How did “passing the buck” originate?

January 16, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Poker

This expression, which means shifting responsibility, originated in the cardroom. In various card games a counter or marker is placed on the table before one of the players to remind him of his turn to deal. This marker, which is to prevent mistakes as to the position of the deal, is called the buck and is passed from player to player as the turn to deal goes around. In poker a marker is sometimes put into a jack pot, another jack pot being in order when the deal passes to the player having the buck. Thus to pass the buck to another player obligates the dealer to ante for another jack pot. From this circumstance to pass the buck came to mean to shift the responsibility to someone else.

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