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Talking of Exhuming Some Antiquated Moss-covered Ruses, Erdnase and his “Roughed Cards”, is something that has puzzled me for years but I may have found something about it.
Any one heard of the “The Odd Card” - an old artifice used in the game of Farrow.

Also another artifice from the Farrow table is a thing called “Tie Ups” which is a strange but interesting thing.

I found both in an old book and just to test you guys, what book is it they are from. Here is a clue;

“Nothing in the line of card-sharping is so difficult as playing the odd card, and it will not answer for a bungler to attempt it upon any except the most verdant fools. It requires long practice and great patience to be a skillful manipulator of this branch of the business. Sharpers who have attained the highest
degree of excellence in this respect have in the end been frequently detected in playing it upon their customers.”



Whit Haydn would have got it, but it looks like I have to tell you as he is not about.

Author: O'Connor, John.

Title: Wanderings of a vagabond. An autobiography. Ed. by John Morris [pseud.]
Publication date: [1873]

It is a cool read a bit like Erdnase without the moves:

“The brotherhood is numerous and varied. But the individual to whom we wish to introduce our reader is the sharper who lives under the cloak of the gambler. To chance money on an equal hazard is not only repugnant to his principles and constitution,
but in direct violation of his conscience. As he seldom possesses any skill in playing short card games, he does not waste his time nor risk his money on such follies, except when he chances to find a verdant adversary whom he can cheat. His stock in trade is two-card boxes and gorgeously furnished apartments. The bare thought of banking a 28-numbered roulette wheel, or a chuck-luck box, unless the former is worked with a trigger, and
the latter in the hands of a No. 1 dice-cogger, makes him turn pale and clutch his pockets tighter. If one of his tribe ever dealt a square banking game of chance he has deluded some unfortunate individual into staking him. Not a farthing of his own money goes that way. He would consider it most culpably wasted. He will sometimes play against faro, which has often impoverished him; for but a short time, however. With his twocard box he reaps from the crop of fools that spring up yearly, which presently sets him again on a sound pecuniary footing, and he flourishes like a green bay tree until his penchant for " fighting the tiger " again overtakes him. But the more sapient sharper knows the value of his money, like the persecuted Jew, and is better posted than to lavish it against faro-banks, or to waste it in luxurious living, unless by so doing he can increase it a hundred fold. Ability and wealth make their distinctions among this community, as among more honest people; therefore, in endeavoring to describe them, I shall place them in two orders, the proprietors of first and second-class " skinning-houses."

Anyway you can read the full book on line here:


If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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