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John Scarne

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John Scarne

Inside cover of Scarne on Card Tricks (1950)
BornOrlando Carmelo Scarnecchia
March 04, 1903
Steubenville, Ohio
DiedJuly 07, 1985 (age 82)
North Bergen, New Jersey
CategoriesBooks by John Scarne

John Scarne (b.1903–d.1985) was an American magician and book author who was particularly adept at playing card manipulation. He became known as an expert on cards and other games, and authored a number of popular books on cards, gambling, and related topics.


Born Orlando Carmelo Scarnecchia March 4, 1903 in Steubenville, Ohio, he moved to Fairview, New Jersey as a child.

He wrote 15 books on magic, gambling and games. He served as a technical advisor in the 1973 motion picture, "The Sting" and doubled for actor Paul Newman's hands during scenes that involved card manipulations and deck switching.

Scarne traveled throughout the military during World War II, teaching the soldiers how to keep from getting cheated at card and dice games.

He died July 7, 1985 in North Bergen, New Jersey.



Games and Gambling


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  • Brief Biography at The Magic Nook
  • Sid Lorraine Files Folder, 13A, n.d. The Saturday Evening Post, March 18, 1944, Scourge of the Sharpers, by Maurice Zolotow, page 24
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 45, No. 9, November 1946, Scarne – Man About Cards, by Audley V. Walsh, page 272
  • Goodliffe's Abracadabra, Vol. 7, No. 178, June 1949, American Profiles, by Robert Lund – John Scarne, page 344
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 31, No. 2, April 1951, The New York Mid-Century Parade, by Eddie Clever – John Scarne, page 75
  • Cover, The Gen, Vol. 8, No. 7, July 1952, Front Page Personality, John Scarne, page 85
  • David Ben Gambling Articles, n.d., The Star Weekly MAGAZINE, June 22, 1957, page 8, (JOHN SCARNE can deal four aces to himself...)
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 58, No. 3, July 1978, John Scarne Salute, page 96
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 49, No. 3, September 1885, Obituaries, John Scarne, page 182
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Scarne, John USA Zauberkünstler (*1903 Steubenville, Ohio), page 296