Cattle towns in [[Texas]], [[Oklahoma]], [[Kansas]], and [[Nebraska]] became centers of gambling as well. Thanks to the [[railroad]] and cattle industries, a great number of people worked in and around these towns and had plenty of money to wager. , [[Dodge City]], [[Wichita, Kansas|]], [[Omaha]], and [[Kansas City, Missouri|]] all had an atmosphere that was convivial to gaming. Not surprisingly such an atmosphere also invited trouble and such towns also developed reputations as lawless and dangerous places.ref
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=== Race ===
Many nationalities and races were represented by frontier gamblers. Especially in California during the gold rush, prospectors came from all over the world in search of gold and naturally played games of chance. This included Mexicans, Chinese, Australians, and Peruvians. Anglo migrants to areas of the southwest with pre-established Mexican populations discovered gambling there waiting for them. Most towns had at least one or two salas, or, gambling houses.ref One of the most popular games, monte, originated in [[Mexico]] and was adopted and later modified into three card monte. The Chinese were avid gamblers who brought a variety of games with them to [[North America]], including [[Fan Tan]] and several different lottery variants. [[Chinatown]] in San Francisco contained a great number of gaming houses and was a popular destination for those seeking to play.ref=== Games ===
Gamblers preferred fast-paced games allowed them an opportunity to turn a profit quickly. [[Faro (card game)|]] was the most popular game of the time and was known as the king of all games. It was not the only game people played, and , [[Vingt-et-Un]] (twenty-one), [[roulette]], [[chuck-a-luck]] were all popular ways to take a risk. [[Poker]] was not initially popular because of its slow pace but gradually increased in popularity as time went on. Not all games required playing cards; dice games such as [[craps]] were common as were games involving a wheeled device, such as [[roulette]] or [[hazard]]. [[bar (establishment)|Saloons]] and gaming tables were not the only places to bet however, and westerners had a well-deserved reputation of being willing to bet on anything. [[Horse races]] became an enormously popular means of wagering, and foot races and boxing matches provided a similar opportunity. Fights between animals were popular as well, whether [[cockfighting]], dogfights, or even a panther vs. bear battle.ref
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The persistent presence of gambling in western mythology shows a strong association with the risk-taking and chance that were involved both in coming to the west and in everyday life there. In a sense, those who chose to leave their lives and come west were taking a huge gamble just to begin with. Gambling is also strongly associated with extralegal activity and to have that activity practiced so frequently suggests a popular association of the west with a state of lax legal and moral codes.
== Notable figures and places ==
*[[Wild Bill Hickok]]
*[[Deadwood, South Dakota|]]
*[[Kansas City, Missouri|]]== See also ==
*[[dead man's hand]]
*[[Faro (card game)|]]
*[[roulette]]== References ==
*Chafetz, Henry. Play the Devil: A History of Gambling in the U.S. from 1492 to 1958. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc, 1960.
*Cunningham, Gary L. "Gambling in the Kansas Cattle Towns: A Prominent Profession." Kansas History Vol. 5 Issue 1, pp 2–22.s