Friday, June 25, 2010

CARDSHARK Online Blog Archive 2009 Book

Technically speaking, this blog has been around since October 2005. But I wasn't really making any serious posts until August 2009. So, the year 2009 was definitely an important turning point for this blog. There were 59 posts between August and the end of the year.

The entire 2009 blog archive is now available in a book format and can be purchased through the CARDSHARK Online BookStore. The book is available in two editions, color and black & white (the black & white edition is substantially cheaper).

I ordered two of the books for myself and I am very pleased with the quality. So, there will definitely be more books in the future. As for this one, I am including the Preface from the book, as it explains my reasons for putting this blog in print as well as my thinking behind publishing Print On Demand books, in general.

Electronic media and online publishing have changed the way we live. But every innovation has its drawbacks. When it comes to electronic media the obvious drawback is durability.

History shows that records survive only in certain forms. The paintings on the cave walls in Lascaux, France, have survived some 32,000 years. Egyptian hieroglyphs are still here. Stone carvings and oil paintings have a good chance to survive. And of course books, newspapers and other print media have a good chance to be preserved by generations to come. But whatever our ancestors may have been drawing in the sand is long gone. And electronic media is pretty much like that. Even if the actual media survives, there may not be a way to access the files because of compatibility issues with future software and hardware. So, the most logical thing to do with all of that virtual media is to print it all. There goes our rain forest.

Whatever the environmental issues may be, I've decided to offer a printed version of my blog. After all, it all took a lot of work and I don't want to leave it all in cyberspace. If I make a drawing in the sand and I really like it, I think I'm entitled to make a picture of it. So, as far as my blog goes I thin it's a good idea to do a yearly archive in a book format. The good news for the environment is that those are all POD (Print On Demand) books, so we don't have to worry about cutting any trees for books that no one may never even buy.

At the time of this writing by blog can be accessed through and it is really an extension of my main site CARDSHARK Online, which is hosted at My site was launched in December 1999 and to this day remains the leading internet resource for card cheating and crooked gambling in general. My blog first appeared in October 2005, but I have not really started blogging until August 2009, with the blog post titled SHARPS and FLATS: the Secrets of the Cardsharps, now online, which appears in this book as the first post. I've decided to exclude all the earlier blog posts from this book, since they were not really good posts and they don't even fall into the year 2009.

The text in this book appears exactly as it appears on the blog. I've decided not to edit anything in or out. I basically realized that I'd get paid the same whether or not I spent any time editing the text. So, my practical senses told me that my time would be better spent elsewhere. Plus, I think editing would be totally missing the point of this book, which is to preserve the blog as I originally wrote it.

I was also considering to perhaps do some annotations. But then the same thought entered my mind, once again; i.e. I'd get paid the same, one way or another. There's also a small technicality issue. Annotations are done when one adds text to a book that had originally been written by another author. But when you annotate your own work you are not annotating, you are editing. And I've already concluded that I'd stay away from editing. So, I thought to myself, to hell with all that extra work and let's just do a copy and paste job and get it over with.

So, allow me to present to you: the printed version of the 2009 CARDSHARK Online Blog archive.

So, that's it. I hope some of the readers of this blog will purchase a copy of this book.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tutorials for the Two Shoe

Some of you already know that I am currently writing a book on the subject of two shoes. The book keeps expanding as I work on it, which is why I haven't finished it yet, but I'm happy to say that some of the main chapters are already done.

One of the main chapters has two tutorials on second dealing from the two shoe. So, I copied a big chunk out of that chapter and published two tutorials on CARDSHARK Online, in the tutorials chapter.

You will have to have an active membership account to view these two tutorials, though. So, if you don't have one yet it will cost you $5.95 per year to get it. Trust me, you'll hardly notice you ever spent that money. And just imagine what pleasure you'll have from having your own membership account on my site.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Original Rough & Smooth Playing Cards

Readers of this blog should be aware by now that I am a big fan of the rough-and-smooth dealing shoe. This is a gaffed dealing shoe that is very similar to the prism shoe, except that there is no actual prism that enables peeking. So, instead of peeking the dealer must use marked cards to identify the top card. The most popular marking system in use, for this purpose, is rough-and-smooth.

In a nutshell, rough-and-smooth cards are basically sorts. This means that the deck consists of playing cards combined from two different sources. Some of the cards have a smooth finish and some have the more popular cambric (or "rough") finish.

The cards that were used originally for this purpose were the popular Bee cards. But Bee cards always come in cambric finish, so where does one find "smooth" Bee cards?

At one point the US Playing Card Company actually produced some standard Bee cards with smooth finish. I am not sure if this was intentional or if the cards were basically factory rejects that ended up in the stores, but whatever the case, one can no longer find any smooth Bee cards.

I am fortunate enough to have one smooth Bee deck in my collection. I've actually had it for a while, but I never opened the box, until just recently. For all I knew, the box may have contained regular cambric finish cards (the box is actually labeled "CAMBRIC FINISH" and as far as I know there never were any boxes labeled "SMOOTH FINISH"). So, here's a picture of an original smooth Bee deck.

I opened this box because I am currently writing a book, titled Manual for the Bustout Dealer - The Two Shoe, and I wanted to have some photos showing the original smooth Bee cards. The photo above doesn't really show the smooth finish, so here's a close-up shot of a smooth Bee card next to a regular one.

My upcoming book will have a more detailed description of these cards, and how they may be used, but this is just a sneak preview.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Another Postcard With a Card Cheat

Readers of this blog may have noticed that there haven't been any posts in almost three weeks. The truth is, I just haven't had any time to do it, because of some other priorities. In fact, I still have no time, but to keep this blog live I still think I should post something. So, this one will be very short, and, let's say, mostly pictorial.

Here are a couple of images showing the front and back of another postcard I recently picked up on eBay. Since a picture says a thousand words, I guess there's nothing more I can add, except perhaps the price, which was $6.99, plus $2.22 for shipping.