Gambling House Solitaire is popular in Brooklyn – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 1902

  • Name Article: Gambling House Solitaire is popular in Brooklyn – Correct Method of playing by a man who has frequently “bucked it.”
  • Author: Unknown
  • Year: Sunday 28 September 1902
  • Published in: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
  • Location: New York, USA

I managed to find the second (unique) article where the game named after Canfield was described in detail as a Gambling Solitaire.

“Of all 2 handed cards games the most popular, next to pinochle, is the so-called “Gambling House Solitaire” In spite of the fact that the game has caught on so strongly there is a wide divergence of method in playing it. The correct method, according to a man who has frequently “bucked” it in the large New York gambling houses, is as follows:

Interesting facts from this article are that the game was popular not only in gambling houses in Chicago but also in New York, the city where Richard A. Canfield ran his gambling houses.

Where was Canfield?

In 1902 however, Canfield was under heavy pressure from the law and had closed most of his gambling houses in New York before 1902. At that time, he still owned the Canfield Club in Newport and Canfield’s Casino in Saratoga Springs.

What is also striking, especially since it is an article about New York, is that the game is explicitly called Gambling House Solitaire.

So what does this tell us?

  • It confirms that the Solitaire we call Canfield, although with slightly different rules, used to be played as a gambling solitaire in New York and Brooklyn gambling houses.
  • In 1902 it was not yet named (after) Canfield, that’s confirmed.
  • And it might confirm as well that he didn’t invent it. In 1902 he had different things on his mind and for most of that year, he stayed in Europe.

What does it say about Canfield gambling with it?

It’s very likely that indeed Canfield was aware of the hype around this game since it was played in all the large gambling houses in New York. So even though he already closed 2 of his gambling houses, he still had 2 left. Newport and Saratoga.

It is very likely that Richard Albert Canfield tried the game maybe a couple of times and that because of his fame as an owner of multiple successful gambling houses, the game is later named after him.

But then there is still also the theory that Canfield introduced another type of Solitaire. One with a similar payout structure but a different layout. That game was Seven Card Klondike, which might also explain the confusion in books and writings around naming these two games.

Read here the full article:

Gambling House Solitaire is popular in Brooklyn - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 1902 article about solitaire
Source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York