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Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

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CATCHING A TARTAR.

'My skill at billiards,' says a confessing gamester, 'gave me a
superiority over most I met with. I could also hide my skill
very dexterously, which is generally found a work of great
difficulty, and judiciously winning or losing, I contrived to
make it answer my purpose,--until one day, going to a table which
I was very much in the practice of frequenting, and where no one
was then engaged, I was invited by a stranger to play. I
accepted the invitation for a small stake, and won very easily,
so much so, that on commencing a new game I offered to give him
six, to place us more on an equality. He accepted it eagerly,
but it produced him no benefit; he played so badly, and managed
both his cue and mace so awkwardly--for I made no objection to
his changing them as often as he pleased--that, playing very
carelessly, I could not avoid beating him. We continued
increasing the stakes every successive game; money seemed of no
value to him; he appeared to have plenty, and lost it with a
spirit that told me I had got hold of an excellent subject, who
could pay me well for beating him. I did not wish to win too
palpably, and therefore kept increasing the advantage I yielded
him, till it amounted to sixteen. He now proposed making the bet
ONE HUNDRED POUNDS, and that I should give him eighteen. His
eagerness, as well as the manner in which he handled his tools,
convinced me of his inexperience, and I accepted the
proposal;--but, to my surprise, he won the game.

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