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Decks Cold and Colder

by James McManus |  Published: Aug 01, 2007


The first time the word "poker" appeared in print was an account of a cold deck in James Hildreth's memoir, Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains, published in 1836. Hildreth describes a late-night game between two officers not far from their barracks. He reports that the major "lost some cool hundreds last night at poker," then pauses to vaguely define this new term in a footnote: "A favorite game of cards at the south and west."

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