Friday, December 17, 2010


Here's something to consider, I've just been introduced to a new start-up that is giving money away to create interest. Just go to and give it a test drive, for FREE and get paid $25.00 to boot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Red Dead Redemption

… a.k.a. Grand Theft Stagecoach

If you are of fan of this hit video game you are going to love OldWestAntiques.Biz where you can actually buy many of the old west items depicted throughout the game.

Items such as those found in a Saloon or worn by a Cowboy and gambling items used by professional gamblers from the Old West.

We’re talking Guns, Knives, Handcuffs, Brass Knuckles, Night Sticks, Saloon Tokens, Morgan Dollars, Arrowheads, Playing Cards, Shot Glasses, Whiskey Bottles, Bootjacks, Dice, Poker Chips, Ect, Ect, Ect.

Here the point, why not own or start a collection of genuine items from the Old West period that relate to the game.

Stop by and checkout the selection.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On the move...

If you have enjoyed my blogs you may want to check out my latest effort: Gambling Antiques

In addition, I also maintain the following sites:

Old West Antiques
Frontier Gamblers
Saloon Tokens
Luke Short
Dodge City Peace Commission

If you find the time stop by and say "hi".

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roulette in the Wild Wild West

History of Roulette

The roots of Roulette can be traced back to the time of Blaise Pascal, France 1655 and his attempt to create perpetual motion. His wheel had but 36 numbers and it remained that way until Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc added a zero (0) in 1842.
If the name Francois Blanc sounds familiar that may be because he is credited with establishing the first casino in Monte Carlo and Roulette became "King" of all gambling games.

Roulette in America

It is generally believed that the French of New Orleans brought the game to American in the early 1800's. It didn't take long for American's to add a second zero (0) to the wheel bringing the total to 38 slots. Some wheels, instead of a zero had an Eagle pictured. Even the Mexican's got into the act with there own version of the game called "Canute". Itinerant gamblers in the old west worked a loosely defined gambling circuit which covered the cow towns, mining camps and rail heads through the midwest, southwest and northwest. Those banking the games traveled with their equipment, which were folded and packed in wooden crates. Today, a folding Roulette table from a well know manufacturer would bring a handsome price at auction.

A Simple Game

Any strategy involved in playing the game of roulette, back in the day as it also does today, takes place in the betting. There can be no strategy involved in the spin of the roulette wheel itself, as the resting place for the little ball is based purely on chance or luck. A roulette wheel in the Old West featured thirty-seven and later thirty-eight compartments with numbers one to thirty six, zero and a double zero or an Eagle.
Players have a variety of betting options. Placing 'inside' bets is either selecting the exact number of the pocket the ball will land in, or a small range of pockets based on their proximity on the layout. Players wishing to bet on the 'outside' will select bets on larger positional groupings of pockets, the pocket color, or whether the winning number is odd or even. The payout odds for each type of bet is based on it probability.

Richard Canfield

Famed gambler and sharper Richard Canfield operated a gambling house at #5, East 45th Street in New York, just blocks from Time Square in 1899. In his resort he offered private rooms with Faro and Roulette. He had both a single-end and double-end Roulette table with wheels made of hickory and ivory.

Roulette Today

You can find the game of Roulette today in most any casino in America where they still employ the double zero (oo) or you can go online and find the old French version with just a single zero (o) which offers you the player better odds.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Antique Gambling Equipment

For a piece of gambling equipment to qualify as an antique let's, for the sake of an argument, agree it must be at least 100 years old. That means anything made before 1910 qualifies and should be listed as an antique.

Let's also agree that the Old West period essentially ended at the turn of the century, 1900.

Based on the two points above we have a gap of 10 years when considering Old West period gambling items and antique gambling items. Plus, that gap widens each year. So you the collector needs to decide are you collecting antique gambling equipment or are you collecting Old West period antique gambling equipment.

Once you decide which it will be you can than begin your search or refine your search depending on where you are at as a collector.

I have a love of the Old West so my focus is on antique gambling items made prior to 1900. I use manufacturer catalogs to help me pinpoint a year of manufacture along with collectors books and similar publications. I also rely on the written history of various manufacturers to help determine the age of say; playing cards, roulette wheels, faro boxes, chuck-a-lucks and so on.

Some items such as playing cards are pretty easy to date but how can you tell when a poker chip was manufactured or a set of dice? For items that that are not already well defined in publications you will have to turn to the type of material used to make the item, how it was made, and design or colors used.

As an example poker chips were made from various materials such as ivory, clay, wood, paper, rubber, celluloid and metal to name some but not all materials. By researching you can learn when ivory was used. With clay chips you can learn about the various molds used to make chips and again determine when. By learning that wood, rubber and paper chips were used as " noiseless chips" when gambling began being outlawed and gamblers moved behind closed doors you can narrow down the period they were manufactured.

The same can be said for dice. Bone dice were made during the 1860's (many by Soldiers during the Civil War), Elephant Ivory was used during the 1870's and celluloid during the 1880's.

I also rely on fellow collectors for information. A word of advise if you also rely on others for help with your collection. It must be a two-way street, meaning you can not always be taking and never giving. I recently got interested in Saloon Tokens and began learning all I could. I even put a web site together to help ( expedite the learning process. Along the way I made a few acquaintances, some very good some not so good. I quickly learned that many saloon token collectors were unwilling to share any information they had because of past experiences with fellow collectors that always "took" but never "gave". As these collectors realized and you must realize is that as you gain knowledge the value of your collection increases. These token collectors got tired of educating others who then took their newly acquired knowledge and charged a premium for any token they offered for sale.

I recently sold a gaffed dealing box to a collector who had helped me in the past and who I hope will help me in the future. I made him aware of the box and gave him first rights to buy, if he was interested. He jumped at the opportunity and I even let him name the price. Why did I do this? Well, I understand how important it is to "give" and not always to "take".

Could I have made more money selling it to someone else? Yes, but that would have only resulted in a sale and I am looking for far more than that. I want the education (knowledge) and I'm willing to pay for it.

At Old West Antiques we are always ready and willing to help because we believe that what goes around comes around, all you need to do is ask.