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Mechanics Tomes

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Qlancy, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. What are some good books on cheating? not including Erdnase.
  2. There are hundreds of books which might fit that bill, so maybe you could narrow it down a bit. Are you looking for sources to learn moves or are you looking for more historical stuff? Are you specifically interested in cards?

    Having said that, whatever your specific areas of interest, Steve Forte's books Casino Game Protection and Poker Protection are pretty much guaranteed to have something for you.
  3. Both moves and history. Mostly card stuff, but im interested in learning about check/chip stealing aswell
  4. OK, here are a few good ones of my acquaintance (in no particular order, just as they came to mind):

    Sharps and Flats by John Nevil Maskelyne
    Cheating at Bridge by Judson J Cameron
    Card Sharping Detected and Exposed by Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin
    Phantoms of the Card Table by David Britland and Gazzo
    Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck by Ricky Jay
    The Magician and the Cardsharp by Karl Johnson
    Fools of Fortune by John Philip Quinn
    Gambling and Gambling Devices by John Philip Quinn
    Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi by George H Devol
    Koschitz's Manual of Useful Information by Koschitz (?)
    Poker by Theo Hardison
    How Gamblers Win by Gerritt M Evans

    As I said, though, the best overall resources are Steve Forte's books. When you've worked through those, the bibliographies will open up a wealth of other books. One thing that should be noted is that, in a lot of cases, we're dealing with works of historical interest but not necessarily ones which are technically or factually beyond reproach. The world of advantage play is, by its very nature, shrouded in secrecy and misinformation so its important to read all the works in their historical context and not necessarily take all their claims at face value.

    On a similar subject, on the Revelations DVDs, in the context of talking about false deals, Dai Vernon mentions a book called Cheating at Poker. If anyone can shed light on what this book is, I'd be very grateful.
  5. JasonEngland

    JasonEngland theory11 artist / card mechanic


    Vernon was almost certainly talking about Poker to Win by Al Smith. Charlie Miller wrote an introduction to the Gambler's Book Club edition of this book. Vernon and Charlie were very close as you know. I'd bet anything that Vernon simply misquoted the title.

  6. Thanks Jason! Although I'm not sure that Poker to Win quite fits the bill of the specific book I'm looking for. Vernon mentions the book in the context of talking about "the biggest lie ever told" about the second deal: the book in question apparently teaches that it's essential to get a microscopically tiny brief. He goes on to say the book also says a bottom deal can be learned in an impossibly short length of time. Having just had a flick through Poker to Win, I don't think the descriptions of the bottom and second deals marry up with that description. Still, it could well be that Vernon was conflating a couple of books together in his description.

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