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William James Florence

William James Florence

(July 26, 1831 – November 19, 1891)

William Jermyn Conlin better known by his stage name William J. Florence, was an actor, songwriter, and playwright. Florence was one of a select number of Americans to win the ribbon of the French Societe Histoire Dramatique. He was also co-founder with Walter M. Fleming of the Shriners, a Masonic Order. Florence was elected to The Lambs in 1877 or 1878. He was the fourth Shepherd of the club, serving from 1882-1884. He compiled The Handbook of Poker.

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William James Florence
The Handbook of Poker by William James Florence

Also titled The Gentlemen's Hand-book of Poker, it is an excellent introduction to the game of poker. It not only covers the rules and some advice on how to play, but it also has a short chapter on cheating, a decent chapter on probabilities, and ends with a number of fun poker stories.

The chapter on probabilities corrects some of what Steinmetz wrote in The Gaming Table Volume 2. The book ends with an anecdote about the compiler himself.

  • Preface
  • Draw Poker
    • Introduction
    • Origin Of The Game
    • The Game
    • The Stakes
    • The Ante
    • The Hands
    • Playing A Hand Pat
    • The Hands Illustrated
    • The Draw
    • The Draw To Two Pairs
    • The Draw...
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