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The Merry Gamester


I have been approached by a publisher with the intent of publishing the Merry Gamester as a paperback and e-book. As part of this arrangement, my PDF version has had to be taken down. When the the book is ready for release, I will link to purchase information here. Thanks for your patience and interest

Back in the early '90s, I looked with dismay on my fellow Renaissance Faire participants and Civil War re-enactors inventing card and dice games because they lacked the energy or research skills to find the rules to actual, historical games. To address this, I wrote and self-published "The Merry Gamester: A Practical Guide to the English Speaking World's Most Popular Card Games, Dice Games and Divers Amusements from Ancient TImes to 1900".

I sold this book directly, or through vendors like "James Townsend & Son", for almost ten years, selling somewhere around three thousand copies. Unfortunately, a few years ago, the printer who was giving me a sweet deal went out of business, the price of postage went up and my office stopped providing a "mail it from work" service for packages. When this all happened, it became too expensive and too much trouble to continue to sell the Gamester, so it officially went "Out of Print".

Now that it has been out of print long enough that the inventory at my vendors has been exhausted, I think the time has come to start giving it away for free.

Note that I do retain copyright on this item. It is free for all personal and educational use. It is not provided for the purpose of resale. Please, if you extract from it, give it a proper reference.

And here are the games that can be found in this book

  • Playing Cards
  • One-and-Thirty
  • Tarot
  • Trump or Ruff and Honors
  • Gleek
  • Primero
  • Piquet
  • Lansquenet/Landsknecht
  • Maw
  • Cribbage/Noddy
  • Hombre-Renegado
  • Put
  • Loo
  • Whist
  • All-Fours
  • Brag
  • Faro & Basset
  • Twenty One or Vigt et un
  • Seven Up
  • Euchre
  • Bluff or Poker (Early Version)
  • Bluff or Poker (Later Version)
  • Spanish Monte
  • Solitaire or Patience
  • Quadrille (Patience)
  • Dice Games
  • Hazzard
  • Passe Dix
  • Novem-Cinque
  • Raffle or Inn and Inn
  • Chuck-a-luck or Sweat-Cloth
  • Over-and-Under-Seven
  • Craps
  • Tabula
  • Nine-Man-Morris
  • Hnefatafl
  • Football
  • Hurling
  • Fox and Geese
  • Medieval Chess
  • Quoits
  • Draughts
  • Bowling Games (nine pins, bowls)
  • The Royal Game of Goose

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for providing this! I'm a historical novelist and the hero in my next book loves card games.

Rachel Wilder