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The sun. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1916-1920, January 25, 1920, Section 7 Magazine Section, Image 72

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become almost
RECENT disclosures of tho .use of
marked cards in gambling games
liavo resulted in other revelations of far
greator importance' than tho loss of qyen
hundreds of thousands of dqllars to men
who could afford-to. loso if.thoy could af-
ford to play. Tliafono man is' reported;
to havo pummelled' another, man and
. . , "
0 ed him out of nn uptown rcsulencfl.
into tho dawn of the' Now Year is df '
littlo interest except to tho 'Broadway
gossips. Both of the men were well known
along the Kialto. This list light after tiio
cry of "crooked cards" is an incident im
portant chiefly becauso "it is amusing.
Even "big games"' matter .little except to.
the members of thomasculino sowing cir
cles organized in lounges of certain' popu
lar hotels.
What startles most is tho fact that there
is a licensed business from which Uncle
Sam collects toll, nnd which, while it may
not have been tho original intention,
teaches the young idea to cheat.
1 Is Legalized Industry.
Tho manufacture of marked cards is
n legalized 'industry and a thriving one.
60 thriving is it that ono firm alono sold
nine thousand decks of theso "readers," as
the marked cards are called, in New York
city 'during the month of December at
ono dollar a deck.
True, theso cards are manufactured and
sold for magicians, amateur and profes
sional, and not for the use of card sharks.
By tho samo token, pistols are sold for
tho protection of home3 and not for uso
of burglars. But there is no Sullivan law
controlling tho ownership or possession
of marked cards,
Marked cards for legerdemain 'Capa
purchased openly in novelty stores every
where by persons of any age. Thatthese
"readers" fall into tho hands o&wfss
sional gamblers is not of Hany'lntereatjo
tho manufacturer. Hqus:.aUCehso.1-to
make the cards. That.foTttiries--are won
nnd lost through the' misifs? of5eadeis''
is not tho.iault of tho 'meS'whp designed
nnd copjTi'ghted these cards; They "irave
to pay a revenue tax.pf'8 dents on-each
dollar deck. .''..-'
So tho whole blame, if tliero is any,
should be placed on tho already over
burdened shoulders of TJnclo Sam, who is.
receiving revenue from a business which
is in fact, tiveS if riot by intent, .jeopnr-
dizing the morals of young -America.
"n ti n 1
j Weill ailCiil Anuta.
The following conversation in a small
cigar storo uptown is an example of what
tin; youth o this country is being taught:
"Gimmo a deck- of readers." Tho
speaker is a young man who has in his
hand a clipping from a newspaper telling
about tho recent gambling exposures.
"What d'you mean readers?" A clerk,
about nineteen years old, answers with the
question and gazes innocently and yet
Eeftrchingly at the prospective purchaser.
"Aw, can that. You know what I
mean. There's a bunch of saps down the
hull this afternoon and they nin't wise."
'G'wan, they's all wiso to this stuff now,
'specially since the story's 'in tho papers.
You can't uso the old cards any more,
nnd besides we are all sold out since the
other day when that story came out. Wo
gotta get a new graft." '
"Aw, and these guys is soft." .
This conservation may not be typical,
but it is true to memory. From theso
"boys it was learned that "no ono but
boobs" play stud poker without baring a
nnnnniT nnnir t r c invn lnifi run rr imn gii
it was not surprising to find later that
big games in which marked cards are used
arc not at all uncommon.
Was Magicians' Age.
Tho question was where 'tho marked"
cards como from, and the numo of Do
Land being on the majority of the cards
sold in tho novelty shops, this manufac
turer, Theodore L. Do Land, was visited
in Plainficld, N. .7. For twenty-fivo
years Mr. Do Land has been making
trick cards and other novelties for the use
of magicians, both stago and parlor, nnd
has been nn extensive advertiser of the
fact and of his wares.
"There's nothing I need to hide," he
tnid when questioned about his business.
"As a matter of fact there are many
tilings I should like to divulge nut which
I Cannot because tho reputations of cer
tain big men might i suffer.
"When I started making these things
it was an oge of parlor entertainment,"
he said. "Tho earth was not breaking all
)ho speed laws and neither wcro tha pco-
Card Scandal Reveals
Amazing Amount of Cheatin
too popular
plo'of tho earth. We wanted money, but
vro didn't battle for it tho same way as
do now. There had been, lor ex-
ample, no attempt to form a burglary
trust and mako breaking and entering a
comparatively safe and profitablo busi
. ness..
