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View Full Version : How did the 'Gambling' aspect of Pool come about ?



bigbro6060
12-31-2002, 08:11 PM
I mean, you rarely see two people gamble over tennis match or badminton.

How did the gambling aspect of pool come about ?

I have to admit, even though i'm not a big gambler at all, i've been drawn into it a bit and the gambling seen for pool isn't that big in Australia. Not big money, just a few bucks a game. I do feel having something riding on each game gives you that bit more incentive.

where did it all originate from ?

and is it still good for the game ?

snipershot
12-31-2002, 11:35 PM
I think that pool players all have a bit of an ego that makes them think their better than their opponent, and their willing to back that ego up by putting a few bucks on the line. Other players need to have that extra incentive in order for them to play their best game. Gambling should be good for the game, it adds a little extra flare to the game and makes it alot more interesting than just playing a regular dull game.

Predator
01-01-2003, 12:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote snipershot:</font><hr> I think that pool players all have a bit of an ego that makes them think their better than their opponent, and their willing to back that ego up by putting a few bucks on the line. Other players need to have that extra incentive in order for them to play their best game. Gambling should be good for the game, it adds a little extra flare to the game and makes it alot more interesting than just playing a regular dull game. <hr /></blockquote>

I agree with you on that. Where I play, most of the time, if theres not at least 3, or 5 dollars on the game, noone really cares about winning, or losing. If you don't have something motivating you to play your best game, you're probably not going to play at your best, if you don't really have anything to lose. There ARE others, though, that play their best no matter what. These are usually the guys who have a lot of their ego involved in the way others view their pool skills. I know quite a few of these guys, who would rather eat the $3, or $5 rather that lose the game in front of others! Either way, the money is just something to motivate you to play your best no matter what. But, let's not forget about those who make a pretty good living gambling and winning money with their pool skills. All I can say to those who question this practice is, "If you're not going to play to WIN, don't bet!"

landshark1002000
01-02-2003, 03:28 AM
Byrne and Shamos write frequently about the history of the game, it's players and it's changing equipment.
Perhaps pool began as the game of croquet (brought indoors). The crudity of the original equipment suggests the possibility. Before there were holes in the table (pockets), folks hit the balls thru "hoops" mounted on a wooden table covered in green felt. Long before the cuestick was invented, or "english" was even possible; players pushed the balls around with wood blocks on the end of a wood shaft.
Croquet was a game of the aristocracy. But the new game soon made it's way to the taverns. Here at the crossroads, the local inn brought together the travelers of every class. It was the inn and the growing popularity of pool that created a rare opportunity for the classes to compete.
This chance meeting of the commoner, the merchant , and the nobility was an occasion to represent both, your class and
your self. What better avenue for pride to prove the better than by a wager?
These are just some thoughts that come to mind.

Kato
01-02-2003, 09:52 AM
People gamble on everything. Tennis is no exception. One of my cousins is a high level recreational player and gambles at tennis. Heck, when you play marbles as a kid when you knock anothers players marble out of the center you take their marble, isn't that a form of gambling.

Kato~~~used to gamble up to 5,000 baseball cards when I was a kid playing 3 on 3 nerf football in the street.

jbullerjr
01-03-2003, 12:31 AM
The word "pool" itself has a history in gambling.

This was passed on to me, so forgive me if it is incorrect,

"Pool Rooms" were rooms where people would meet and "pool" their money for OTB (Off-Track-Betting) of horse racing.
Many games were played to pass the time between race results, various forms of cards, dominoes, craps and, yep you guessed it, Billiards.

James

01-03-2003, 02:09 AM
I read this somewhere... I think it was either in a Robert Byrne book, or the beginning to the BCA's rulesbook. Apparently the first pool halls in the states were at horse tracks so gamblers had something to do between races. That is why we refer to pocket billiards games as pool games, as opposed to pocket billiard games, and why pool halls are "pool halls." These halls were where the betting pools were located, so they came to be known as pool halls.... This probably has alot to do with why there has been a connection between pool and gambling....

My favorite two sports in the world are horse racing and pool. Before I knew the above mentioned history, I had thought at past races how great it would be if there was a pool room at the track as well. I have never been to a race track other than Scioto Downs(i am young yet), so I don't know if there are horse tracks out there that still have pool rooms.

Kato
01-03-2003, 07:14 AM
Hollywood Greyhound track in South Florida has a really nice pool room in it. 50 feet away you can bet on the dogs. Don't do that anymore but certainly spent my share of time there.

Kato

jjinfla
01-03-2003, 08:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> I mean, you rarely see two people gamble over tennis match or badminton.
<hr /></blockquote> For sure you jest. Ever hear of Bobby Riggs? You can be sure that if there is competition someone is gambling on it. Jake