A favourite round game of cards, which enabled gentlemen to let the ladies win small stakes. Five cards are dealt to each player, and three heaps formed—one for the king, one for play, and the third for Triolet. The name of the game was la bête (beast). Angel was the stake. Thus we say, Shilling-whist.
“This gentleman offers to play at Angel-beast, though he scarce knows the cards.” —Mulberry Garden.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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