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Vol. 1 - No. 3 June, 2019 Nooseletter Home SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Chronicle of the Old West
Dakota Livesay | Old West Historian
Poker was a favorite pastime for men of the Old West, particularly cattlemen, when they reached the end of a trail drive. Sometimes a cattleman would sit down at a table a wealthy man, and leave just another cowboy.

Continued.... (see below)
Poker for Cattle
Have you ever played penny-ante poker? If you were really bad you may have lost as much as $20. In the Old West there wasn’t such as thing as "penny-ante" poker.

The May 9, 1885 Kansas City Journal tells the following story of a poker game between a Texan and Major Drumm. The Texan was never named, but Major Drumm was known as a gambler with great natural resources.

The Texan purposed a game with an ante of one steer, and no bid limit. Major Drumm dealt the first hand. A steer each was anted and the game opened with four steer on the table. Major Drumm drew two tens and caught an unexpected full house, while the gentleman from Texas "struck a bobtail snag and passed out."

Playing jacks or better to open, and it took three deals before the gentleman from Texas drew two jacks. He opened with a fine breeding bull which counted as six steer. Major Drumm covered with five steer and a heifer, and then raised him twelve steer.

The Texan had drawn a third jack. So he threw in twelve steer to cover the raise, and raised Drumm fifty steer, twenty heifers, four bulls and twenty-five calves. Major Drumm placed on the table six cows, five bulls, 100 two-year-olds, and fifty steer.

The man from Texas made his bet good with 250 steer, fourteen mustangs and his ranch on the Panhandle of Texas. The man from Texas showed his three jacks. Major Drumm showed three aces, and walked away with steers, heifers, bulls, mustangs and a big stock ranch. The man from Texas walked away a penniless cowboy.
Playing Poker in the Old West
Playing Poker in the Old West
This article was brought to you by
Dakota Livesay
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