by Jan MacKell
“The ancient card faces painted on the layout were doubtless faded and worn but to my boyish eyes they glowed like a church’s stained-glass window … (Gaye) started drawing the cards one by one from the battered old silver box. As he drew, I could see his lips move and knew he was making bets for imaginary customers. Deftly he slapped stacks of chips – we always called them checks – on certain cards of the layout.”
So did Nugget, the main character in Conrad Richter’s book Tacey Cromwell, describe how his brother practiced so he could get a job dealing Faro during the late 1800s. In the old west Faro was more popular than Poker, so chosen because it was amazingly easy to play. Nary a saloon in the West was without it, and several well known figures of the time – Soapy Smith and Doc Holliday among them – made their riches by banking the game.