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Sharps and Flats

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Sharps and Flats
Sharps and Flats.png
from google books
AuthorJohn Nevil Maskelyne
PublisherLongmans, Green and Co.
Publication Date1894

Sharps and Flats, subtitled A Complete Revelation of the Secrets of Cheating at Games of Chance and Skill, became an instant hit and is still considered to be a classic gambling book. "Sharps" referred to the cheaters and the "flats" as the cheated or the marks.

It was one of the first detailed books relating the secrets of the cardsharps. It included information about marked cards, holdouts, reflectors and manipulation. Along with cheating at the card table there is cheating with dice, cheating at Sporting houses and at Roulette.

The first edition of Sharps and Flats was published in London and New York. Later, when the book entered the public domain, the Gambler's Book Club, from Las Vegas, published the first reprint edition.


  • preface
  • I. introductory
  • II. common sharpers and their tricks
  • III. marked cards and the manner of their employment
  • IV. reflectors
  • V. holdouts
  • VI. manipulation
  • VII. collusion and conspiracy
  • VIII. the game of faro
  • IX. prepared cards
  • X. dice
  • XI. high ball poker
  • XII. roulette and allied games
  • XIII. sporting houses
  • XIV. sharps and flats
  • postscript


  • 1894 - 1st edition, Longmans, Green and Co., New York and London;
  • 1971 - Gamblers Book Club, Las Vegas


  • public domain - Copyright has expired for this book in the United States (and likely many other countries as well). One edition is available in its entirety on Google Books: Sharps and Flats (1894). The book is also available for PDF and EPUB download from the same location.
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