OFFICIALS RULES BOOK BY BICYCLES, BEE, HOYLE
These are rules books published by different editors that have rules from various games. There are many variations of poker, gin rummy 500, hearts and many more. The most famous series of these kinds of books is the Official Hoyle. It became so popular in America that it was used to settle an argument in poker and originated the catchy phrase: According to Hoyle… What is interesting about these books is that they sometimes included a chapter about cheating. You could reading about false deals and shuffles. It also had publicities about playing cards and poker chips form the major playing card companies like UPSCC.
DR. X ...MAGICIAN? MENTALIST? PSYCHIC? GAMBLER? BY STEVENS MAGIC EMPORIUM
One of the newer catalogs from the nineties, Dr. X from Stevens Magic Emporium situated in Wichita aimed his business to magicians, mentalists, psychic's and gamblers. He allied the old gaffs like belly strippers, juice decks and punch to newer technology that could make you see through the cards and communicate information.
There is also the instruction booklet on how to use your Dr. X belly stripper cards.
WILL & FINCK BY WILL & FINCK (1884) REPRINT
The Will & Finck company from San Francisco is one of the first gambling supply house that had a catalog. This reprint of the envelope and contents of the company that supplied tinting colors for shading cards, faro tools, cards, and shears to trim cards. This company is the one that was mentioned in the book Sharps and Flats although the name was not mentioned. Various descriptions and illustrations were borrowed by Maskelyne for his book. Items sold by Will & Finck have become quite rare and can get a hefty sum of money in auctions.
HUNT & COMPANY BY HUNT & COMPANY (1955)
Hunt & Company was another major gambling supply house in Chicago. This catalog dated from 1955 has all the traditional gaffed playing cards and crooked dice. It also sold books written by John Scarne and Mickey MacDougall.
BLUE BOOK BY K.C. CARD CO (1958) REPRINT
This is another K.C. Card Co.catalog. This one is a reprint made by Geno Munari that he sells at Houdini’s magic shop. The KC Card Co. was first established in Kansas City at Twelfth and McGee Street and moved to Chicago at Wabash ave. around 1940 after buying the Mason &Co gambling supply house. After the FBI raid in 1961, they continued a little business at Michigan ave. in Chicago until 1995.
BLUE BOOK BY K.C. CARD CO. (1961)
The K.C. Card Co. was probably the most famous company that sold various gaffs like Marked cards and crooked dices. They also sold belly stripper decks, bugs, kepplinger Holdout devices, and many other things that could be used for magic but mostly for cheating. You would select the product you wanted out of a catalog like this one, fill in the order blank and send it by mail. You would then receive your order a couple of weeks later. This catalog also had an extra supplement that offered more expensive things like card trimmers and other things that allowed you to make your own gaffs.
This particular catalog is special because it was the last one of the company printed before the FBI raided in Chicago. Most of the catalogs of 1961 did not even get mailed.
- Legendary Quote -
“On one summer day in 1974, I took the elevator to the 16th floor, walked down the hall and opened a glass door with its familiar gold lettering, Edward’s Dice Company. Inside, a glass showcase displayed all types of crooked gambling equipment.”
- John Farrell, Fast Jack The Last Hustler