Sharps and Flats: The Secrets of Cheating
home introduction book content links advertising contact


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










Bookmark and Share

ALTHOUGH, in the course of our previous wanderings among what may be aptly described as 'The Groves of Blarney,' we have already encountered many examples of the various preparations used by the dwellers therein to add new beauties to their everyday requisites, there still remain some to be investigated. These philosophers, in searching for their form of the universal 'alkahest,' which turns everything they touch to gold, have contrived to learn many things, besides those we have already looked into. It behoves us, therefore, to follow in their footsteps as far as may be; and, before finally quitting the subject of playing-cards, to complete our information respecting these beautiful and to the sharp useful appliances.

We have seen how much may be accomplished by means of judicious preparation of the cards. That is not a discovery which can be ascribed to the present generation of sinners, or the last, or the one before that. No man can say when preparation was first 'on the cards.' Some of the devices contained in this chapter are as old as the hills; others are of a more recent date; but, old or new, this book would be incomplete without some description of them. The very oldest are sometimes used even now, in out-of-the-way corners of the world, and among people who are possessors of that ignorance of sharping which is not bliss, at least if they happen to be gamblers.

One of the oldest methods of preparing cards for the purposes of cheating was by cutting them to various shapes and sizes. That this plan is still adopted the reader already knows. We have now to consider the means whereby the sharp is enabled to alter the form of the cards in any way he pleases, with neatness and accuracy.

Bookmark and Share


« ...faro (cheating against faro banks) prepared cards (stripper plate) »

home | introduction | book content | links | advertising | contact