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Showing results for tags 'cards'.

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  1. Did you know that the probability of being dealt a royal flush in a poker game is about 0.00015%? Probabilities are calculated based on the number of favorable cases divided by the number of possible cases. There are 4 types of royal flushes in a deck of playing cards and nearly 2.6 million different card combinations. If you divide 4 to 2.6 million, you get the probability mentioned above. While you're waiting to get a lucky hand at poker, check out more interesting facts about playing cards! 1. Playing Cards Contain Glue Although playing cards do not stick to the hands, they contain a glue core. This glue holds two pieces of paper together representing each side of the card. On top of that, the glue is designed to make the playing cards opaque, so you cannot see the value of the card if you keep them in direct light. The edges of the cards also contain a special layer to prevent moisture from deteriorating them over the years. 2. Casinos Routinely Replace Their Playing Cards It can be very tempting for casino players to mark their cards or pull some valuable cards from their sleeves. That's why casinos over the world go the extra mile to minimize cheating, especially during high-stakes games or when a lot of players are gathered around a table. One way cheating is avoided is by changing all the playing cards in a casino at an interval of eight hours. Another way is to frequently change the playing cards during important events, sometimes once every few hours. Cards that have been used are marked by the casino staff, usually by puncturing a hole through the middle. As you can probably guess, hundreds of decks of playing cards are used in large casinos every week. 3. Playing Cards Were Invented by the Chinese in the 9th Century Most experts have reached the conclusion that the first playing cards were used by the Chinese in the 9th century. However, they used a 32-card deck that resembled domino pieces. These cards were also used as a form of currency among gamblers. The first playing cards were printed on bone, wood, or paper and they have quickly spread to Persia and Egypt back in the days. 4. Canceled Casino Cards Can Be Bought Online As mentioned earlier, a deck of cards doesn't last for very long, especially in a busy casino in Las Vegas. These cards are "retired" after just a few hours of play to prevent players from making personal marks on them. Some of the canceled cards are punctured, others are just marked with special signs and put away. However, many of these canceled playing cards are also sold online. That's because many people would get excited at the idea of playing with cards that have been used at a famous casino in Las Vegas. Retired playing cards are also sold cheaply and shipped internationally. 5. The Oldest Deck of Card Has Been Sold for Nearly $3,000 Old playing cards still have a lot of value. Collectors routinely buy old decks of cards at prices up to $1,000. However, there are also centuries-old playing cards that are sold for nearly $3,000. This is the case for a 52-card tarot deck used in the 15th century in the Netherlands. This old playing card deck is currently on display in New York at the Museum of Art. 6. Face Cards Actually Represent Real People Did you know that the kings represented on face cards depict real historical figures? For example, the king of diamonds represents Julius Caesar, the famous Roman military general. The king of hearts represents Charlemagne, the king of clubs represents Alexander the Great, and the king of spades represents David from the bible. Now you know what you're looking at each time you draw a king card. 7. Bicycle Is One of the Most Famous Playing Card Brand in the United States Playing cards under the brand name of Bicycle have been produced since the 1800s. This is one of the most popular card brands in the United States and it still produces playing cards for regular clients or casinos. Bicycle playing cards are used by famous gamblers, magicians, tricksters, and more. 8. Current Playing Cards Are Strictly Linked to the Modern-Day Calendar There is a reason why there are 52 playing cards in a deck. This number represents the 52 weeks in a year. At the same time, the 13 values in a deck of cards represent the 13 weeks in a quarter or the 13 lunar cycles in a year. There are 4 different suits because there are also 4 different seasons in a year. Lastly, you have 2 colors for your playing cards (red and black) because they represent the day and night. On top of that, if you add up all the values depicted on each playing card, assigning 11 for the Jack, 12 for the Queen, and 13 for the King, you reach 364. Add one for the Joker and you have 365, the number of days in a year. Add the second Joker and you have 366, the number of days in a leap year. 9. The Card Depicting Number 8 Holds a Secret Take a closer look at your 8 card in a standard playing card deck. If you look at the negative space between the pips, you'll see that it resembles the 8 digit. This is obviously done intentionally and it is valid for all the 8s in a playing deck. Unfortunately, this rule doesn't apply to the other playing cards, so don't try to match their negative spaces with the corresponding digit. Now You Know a Lot of Interesting Facts About Playing Cards! Nothing can be more exciting than playing cards, especially when the weather outside is bad. Next time you and your friends gather for a night of games, don't hesitate to share these facts with them. They will definitely find them entertaining! In the meantime, make sure that you check the other interesting articles on our website to learn more about card games and how to become a better gambler.
