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The Merry Gamester Online

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 though, 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.

So, here it is as a PDF file. It's pretty big, and not exactly "web friendly". I suggest you print it out and do what you will with it.

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.


Walter Nelson


Just wanted to thank you for putting this on line. I'm interested in games and have printed it all.
Dame Fiona Gwyllt Wynne, Atenveldt

What a terrific resource! My hat is off to you and your generosity to share this masterpiece with the Knowne World. You are a true Gentleman and Scholar!
Duchess Malinda of Elkhaven
Fifth Duchess of Atenveldt
Seventeenth Queen of Atenveldt

I'd just like to thank you for this. I've got many on-line resources to card and dice games bookmarked so I can introduce freinds to them and yours is now joining as a wonderful compliation. thank you very much.

Thanks for putting this online. And at a price I can afford! It will be put to good use for our game night at our historic tavern.