Faro the Turning Game #2 - a gloss

Daniel Cassidy DanCas1 at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 13 03:22:04 UTC 2004

The Faro (fiaradh, Turning) Game.

Fiar, v.t., i., (pp. ~tha). 1. Slant. Veer. Turn.  (O'Donaill, p.541, Dineen,
p. 452)

Fiaradh, (pron, fairoo) Vn. (act  of) turning.

The Case Keeper. "Keeping Cases."

In a Fiaradh (Turning) Game the "Case Keeper" is a "turn keeper,"  the
dealer's assistant charged with keeping track of the  "turns"  on an abacus-like
device also called a "Case  Keeper" or "Cases Keeper."

Cas, casadh: To turn or twist. (Dineen, p. 168)

Cas as, to turn or twist out. (pron. cas iss)

"Keepin' cases" became popular slang in the early 20th century for keeping  a
vigilant eye on someone or something.

Soda Card

The first card in the Faro deck is turned off the deck by the  dealer and
rendered invalid. It is called the soda card.  The Soda  Card is the "turn off"

Sodh de  (pron. soda)    (diacritical so/dh,)
Turn off, turn out of.

Sodh  (pron soh),  (act of) Turning.   (Dineen p.  1080-81)
De, off, from, out of. (Dineen, p. 311).

Three words fiaradh, cas, and sodh all mean "turn or twist." The main move
in faro is called the "turn" and consists of two cards turned together.

Fiar araon (pron. pharaon) means "to turn or twist both or  two together."

Hockelty Card

The Hockelty Card (or hock card) is the last card in the faro deck. It  is
also a "dead" card like the Soda card and indicates that the Final Turn  is
completed and the Faro game is over. Betters remove any  remaining checks or
"coppers" and replace then with new wagers and  bets for the next round of turns in
the Fiaradh (Turning) game.

Athgheallta  (pron. Ahh-Colltay, the "th" is aspirated).
Re-wager, re-bet, re-pledge.

Tell Box.

The tell box is the dealer's card shoe that yields the cards, usually with
the help of an internal springing device.

Tal, m., Vn. (act of) yielding, springing,  bestowing.

Brace Game.
Breith as (pron. brayh iss)
(Act of ) Bearing off, taking  out; bearing away, winning; plundering.

In a brace game, the Tiger (Diagaire) always bears away all  of the winnings.

Henry Colton

The leading arbiter and high king of the faro dealers and of all  gambling
disputes in NYC in the antebellum period was Henry  Colton.

"He {Henry Colton} was regarded as a sort of supreme tribunal of
gaming...and in gambling circles throughout the United States his decisions were
binding." (Herbert Asbury, Sucker's Progress, p. 170).

Henry Colton
An Ri Ghealltain   (pron. An  Ree Coltan)
The King of bets, promises, wagers, vouchers, bonds, and "IOUs."

Geall, geallta, pledge, bond, promise, bet, wager.   Gealltan, -ain, m.,  a
pledge, a voucher, a wager, a bet, a  promise.   (Dineen, Dwelly, O'Donaill)

Daniel Cassidy
The Irish Studies Program
New College of California
San Francisco

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