Gail_WindRider

Pirate story

12 posts in this topic

Ok I'm starting a book of my own about pirates... I have some questions and I'm hoping for the most accurate reply I can happen across, which is why I started this thread

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So my first question is about gambling. Dies anyone know of some games that were common among pirates?

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Hi Gail, I'm currently working on an impression to portray a gambling den proprietor for historical reenactments. I have some good resources at home. I try and remember to post later, but please don't give up hope if you don't get a response for a few days, I know I can be a procrastinator sometimes.

Hi Gail, I'm currently working on an impression to portray a gambling den proprietor for historical reenactments. I have some good resources at home. I try and remember to post later, but please don't give up hope if you don't get a response for a few days, I know I can be a procrastinator sometimes.

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Ok thanks for the advice ill have to look into your gambling den

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in the book "joy roger" by patrick pringle printed in 1953, he refers to cards or dice. dice would be the easiest to keep on ones person, cards could get soaked.

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As you probably already know, many crews banned gambling for money onboard their ships. My interpretation of this is that gambling still was allowed on shore.

In the search of the ship The Flying (or Fiery) Dragon some small pieces of metal with marks on were found, which were assumed to be tokens used instead of money. Check out either “X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy” or the documentary “Pirate Island”.

Good luck with your book!

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As you probably already know, many crews banned gambling for money onboard their ships. My interpretation of this is that gambling still was allowed on shore.

In the search of the ship The Flying (or Fiery) Dragon some small pieces of metal with marks on were found, which were assumed to be tokens used instead of money. Check out either X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy or the documentary Pirate Island.

Good luck with your book!

As you probably already know, many crews banned gambling for money onboard their ships. My interpretation of this is that gambling still was allowed on shore.

In the search of the ship The Flying (or Fiery) Dragon some small pieces of metal with marks on were found, which were assumed to be tokens used instead of money. Check out either X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy or the documentary Pirate Island.

Good luck with your book!

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Thanks royal that's an interesting bit I didn't know - the metal disks that is- ill keep it in mind

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Okay, sorry to be slow in getting back to this..... This is by no means a complete list, but here are some I have read about, and or played.

From "The Compleat Gamester" Charles Cotton (c1674)

"Bone Ace" - This plays similar to modern "Black-Jack", but is the target is "31" (not "21" as in BlackJack), Two cards are dealt to each player face down, and one face up. The player with the highest face up card wins half the pot, the second half of the pot going to the player with the hand closest to "31" without going over. (Ties go to the "eldest" player)

"Whist" is also mentioned in "The Compleat Gamester", and this game was popular through the later 17th century, all of the 18th century, and still shows up commonly in documents through the Regency and Victorian eras. It's too complex to explain, but a google search should give you a good synopsis.

"Cribbage" is also mentioned in "The Compleat Gamester", another complex one, but this game is still popular today

"L'Ombre" is mentioned in this book as a popular Spanish game with "Renagado" mentioned as a popular variant.

"Hazzard" is mentioned as a popular dice game in this same book.

From "The Lives of the Gamesters" Theophilus Lucas (c1714)

The above games of Backgammon, Cribbage, Hazzard, and Whist are mentioned

French Ruff is mentioned as a card game (also mentioned in the Compleat Gamester)

Lanterloo is mentioned

This should give you a good start,

If you want to dig deeper, both of the above books are compiled as "Games and Gamesters of the Restoration" and can be bought for about $30 (+/-) http://books.google.com/books/about/Games_and_Gamesters_of_the_Restoration_T.html?id=hIU3zWGmgA4C

"The Compleat Gamester" can be found on google books for free at this link if you want to do more reading

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_compleat_gamester.html?id=6-lYAAAAYAAJ

And this is a gem I found by accident.... A different book of the same name dated to 1734 as a PDF at this link http://www.chicagobilliardmuseum.org/files/1734_The_compleat_gamester.pdf

That ought to be plenty of material!

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One interesting phenomenon amongst captured pirates was the number who claimed to have won very large sums of money by gambling with their shipmates. Of course, this may have quite a lot to do with the fact that if they'd admitted all the money in their pockets came from piracy they'd have been hanged and had their money confiscated, whereas if they'd won it gaming then it couldn't be held against them in law...

Some surviving sets of articles, such as John Taylor's, Bart Roberts', and Lowther and Low's ban gambling outright, but other allowed gambling for small sums:

Thomas Anstis:

8th: If any p[er]son or p[er]sons shall be found to game on board the privateer of the value of one Real plate shall suffer Moses’ Law

John Philips:

3. If any Many shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marroon'd or shot.

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i was in the us navy for 20yrs 72-92. during my early years at sea the men would bring board games on board to play during free time. such as checkers, chess, backgammon and etc. on an aircraft carrier we did have some extra room to stow such item in our work spaces, you didn't have the room for a board game in your bunk space. we also had a tv that the ship would broadcast old movies on. so time off or free time was spent writing letters home, watching old movies, reading books or playing some game with your shipmates. cards were also a pass time and i do recall some cash ending up on the table. now i am part on a historic ship sailing crew, there isn't much space on board a 40ton ship with it's full crew and supplies on board, cards still end up on the table and board games, though most people have their electronic muses to keep company with. pirate ships were crowded vessels, the men were there to make money, games would be games of chance if not to gamble with their shipmates at sea then to keep their skills sharp for those cut throats in port.

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