“Gambling played a significant role in the lives of the buffalo hunters and cowboys who drove the Westward movement of America during the nineteenth century. The game of chance was dear to the heart of the early frontiersman who spun the wheel on liquor, lust, and luck. Whether it was a game of poker played on a blanket or a Faro bet placed in a saloon. Like most frontier towns Dodge City, Kansas started with a small clump of tents including first a saloon, a general store, and livery stable. It did not take long for the settlement to expand and with this expansion, entertainment came with the games of chance.
The 108 pages book harvests over 18 audio files, twelve videos giving the reader beyond three hours of interactive learning and entertainment. Each chapter has been masterfully crafted with narrations from Brad Smalley of the Emmy nominated the second season of 'Gunslingers' on the American Heroes Channel. The book features a pop-up menu on how to play the game of faro and 18 interactive audio images including the introductory video on the “Walk on Front Street.”
Chapter one entitled “Deadly Politics in Beautiful Bibulous Babylon” takes a look at Dodge City in 1872 before the establishment of law and order. The chapter contains historical content of the formation of the first Vigilance Committee and how the town struggles to keep order through mob rule. The town becomes divided on Christmas Eve of 1875 when different factions disagree on having ordnances for the soon to arrive cattle drives.
“The conflict between the Dodge City Gang and leaders who desire reform continues until the last chapter of the book entitled the Saloon War of 1883. Chapter one includes rare photographs of Dodge City in 1872, over 14 click and play audio files, a special rendition of the “Dying Cowboy, and an interactive map of Dodge City in 1882.
“Gamblers of Dodge City” is about the games of chance played in the saloons of the old west from faro to chuck-a-luck. These games of chance are explained through both the context of imaging and audio narration. The providing chapters on gambling expand on the stories behind the games being played in the small makeshift community of Dodge City. Chapter two provides a beginning explanation of the early cattle drives prompting economic growth.
Chapter three entitled Card Games offers the history and origins of such favorite nineteenth Century saloon games like Faro, Spanish Monte, poker and draw poker. The third chapter entitled Games of Chance provides background information on the game of Keno, Chuck-a-Luck and concludes with a narrative on the gambler as a Festive Sportsman.
“The book takes a quick turn in chapter four when introducing the idea for needed community reform starting in 1879 and concludes with the Saloon War of 1883. The Saloon War of 1883 incorporates eight videos played out by the World Famous Gunfighters of Boot Hill Museum. The filmed on location videos directed by Aaron Duree and produced by Boot Hill Productions takes the twist and turns of Luke Short who for political reasons is forced out of town. Luke then vies to return to Dodge City for his rightful ownership of the Long Branch Saloon. What happens next becomes one of the most famous photos in western history entitled the Peace Commission. Chapter five provides an accurate historical timeline of the events leading up to the Saloon War of 1883 and to conclusion with the Dodge City Peace Commission.