Gambling In The Elizabethan Era

Topics: Game, Elizabeth I of England, Dice Pages: 4 (1009 words) Published: October 12, 2013


Gambling was a favourite past time in the Elizabethan era. Anther word for gambling is gaming. Gambling is games that you bet money in the hope of winning more money back. These games ranged from board, card and dice games.

Gaming/gambling were sometimes played in theatres such as the ones that Shakespeare’s plays were in. Other popular venues were gambling dens and houses.

Although the stereotypical gambler is a poor man spending his wages, Queen Elizabeth I did like to play these sorts of games.

In the Merchant of Venice, some examples of gambling include: the merchant, Antonio, loans money from Shylock at the price of not returning the money, a pound of flesh. Portia, asking her would-be suitors to choose one of three caskets, to see which had her portrait, and her hand in marriage.

The majority of the people playing these games were illiterate, so many of the Elizabethan games weren’t well documented.

There were many card games played in Elizabethan times and some of them survived, (even under another name.) One & Thirty (an ancestor to what we know as Blackjack,) dates back to the mid way through the 15th century and records’ showing it was played through to the 17th century. One & Thirty was most popular in Spain & Ireland. The rule of One & Thirty are as followed: It is for two or more players. 

Each player is dealt three cards that are face down. 
The dealer deals out the cards starting with the player on his left.  With the player on the left of the dealer, a card may be maybe thrown out, face up.  It is replace by a card from the top of the deck or the previous card that had been through out. Play continues around the table until one player knocks twice on the table.  After the knock, the players get one more chance to change their hand. The hands are then revealed and the hand closest to 31 with three cards of the same suit wins.  A player who gets 31...

Bibliography: http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-gaming-and-gambling.htm
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-sports.htm
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~wew/Tattershall-tb/cards.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazard_%28game%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knucklebones
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