Phantom of the Card Table.
A deck of cards is the perfect tool for deceit. The thirteen values, four suits and two colours have led to the creation, of card games. But no matter how complex the game, or how the laws of chance seek to make everyone a loser but the house, one thing remains constantand that is the playing card itself. If a cheat wanted to devise an instrument for the express purpose of robbing under a guise of friendly get-together, he could have done no better than invent the playing card. Its very size and shape make it ideal for trickery for all kinds. Cards are easily controlled during a shuffle, can be palmed in comfortable, and can be subtly altered, counterfeited and arranged to facilitate some ingenious scams and swindles. A deck of cards in the hands of a cheat is the weapon of unsurpassed criminal possibilities. You might not fancy yourself as a housebreaker, car thief or even a short-change artist, but the card cheat has always had a more romantic image. He - and it is nearly always a he - is a lone figure, long fingered, smooth talking, charming and inevitable handsome. He pits his well-practised skills against those of his opponents in the arena hat is the card table where morality seems slightly skewed. - Chapter One of Phantom of the Card Table.
The human destiny is forever limited by the idiocy of bureaucracy and the excesses of social expectations. - LingNemesis, 2007 C.E.