On the evening of February 17, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln, a few high-stakes card players, and a handful of White House staff convened in a room on the second floor of the executive mansion. With the sun setting and the room’s soft glow spilling in through the windows, the group began to shuffle and deal. The President began the game with a modest ante of $100 – his wife, Mary Todd, stood by his side, holding a purse containing that amount. The game would prove to be among the most memorable and significant of Lincoln’s presidency.
A Common Card Game
It’s unlikely that many of Lincoln’s contemporaries had much interest in card games or understood the complex rules of poker, which didn’t become standardized until the 20th century. Nevertheless, Lincoln and his guests were well-acquainted with the game’s basics, having played it often at social gatherings and Camp David retreats during the late 1850s and early 1860s. Indeed, as he was wont to do when relaxing with friends, Lincoln usually sat down at the card table with his arms folded, a pack of cards in hand, ready to deal. After several hours, Mary Todd walked over to remove her husband’s folding armchair, apparently exhausted by the activity.
Poker is a game of chance, not skill. The object is to beat your opponent by having a better hand than they do when the game ends. The first player to reach a set number of wins wins the pot, which in a standard game consists of anywhere from five to fifteen dollars in cash or coins. The size of the pot depends on how many players there are at the table and in what direction the game is going. If it’s just you and the dealer, the pot typically contains a smaller amount of money, somewhere between five and ten dollars, to ensure everyone has an equal chance at winning. At the end of the day, poker is about having fun while playing against someone with the same objective as you: to beat ‘em at their own game.
An Unusual Variant
While most people know and play variations of what is generally referred to as “poker,” there are actually several different games that can be defined as such. The most common variant is “seven-card stud” poker, which is played with at least three cards per player, usually a minimum of three to a hand and a maximum of five. In seven-card stud, each player is given four cards, and the last card is used to determine the trump card. The object is to be the first to make your respective hands visible to the other players. The biggest difference between traditional poker and seven-card stud is that in the latter, everyone at the table sees all of the cards that are dealt. This makes the game more straightforward and removes the element of bluffing, or trying to convince your opponents that you have a better hand than you really do.
A Game Of Skill
The other major variant of poker, Texas hold’em, is typically played with only two cards per player and relies on the skill and quick thinking of the players involved. It was first played in Texas in the 1930s and has since become a beloved game among poker fans everywhere. As with most games that have become popular and attained a following, there are numerous rules and variations that can be applied to make the game more interesting and challenging. The game is a “community card game” in that each player is responsible for contributing to the pool of money that is kept in the middle of the table. As with traditional poker, the aim is to outmaneuver and outwit your opponent at the table, as well as to be the first to reach a set score. Texas hold’em is generally considered to be the purest form of poker, free from any rules other than those that make the game more exciting. It is also one of the most popular games in the world, played in some form or another by people from all walks of life.
A Rich History
It is safe to say that Lincoln and his guests were no strangers to high-stakes play. Poker had become an obsession for the President during his presidency, and he spent more than a few evenings playing high-stakes games with his friends. It is therefore not surprising that the President chose to host a poker tournament at the White House – what is perhaps more remarkable is that he did so during an era when such activities were considered inappropriate for the Oval Office.
Indeed, the very idea of holding a poker game in the White House may seem surprising, given the office’s historic reputation for high decorum and moral rectitude. What is perhaps most interesting about this story is that it provides rare insight into the mind of one of the country’s greatest leaders during a period of unprecedented change and uncertainty, as a nation grappled with deciding what form of government it should have, and how it should treat its citizens and those from other countries.
Although the Civil War was fought and won centuries ago, the conflict continues to loom large over the present day. It was not only a struggle for independence, but it was a war over many of the same issues that we face today, including slavery, civil rights, and the role of government. It is therefore fitting that Lincoln’s card games, which encapsulated the hopes, dreams, and anxieties of the time, should serve as a reminder of both his legacy and the difficult transition that followed. While the great political turmoil of the 1860s ultimately led to the end of slavery and established the framework for the country’s modern-day democracy, the former President would not live to see these changes – he died only three months after the conclusion of the war.
An Opportunity To Win Some Money
It is a sad fact that not everyone who goes to the White House ends up there by choice. Several million people apply for a job as a White House staffer every year, mostly hoping to gain access to the wealth and power of the President’s circle, or at least to get a foot in the door. While one may speculate that perhaps Lincoln just wanted to play a game of poker with some old friends, the fact remains that he was providing an opportunity for people to make some money. Even a cursory glance at the burgeoning White House guestbook will confirm that Lincoln’s friendliness and even-handed treatment of those seeking favor resulted in many pleasant and profitable interactions. Between jobs in the Trump administration, which he held until his death in 1865, former White House employee Michael D’Antonio estimates that Lincoln earned a cool million dollars from these interactions alone.
The Origins Of American Drinking Culture
Like many popular pastimes in American society, poker has its roots in the country’s drinking culture. As noted above, poker was first played in Texas in the 1930s and has since become a beloved game among poker fans everywhere. During the height of the Wild West, the state was known for its saloons and its lawless population – which included many famous, infamous, and downright weird characters, some of whom definitely hung out at the local poker table. The origin of the name “poker” is the subject of some controversy: some claim that it was named after the game’s inventor, Henry “Henny” Pulver; others attribute it to an early adopter of the game named “Pulver” as a form of mockery. It is generally agreed that the term was first used in print in 1870, in the book The Drinking Habits of America, which was published in Austin, Texas.
The Man Who Inspired The Film ‘Django Unchained’
If you’ve seen the film ‘Django Unchained’, then you know exactly who Stephen Meyers is. The actor, who has died at the age of ninety-two, is responsible for giving a startlingly accurate portrayal of a German-accented plantation owner in the spaghetti western. In a 2011 interview, Meyers said that he drew inspiration for this character from real-life experiences he had while growing up, experiences that made him “feel like a monkey in a cage.” Meyers had German immigrant parents, and during the Second World War he served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. After the war, he became a successful businessman, owning and operating several gas stations in Texas. It was during one of these trips that his life took an unexpected turn: while filling up his station’s car with gas, he was held at gunpoint by a group of black men who had surrounded his vehicle. After escaping and returning to his office, Meyers discovered that the credit cards he had used to pay for the gas had all been denied. It was only then that he learned that there had been a breach in the wall between white and black customers at his station. The experience would haunt him for the rest of his life.