Back in the days, in the 19th-century, gambling was an important part of the culture. Gambling in the old west was not just about winning money. It was the biggest entertainment of the people. For the poor, for the rich, for the criminals and the humble servants of the law. In my article, we will travel back in time and take a glimpse at the popular games. Even more, you can discover the most decisive places and faces in the wild-wild west.
The Old West was the most dangerous and exciting era of human history. That period was also the heyday of gambling. The firearms were necessities and human life was so cheap that an exciting poker set always included some shoutouts, gunfights or, at least a brawl. Nowadays, you won’t get killed in the casino if you win too much from the others. However, if you check out our latest review about Bovada Casino, you will see that
Gambling in the old west was the part of everyday life, so everyone knew the games
Faro was the butter and bread if we talk about gambling in the old west
Playing Faro was the most simple and popular way of gambling in the old west. There was a dealer (back then, they called it as the banker). He picked a card just like the people at the table. Everyone could wager on will the banker’s or his card will have a higher value. The game was always played with 1 to 1 stake. However, Faro was so popular in every bar because it was easy for the house to cheat. We all know, always the house wins but in the wild west it wasn’t just an expression, more like a grim truth.
Three card Monte was the best way of losing money in the wild west
Also known as Find the lady or Three Card Trick. This game is mostly played by tricksters on the streets on dusty cardboards. They pick three cards from the deck, mostly one of them was the Queen of hearts. The dealer turned down and shuffled the cards and the victim had to find out which one was the chosen one. This game was more like for the fools than professional gamblers.
Vingt et Un is still a popular way of gambling
Roulette was for the elite of the old west
Another well-known game. Roulette is a French term for little wheel. Back in the old west, it was exactly the same as you know it from online casino sites in the US. However, the complexity of roulette made it popular in elite circles. You could play Faro at any bar but Roulette was only available at the fancy places.
Chuck a luck was known by everyone who was gambling in the wild west
Chuck a luck is a dice game. The easiest way to understand how this silly game works if you see it. Just check out this video:
Poker became the most popular way of gambling today. However, in the old west, it counted as a slow and boring game, which was favoured by the outlaws who were awake all night, and made advantage of their bluffing skills. Nowadays poker has many variations, back then there were only a couple methods to play this game. It became so popular because you don’t need a dealer or banker to play it. If you want to play poker and cull up the gambling in the old west you should check Bovada where you can find plenty of options to play this evergreen card-game.
Hazard was an early version of craps
Hazard was the big-brother of craps. Its rules were more difficult, and the game was a bit faster. If you would like to get closer to this game, check out our article about how to play craps.
Animal races and fights in the wild west
Gambling in the old west was the bread and butter of everyday life. Literally, people were gambling on everything they could. Mostly, these were horse or dog races. But, if it’s not enough, animal fighting was also a thing. They organized cockfights, dogfights. Even more, the most outstanding event was when they made a panther fight against a bear. They knew how to entertain people. At this moment, animal fights are strictly forbidden in most of the countries. However, if you can’t understand what’s wrong with cockfighting, you still have options.
Boxing matches were brutal
Obviously, they were betting on box matches as well. However, these matches were more like gladiator encounters. These fights were not regulated at all and of course, it didn’t include boxing gloves. No scores, no rounds, the set always lasted until just one man stood in the ring. Nowadays, these matches are more humane. However, if you are interested in pure violence, check out the upcoming fights at the official site of UFC. With nice odds, without the company of swindlers, you can bet from home on these sets at online sportsbooks in the US.
Gambling in the old west made a lot of places notorious
In the reflection of how popular gambling was nearly all of the bigger cities were gambling centres. However, Deadwood, El Paso, and Dodge City became the most known areas. Deadwood was an outlaw hotspot, where you could disappear in a minute. The hand of law couldn’t reach Deadwood at all. Of course, gambling was very popular, but the streets were ruled by the swindlers and tricksters.
Dodge City was the city of sheriffs. It was the complete opposite of Deadwood. Still, violence ruled the streets. Dodge City became the most decisive city in the old west. A lot of emigrants came here, because despite it was still the wild west, it was a place to live.
The characters in the wild west were all outstanding gambling icons
John Henry Holliday aka. Doc The Notorious Dentist of the old west
He was born in 1851 in Georgia. After his mother’s death, he moved to the west because he also caught tuberculosis. He thought that the warmer weather in the west will help his state of health. That’s the point when his story starts when he became a professional gambler in the old west. His name refers to the fact that he was a dentist. After he totally involved in wagering, he lost all his money. Learn from his story, and if you are in bad condition just stay home and gamble on Bovada.
Jefferson Randolph Smith II aka. Soapy Smith
Probably he was the most notorious trickster in the wild west. He was born into an aristocratic family. However, after the American Civil War, they lost their properties. They moved to Texas and that was the point when Soapy Smith became a real criminal or at least a confidence man. After his mother died, he left the family and he started the Soap Gang. This Gang mostly included underdogs who were performed smaller scams.
He got his nickname from that they wrapped soaps into hundred dollar bills or of course plain papers. People were able to buy these for one dollar. Everyone loved these lottery tickets. However, it was too good to be true. The Soap Gang really wrapped a couple of soaps into bills, but these were just displays. The truth was, they sold regular soaps on the street corners. That will never happen on Bovada.
He died in the consequence of a dispute over gold with a miner. He tricked them in three-card Monte and they didn’t like it.
Wyatt Earp The official “Good-guy” in the old west
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp’s life completely represents the norms that people followed in the west. He ran away from home a lot of times to join the army. However, he was too young and they declined his application all the time. Later, he became a sheriff and a bar owner. Gambling in the old west was a thing. Being a gambler was a respected profession. His story is full of shout outs, women, wagering and all kind of trouble that the west could include.
Henry McCarty aka. Billy the Kid
He was the most notorious outlaw of the west. He shoots eight-man in a single gunfight before they could kill him. His parents died when he was 14, ten days later, he became a proper criminal. He killed a lot of men before he died, at the age of 21. His gambling achievements are not grandiose. However, if you shared a poker table with Billy that meant you will lose your money or your life, but mostly both.
Alice Ivers aka. Poker Alice the Beautiful gambler
Originally, Alice was a teacher. However, after her husband died in a dynamite explosion she faced a terrible financial situation. So, what the hack a beautiful single woman can do in the wild west? No, no, no… She became a professional gambler. Everybody knows her name because she won more than 250000 dollars in a couple of years. Rumors says that she looked so good that she easily distracted other men at the poker table. The only thing that I miss from Bovada is the company of beautiful women.
Kitty LeRoy the Wildest cat of the Wild West
She is from Michigan. After her troubled first marriage, she travelled to the west. While she was a young girl she learned trick shooting, even more, gambling scams. While she used her knowledge, she became shortly a salon owner from a prostitute. She had more than 5 husbands. His last husband took her life because he became mad after the affairs Kitty produced.