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How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031234905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312349059
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jillette (the Penn of Penn & Teller) and his pseudonymous poker-cheating guru, Dickie, begin by saying that anyone who loves playing poker should "throw this book away." Readers will find no better advice. The dubious premise is that Dickie took Penn under his wing when Penn was 18, and as a favor, he has agreed to publish the card sharp's book. But calling the wit and wisdom of Dickie Richard sophomoric is far too kind. More accurate descriptions would be amoral ("Morality is what you make of it"), , scabrous and without redeeming social value. And the book is marred by obscenities, class insults and a machismo that would be comical if it weren't so vulgar ("If you are going to cheat, whip out your prick and cheat like a man"). If this was meant to be a joke, it's not funny. And if it's meant seriously, then the book itself is a cheat: when you're done with it, you still won't really know how to cheat at poker. (Oct. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

If you’re in the game, you’re either a fish or a shark. Rake it in at the next home poker game by learning the fine arts of:

--Marking Cards
--Bottom Dealing
--Rounding up a Game
--Using a Cold Deck
--Stashing Holdouts
--Palming a Shiner
--Cheat-Proofing Your Own Game


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

His lie doesn't involve his techniques for cheating with the cards.
L. E. Cantrell
There's nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't the book I thought it was going to be so I wanted to post a warning to make sure you knew what you were getting.
Charles Sumner
There are several very amusing anecdotes, but these are sort of lost by the end in all the bravado.
R. J. Van Hoose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Monton on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a hilarious book. As Penn Jillette explains at the beginning, Penn (ostensibly) met Dickie Richard when Penn was hitchhiking as a teenager, and Dickie taught Penn everything Dickie knew about how to cheat at cards. Penn himself isn't a card cheat, doesn't condone card cheating, and feels bad about publishing this book. But Penn owed Dickie a favor, and Dickie wanted his memoirs published, so Penn agreed. The memoirs were horribly written so Penn and his co-author rewrote them. The bulk of the book, then, is a first-person narrative from Dickie about how he cheats at poker.

Dickie explains that you could cheat in a casino, but it's too hard. Instead Dickie shows up in a town, makes "friends", and then plays poker with them, takes their money, and skips town. Dickie cheats any way he can -- from bottom dealing to marking cards to simply walking out the door with the cash box. Dickie's descriptions of what he does are amusing yet appalling -- he is a sociopath and an egomaniac, and yet he manages to be so entertaining, you can't help liking him (a bit).

Is Dickie a real person? I highly doubt it. As Penn tells us at the beginning, Dickie is a "fictional" character -- that's a big clue that you shouldn't take the narrative veridically. Does this book teach you how to cheat at poker? Kind of. It doesn't actually teach you how to bottom deal, for example, but Dickie correctly says that you can learn that from any standard magic book. It doesn't teach you a system to follow for marking cards, but Dickie correctly says that you wouldn't want to follow a standard system, since that would make your cheating easier to detect.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Casey on October 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to learn how to palm cards, uncut a deck, deal from the bottom, the second or any other part of the deck this book is not for you. In fact, in the first chapter the book cuts through those lessons by recommending you to purchase "Expert at the card table" by Erdnase to learn all those moves as "he can teach you better than I ever could.."

The book is basically stories about a card cheat and his experiences over thirty years and if it teaches anything its how to scam people for extra money when you are already an accomplished card cheat and how to find games and not get the life kicked out of you on a daily basis. Ok so after reading the book you aren't ready to go out and take on the world as a card cheat nor do you learn much more about poker. What you do get is a pretty entertaining read about the life of a card cheat and the situations they end up in. If you are looking for a factual "how to" guide then look elsewhere. If you are a poker fan and looking for an entertaining novel this is the book for you. Do I feel cheated ? Yes :) Its not what I paid for. Would I wipe the book from my memory for a refund? Probably not.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Charles Sumner on March 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Penn & Teller's other books, I was going to buy this, but in reading parts of it in a bookstore, I discovered that it's not the fun, clever, amusing book about tricks you could use to cheat at cards or even ways to have fun with your friends at a poker night.

This book is a dark and seedy account about the life of a professional (and possibly fictional) poker cheater. There's nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't the book I thought it was going to be so I wanted to post a warning to make sure you knew what you were getting.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I found this book refreshing, a possibly honest book from a sociopath's viewpoint who isn't a business person or lawyer.

If you enjoyed "Catch Me If You Can" by Frank Abagnale, You'll probably enjoy this book.

as for the language: I've heard worse on South Park. If you find a little lewd humor offensive you should probably stay away from poker in general, maybe try gardening or collecting bottle caps.

The advice given is accurate, like: Don't be flashy, practice your moves in front of a mirror thousands of times before using them in a game, If you're going to burn a game park a couple of blocks away with your car ready to go, etc
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Wood on January 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an ugly book.

It purports to detail the adventures of an accomplished card mechanic, a man so practiced and skilled, that he can control the flow of cards through an evening of poker and, according to the way he tells it, win 100% of the time.

The lightest part of the story is of how Penn meets this character and the subsequent collection of a debt, a sort of debt of honor. Many years ago Penn told the card cheat 'I owe you one' and thus, years later, he collected. Having Penn and his co author Mickey D Lynn transpose the random notes of his life and then navigate the waters that are modern publishing on his behalf. That is if Penn is to be believed, he said the same story on NPR, but the whole thing stinks. It stinks a lot more if it is all true. The mysterious narrator, given the name Dickie Richards for the book, is a total freak. He must have been locked in the cupboard under the stairs for most of his formative years, being only let out for weekly beatings. His regard for his fellow man is best described by the heading of this review. The book details his journey through America ripping off small time, middle class poker afficianados. One very BIG time game is the exception here. He details techniques which come down to sophisticated lying. Using a moral code that resembles a pretzel he constantly berates the reader. 'You are a dirtbag for buying this book' 'You are a dirtbag for using or not using the lies and deceits contained herein.' You are basically a dirt bag for having the temerity to get up this morning and take a breath.' Whatever your status, you remain simply 'a bag of money with hair.
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