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










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The Large Card

The simplest device connected with cards which have been trimmed is that known as the 'large card.' As its name implies, it is a card which is left slightly larger than the rest of the pack. All the others are trimmed down, either slightly narrower or shorter, or smaller altogether. This is a very primitive dodge, and one seldom resorted to, in the ordinary way, nowadays. Its object is to give the sharp either a ready means of forcing the cut at a given point in the pack, or of making the pass at that point, if the cut does not happen to be made in the right place. The cards being manipulated so as to arrange them according to some particular system, the large card is placed at the bottom, and then the pack is divided at about the middle, and the top half put underneath. The pack is straightened, and laid on the table to be cut. Not suspecting any trickery, it is almost certain that the dupe, in cutting, will seize hold of the large card, which is now in the centre of the pack, and cut at that point. This brings the cards again into the positions they occupied relatively at first. If the cut, however, should not happen to be made at the 'large,' the sharp has to make the pass, and bring that card once more to the bottom. No modern sharp of any standing would use such a palpable fraud, even among the most innocent of his dupes. It is a long way behind the times, and was out of date years ago.

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