cards most commonly used are the two red aces and the queen of spades.
To illustrate the working of a Monte operator and his confederates, let me relate the following One day, several years ago, I was in New England giving a carnival the once over as part of one of my gambling surveys. As I was leaving the carnival grounds, I spotted several men gathered around a rusty oil drum whose top was covered with a newspaper. One man was throwing three cards out on the paper.  I joined the group and listened to the broad tosser’s (Monte thrower’s ) spiel, the standard one: “Men, I have here three little cards, two red aces and the black queen  of spades.  The idea is for you to find the queen.  If you find it you win: if you turn up an ace you  find it you win; if you turn up an ace you lose.  It’s as simple as that.  And remember, I take no bets from paupers, cripples, or pregnant women.  I show you all three cards, then throw them face down fast, like this.  If your eye is faster than my hand and you find the queen.  I pay you the same amount you bet.  I’ll accept bets of five, ten, twenty, fifty, or a hundred that you can’t find the lady.  Remember, men, if you don’t speculate you can’t accumulate.  Money in hand or no bet.  Let’s go.”
There are numerous ways that a confederate marks the so-called winning card, notably by a bent corner, so that it seems to be known by the back but the operator skillfully shifts the mark during the throwing of the cards.
A final word of caution:   Don’t think, now that you know how the monte swindle is worked, that you can outsmart the operator at his own game.  Because, even should you place your hand on the winning card, the monte man takes the money from a confederate who is betting on another card game and since the operator’s spiel informs you that “money in the hand or no bet,” you just don’t have a bet when the operator knows you picked the winning card



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
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The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

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CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
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Red Dogs

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The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
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Cheating at Card Games

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Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
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English Hazard
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Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
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Applying All Card Games Poker

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Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

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The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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