The titles in the "Dogs Playing Poker" series proper are:
A Bold Bluff (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Stands Pat on Nothing)
A Friend in Need
His Station and Four Aces
Pinched with Four Aces
Sitting up with a Sick Friend
Stranger in Camp
Waterloo (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Wins on a Bluff)
Ten Miles to a Garage
Riding the Goat
New Year's Eve in Dogville
One to Tie Two to Win
Breach of Promise Suit
A Bachelor's Dog
These were followed in 1910 by a similar painting, Looks Like Four of a Kind. Some of the compositions in the series are modeled on paintings of human card-players by such artists as Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour, and Paul Cézanne.
On February 15, 2005, the originals of A Bold Bluff and Waterloo were auctioned as a pair to an undisclosed buyer for US $590,400. The previous top price for a Coolidge was $74,000.
There is a subtle humorous quality and emotional depth to the paintings based on the following:
Dogs have extremely complex emotions and try to “act” cool/excited/sad/upset, which is betrayed by their inability to control certain other physical cues that “give away their hand” so to speak. For example, if a dog was playing poker and got a good hand, he’d put on "a poker face" like nothing happened, but then you’d see it salivating, ears perking or tail wagging uncontrollably.
Only dog owners or those with significant experience with canines can really understand canine behavior and the range and complexity of emotions they display, which gives the series a more personal connection and adds an emotional layer of depth.
Subtle humor also exists in the fact that dogs do not have opposable thumbs, which prevents them from actually being able to play poker. Such an overlooked evolutionary characteristic in the piece is another critical element to the series