Tuesday 8 July 2014

The Difference between a Squib and a Puff

[probably to be taken with a pinch of salt, like all articles 'revealing' the true nature of the criminal underworld]

It appears by the Enquiry made by the Justices of the Peace for the City and Liberty of Westminster, that there are in the Parish of St. Paul's Covent-Garden twenty two Gaming Houses, some of which clear sometimes 100l. and seldom less than 40l. a Night.

The Gamesters have their proper Officers both Civil and Military, with Salaries proportionable to their respective Degrees, and the Importance they are of in the Service, viz.

A Commissioner or Commis, who is always a Proprietor of the Gaming Houses: He looks in once a Night, and the Week's Account is Audited by him and two other of the Proprietors.

A Director, who Superintends the Room.

The Operator, the Dealer at Faro.

Croupees, two who watch the Cards and gather the Money for the Bank.

A Puff, one who has Money given him to Play, in order to decoy others.

A Clerk, who is a Check upon the Puff, to see that he sinks none of that Money.

A Squib, who is a Puff of a lower Rank, and has half the salary of a Puff.

A Flasher, one who sits by to swear how often he has seen the bank stripped.

A Dunner, Waiters.

An Attorney or Solicitor.

A Captain, one who is to fight any Man that is peevish, or out of humour at the loss of his Money.

An Usher, who takes care that the Porter or Grenadier at the Door suffers none to come in but those he knows.

A Porter, who at most of the Gaming-Houses is a Soldier, hired for that purpose.

A Runner, to get Intelligence of all the Meetings of the Justices of the Peace, and when the Constables go upon the Search; his Fee half a Guinea.

Any Link-boy, Coachman, Chair-man, Drawer or other Person who gives notice of the Constables being up on search, has half a Guinea.

  1. Daily Journal, 11 January 1722

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