foreword to the online edition
II. common sharpers and their tricks
III. marked cards and the manner
of their employment
VII. collusion and conspiracy
VIII. the game of faro
IX. prepared cards
XI. high ball poker
XII. roulette and allied games
XIII. sporting houses
XIV. sharps and flats
SHARPS AND FLATS
The Cuff Holdout
'Cuff Holdout. Weighs two ounces, and is a neat
invention to top the deck, to help a partner, or hold out a card
playing Stud Poker, also good to play the half stock in Seven
Up. This holdout works in shirt sleeves and holds the cards in
the same place as a cuff-pocket. There is no part of the holdout
in sight at any time. A man that has worked a pocket will appreciate
this invention. Price, by registered mail, $10,00.'
The cuff-pocket, above alluded to, was a very early invention.
As its name indicates, it was a pocket inside the coat sleeve, the
opening to which was situated n the under side at the seam joining
sleeve and cuff. In fig. 25 'a' denotes the opening of the pocket
In a game of poker it would be employed as follows. Whilst shuffling
the cards, the sharp would contrive to get three of a kind at the
top of the pack. He would then insert his little finger between
these three cards and the rest, the pack being in the left hand.
Then holding his hand in front of him he would reach across it with
the other, for the (apparently) simple purpose of laying down his
cigar, upon his extreme left, or if he were not smoking he might
lean over in the same manner to 'monkey with his chips' (i.e. to
arrange his counters). In this position the orifice of the pocket
would come level with the front end of the pack, the latter being
completely covered by his right arm. This would give him an opportunity
of pushing the three selected cards into the pocket, where they
would remain until he had dealt out all the cards and given off
all the 'draft' except his own. Still holding the pack in his left
hand, and his hand in front of him, he would again cross his right
hand over, this time for the purpose of taking up and examining
his own hand of cards, which he had taken the precaution of dealing
well to the left, to give him an excuse for crossing his hands.
He would then remove the cards from the cuff-pocket to the top of
the pack, and lay the whole down upon the table. His manúuvring
having been successful so far, he would now throw away three indifferent
cards from his hand and deliberately help himself to the three top
cards of the pack. These, of course, would be the three (aces for
preference) which he had previously had concealed in the pocket.
Thus, he is bound to have a 'full,' in any case. If he had been
so fortunate as to possess another ace among the cards which fell
to his hand on the deal, he would have a 'four'; which can only
be beaten when 'straights' are played by a 'straight flush' in other
words, a sequence of five cards, all of the same suit. His chances
of 'winning the pot,' then, are infinite as compared with those
of the other players.
The great disadvantage of the cuff-pocket was the difficulty of
removing the cards when once they had been put into it. To facilitate
their removal, therefore, the pocket was sometimes provided with
a slide, having a projecting stud, which could be drawn with the
finger. This would throw the cards out into the hand.
This description will serve to enlighten the reader as to the advantages to be gained by substituting the cuff holdout in place of the pocket
which it is intended to supplant. It fulfils its purpose in a much more perfect manner, being far easier to use, and requiring less skill
on the part of the operator.