Reading the diary of a doctor in Canada, 1845-46, often refers to "having a rubber" at the end of the day which seems like a nightcap. Does anyone know why the word rubber is used?
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Given the date my money would be on its referring to a rubber of whist, though bridge, cribbage, even backgammon are mentioned in the usage examples for this sense in the OED. It means an odd-numbered series of games, of which the winner of the majority of individual games is the overall winner.