  2. Poker is renowned as one of the most entertaining and difficult card games that you can play. At its highest level, people even win eight figures during tournaments. One of the most interesting things about poker, though, is the 'Dead Man's Hand,' a two pair of black eights and black aces. But, not everyone knows the history surrounding it. Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered. Let's take a look at everything you need to know. So, What Is The Dead Man's Hand? Although the name immediately suggests something related to zombies or skeletons (or even the afterlife), it refers to a gambler named "Wild Bill" Hickock. Legend has it that he was shot to death while holding a pair of black aces and black eights in his hand, and continued to clutch them as he passed away. As a result, having this hand (and especially winning the pot with it) is considered notably unlucky in the game of poker. Of course, it's all but impossible to prove this scenario occurred in the same way people like to tell the story. But, this doesn't mean that this particular hand of cards has no interesting backstory. Surprisingly, The Dead Man's Hand has been described in multiple ways over the years. In the late 1800s, it was referred to as a full house with a pair of tens and three jacks. Two decades later, its meaning was said to be made up of jacks and sevens (and also said to bring significant bad luck). Within a few years, it was once again referred to as a hand of jacks and eights. It wasn't until the 1920s that the modern definition finally came into play. A biography called Wild Bill Hickok: The Prince of Pistoleers detailed the origin story, and so the term became exceedingly popular afterward. So, What Happened? In 1876, gambler 'Wild Bill' was participating in a game of poker at a saloon. A man named Jack 'Crooked Nose' McCall, who was locally known as being boisterous and frequently inebriated, sat down to play with Wild Bill. Evidently, McCall didn't win a single hand while Bill was at the table. Desperate in his attempt to reclaim his lost money, he continued to play. Eventually, though, McCall ended up losing all of his money through his games with Wild Bill. Wild Bill then gave a small bit of cash to McCall, telling him to get something to eat and to leave the game until he could afford to pay the money that he owed from his losses. Whether or not Bill's actions were meant to patronizing is still left up to debate. Regardless of Wild Bill's intentions, McCall was deeply insulted and left the game in a state of anger. One day later, a disgraced McCall returned to the same saloon to find Wild Bill once again playing poker. Bill was more than aware of the effect his poker skills had on people— he likely dealt with many scenarios involved disgruntled players who were frustrated both at Bill's ability and their own losses. As a result, he always sat with his back to the wall so that he could see a confrontation brewing before it occurred. This day, however, Bill sat with his back exposed due to another player refusing to change seats with him. Shortly after entering the saloon, McCall approached Bill with a Colt .45 revolver and shot him, killing him instantly. Those who witnessed the crime say that Wild Bill was clutching two black aces and two black eights when he died. McCall was arrested, and less than a year later he was executed for the murder of Bill Hickock. Is It a Good Poker Hand? Despite all of the mystery and intrigue surrounding The Dead Man's Hand, it isn't particularly notable in terms of value. Although a two-pair of aces isn't a terrible hand to receive during a game, there are far better hands that greatly improve your chance of coming out on top. In general, The Dead Man's Hand is more or less a group of cards that won't significantly impact the probability that you win the round. In Popular Culture As you may expect, The Dead Man's Hand has been incorporated into many works of fiction,s including books, movies, and TV shows. This is especially true during films set in the American West, such as The Man Who Shot Liberty Vance. In this movie, one of the main characters draws The Dead Man's Hand shortly before being killed. For tattoo enthusiasts, it also serves as a popular subject matter. It was even used as a form of branding for the infamous 'Jump Out Boys' group that once existed within the LA Police Department. Music seems to be the most popular medium it's incorporated in, though, as there's a large handful of songs that make direct reference to the cards. These even include works by iconic artists Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Dylan, and Motörhead. Modern shows that are set in the American West (such as Westworld) are sure to incorporate The Dead Man's Hand in some form, even it's subtly during a panning camera shot of a bar or saloon. Poker's Nuances Can Seem Confusing But they don't have to be. With the above information about the Dead Man's Hand in mind, you'll be well on your way toward developing an increased appreciation of the game. Want to learn more gambling tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.