-'-It-was nn age when tho magician drew
lnrBe cr0W(la to th'o tteatrcs. How many
of. .them aro appearing successfully now
' $h number-'featured
ten, fifteen nnd twenty vears ago', ime,
thoso who aro showing-arc successful, be
cause legerdemain always will delight
the young and -thoso who. choose to stay
young. '
"At first there was, only .affair demand
for the marked cards. " As.-.a' matter of
fact, iu tho rural districts, ploying .cards
wero taboo in many homes. Steadily,
however, I saw my business grow .until
now .can't begin to fill tho orders I havo
for 'readers' aloncV
Whether it isihe-growing tendency of
-3'outh to give thig.old world a little mora
gas, "step on it" and the deuce with who
or what is in tho way, or whether it is tho
fact that young America is getting "wise''
instead of wisdom, could not bo answered
by Mr. Do Laud.
"Greed," he ventured.
"And mostly, the joy jof cheating!" it
was suggested.
fl 4o.n't propose to go -into the psychol
ogy of. tho thing," ho replied'. "All that
.1 know is that orders are coming in from
all over tho world, only n few countries
excepted. Even in China my cards are
being sold, an in New York city nlono
during.' the mqnjh of December we sold
9,000 Jollar decks."
"Prom tiiis statement one can understand
tho-sorrow ofjthe embryo cheats in .the
store -Uptown. -Tofr-tnnny were getting
"wise," unless nLp:Uiese decks went to
would-bo magicians
f r 'jZK -u l j " - T
Tax PajdtfieforehanoV
"You understand thaYcvery one of theso"
packs of marked cards is sold with tho
distinct, understanding that it is to be
used for legerdemain," said Mr. Do Land.
"When the enrdsaro shipped from my
place the revenue tax of 8 cents has
been paid on each, deck and thero aro in
cluded" printed instructions and a warn
ing: 'This pack.of-cards is old to you
for thsusolo purpose, pf uso for legitimate
magical 'entertainment and under no con
sideration is it to be used for gambling '
or dishonest purposes.' There, I contend,
"my responsibility ends.
"If natural born cheats or thoso who
have learned to Iovo to cheat havo mis
used my cards, all I can say i3 that pistols
also havo been misused.
"As an example of my intent to keep
these things out of the hands of tho un
scrupulous, let mo tell of the destruction
of 'tho plate's from which wero printed
what I believe wero tho most deadly play
ing cards for the suro fire cheats.
"Without a doubt I could havo mado a
substantial fortuna out of the manufac
ture of this ono deck alone. It was called
Do Land's Wonder Cards and sold for fivo
dollars a pack. I obtained tho copyright
for these plates in 1915 in my own name.
Tho marks wero on tho edges and could
bo read without .detection. Soon after I
put this deck on tho market it fell into
tho hands of an Italian Black Hand gang
in-southern Europe.
"I learned that tlic cards had been pur
chased Ifrom Hamlcy Brothers, Ltd., 35
New Oxford stre'et, W. C, London, and
A. W. Jamage, Ltd., London. Theso wero
the agents for my novelties in tho British
metropolis. Such havoc was wrought
with this deck at Monte Carlo and Baden
Baden thnt I decided to tako it oil tho
mnrkct. Its dangerous edgo reading sys
tem mado it possible for card sharks to
cut the deck at any card desired, even
when the pack had been shuffled- For that
reason I destroyed tho stock of '.tjonder
cards' I had on hand and also had the
plates melted.
Gave Away First DecJ.
"The plates were clcctrotyped by tho
Welsh-Koyal Electrotype Co., Philadel
phia. A man connected with this com
pany, Adam M. Joyce, later superinten
dent of the mint at Philadelphia, ar
ranged with mo for tho work, for which 1
paid $S0. I presented to him tho first
deck made.
"While I realized it was my duty to
tako tho 'wonder cards' off the market
I did not feel it was up to'mo to destroy
my business entirely by stopping- tho
manufacture and sale of the dollar decki,
Illegitimate "Readers" Legalized UnderGuise
of Trick Devices Maker's Own Story
Shows Enormous Demand More
. , Than 9,000 Packs Being Sold
in December Alone
which hnd.lieconio popular for 'parlor and
stago entertainment everywhere. "From
time' to time I had henrif "of gamblers
using the cards, but I felt" that iny fre
quent exposure of this practice wonld'be
sufficient to protect thopublic oriitotpan
of it which needed protcdtio'nT .1 coh-.
tinned nnd still continue ic-'feelUmy cards
with tho instructions and warnings, bo I
felt that for my part t was not .respon-
sible. '
Tho Gambleris. "Shiner ,
"And, as a:mattcr q f ac.tf$ tfoubt very
much if D'o'Land cards have Veerr.nsed -lately
by professional, gamblers; fortbo' "
backs are becoming too widely known.
