Gambling Nights


Over the years I have played cards for sums of money, 1p a point and sometimes the stakes are really high 5p a point.  It’s funny though, even if the sums are small you still get the urge to win.  The games included such Devil inventions as New Market, Seven of Diamonds, Chase the Ace, Thirty-one and for the serious one that I learned later in life Kolookie. 


It started at quite a young age on Tuesday nights various people arrived at our residence, Aunt Gert was always there.  She always arrived with many bags full of various bargains that she had bought and would try to sell them to other people telling them what a bargain they were (I have already related this in another story).  Aunt Gert always had a large stock of change that she acquired through the tips she got in the pub where she worked, so she was very valuable to the card school for changing up notes.  She was also a canny player because her vacant mind and ways of drifting off to other subjects (something my mum was very good at it as well) lulled other players into a false sense of security. 


My dad was quite serious when playing cards but had a habit of saying things like “I’ve got a hand like a foot” when he was dealt his cards which I as a 9 year old thought was absolutely brilliant.


Playing for pennies is expensive when you have only got half a crown pocket money.


Seven of Diamonds and New Market were games where many built up on Kings to such huge sums as half a crown.


These games were very tactical and one person with the right hand could hold up everybody else.  These people were never invited again.


Hard liquor like tea, coffee and sometimes hot chocolate were served, Aunt Gert usually had a packet of biscuits in one of her many bags. 


If we were really lucky mum baked one of her super cakes (this was worth being there for that alone coffee walnut and a mean chocolate cake, if we were really lucky there were drop scones but they rarely left the kitchen after tea).


When I was about 21 I went out with a girl whose family were very keen players of kolookie, a sort of rummy with two packs of cards, ace, two, three was not allowed as a set (no Len Barrys was the rule you have to have been around in the sixties to know what this means).  This was a game more for adults so whiskey got drunk as well as tea and coffee but the stakes were still less than 10 bob a time.  My girlfriend, Chris, would always go to the toilet when any work had to be done, this was traditional.


Conversation was always brilliant when playing cards.