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The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation (Dover Magic Books) Paperback – July 19, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Magic Books
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (July 19, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486285979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486285979
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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3 Comments 90 of 91 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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
Comment 26 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
Comment 39 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Imitation Leather Verified Purchase
I can only add to these reviews that this edition is very small, cloth bound, and ribbon bookmarked, so it can be carried with you always, everywhere. That alone makes it worth a purchase. There is something nice about being able to carry drugstore playing cards and a source of a lifetime's worth of practice all in one pocket. If you travel or commute, this is the perfect edition to own - the binding does not feel cheap or crease, and the type is very small but very legible, not in the least blurry. If portability is of any concern to you, this is the one to buy. I carry it with me always, and it's so compact that it's never an issue. Let other people fiddle with their Blackberries or play mindless games on their cell phones - you can learn to second deal or blind shuffle and actually acquire a skill.
2 Comments 17 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Imitation Leather
A childhood friend of mine was "grounded" for a week when we were about 10 years old (~1970). As his "partner in crime", having a much stricter mother, I was grounded for 2 years. (yes, TWO YEARS). The only places I ever went (aside from school) were the public library and a bookstore downtown (always accompanied by my mother, of course). Mom didn't much care what I read; she just believed in reading. I was fascinated by magic, and read *hundreds* of books on the subject. Often, I would get a new book as the result of a bibliography search of one that I already read or owned. That's how "S.W. Erdnase" became my new best friend. I eventually fancied myself as riverboat gambler, but, as luck would have it, I became a software developer. Go figure. Nevertheless... this book is worth it's weight in gold.
Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Format: Paperback
Some book are just required. As a professional magician this book is absolutely a must have in my collection. The material is sometimes difficult to understand, but if you are truly serious about it, then you will get through it and the rewards for your performance skills are practically endless.
[...]
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