My readers aro based on tho clock de
sign. That is to say, I havo circular fig
ures on the backs with dots arranged like
tho hours- of a clock, or twelve spokes, as
in n whcolor the -daisylesign wijh
certain, pc aftmsingij Noainblor would
jvcr thjnfclof using teasSaxu, although
I know of ensps in tW-pwhere they
were intiMed witlCTlCCESSCin certain
bijr games' 'ln-AvashinglinCl.
- "Jioro uimorjnns, to--inerEo.KKA PW-r
, 0f,XrV-,nmh. 1,
Him v i'y.HV ""-VS. w, "O"-
certain disclosures regatding'-tfio-tricks of-
the professional -gnmbreT '
"Of courso ,ni03t every one knows of
the 'shiner,' the "ring gamblers sonietimer
wear if they aro playing with the in
experienced. This ring, which, is worn
on tho little finger, has inserted in the
palm sido a littlo mirror which reflects
the index of tho bottom card. In many
games in which tho cards are cut 'tho
knowlcdgo thus obtained is valuablo to
the dealer. -Tho publicity which has been
given the 'shiner,' especially through be
ing offered for sale in advertisements of
novelty companies, has mado its uso rather
dangerous. As a matter of fact all rings
aro looked upon with suspicion nowadays
in big games."
Mr. Do Land was asked if tho statement
is truo that all playing cards can bo
read by those who know tho secret of tho
"If I did not understand the reason for
that question I might bo inclined to
smile," wa3 'the answer. "But I suppose
the statement found circulation becauso
of tho number of counterfeited cards in
"I would bo willing to tako oath, al
most, that there never has been manufac
tured by the recognized makers of play-,
ing card3 ono crooked deck. However,
I do know that probably every one of tho
standard backs of playing cards has been
counterfeited and doctored iu such a way
as to make them perfect readers. These
cards can bo obtained by thoso who
know whero to go.
"Angel Face" Cards.
"As one can sec, these cards aro even
more dangerous than mine. For example,
a group of men are accustomed to playing
stud poker. Tho stakes arc high enough
to make a man risk cheating. Or there
is ft member of tho party who just cheats
becauso ho loves to cheat. We'll say for
example that the statement has been mado
at one of tho games when an effort has
been mado to change tho cards: 'No, we'll
stick to angel face cards; these aro stand
ard backs and no ono will bo under sus
picion. "A remark of this kind is usually made
with n smile, but it meets with approval,
and angel face cards, red and blue backs,
nnd known everywhere, are always in tho
"Now .1 know for a fact that angel
face cards have been counterfeited nnd
printed in, quantity. What is to hinder
tho client in tho party of friends from
obtaining several of theso decks, and in
troducing them into tho ganioi" '
Mr. Do Land produced a connterfeit-
sun, "Sunday, January
Th lip In Ihn "rf.ilr" II t . rn.ril A . Jl . J "jtt". I I tmtr I
hown here and copjrlrhted by
Theodore Ij. Do land Is tho
clock dial. For example, in tho
Jack of spades tho vatno of tho
card It shown t tho dotted cir
cle. It will be noticed that one
of tho. dot In a little larsrer than
tho reit. Takln; tho numbers on
Urn clock from the hour ono
11 i ct to see that this card is
(&) to the hourtwelre (queen)-
Now to tell tho eulti remember
that the key is the compus, the
north beinc diamonds, the cast
(rlrht) clubs, the south hearts
and tho nest spades. Ho if ono
of the four compass dots In the
centre spaco of the circle is
larger than the others It tells
the suit. Therefore this card is
tho jack, of spades wcst). When
none ot the dots In the circle is
enlarted the card is o-klnr, Tho
same system holds In other de
signs, the compass points beln?
tlio openings on the side of the
circle arid the cord pointed by
the petal misslnj from the daisy.
The samo Is trun of tho trey of
hearts, only iir this cam the dot
mlHrnr from tho circle Is tho
Value ot the cord and compass
design is In tho centre.
ONE of the FIRST
ed deck of the angel faco cards. He also
has a fair deck. Tho secret of tho read
ers was in tho wings, and onco known was
seen to bo easy to read. However, chances
for detection wero about a million to one,
the manufacturer contended.
