John Scarne has been called a wizard of cards. His book, Scarne On Cards, is both a rulebook and a detailed instruction manual for card cheats.

His instructions on cheating are for the sole purpose of helping the innocent spot cheaters, and avoid fleecing at the hands of the dishonest. James Bond uses this book in Moonraker as a reference.

Here are some of the methods of cheating outlined:

  • Check cop: This is the brand name of a light adhesive, used for lifting chips out of the pot.
  • Belly Strippers: This is a method of marking cards by shaving down the sides of an entire deck, but leaving a slight curve or belly on the cards you wish marked, typically the aces.
  • Dealing Seconds: Holding back the top card on a deal. This is only useful if you know what the top card is, of course...
  • Shiners: Any reflective surface used to see the cards on the deal. In Moonraker it is a polished cigarette case. Bond spots it because it lays on the table, but Drax smokes out of a pack in his pocket.
  • Pull-through: Shuffling without mixing the cards, riffling but not pushing the deck back together.
  • Signals: It's obvious, of course, but what Scarne does is identify how to tell when people are using signals.

Besides a reference on cheating, this is also a very good rules reference for Rummy, Gin Rummy, Pinochle, Poker, Blackjack, Cribbage, and others -- nearly any game played with standard cards, with the exception of Bridge.

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