There Comes a Reckoning
Faro – a card game in which players bet against the dealer on the order in which cards are turned up.
Poker – a card game in which players attempt to acquire a winning combination of cards and bet at every deal.
3-Card monte – a card game in which players attempt to follow one of three cards shown as the dealer re-arranges them face-down on the table. Usually performed by a grifter working a ‘confidence con’ on a ‘mark’.
Brag – a British card game similar to Poker.
Roulette – a game in which a ball is rolled onto a spinning horizontal wheel divided into compartments, with players betting on which compartment the ball will come to rest in.
High-Low – a dice game.
Associated Trait: Smarts
Most folks in the Weird West can hold their own in poker and other games of chance. Professional gamblers roam the boomtowns and can turn a few bucks into a small fortune.
There are two ways to handle gambling in Deadlands. The first is for a single hand; the second is a quick way to sum up an hour’s worth of gambling.
For a single hand, the gamblers first decide on the stakes. Then each character involved makes a Fair (5) gamblin’ skill. Every success and raise lets a gambler draw a card from a card deck. When everyone has their cards, each player flips over her highest. The players with the lowest cards put their stake in the pot, and the winner gets the pot. A Red Joker is the highest card and a Black Joker is the lowest.
To sum up a longer period of gambling, use this method instead. The gamblers first decide on the average stakes. One to five bucks per hand is common for serious gambling. Then
everyone makes a gamblin’ Aptitude check. The lowest total pays the highest total the difference times the stakes. The next lowest pays the second highest, and so on. If there’s an odd man left in the middle, he breaks even.
For instance, “Velvet” Van Helter, a suave huckster and cardsharp from New Orleans,
“One Eye” Ketchum, and Ronan Lynch play $5 poker for an hour. Velvet gets a 15 on his gamblin’ Aptitude check, One Eye gets a 10, and Ronan gets a 2. Ronan pays Velvet ((15–2=) 13 x $5=) $65. One Eye breaks even.