Secrets of Cheating at Games of Chance and Skill

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You’ll find the following in Secrets of Cheating at Games of Chance and Skill:

CHAPTER I – INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER II – COMMON SHARPERS AND THEIR TRICKS
CHAPTER III – MARKED CARDS AND THE MANNER OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT
CHAPTER IV – REFLECTORS
CHAPTER V – HOLDOUTS
CHAPTER VI – MANIPULATION
CHAPTER VII – COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACY
CHAPTER VIII – THE GAME OF FARO
CHAPTER IX – PREPARED CARDS
CHAPTER X – DICE
CHAPTER XI – HIGH-BALL POKE
CHAPTER XII – ROULETTE AND ALLIED GAMES
CHAPTER XIII – SPORTING-HOUSES
CHAPTER XIV – SHARPS AND FLATS

In presenting the following pages to the public, I have had in view a very serious purpose. Here and there may be found a few words spoken in jest; but throughout my aim has been particularly earnest.

This book, in fact, tends to point a moral, and present a problem. The moral is obvious, the problem is ethical; which is, perhaps, only another way of saying something different.

In the realm of Ethics, the two men who exert, probably, the greatest influence upon the mass of humanity are the philosopher and the politician. Yet, strange to say, there would appear to be little that can be considered as common knowledge in either politics or philosophy. Every politician and every philosopher holds opinions which are diametrically opposed to those of some other politician or philosopher; and there never yet existed, apparently, either politician or philosopher who would admit even that his opponents were acquainted with the fact of two and two making four. So much, then, for dogmatism.

In the natural order of events, however, there must be things which even a politician can understand. Not many things, perhaps; but still some things. In like manner, there must be things which’ even a philosopher can not understand—and a great many things.

As an illustration, let us take the case of ‘sharping.’ Politician and philosopher alike are interested in the origin of crime, its development, and the means of its prevention. Now, even a politician can understand that a man, having in view the acquisition of unearned increment, may take to cheating as being a ready means of possessing himself of the property of others, with but little effort upon his own part. At the same time, I will venture to say that not even a philosopher can render any adequate reason for the fact that some men will devote an amount of energy, labour, perseverance and ingenuity to the gaining of a precarious living in the paths of chicanery, one-half of which, if directed into legitimate channels, would serve to place them in a position commanding both affluence and respect.

To my mind, the only hypothesis which in any way covers the facts of the case is that some men are born to crime. It is their destiny, and they are bound to fulfill it.

Whether this hypothesis represents the solution of the