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
Another very efficient form of reflector is one so constructed
as to be adaptable to the interior of a pipe-bowl. It consists of
a small convex mirror, similar to the one used in the table reflector,
which is cemented to a piece of cork shaped to fit inside the bowl
of an ordinary briarroot pipe (fig. 21).
Such a device is more adapted to the requirements of the second
or third-rate sharper, as it would not be available in a circle
of cigarette-smoking 'Johnnies.' It is used in the following manner.
The 'shiner' is carried separately from the pipe, and held until
required in the palm of the hand, with the cork downwards. The sharp
having finished his pipe, stoops down to knock out the ashes, upon
any convenient spot. As the hand is again brought up to the level
of the table, the glass is pressed into the bowl of the pipe with
the thumb. The pipe is then laid upon the table, with the bowl facing
towards its owner, a little to the left of where he is sitting.
In this position the mirror is visible to no one but the sharp himself.
He is therefore at liberty to make the freest use of it without
exciting suspicion in the least.
Fig. 22 is a photograph of pipe and mirror in situ, which will
give a far better idea of the convenience of this arrangement than
any amount of explanation could possibly enable the reader to form.
The card which is seen reflected in miniature was held at a distance
from the mirror of about six inches.
Needless to say that the pipe shiner belongs in a museum, along with the snuff-box reflector that Maskelyne mentions above.
Smoking in general is less popular than it used to be and most poker games today don't tolerate smokers. But for smokers that are still allowed
to light up at the poker table there are still a few options available, such as a cigarette shiner (or cigar shiner). That is a small mirror
attached to a nail, similar in appearance to a thumbtack, that is simply attached to the rear of a cigarette or cigar. A cigarette lighter
is also another option for the smokers.