Even people outside of the poker world know about Dogs Playing Poker. Most think that there’s just one, but there are 18 paintings in the series. At first glance, it’s just a few dogs with chips and cards, but look closer. We’re about to peel back the layers of these American masterpieces and tell you things you didn’t know about Dogs Playing Poker.

The artist is Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, but it’s unlikely you’ve heard the name before. The paintings eventually became so famous that the creator’s name was an afterthought. He lived between 1844 and 1934 in New York (just like Eric Seidel), with a wife and daughter. Cassius’ daughter said that he liked dogs, while she and her mother preferred cats.

Art historians suggest that the series of paintings are a depiction of the upper class and their habits.

Out of the 18 pieces in the Dogs Playing Poker series:

  • 16 were commissioned works of art and 2 were uncommissioned
  • Only 9 paintings show dogs playing card games

Sixteen of the eighteen paintings in the Dogs Playing Poker series were commissioned by Brown & Bigelow in 1903. B&B was a publishing company that wanted to use the art for calendars and all sorts of promotions.

The painting that started it all was Poker Game, which Coolidge painted in 1894. We see four dogs of identical breeds sitting around a felt-covered table, drinking Old Saratoga whiskey. The dog beside the bottle holds four-of-a-kind aces and a queen kicker. The player in the middle of the painting looks on with ‌concern as if a large bet had been made.

The themes of cigars and alcohol are constant

Poker Game sold for $658,000 in 2015, the highest amount any of Coolidge’s work has ever sold for.

Brown & Bigelow published 16 of Coolidge’s paintings in the early 1900s. They used his lively and lighthearted work to promote cigars, calendars, prints, and other products. One-half of the founders, Herbert Bigelow, was once convicted for tax evasion and then pardoned by the 30th President of the United States.

Here are five great paintings of pooches playing poker in the B&B series:

1. Poker Sympathy – 1903

This one will put a smile on any poker player’s face. In the foreground, a bulldog looks toward us as four aces slide from the table. The unlucky pooch’s quad aces weren’t strong enough to beat the opponent's straight flush, and there were a lot of chips in the middle.

The bulldog thought four aces were unbeatable

2. A Bold Bluff – 1909

Cassius Coolidge knew how to give his characters personality. You can feel the tension in the room when you look at this painting, which was done sometime before 1909. The bluffing payer sits on the left, remaining still while the opponents stare at the large bet he made. Do you think the bluff worked? The next painting, Waterloo, is the sequel to A Bold Bluff.

Does a Saint Bernard have a good poker face?

3. Waterloo – 1909

The towering stack of chips worked and the bluff was a success. There’s laughter and anger around the table as the Saint Bernard rakes over a large pile of chips. Clearly, he knows how and when to bluff his opponents.

Anyone who likes to play Spot The Difference should take a closer look at Waterloo and A Bold Bluff.

The other dogs have mixed feelings about the bluff

4. A Friend In Need – 1903

In this painting, something’s not right. A cigar-puffing bulldog is making a move and passing an ace of clubs to a friend. They aren’t the only ones breaking the rules though; a few other dogs are peeking at their opponents’ cards.

Luckily, most players don’t pass cards around table

5. His Station And Four Aces – 1903

We see a tragic scene in this painting. The surprised pooch on the left has just picked up four aces, but it’s time for him to leave the train. It doesn’t help that he desperately wants to double up his small chip stack. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t look like his dreams of Vegas and The Mirage will come true on this train ride.

Bulldogs are a common subject in Coolidge’s paintings

Looks Like Four of a Kind in 1910 was the last painting in Coolidge’s series and reportedly wasn’t commissioned by anyone. By the time he finished it, Coolidge would have been around 65 years old.

Over his lifetime, Cassius Coolidge founded a bank and a newspaper business, but he’s best known for painting pooches doing human activities.

Какой вид покера предпочитаешь?

It wouldn’t be an understatement to call poker an art form; there’s a complexity and beauty to the game. If you’re not playing online poker yet, these poker sites are the best places to start.

Anyone who wants to try online poker should play at 888poker. They have one of the best bonuses in the industry, a lively selection of tournaments and cash games, plus a ton of freerolls every day. There are Texas hold ‘em, Omaha, and several other formats on the site. You can play with all of 888poker’s players, or create your club to compete with friends. To grab up to $88 in cash and tickets with the No Deposit Bonus, check out the GipsyTeam review and sign up.

There are so many styles of poker at 888poker

PokerStars is another site to check out if you want full tables, a range of games, and a Welcome Bonus. You won’t find any dogs to play poker with, but you can invite your friends to join your private club. Choose from free-play or real money and host your own cash games or tournaments. If you want to compete with the rest of the world, PokerStars has one of the best tournament schedules in the industry.

PokerStars is a great place to create your own club

Poker clubs let you be selective about who you play against. You can create your own clubs or find some to join. They’ve got games like hold ‘em and Omaha, plus short deck and OFC. Check out PPPoker, PokerBros, Upoker, and Suprema Poker reviews, right here.