What Card Games Were Played in the Wild West?

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By Eric Wilson

The Wild West is a period in American history that has been romanticized in books, movies, and TV shows. It was a time of cowboys, outlaws, and saloons.

One of the popular pastimes during this era was playing card games. In this article, we will explore the different types of card games that were played in the Wild West.


One of the most well-known card games played in the Wild West was poker. It was played in almost every saloon and gambling hall across the frontier.

Poker is a game that requires skill, strategy, and luck. The objective of the game is to have the best hand at the end of each round.

There are many variations of poker played during this time period including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em, and Seven-Card Stud.


Another popular card game played in the Wild West was Faro. It was also known as “bucking the tiger”. Faro is a simple game that involves betting on whether a specific card will be drawn from a deck.

The dealer would place cards face up on a table until one of them matched a card on his own deck. Players would bet on whether or not their chosen card would appear next.

Three-Card Monte

Three-Card Monte is another classic Wild West gambling game that still exists today. It involves hiding a queen among two other cards and then shuffling them around quickly while players try to follow it with their eyes.

The dealer then asks players to bet on which card is the queen. This game is often used by con artists to scam unsuspecting victims out of their money.


In conclusion, poker, faro, and three-card Monte were some of the most popular card games played during the Wild West era. These games provided entertainment for cowboys, outlaws, and anyone looking to try their luck at the gambling table. Although many of these games are still played today, they will always be associated with the Wild West and its unique history.