CharlesMousseau
CharlesMousseau
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MrCasinoGames
September 1st, 2020 at 10:23:21 AM permalink
This is one that's been stumping me for a while? About all I can think of is that it's a reference to the caustic properties of lye, also commonly known as "caustic soda", as it would strip the top "layer" (i.e. the card) off the deck, and would explain our modern use of "burning a card". The latter stands to reason as the other Faro term for the last card ("the hock card") has gotten into our modern gambling parlance as well.

If anyone has any other theories or ANYTHING authoritative, I'm all ears.
DRich
DRich
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September 1st, 2020 at 10:27:37 AM permalink
Your explanation makes sense to me. The card is burned so it is a Soda card.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
billryan
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September 1st, 2020 at 10:39:57 AM permalink
They have a faro game in Tombstone. It re-enacts the game Doc Holiday dealt. It is a boring game. As the dealer tells it, the edge for either side was so low, that you had to cheat to win.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
CharlesMousseau
CharlesMousseau
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MrCasinoGames
September 1st, 2020 at 10:51:03 AM permalink
It absolutely was. Only if a pair was dealt, the house would half of all bets on that card (instead of pushing them), and that's super rare -- off the top it would be 1 in 221, and you'd lose half a bet, so that's only a 0.23% house edge, and it's moot anyways because a player could wait until only 1 card of the rank remained and then the house edge could never rear it's ugly head and just bet on that card, and if the last three cards had a pair, they could make a zero-vig bet on them.

A faro game that took half of ALL bets on any pair would give a 2.94% house edge off the top, much closer to modern standards, and you could institute an early shuffle if no pairs remained. But it still doesn't change the fact that it's a rather dull game, but no reason why it couldn't appear on a video poker terminal or some such.

But it's interesting that blackjack survived and flourished despite having a similarly low (or lower!) house edge. Amazing what "not a soul knew anything remotely resembling optimal strategy" did to ensure the game's survival.
Mission146
Mission146
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September 1st, 2020 at 11:23:28 AM permalink
I can't speak for authoritativeness, but I got this for Soda Card here:

http://www.dpmeyer.com/pdfs/Faro.pdf

Quote:

Is the top card of the deck when the cards were put into the dealing box
preparatory to a deal. The first card, exposed, face up before bets were
made. Said to have been a corruption of zodiac. For many years a
common expression was from “soda to hock”.



I'm going to offer a theory, but I want to make it very clear that this is based on nothing other than putting some thought into it and represents only my best guess:

I discovered that the, "Soda card," was just the first card of what was sometimes called the, "Soda stack," which just meant discard pile.

I also found a picture of the Dealer's Box (kind of like an old school shoe) that he dealt the cards out of here:

http://shipwrecklibrary.com/deadlands/faro/

Anyway, the box was open on the dealer's side to put the deck inside of it, but then it was also not fully covered on top so that the dealer could slide out the cards without revealing them. As you know, in Faro, two cards would be revealed at a time--the losing card or "Dealer's card," and the winning card.

This had me kind of thinking of soda pop, club soda, or something like that. I decided to search for soda images related to the 1800's and stumbled upon this:

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/arm-hammer-baking-soda-box-early-133155785

And this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Majestic-Baking-Powder-Crate-Advertising-Box-Monarch-Chemical-Co-NEW-YORK-VTG-/193305997958

And, it led me to wonder...if turned on its side...does it not look like the dealer's box? So, it's the soda card because it has no bearing on the result of the game (unless you bet on it which slightly reduces the house edge against you because a push is now less likely) and is just going right back in the soda box? Maybe some dealers at less professional games literally dealt out of a soda box?
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
CharlesMousseau
CharlesMousseau
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Mission146
September 1st, 2020 at 12:20:25 PM permalink
Great ideas here Mission. Especially where I may be looking at it the wrong way -- I always figured the soda stack was named after the soda card, not the other way around. And boy oh boy, do I love the language associated with this game. Like I've already informed the good lady that going forward, I will make it my personal mission to save "bucking the tiger" from extinction as a term for 'going gambling'.
billryan
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Mission146
September 1st, 2020 at 12:25:50 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

I can't speak for authoritativeness, but I got this for Soda Card here:

http://www.dpmeyer.com/pdfs/Faro.pdf



I'm going to offer a theory, but I want to make it very clear that this is based on nothing other than putting some thought into it and represents only my best guess:

I discovered that the, "Soda card," was just the first card of what was sometimes called the, "Soda stack," which just meant discard pile.

I also found a picture of the Dealer's Box (kind of like an old school shoe) that he dealt the cards out of here:

http://shipwrecklibrary.com/deadlands/faro/

Anyway, the box was open on the dealer's side to put the deck inside of it, but then it was also not fully covered on top so that the dealer could slide out the cards without revealing them. As you know, in Faro, two cards would be revealed at a time--the losing card or "Dealer's card," and the winning card.

This had me kind of thinking of soda pop, club soda, or something like that. I decided to search for soda images related to the 1800's and stumbled upon this:

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/arm-hammer-baking-soda-box-early-133155785

And this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Majestic-Baking-Powder-Crate-Advertising-Box-Monarch-Chemical-Co-NEW-YORK-VTG-/193305997958

And, it led me to wonder...if turned on its side...does it not look like the dealer's box? So, it's the soda card because it has no bearing on the result of the game (unless you bet on it which slightly reduces the house edge against you because a push is now less likely) and is just going right back in the soda box? Maybe some dealers at less professional games literally dealt out of a soda box?





Or baking powder companies tried to capitalize on faro's popularity.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
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