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The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation (Dover Magic Books) Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation (Dover Magic Books) + Expert Card Technique: Close-Up Table Magic + The Royal Road to Card Magic
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Magic Books
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (July 19, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486285979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486285979
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most of the material within is knuckle-busting, but worth your time if you would like to know how card cheats do what they do.
Diamond Jim Tyler
The Expert at the Card Table - Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation by S.W. Erdnase - has been hailed at the Bible for Close-up Card Magicians and Gamblers alike.
Deviantidol
Written at the turn of the 20th century, the language is a bit dated, but the illustrations and text provide excellent direction for every detail of each move.
Tony Rush

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ok, Ok, so the author is amazingly mysterious and I find that this makes me give a 5 star rating.
First of all, this book is considered the bible of card work because of its historical significance. It seemed to be the first major public known book that contained wholesome magic material (second half of the book, LEGERDEMAIN), whilst also carrying a good blend of card cheating techniques using sleight of hand--the first half of the book.
So, the second half focuses on magic / card conjuring practice and theory / card tricks... some of these moves quite extraordinary... but nonetheless still amazingly wonderful when mastered.
I wouldn't recommend this book as a beginning for card magic (although it wouldn't be a bad choice if you have strong determination), but nonetheless this book is a must have. It will increase your knowledge on the subject (other authors reference his text) and may also interest you to practice some of these moves.
S.W. Erdnase's style is incredibly mysterious: For a master card cheat, he has a master of vocabulary (This will also stun you) (I believe he self-edited the book). There are many theories as to the author's true identity, and I don't buy into the most popular one, that being the Milton Franklin Andrews theory. (Too much conflicting evidence)
(Look at the name S.W. Erdnase, then spell it backwards. Interesting huh!)
...
Also, there are 5 mistakes in this Dover Edition. These are common knowledge among the greatest card men in the world, and I share them here with you now. These correspond to the Dover edition (Green cover).
(Corrections in CAPS)
1. Page 22
(To Retain Complete Stock, 6th line)
...Now suddenly draw out the middle packet with the right THIRD finger and thumb, and release ....
2.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Diamond Jim Tyler on April 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
What else can I say? This book contains the real mechanics used by professional card handlers. The author's true name is not known because he knew that exposing these secrets could be detrimental to his health. Most of the material within is knuckle-busting, but worth your time if you would like to know how card cheats do what they do. -Diamond Jim Tyler
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tony Rush VINE VOICE on March 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Expert At The Card Table is considered to be a classic of both magicians and "mechanics", or card hustlers. S.W. Erdnase was not the author's real name and it's possible that we may never know who wrote such an excellent book. (Some think that the name "SW Erndnase" was an acrostic for the author's real name.)
In this book, the reader will find all the information necessary for second dealing, bottom dealing, palming cards, dealing two cards as one; techniques for moving a card from the center of the deck to the top in one, undetectable motion. In a word, it's a bible of card manipulation.
Written at the turn of the 20th century, the language is a bit dated, but the illustrations and text provide excellent direction for every detail of each move.
If you're interested in card manipulation, this is a must for your library.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob on August 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fairly new to card magic / artifice / subterfuge and this book was great. I find his way of explaining hand positions superior to that of Hugard and Braue's material. I also enjoy the way he writes far more... The introduction alone is worth the price. The techniques are great because one doesn't have to rely on diversion, most of the sleights can be pulled off with the spectator's eyes directly on the pack.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in cards, card magic, or cheating, then this book is for you. There aren't many pictures, so learning the different techniques and so forth contained in this book can be difficult at times. The die-hard card man or a dedicated student of card manipulation should get by ok with this book. If you learn everything in this book and could do it all perfectly, then you would no doubt be an expert at the card table. Good luck!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Luiz Fernando Iguti on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
A must have, but if you're beginning into magic go for another book. This one has some VERY difficult sleights and some weird ones like the Erdnase shifts. But in overall, it's a great book. Even being written in 1902 it has useful sleights for today's magicians and gamblers. If you're a magician and don't have this book in your library, consider this one, since it's one of the classic books every magician's library must have.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kalavski on November 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is considered by many magicians to be the Bible of card magic. Anyone interested in learning card techiques should buy this book.
It is not a magic trick book. If you want magic tricks, look elsewhere.
Darwin Ortiz has written a book entitled, "The Annotated Erdnase", which has the full text of "Expert at the Card Table" and includes additional notes, etc.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
On August 16, 2000, the Wall Street Journal had a front-page article about this book. The article was captioned, "Into Thin Air: Writer Reveals Magic Tricks, Then He Disappears," and was written by Rachel Emma Silverman. Some of the article: "In the shadowy world of card magic and gambling, one of the most tantalizing mysteries of all surrounds the identity of a man who wrote under the name S.W. Erdnase. "In 1902, he published a book called 'The Expert at the Card Table.' In vivid detail and elegant prose, the book revealed the secrets behind intricate card tricks and quick-fingered cheating techniques. "What it didn't reveal was the true identity of its author. Erdnase never made public appearances and never wrote another book--at least not under that name. "Yet for nearly 100 years, the book has never vanished from print. It has sold hundreds of thousands of copies world-wide and been translated into German, Japanese, French, Italian and Spanish. Almost every sleight-of-hand expert considers the slim volume to the the bible of card magic. And some treat the elusive author with a degree of reverence usually reserved for major deities." The article continues with speculation regarding the identity of the author, many magicians concluding that S.W. Erdnase is the reverse of E.S. Andrews. The search has led too much speculation but little certainty. "'Erdnase remains the most important work ever written on sleight-of-hand with cards,' says Richard Hatch of Humble, Texas, a 45-year old magician and book seller."
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