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How to Cheat at Everything: A Con Man Reveals the Secrets of the Esoteric Trade of Cheating, Scams, and Hustles Paperback – January 1, 2007


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How to Cheat at Everything: A Con Man Reveals the Secrets of the Esoteric Trade of Cheating, Scams, and Hustles + The Modern Con Man: How to Get Something for Nothing + The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560259736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560259732
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

From magician and reformed con-man Lovell comes this seemingly comprehensive guide to cheating with props, cards, numbers, coins, telephones, sleight of hand, dice, and more. The book is written with an impish grin (hey, we all know you wouldn't do this stuff, but here's how to do it, just hypothetically) and features dozens of hustles that anyone can perform, with a little practice. Most depend on a simple trick--when you bet that a tossed paper match will land on its edge, the trick is to bend the match in the middle first--but there are some that depend on elegance of execution, or on selling the mark a story (like "work at home" schemes or e-mails offering to enhance parts of the anatomy). For those who are willing to accept the larcenous premise, this is a thoroughly fascinating and even charming book, chock-full of fun and adventure. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Simon Lovell is a magician, former con man, and professional card cheat. Currently he stars in the one-man Off-Broadway show Strange and Unusual Hobbies. He is the author of seventeen books, has produced 14 videos and 5 DVDs on the subject of cheating, and has lectured to both police and casino operatives on the subject of cheating. For more information, visit his web site, www.simonlovell.com.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Keyser Soze on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
If the cons had just been spelled out for us the way John Scarne would have spelled them out, I'd have given this book four stars at a minimum and possibly five. However, the cons are condescendingly told through the annoying fictional persona of "Freddy the Fox," who is 73, lives in NYC with his cat Boris and his ferret Armageddon, speaks seven languages fluently, is learning Japanese, and so on. These Freddy stories, which are not amusing or useful in any way, add nothing to the book but length and make it twice as long as it should be. By the time you get to the end of the book, should you make it that far without tearing your hair out, you're told (as if you needed to be) that Freddy is a creation based on several people, and you're left wondering how the author could have possibly thought he picked anything but the most annoying way possible to explain things.

The book wastes very little time getting on the reader's nerves, even before the author introduces us to Freddy the Fake. Indeed, on page xxv we're screamed at at twice, in caps, to buy the book without browsing any further. "Don't read any more, BUY IT NOW!" It was that and the next two equally annoying sentences that motivated me to wait until it was available in the local library and not buy it at all.

Once I checked the book out from the library, I was repeatedly reminded what a good decision it was not to buy it. While the info in the book is superb when you can find it, there's so much useless fictional Freddy schlock one has to read just to get to the useful parts that I was quick to understand why they didn't want you to read past the introduction before buying it.

Never before have I seen a book with so much useful and interesting information that was such an agonizing chore to read. I give it 4.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Lance on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Covers a HUGE array of cons/cheats...from bar bets that are a sure thing (for you) to cheating at cards to criminal scams going on today. Detailed descriptions with occasional illustrations to help you understand. I'm giving it 5 stars because I loved it, and to help balance the one-star review from the guy below who didn't even read the book.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Glen M. Patashnick on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've made it about 70% through, and I'm very pleased. It's a broader study than The Big Con, and doesn't go into as much depth, but it hits the kind of thing the average person is more likely to see. One thing lacking is the pictures on such things as the false shuffles. I suppose you'd truly need high-speed video to really see what's happening, but more than one picture per shuffle would be a good start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kaazkoo on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I skipped some chapters; BUT! I was really impressed with the way Simon convey the con man’s mindset and walk us through the basic scams; street cons and bar bets. You want to learn how to; this book will.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RAYSOUTH on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are seeking a way to con your neighbor, you can find it here. Also possible to realize a few broken bones in this day and age. Suggest using caution when pulling some of the tricks in this book.

In society today, it may be best to be in great physical condition before you pull some of these stunts.

Most are just fun things to do and would certainly produce some good laughs.

Worthwhile reading, if for nothing more than learning what to be on the lookout for in life. A character that has the nerve to pull these stunts, would be a very interesting person to meet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By reader on August 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
And a lesson in how cons are put together. For all us potential victims, it just raises your awareness of how many ways there are tha these guys can rope you into doing something really dumb. Very entertaining and very informative. Great section on how to calculate the odds of a bet yourself: worth the price of the book just for this. Get it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike Harper on May 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was definitely a fun read, and the authors clearly know all about the con world. The only reason I can't give the book 5 stars is that some of the information is a little dated; is anyone actually scammed by chain letters these days? But you learn how a con artisit thinks, and the really interesting thing is that a con can be as simple as making a bet about something you know the answer to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Indian Burned on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
sort of the old fashioned parlor games version of scams.. as though people spend their lives in bars making bets with strangers.
I suspect this was written years ago
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