[Ads-l] 1849 use of "buck" in a "brag" (~=poker) game

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 9 19:42:51 EDT 2018


The word, "buck," did in fact refer having the right to put money in the pot, but I can't quite decipher precisely what it means.  From an 1860s book of card game rules, a question and answer about game play used the expression.


Dick, William B, The American Hoyle; or, Gentleman's  hand-book of games: containing all the games played in the United  States, with rules, descriptions and technicalities, adapted to the  American methods of playing, New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, copyright deposit date 1864. HathiTrust

[Excerpt] "A, B, C, and D are playing the game of 'poker;' the 'ante' is twenty-five cents; each player, as he 'antes,' passing the 'buck' to his left-hand adversary, as usual.  Now, 1st. A 'antes,' passing the 'buck' to B.  Has B got the right to 'ante' immediately, making the pool fifty cents, and pass 'buck' to C, instead of waiting till the next deal? 2d. If he has the right, can it be invalidated by any one objecting to its being done? Answer. - He has not the right.  He may go 'blind' if he chooses, but he cannot get rid of the 'buck.'"[End excerpt]

There was a glossary that did not define "buck," but it did define "Brag."  To "brag" was defnied as "Betting for the pool."

There was also a game called Brag with three-card hands, with Jacks and nines wild.  There were several versions of the game described in a slightly earlier book.



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Andy Bach <afbach at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 7:58 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: 1849 use of "buck" in a "brag" (~=poker) game

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Andy Bach <afbach at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: 1849 use of "buck" in a "brag" (~=poker) game
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> "....The game had progressed for some time, when the 'pot' having been
doubled and a ten dollar 'buck' had started, the brag had passed to the
Colonel...."

I wonder if "buck" here means "raise" and then "brag" means the pass/check
or raise opportunity then goes on to the next player

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 9:14 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> The word "buck" has many meanings (including "buck" meaning "dollar,"
> based on a buckskin trading equivalent in the western U.S. in the early
> 1800s), here's a possible antedating of "buck" somewhat but maybe not quite
> as used in the game of poker, here called by the forerunner of poker called
> "brag."
>
>
> "....The game had progressed for some time, when the 'pot' having been
> doubled and a ten dollar 'buck' had started, the brag had passed to the
> Colonel...."
>
> Southern Sentinel, Plaquemine, Louisiana, Nov. 29, 1849 p. 1 col. 5.
>
>
> For the full context, see:
>
> https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064476/1849-
> 11-21/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1789&sort=date&date2=1963&
> searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=2&words=brag+
> buck&proxdistance=5&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=brag+buck&
> phrasetext=&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



--

a

Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list