Sharps and Flats: The Secrets of Cheating
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foreword to the online edition


I. introductory

II. common sharpers and their tricks

III. marked cards and the manner of their employment

IV. reflectors

V. holdouts

VI. manipulation

VII. collusion and conspiracy

VIII. the game of faro

IX. prepared cards

X. dice

XI. high ball poker

XII. roulette and allied games

XIII. sporting houses

XIV. sharps and flats




An Exposure of the Secrets of Cheating
at Games of Chance and Skill


A Classic of Gambling Literature


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The original book Sharps and Flats does not have a foreword. This foreword was added here, to this online edition, for the benefit of our readers.

Sharps and Flats is one of the most important gambling books of the late 19th century. It became an instant classic on the day of its publication and remains a much desired item for collectors of antique gambling paraphernalia, especially for collectors of crooked gambling with an interest for card cheating. Although this work was intended to expose various gambling scams, for the purpose of educating gamblers and card players, for their own protection, this book was undoubtedly used by card cheats looking for information.

The most famous illustration in the book Sharps and Flats is a plate entitled The Detection of Kepplinger. This illustration appears at the front of the book, right next to the title page.

PJ Kepplinger: crooked gambler, card cheat, poker player
The Detection of Kepplinger

We hope you will enjoy reading this classic of gambling literature.

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