Question

English Learner's Question: "roll 'em"?

Could you help me understand the following passage?

"This is a poker game, ma'am," the dealer said to her, quietly.

"I know, I know," Her Majesty said with a trace of testiness. "Roll

'em."

The dealer stared at her popeyed. Next to her, the gentleman in the

cowboy outfit turned. "Ma'am, are you from around these parts?" he said.

I don't understand why the dealer stared at her Majesty "popeyed." I guess "roll them" means something like "let's start the game" but is this a vulgar expression? Is that why the dealer was surprised? I appreciate any comments and thank you in advance.

Answers

"Roll 'em" = "Roll them" - which is what people say to the person who rolls the dice in a different casino game, Craps. Saying it to the dealer for poker, a card game, shows Her Majesty doesn't understand what's going on. So the dealer is surprised and baffled ("popeyed") and the gentleman next to her is suggesting she may be unfamiliar with how things are done here.

#1

My guess is the dealer was shocked that Her Majesty wanted to play poker and came at it with such a slang term as roll'em.

#2

'roll 'em' refers to casting the dice in roulette. So it was an inappropriate reference and shows that Her Majesty had done some research but not carefully as she was referring to the wrong gambling game. The Dealer would have been very surprised to hear such terms anyway from the queen

#3

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