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How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard Hardcover – September 29, 2005

2.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031234905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312349059
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.5 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: #729,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was 8, my sister, my mom, and I visited the local 5-and-10-cent store. Inside the front door, a man had a stack of merchandise he was pitching: a special pen that, he assured us, we couldn't live without. It was a ballpoint pen that -- get this! -- you didn't have to "click" to open and close! You just tilted it! It locked into position! Tilt it down, out comes the ink tip, it locks in position, you write with it! You're done, you tilt it back, it unlocks automatically, it pops back inside, the clip is "upside down", but that's how it's supposed to be, it goes into your shirt pocket, it can't possibly spill ink and mess up your clothing! It even... Well, within about 30 seconds my sister and I had our money out, practically BEGGING to be allowed to buy this very reasonably priced item (yeah, right). He wouldn't take our money... something about limited supplies... Mom motioned for us to put the money away, but she didn't leave until we had heard every word of his spiel.

Then she took us outside and told us the truth. "That man only wanted people's money. Once I saw what he was doing, I made sure we spent the time so that you could hear the whole thing. He's called a pitchman, and that's all he does all day. He talks and lies about a cruddy product and talks and lies some more, and then people want to throw their money at him. I stopped to let you watch him so that you would have the experience of seeing how he uses psychology on people in a crowd, and so that the next time you see someone like him, you will grab your wallet and run in the other direction."

"But mom, that pen was so cool! And he wouldn't even TAKE our money!"

"He wouldn't take YOUR money because you're under 21, and he could get in trouble if people said he was stealing money from children.
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