***In virtually every mining camp and prairie town a poker table could be found in each saloon, surrounded by prospectors, lawmen, cowboys, railroad workers, soldiers, and outlaws for a chance to tempt fortune and fate. ***

The Usual Suspects at The Deadwood Saloon

Harry High-Stakes: Owner of the Deadwood
Saloon.
As the organizer of this grand event, Harry has a lot at stake if it is not successful!

Henrietta High-Stakes: Wife to Harry High-Stakes. Although she has been spending less and less time at the saloon lately, could she be into something or someone else?

Gambling Jack: Gambler. Jack is known as the best hand in poker either side of the Mississippi and has not lost a major tournament in the last 5 years. Until now.

Anna Belle: Wife to Gambling Jack. Some say Anna Belle is the reason Gambling Jack always wins.

Mitch Maverick: Businessman from the East.
As the winner of the tournament, many question how a businessman could have such great card skills. Is he the next poker phenomenon?

Holly Hickok: Gambler. Holly is a real southern belle with a flare for poker. What is a girl like this doing in the Wild West?

Clay Coldwell: Local resident of Deadwood and once-known poker great. Although Clay has never met Mitch Maverick, the two of them seem awful close after only knowing each other only a week.

Sheriff Sam: Sheriff of Deadwood. Although Sam is considered the law enforcement of this town, it has been said the only way to get anything 'enforced' is by offering him a bribe.

Montgomery Money: An investor from the East. Montgomery is in Deadwood on a business trip and rumor has it that he has his eye on purchasing the saloon. Montgomery just arrived last night for the party.

Elizabeth Money: Wife of Montgomery Money. Elizabeth has been here all week scouting out the land that her husband hopes to develop. Elizabeth is still not used to such rough and rugged ways.

Minnie Money: Debutante. As the sheltered daughter of Montgomery and Elizabeth Money, this is her first experience out West. Minnie's trip has taught her a lot about the wild ways of life and the men it breeds.

Banker Bob: Bank of Deadwood owner. After Bob's bank was robbed this week, Bob suspects the culprit is someone in need of ante money for the poker tournament. Will Bob take justice into his own hands to punish the bandit?

Banker Bonnie: Wife to Banker Bob. Bonnie is desperate for Bob's attention and will do anything to get it.

Poker Alice: Poker dealer and the ex-wife of Jesse Wales. Alice now works for Harry dealing poker and serving drinks.

Marshal Dalton: Federal Marshal. Assigned toDeadwood to insure that there is no unlawful activity at the poker tournament. With outlaw rule becoming the way of the west these days, it is time the federal government put some order into place.

Sally Starr: Saloon girl. Sally has a great allegiance to both Harry and Henrietta High-Stakes and wants to see the saloon thrive at all costs.

Taffy Garrett: Saloon girl.
Taffy is the eyes and ears of the saloon, someone who might know a little too much about what is about to go down.

Billy-the-Bartender: The saloon bartender and bookkeeper. Billy knows the saloon life from every side of the coin. Literally.

Jesse Wales: An outlaw and old comrade of Harry's. Is Jesse here to meet up with old acquaintances or is this purely a business trip?

Black Barbara: Outlaw. Barbara's been in town all week and no one knows quite why.

More Tidbits about the Wild West You May Want to Know...

WHAT SALOONS SERVED:
In those hard scrabble days, the whiskey served in many of the saloons was some pretty wicked stuff made with raw alcohol, burnt sugar and a little chewing tobacco. No wonder it took on such names as Tanglefoot, Forty-Rod, Tarantula Juice, Taos Lightning, Red Eye, and Coffin Varnish.

Also popular was Cactus Wine, made from a mix of tequila and peyote tea, and Mule Skinner, made with whiskey and blackberry liquor. The house rotgot was often 100 proof, though it was sometimes cut by the barkeep with turpentine, ammonia, gun powder or cayenne.

The most popular term for the libation served in saloons was Firewater, which originated when early traders were selling whiskey to the Indians. To convince the Indians of the high alcohol content, the peddlers would pour some of the liquor on the fire, as the Indians watched the fire begin to blaze.

But the majority of western saloon regulars drank straight liquor -- rye or bourbon. If a man ordered a "fancy" cocktail or "sipped" at his drink, he was often ridiculed unless he was "known" or already had a proven reputation as a "tough guy." Unknowns, especially foreigners who often nursed their drinks, were sometimes forced to swallow a fifth of 100 proof at gunpoint "for his own good."




SALOON GIRLS:
The saloon or dance-hall girl's job was to brighten the evenings of lonely men starved for female companionship. Contrary to what many might think, the saloon girl was not a prostitute. Their job was to entertain the guests, sing for them, dance with them, talk to them and perhaps flirt with them a bit – inducing them to remain in the bar, buying drinks and patronizing the games.
  
Most girls were refugees from farms or mills, lured by posters and handbills advertising high wages, easy work, and fine clothing. Many were widows or needy women of good morals, forced to earn a living in an era that offered few means for women to do so.

Earning as much as $10 per week, most saloon girls also made a commission from the drinks that they sold. Whiskey sold to the customer was marked up 30-60% over its wholesale price. Commonly drinks bought for the girls would only be cold tea or colored sugar water served in a shot glass; however, the customer was charged the full price of whiskey, which could range from ten to seventy-five cents a shot.

In most places the proprieties of treating the saloon girls as ladies were strictly observed, as much because Western men tended to revere all women, as because the women or the saloon keeper demanded it. Any man who mistreated these women would quickly become a social outcast, and if he insulted one he would very likely be killed.

While they might have been scorned by the "proper" ladies, the saloon girl could count on respect from the males. And as for the "respectable women”, the saloon girls were rarely interested in the opinions of the drab, hard-working women who set themselves up to judge them. In fact, they were hard pressed to understand why those women didn’t have sense enough to avoid working themselves to death by having babies, tending animals, and helping their husbands try to bring in a crop or tend the cattle.

In the early California Gold Rush of 1849, dance halls began to appear and spread throughout the boomtowns. While these saloons usually offered games of chance, their chief attraction was dancing. The customer generally paid 75¢ to $1.00 for a ticket to dance, with the proceeds being split between the dance hall girl and the saloon owner. After the dance, the girl would steer the gentleman to the bar, where she would make an additional commission from the sale of a drink.

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