Britland, David & Gary Osborne (Gazzo): Phantoms of the Card Table
Confessions of a Cardsharp
© 2003, 2004 David Britland and Gary Osborne
Published by High Stakes Publishing and
Thunder's Mouth Press, NY
Hardcover, 256 pages
Phantoms of the Card Table
Image courtesy U.K. e-bay seller Taurus*

Comments: From the dust jacket: " it is, the truth, about Walter Irving Scott and other 'phantoms' who mastered the art of card manipulation - to cheat at cards. As the book unfolds it becomes apparent that this is very much a real life adventure, or collection of adventures, brought about by Gazzo's quest to find "his master." Gazzo's interest in magic started with a box of tricks, followed by a book, McGuire's The Phantom of the Card Table, bought by his grandfather from Davenports in Great Russell Street. The book talked of the greatest card cheat ever, Walter Scott, who passed on his secrets to Gazzo..."


13 Introduction

15 Chapter One
15 Beware of the Shark
16 Of Rogues and Knaves
21 The Reformed Gamblers
29 The Sharper Detected
32 Risky Business
35 Game Over

39 Chapter Two
39 The Expert at the Card Table
44 Lessons in Legerdemain
45 Secrets for Sale
47 The Search for Erdnase

57 Chapter Three
57 Dai Vernon — The Professor

65 Chapter Four
65 The Phantom Comes to Town

73 Chapter Five
73 The Gambler from the Golden West
75 Max Malini
77 Next Slop Horowitz
80 Vernon Calling

87 Chapter Six
87 The Phantom Vanishes
87 The Search for the Middle Deal
89 The Beautiful Second
91 The Twenty Dollar Manuscript
91 A Talk to Card Enthusiasts
95 The Mysterious Don Romano

97 Chapter Seven
97 Card Detectives
100 The Man who Fools Magicians
102 Expert Card Technique

105 Chapter Eight
105 The Phantom Returns
107 Scott in New England
111 The Ghost of Eddie McGuire
114 A Classic of Gambling Literature

117 Chapter Nine
117 Search for the Phantom
119 The Three-card Monte
121 The Great Quest
124 Pleased to Meet You, Mr Scott

131 Chapter Ten
131 The Phantom Speaks
132 Natural Born Dealer
143 The Sorcerer's Apprentice
137 The Hustler
138 A Mysterious Mentor

143 Chapter Eleven
143 Meeting McGuire
147 The Magic of Music
150 New York, 1930
154 Aftermath

157 Chapter Twelve
157 Friends and Enemies
157 The Phantom on Film
158 The Phantom Vanishes
159 The Modern School of Music
161 A Ghost from the Past

169 Chapter Thirteen
169 Confessions of a Card Cheat
172 A Lesson in Dishonesty
174 The Almighty Second
176 The Smart Cheater
177 The Real Work
180 The Big Game
181 The Confidence Man
183 The Front
184 Cheating the Cheaters
186 The Double Cross
189 The Greatest Card Cheat that Ever Lived

193 Chapter Fourteen
193 The Legacy of Walter Scott

201 Chapter Fifteen
201 The Phantom of the Card Table Revisited
202 Master Second Dealing
201 The Key
203 The Take
205 Things to Avoid
206 Practicing
207 Using It in a Game
208 Top Card Peek
211 Bottom Card Peek
212 The Stuff Peek
213 The Scott Bottom Deal
213 Practice Bottom Deal
214 The Take
215 Preferred Bottom Deal
216 The Key
216 The Take
218 Scott's Punch
218 Making the Punch
219 Fixing the Punch
220 Marking the Cards
222 Pegging during Exhibition Work
224 The Blindfold Deal
227 Slick Ace Formula
230 The Bug
234 Edge Work
Putting in the Work...234
234 Reading the Marks
236 Locating the Cards
236 A Typical Exhibition

239 Chapter Sixteen
239 Final Thoughts

241 Which Brings Us to the Present
241 By Steve Forte
241 The Second Deal
243 The Punch
247 Slick Cards
248 Top Card Peek
249 Final Thoughts
251 Recommended Reading
252 Early Cheats and Gamblers
253 S.W. Erdnase
253 Walter Scott and Eddie McGuire
254 Magicians and Card Detectives
255 Cheats and Hustlers
256 Video Material