Slippery Shenanigans at the Faro Table

“In the 1993 film Tombstone, Doc Holliday asks his pal Wyatt Earp, ‘Since when is faro a business?’ Holliday follows up with the wry observation, ‘Only suckers buck the tiger; the odds are all on the house.’ Catchy dialogue, but historically it would seem to miss the mark—a thing the real John Henry Holliday rarely did. Dentistry never got Doc much beyond a nickname, but for him and many contemporaries, faro, mainstay of saloons and gambling houses across the Wild West, was indeed a business—generally lucrative and often respectable, if rarely honest…”

Wild West Magazine, recently put my August 2008 article on the shady dealings of the faro table online. See it here.


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