  3. Despite that it should, the expression 'cost you an arm and a leg' didn't start with medieval gambling. Even with the sometimes cutthroat play style of early games, and the presence of early cheaters, few limbs were lost outside of the Crusades. The early games of chance had surprisingly deep rules. Playing pieces were sometimes rudimentary and uneven, but were also varied and collected as works of art. Players invented and spread new games as they traveled for opportunities and war alike. Gambling has existed in many forms throughout time. Before the concept of money, favors, goods, and livestock would be wagered on contests of skill and events of chance. The so-called detriment to society rhetoric sprang up as early as the first Crusades and has found new avenues and strengths while never quite being convincing enough. Let's break down the appeal and the prohibitions against games of chance and how they spread and advanced through medieval society. Medieval Gambling Pros and Cons The idea fo betting on games of chance would take longer to develop as it would be a while before tools of chance took proper shape. Historians have found evidence of card games forming as early as the 10th century in China. Dice show some evidence of existing as far back as 2,000 BCE. However, newer archaeological digs in Egyptian tombs have moved that number as far back as 6,000 BCE. The basis for several notable dice games started in Greece around 400 BCE. Games of chance began to be noteworthy as civilizations tried to be, well, more civilized. this is where the compulsion for victory and the morality of an orderly society started to create an interesting dynamic that has fought back and forth for almost a thousand years. Image credit: Egypt Musem (egypt-museum.com) Image credit: Egypt Musem (egypt-museum.com) Appeal The allure of gambling is deeply rooted in the human psyche. Psychologists have done numerous studies on what is called "random reward reinforcement'. It's generally understood that people look for chances to succeed beyond their limitations. The idea of luck permeates many behaviors to our overall benefit. Hope is essential to getting your run of the mill peasants out fo bed each day and back to working int he fields. They can't be convinced that their lot is simply to toil day in and out and then die. They have to believe that they can overcome their fate and rise to a new station. Stories of the normals that became knights and landholders, the soldiers that won against the odds, and the kings that led nations to prosperity all find purchase because of the intermixing of luck and hope. Even in animal studies, it's shown that an animal would rather wait for a chance to win big than to work steadily at a sure thing. Getting what you deserve is fine, but getting more than you deserve activates powerful reward centers. In medieval times, the idea that you could win a week's wages in a few minutes was every bit as compelling as it is now. Of course, at the time, they didn't have handy guides that helped explain the rules and odds. It wasn't uncommon for a few 'local' and 'house' rules to stymie an otherwise successful player in the olden days. Knights and Nobles Gambling wasn't for everyone, though. Even during times when it was openly permitted, it was only permitted to a few. During the crusades of Richard I only those ranking at knight or above were allowed to wager on any game or event. Part of this was about morale and fighting ability. The other part was about ease of liquidity. A peasant or squire with a bunch of loose coin would more easily be considered a thief than a victor in a game. Nobility also had more leisure time, allowing them to engage in and better themselves at these games. Betting on sporting events, especially tennis, was popular throughout England and France. Prohibitions The ugly side of games of chance is that the chance to lose exists. In modern society, losses are easier to mitigate. For one thing, you can't really wager things that aren't money. It takes some doing to risk your livelihood. In the 1500s this wasn't the case. People who got on a losing streak could, and would, risk items precious to their survival such as their clothing, tools of trade, and objects that didn't strictly belong to them. Gambling also brought about unseemly events and people. These complaints mirror those made today, but with some key differences. One, we've dispensed with some of the moral hand-writing associated with liquor, sex, and other leisure activities being adjacent to each other. Two, sophisticated systems exist to prevent cheating on any side of a game and the existence of official establishments dry up the influence of unofficial ones. Like any prohibition, criminals found ways to exploit the rules and the people living with those rules. The Church The clergy were quick to want to see games of chance shut down for the usual reasons relating to the control of self and denial of temptation. They were also keen to curb gambling because it was a popular thing to do while IN church. Parishioners, which in those days stood as there were no pews, used the proximity to each other to bet on events and outcomes. Because they were supposed to attend church, it was not frowned upon when they congregated as it would otherwise have been. At the time, a man leaving the home to meet with others was always met with suspcisoun if not for a civic duty or work. Issues over gambling also created strain between the few competing religions at the time. In Spain, prohibitions against gambling were principally about preventing fights between Islamic law, Jewish law, and concepts of blasphemy. Soldiers Gambling was popular among soldiers who risked their lives each day. It was also a terrible idea that affected their battle readiness. Soldiers did not own much of what they had, their arms, armor, and