Wednesday, January 13, 2016



bouil•lotte [boo-yot]

noun [boo-yot]

1.  an 18th century gambling card game that was so popular in France that a special table was created for play. Based on Brelan, it is regarded as one of the games that influenced open-card stud variation in poker.

< French bouillotte card game, equivalent to bouill (ir) to boil + -otte noun suffix

"La Bouillotte 1798" by Jean Francois Bosio

The gambling game Bouillotte was introduced during the French Revolution as a regulated form of a popular card game known as Brelan, which had been played since the 1600s. The standard game included four players using a piquet pack (20-card pack) by removing the sevens, tens and Jacks, with the cards in each suit ranking from high to low A-K-Q-9-8. The best hand was a brelan carré, being four of a kind made with the aid of a turned card, followed by a simple brelan or three of a kind. When no one had three of a kind, the winning hand was that with the highest card of the suit of which post points were in play. See rules here.

"Le Suprême Bon Ton No. 4"  

Bouillotte, said to be one of the card games that led to the development of poker, became such a favorite past time that drawing rooms or card rooms had to accommodate the needs and comforts of the players. Playing became so en vogue during the reign of Louis XVI that special tables (and lamps) of the same name were created specifically for the game. Although neither the table nor the lamp were required to play the game, both were created to meet the needs of the popular card game.

Lolo French Antiques et More
Item #LFALO948
French Louis XVI Style Marble Top Bouillotte Table

The small marble topped card tables, created in the Louis XVI neoclassical style, were often made of mahogany and raised on four tapering legs ending in sabots or fitted with casters. They were usually round, having a pierced brass or bronze gallery that made it possible to place a bouchon (felt-like cover) securely on top of the marble when the table was being used for the game. 

Lolo French Antiques et More
Item #LFALO950
French Louis XVI Style Mahogany Bouillotte Table

Below the marble top was a paneled frieze typically fitted with two drawers and two tirettes (pull-out utility slides). Chips were used as wagers during the game and the raised gallery helped keep the playing pieces on the table. The felt cover was removed to reveal the marble top when the game wasn't being played, and the table functioned as a side table or server.

Embossed leather tirettes

Today, bouillotte tables mix wonderfully with both traditional and modern decors and continue to function perfectly as side or end tables.

À Bientôt!

Lolo & Mimi


  1. Bravo pour l'historique de la table "bouillotte"
    Very interesting I had forgotten it
    Many kisses

  2. Bravo for your historic comment
    Mimi is a champion girl I Had forgotten the store about the table "bouillotte" Many kisses from Cannes

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm sorry to reply so late but I just saw your comment. I hope to get back to blogging more regularly very soon and hope you will follow us!