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Oh, this is great

Angela Buxton was born in 1934 in Liverpool to a Russian-Jewish couple whose families had fled persecution in the 1890s. Her father, Harry, a flamboyant would-be entrepreneur and small-time street trader, made a fortune when he and his brother developed a system for gambling on blackjack. Despite widespread derision, they pooled their meagre savings and travelled to the south of France, where they broke the bank. Harry bought a chain of cinemas around Manchester with the proceeds and gave his family all the privileges he had never had, sending his wife, Violet, with Angela, then six, and her brother to South Africa to escape the Blitz.

Presumably card counting but still lovely.

5 thoughts on “Oh, this is great”

  1. Did French casinos have blackjack tables in the 30s? The French casino game is baccarat.
    Would a Times teenage arts grad know the difference?

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    The origins of Blackjack is still under debate to this day. There is no clear consensus, but researchers agree that Blackjack probably originated in the French casinos around 1700. The French cards were called Vingt-et-Un, translated it means twenty-one.

    It turns up in the books and the films. But I am not sure if Bond plays it.

  3. Vingt-et-un? According to Wiki the 21 game from which they all descend was first noted by Cervantes. I guess in Monte Carlo it wasn’t called Blackjack at that time.

  4. @SMfS
    Bond plays baccarat in the Casino Royale novel. What he plays in the films, fcuk knows. Ian Fleming’s novels were bad enough. Save From Russia With Love, the films aren’t worth watching.
    From other reading, I get the impression the 21 point game was regarded as rather common at the time. Whether that reflects the inability of la haute société française to count above 10 without removing their shoes is possibly a myth.

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