even clothing and food were all rationed to them by the nobles they served. A soldier that lost his sword in a game of dice not only was useless in a battle but could be seen as a thief. mercenaries were not held by such laws, which is one reason that mercenary armies were so popular in the years between 1200 and 1600. Wagers Wagers in medieval times were sometimes about money but more often about goods. The nobles could afford to wager actual money, with famous wagers from King Henry VII to Jakes Haute over a tennis game totaling £10. A day's wage at the time was roughly four pence. This was the equivalent, then of nearly a year's wages over a single game. Tavern owners and innkeepers had carte blanche to run their establishment and could take anything they deemed reasonable for payment for room and board. This made them an essential part of medieval society. They worked as hotels, bankers, and pawnbrokers. Gamblers could offer their belongings to the house in exchange for a writ or promise of payment in dice and card games. This is both where 'the house' and 'losing your shirt' come from as terms. Still, games didn't have strict recordkeeping attached. It wasn't uncommon for a few math errors to occur. You wouldn't find anything then akin to today's progressive jackpot system found in slots and poker games. Board Games Though card and dice games are the ones most frequently thought of as games fo chance for gambling, board games had their role as well. In particular, chess and backgammon would see a lot of sets created and wagers made both by the players and onlookers. Since these were games of skill, the wagers were often low and consisted of heavily favoring local talent over unknown players. It's funny to think about, but there was a time that roving chess players were held in the same respect as old west poker players. Cards Playing cards have an interesting history of their own, especially as they moved from China to Europe around the late 14th century. In the days before the printing press, churches used idealized scenes in the forms of frescoes, tapestries, and stained-glass windows to tell Bible stories. Though paintings existed, playing cards were the first disposable art that anyone had access to. This allowed playing card designers to create and deliver messages that rivaled the power of the Church in terms of ideological expression and dissemination. It didn't help that the first playing cards were used for gaming and Tarot readings. Early decks also used very different suits then you see today. Ideas such as feathers, acorns, leaves, horns, hounds and more would appear. The traditional suits would not be standardized until around the 17th century in France. Cards were not cheap and some were inlaid with silver and gold paints and metal pigments. Card Games The high cost to create a deck of cards and their ability to be lost and damaged, destroying the set and requiring the entire thing to be replaced, left them initially in the hands of nobles. Prohibitions against card games rose quickly in cities, where idle card players clogged up eateries and loafed through the day. If you've ever wondered why there are so many card games with similar but slightly different rules, that owes to this time. When a magistrate would declare a game forbidden, the local card sharps would add or remove a rule and declare a new game. This loopholing added to the confusion that travelers would have in playing a game and led to certain types of widespread cheating. Dice Construction of dice was usually of bone with some artisans making them of ivory. Wooden dice were not trusted because it was well known that the weave of the wood could make it favor landing on one side favor over another. That said, it was common for cheats to load dice with drops of mercury. These were worked into bone dice to weigh them on an end, causing a high number to appear frequently. Dice were easy to make and available to many. Of course, these dice were also notoriously uneven and it was not uncommon to find one or another of a players 'lucky dice' to be poorly crafted or even repeat some numbers. Dice Games The popularity of dice games owed both to the ease of creating new dice and also the higher element of chance. Even with card games, a level of skill and strategy was available to hone the game towards a victor. Dice, in as much as they were crafted well, provide random results. Most early dice games were then about consistency. Pub dice games could be as simple as rolling two dice and the highest roll between a set of players was the winner to complicated trains of rolls that required players to roll specific numbers in a pattern. One such game was Hazard. This was a popular tavern game and one played with a small mat that players put bets on. This game morphed over time into modern-day Craps. Cheats and Punishments Cheating was always a risk with medieval games. It didn't matter if it was a street dice game or a group of friends at church. Cheaters were punished severely when found out but had many avenues to ply their trade. The game of thimble-rig, aka the shell game, was popular among swindlers that roamed from town to town taking the money of soldiers and nobles with more money than sense. Punishment for soldiers caught gambling was especially harsh, with three full days of lashing being an oft-cited course of action. Play Now It's been a nearly thousand-year road from the early designs of many of the dice and card games we see today. Medieval gambling represents a lot of the same promises and excitement of modern gaming but perhaps with more dire stakes. The biggest advantages in today's gaming are the ease and relative openness of play. You don't even have to leave the home to enjoy gaming at any number of online casinos that exist just a click away.
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