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WINTERBLOSSOM, Henry T. (pseud.)

The Game of Draw-Poker, Mathematically Illustrated;

Being a complete treatise on the game, giving the prospective value of each hand before and after the drawer, and the true method of discarding and drawing, with a thorough analysis and insight of the game as played at the present day by gentlemen.

New York: Wm. H. Murphy, 1875 Stock Code: 143619
£2,500.00
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Cited as the first American book on poker

First edition of this early technical book on poker, covering not only the technicalities of the game, but also the psychology: poker is "not only a selfish game, but one that every subterfuge that can be brought to bear is introduced" (p. 10).

This is generally cited as the first American book on poker, the only other contender being Robert Schenck's Rules for Playing Poker, apparently published the same month in 1875 (following a privately printed edition issued in the UK without the author's knowledge in 1872).

A contemporary article in the New York Times on 12 February 1875 notes that the "author, by the way, is understood to veil himself modestly under a pseudonym; and he is said to be a member of the Lotos Club", a literary club based in New York of which Mark Twain was also a member. Binding variants in blue and brown cloth are also known, with the same design, likely without priority of issue; there are no distinguishing advertisements or any changes to the type between the variants. WorldCat lists ten copies in institutions.

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Description

Duodecimo. Original green cloth, title to front cover gilt, floral black border, blind rule to rear cover.

Condition

A little wear to spine ends and tips, cloth slightly rubbed, hinges partly cracked but holding; a very good copy.

Bibliography

Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, James McManus.

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