Many havo been tho storic3 about cards
which havo been marked in such a way
that thoso with sensitive fingers can read
them by touch. Wo havo read many yarns
about the experts who could "strip o
deck," that is, separate certain cards by
deft manipulation. Wo havo seen card
manipulators on tho stago make tho little
pasteboards appear and disappear, but
what most of us did not know was that
Uncle Sam is exacting toll from a busi
ness that makes it possible for tho mer
est child to becoino an expert gambler
among his comrades.
For tho world has quickened its pace,
and tho boys of to-day arc not satisfied
to play marbles "for keeps." Ono begins
to wonder what our grandmothers would
think of our children. .
Tho present is tho day of the "suro
thing" gambler, tho "sure thing" fighter
and tho "suro thing" business man, was
nn opinion offered by a man who knows
his New York nnd his neighbors as a
"Ono never takes a chance nowadays
if he's smart," this man, who has been a
gambler all of his life, asserted. "It's
truo there's ono born every minute, but
instead of two to catch him tho lino forms
to the right.
Pursue tho New Rich.
"A man makes a million dollars they
say tho first million is the hardest to get
and then you should sco tho rush of the
sure thing army. They attack him from
all sides, and howthcy do help themselves
to his bank roll I And tho strange part
of it is ho seems to liko it. He's a good
sport nnd ho like3 to play for tho sako
of playing. Thnt he loses ho takes ns a
matter of course, as ho never boa had time
to learn tho game. It really b -criminal
25, 1920. 1
of the LACTCn DE
to 'take' a man liko that, becauso as a rulo
he's a' Simon pure citizen who deserves
better treatment.
"But for tho other kind, tho man of
wealth and, yes, position, who cheats not
becauso ho needs tho money but because
he was born crooked and likes it, tho
gambler has no uso ot all.
"I hold no brief" for tho so-called pro
fessional gambler, but ho'3 a wholo lot
bettor than tho rich man who cheats hi3
friends. If a man plays in what i3
known as a gambling houso gamo ha
MAN was seated besido a swift
mountain stream in tho Far West
eating his luncheon. A bird note, like the
tinklo of a silver bell, struck his ear. Ho
was always interested in woodland music,
so ho paused with a sandwich half way to
his mouth, listened and watched for tho
songster. The noto was ono that ho had
never heard before. In(a few moments a.
slato gray, dumpy bird about tho size of
a robin, with 11 short, curved beak and nn
upright, wren liko tail, alighted on a
boulder in tho stream not far from where
he sat. Tho bird was ihe American dip
per or water ouzel.
Now tho man had read of tho exquisite
song of this bird, but had never beforo
heard it. Tho littlo fellow threw up his
head, poured forth his liquid clear, tin
kling noto, tho very spirit of tho wild. Ho
was presently joined by his mate, and the
two sat upon tho rock nnd watched tho
man. They wero quite tame, and they
came to pick up the crumbs tossed to
them. A few rods below tho stream ran
about the foot of a basalt cliff. The
feraalo dnshed across tho stream, alighted
on a shelf of rock, nnd entered a tuft of
moss that hung just nbovo tho water, so
near that tho spray dashod ovar it. In a
short time aho reappeared, apparejfjly sat
might expect to have to keep his eyes a
littlo wider open than usual. But when
men who aro friends and business asso
ciates gather for play it should not bo
necessary to look with suspicion upon
any one of tho players around tho table.
"However, it i3 ot thi3 kind of game
that a cheat is able to play for a long
whilo without being caught, for one is
not inclined to suspect crooked play
nrcong friends. Of course, when tho ex
plosion come3 it finds wide publicity for
the reason tho players usually arc of con
siderable importance. Then for a whilo
evjry 0110 takes a shot at gamblers and
gambling, which I supposo is as it should
be. But if they would only go after thu
rich cheats, all sports, cards, races, base
ball, yes, and everything upon which
money can bo risked, would have a better
following and longer life.
"Why, I havo seen rich men fix races
just for tho sako of putting something
over, and I've seen them fix races for the
satisfaction of knowing they couldn't lose.
But theso men aro not gamblers. Men
liko that cheat at solitaire. With that
sort, cheating i3 an obsession.
"The men of that kind wero tho boys
we used to refuse to play with becauso
they peeked through their fingers when
thoy wero 'it' at hido-and-go-seck."
Tho gambler was not far wrong, but tho
troublo is that tho hido-and-go-seck ago of
of the American
isfied that tho man had not molested her
domicile, end joined her mate. By look
ing closely ho could seo a round opening
among tho moss.
