New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, [ca. 1880]. 114,pp. including illustrations. 12mo. Original half cloth and pictorial yellow paper boards. Edges rubbed, back board lightly soiled. Mild toning. Internally very clean. Very good. Item #WRCAM50476
Jonathan H. Green, "the reformed gambler," is the most important figure in the early literature of American gambling. A famed gambler in his youth, he was known for his talents from Texas to Boston and all points in between. He abandoned gambling just shy of age thirty and became an advocate against it, seeking to expose the tricks of the trade. Here he offers the inside scoop on games such as Dog Loo (played on the Red River), Whist, Thimbles (or cups), Poker, and Euchre, and on techniques such as palming, lapping, forcing cards, shuffling, cutting, dealing, stocking the pack, and cogging dice. Many other interesting subjects are also discussed, including horse racing and nailing a card to a wall by a pistol shot. Green adds numerous tales of personal experience, and the illustrations offer the reader the ability to recognize common sleights of hand. By offering detailed information on how to recognize gamblers' tricks, Green is also providing an advanced tutorial for the aspiring gambler or cheat. The copyright date on the verso of the titlepage appears to read 1850 (the first year of publication), but the worn type throughout, as well as the other titles advertised as available by Dick and Fitzgerald, indicates this edition was likely produced around 1880. In any edition, a rare and significant work. TOOLE-STOTT 324.