Old West Gamblers and Beer

Faro and Warm Beer

I’m not sure how many times, hundreds if not thousands, I have read or watched on TV or the movies, a poker game in an old west saloon. The problem is, for the most part, it is all fiction, not much fact. Faro was the game of choice in saloons throughout the American west. How about the cold beer the Cowboys so often dreamed of before getting to town. They may have found a beer, it wasn’t hard, but the cold part didn't happen, not in the old days of the west. One exception, winter time, both the beer and the saloon were cold. How about the famous batwing doors? If they had them, and most saloons did not, they were strictly for the hottest months. They do work well in the cinema but in real life, a single three-foot wide door would have opened into most saloons and other businesses.
Might be a Few in Wyoming Hunting For One of These Next Week with Predictions of 100+ Temperatures for several days - and in Modern Days, it's Cold

Playing Card Games

Fiction likely portrayed cowboys playing poker because it is a better-known game in modern times, but not in the days of the cowboy riding the range. Of all the famous old west gamblers Doc Holliday may be the most well known. His game of choice, Faro, of course. He even carried his own table painted with the 13 cards (1suit) needed to play the very simple betting game. Most experts agree that Faro is as much about luck as any game of chance could be. The game is so random and so easy to play it is no wonder it was the game of choice in the old west. So easy that it created a new class of card cheats. Many dealers and players tried to develop ways to win that included cheating. Some were pretty good at it, others were caught or ran out of town.
Faro Table With 13 Cards and a High and Low Card to bet on.

The First Saloon

The American Southwest is often thought of as the first cowboy country, but the first saloon may have been in Wyoming or close to it. Down in the Brown’s Hole Country of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado was what I believe, the first old west saloon. That saloon, where you could order a nice room temperature beer and play a bit of Faro opened in the early 1820s. That time period meant Mountain Men, Trappers, Long Hunters Explorers and those running from the law. 

Perfect clientele for a good game of chance. 

“Faro Anyone?”
Ahaaa - The Old West

On another note

On Friday, June 2, 1939, the Museum at Guernsey State Park opened. If my math is correct, that would make it 77 yesterday – Happy Birthday. Interesting and sad that the hard working Civilian Conservation Corps men, who built it, were all gone. The last CCC workers left Guernsey in August of 1938.
CCC Worker Statue Looking Toward the Museum Looks Great at 77
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