Trost, Nick: Expert Gambling Tricks
1975 by Nick Trost, Trik-Kard Specialties
Softcover, stapled manuscript, 8.5x11", 26 pages
Expert Gambling
Image from Magicref

Comments: This book is more of a gambling demonstration book than a book of magic. The first part deals extensively with variations on the game of Nim, and has a section of various "verbal" swindles commonly used to confuse someone while giving change. The best parts of the book for me though, are the two sections on the Endless Chain (or Loopy Loop or Chain of Chance), and Three Shell Game. The endless loop section provides a good reference for demonstrating this swindle using just a loop of chain. The Three Shell Game section provides a good routine by Karl Norman. This routine is also the basis for the manuscript by Harrison Carroll. Recommended if you come across it. There are three other books in this series: Gambling Tricks With Cards Parts One and Two, and Gambling Tricks with Dice.


1 Introduction: part of a 4 part series on gambling tricks (Cards Pt 1, Cards Pt 2, Dice)
2 Contents listing

3 Various Games and Swindles
3 The Game With Twenty Matches: mathematic game of Nim with 20 objects; magician always wins
4 The Game of Nim (Stewart Judah's Version): uses 18 coins arranged in several rows to throw off those in the know
5 The Game of Nim (E.H. Moore Variation): as above, with slightly different rules
6 A Variation of NIM with Two Rows (W.A. Wythoff): another version using 20 coins in two rows
7 A Variation of NIM with One Row (H.E. Dudeney): 12 coins in one row
8 The Famous Belt Trick (Stewart Judah): Find the Loop, Pricking the Garter. Uses a rolled up Belt. Spectator is to put a pencil in the center loop that will be "caught" when the belt is pulled. Winning can be controlled.
9 Cover the Red Spot: carnival game explained and how it can be gimmicked
10 Getting Change Swindle: a verbal swindle when asking for change
10 Buying Circus Tickets: a verbal swindle when buying tickets
11 Buying a One Dollar Article: another verbal swindle to cheat the merchant out of $5
11 Laying the Note: another verbal change swindle. The crook apparently makes the mistake..

12 Special Gambling Devices
12 Heads or Tails: Double tailed coin
12 Matching Coins: as above, but your toss must match the spectator's
12 Odd Man Wins! uses double sided coins, and a confederate
13 Spinning Nickles: how they work
13 Spinning Nickel Poker: Nickels with numbers pasted on them used for Poker hand; magician always wins
14 Hi Low Controlled Top: an 8 sided "top" dice; spin it to land a number. Gimmicked.
14 Put and Take Top: a spinning top based gambling game can be gimmicked
15 Controlled Rolling Log: Described. Can land low or high, red or black
15 Red and Black Pencil: as above

16 Proposition Bets: in all these bets, the odds are always in the performer's favor, though they might not sound like it.
16 Dollar Bill Propositions: bets about dollars that are in your favor
16 Nine Number Bet: spectator writes numbers on 9 slips of paper and mixes them face down. You bet you can stop him on the highest number as he turns them over
17 Closest Date: guessing the date on a coin
17 A Quarter and Three Matches: a verbal bet you can't lose (financially!)
17 Heads You Lose: betting on coin flips
18 Swindle With 8 Quarters (Jim Ryan): a verbal swindle to earn 25 cents
18 Three Button Proposition (Stewart Judah): buttons with different colors on each side are dropped. Performer has the best odds of winning
19 The Three Disc Proposition: a bet with 3 discs, 2 solid, 1 bi-colored
19 The Pool Bottle Proposition (Steward Judah): uses small numbered pool balls and a 'pool bottle' to shake them in.
20 The Bet with Seven Sticks (Stewart Judah): similar to above, made from a lipstick tube and wooden sticks.
21 Phone Book Bet: 7 to 1 odds
21 Reverse Phone Book Bet: a good follow up

22 On the Barrelhead: intro to "Endless Chain", "Loopy Loop" figure 8 swindle
22 Dennie Flynn's Routine: Easy to learn, figure is formed while hands are in the air, and teaches a double catch throw.

26 The Three Shell Game: a poem
26 The Karl Norman Routine: good, simple routine. Can be done using standard shells, but Karl uses heavy brass thimble cups (though the drawings in this manuscript show regular shells!) Also uses a shot glass and a half dollar. Presented as a "this is what happened to me" story to avoid the direct spectator challenge. Harrison Carroll's Three Shell Game is based on this presentation.