Ho waded across tho stream on a voy
age of discovery. Tho tuft of moss was
a nest so cunningly devised nnd so adroitly
hidden that it was well nigh invisible.
Four milk whito eggs reposed on a soft,
damp bed. The pair mado much ndo
about tho man's intrusion, but ho left
them in peace.
The American dipper is ono of M10 most
interesting nnd peculiar of all our native
birds. Tho bird is shy and retiring. It
frequents tho swift mountain streams of
the Rocky Mountain region and never ap
proaches human habitations. Only tho
angler who penetrates tho unsettled moun
tain regions is familiar with theso birds,
and he knows of them only ns ho hcara
their noisy clatter as they flit from rock
to rock. '
Although tho dipper has no web feet It
is nn expert swimmer, or rathe flier, be
neath the water, for it seems to make use
of its wings to move about in that clement.
No matter how swift the current, the liltle
chap tumbles in, pell-mell, nnd scrambles
about on the bottom in search of food. One
day this man surprised a half grown
dippor Bitting on a rook In midstream
where tho water poured down in a. tor-
7?eADErcs"or thick cards,
tho city 13 younger nnd shorter than it
used to bo in tho country.
Nowadays wo find tho boys matching
pennies, then nickels, then dimes. Then
they go through tho craps shooting ngc,
during which somo "wiso" ono suddenly
begins to win all tho money. Ho has
found how to manipulnto "phonies" or
loaded dice. Tho gamo gets too tamo for
him, so ho branches out and looks for
"saps" or "suckers" or "easy marks," or
whatever ho chooses to call tho "boobs''
from whom ho is suro to win unless found
A policeman who seems to tako a de
light in breaking up alley game3 of craps
was asked one day why ho didn't "let tho
littlo fellows play." "They aren't really
doing any harm," said tho interested by
stander, who added, "I was a kid onco
"Not doing any harm I" exclaimed tho
guardian of the alley. "With ono of them
in thero workin' a pair of loaded dico on
tho littlo fellows who need every penny
they make? Harm! I'll show them." And
he did.
Now the Poker Games.
With the passing of the alley dico gamo
comes tho poker game. Young America
learns quickly, everything, tho good and
the bad, and so it is natural ho should
learn how to cheat.
So in tho next stago wo find a quiet
Sunday afternoon game in tho rooms of
tho Blackbird Social and Athlctio Club.
Tiie athletic equipment usually is a set
of broken indinn clubs and the decoration
a faded chromo of John L. Sullivan. The
game stud poker is tho regular Sunday
afternoon programme. Tho week's pay
usually is tho atako of each player and
frcezcout has the call. Which means
that the play is to continue until one man
has all the money.
Is it any wonder that on n bright
Sunday evening ono of tho members of
the club finds himself in tho alley won
dering what happened to him?
Ho shakes himself back to earth, so
to speak, and goea home. Ho has taken
n beating; ho has been called a cheat and
ho has been thrown out of tho club, but
ho has a bank roll. That is tho main
thing to a youth of his training.
So he eccTcs now fields to conquer.
It is but a step .from tho "social" club
in sweater and cap to tho room of a
fashionablo hotel with a dinner jacket for
a front, a bank roll for an opening wedgo
nnd an increasing number of new friends
and playmates mado through judicious
Undo Sam might well considor himself
fortunato that in tho games 'enjoyed"
by I113 young sons tho cheats aro in the
minority. But America is inquisitive nnd
quick to learn.
rent. Ho promptly plunged in and the
man lost sight of him. Ho watched down
stream, expecting to seo tho bird como to
tho surface tossed about liko a chip; but
ho did nothing of tho sort.
After several minutes tho man occupied j
tho rock ho had vacated and prepared to
cast his flics into the foot of a considerable
fall. Sitting demurely on a narrow shelf
of rock was his bird. How ho managed
to make his way there against the rushing
water was a mystery. Ho seemed so much
at home in tho water that tho man decided
to try an experiment, lie chased the bird
from hz percn and Into tho water ho
went. In a few seconds the little creature
was seen beneath tho fall, making his way
across tho stream. Ho camo out on the
opposite sido and scolded tho man for his
It is quite common to sco theso birds in
winter, when tho streams aro partially
frozen, feeding beneath tho ico. Thoy
creep along the bottom, picking up insects,
and are plainly visible through the clear
ice nnd water.
In scientific classification tho dipper
occupies n position midway between the
wrens nnd tho thrushes, and his name
comes from hi3 peculiar habit of bowing
or dipping gracefully when ho meota you.
Ho has another most amusing habit that
of winking in a roguish manner.

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