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Portland Club, Stratford place, is at present limited to 250 members, paying an entrance fee of £21, and an annual subscription of £7 7s. Election by ballot. Twenty members, at least, must vote to make the ballot decisive. If to every ten votes “For” the admission of the candidate, there be one “Against” it, he is not elected into the club. The only games permitted to be played in the club house are whist, piquet, tredille, ecarte, chess, and billiards. The points at whist are not to exceed £1, but members may form their table at such other points as they please under this limit. A member is not obliged to bet when he cuts in. The first four members who come into the card-room have a right to play the first rubber at whist. Six members constitute a full table. A member who has not played has a prior right to one who has played at another table.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879