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Slot Sleight of Hand — Game Review


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Written by
Dan Glimne
Writer and game designer. Author of Pokerhandboken, among others.
Dan Glimne
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Table of Contents


Related Topics: shape tops and bottoms loaded dice knucklebone dice game . (Show more)

dice, singular die, small objects (polyhedrons) used as implements for gambling and the playing of social games. The most common form of die is the cube, with each side marked with from one to six small dots (spots). The spots are arranged in conventional patterns and placed so that spots on opposite sides always add up to seven: one and six, two and five, three and four. There are, however, many dice with differing arrangements of spots or other face designs, such as poker dice and crown and anchor dice, and many other shapes of dice with 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 20 or more sides. Dice are generally used to generate a random outcome (most often a number or a combination of numbers) in which the physical design and quantity of the dice thrown determine the mathematical probabilities.

In most games played with dice, the dice are thrown (rolled, flipped, shot, tossed, or cast), from the hand or from a receptacle called a dice cup, in such a way that they will fall at random. The symbols that face up when the dice come to rest are the relevant ones, and their combination decides, according to the rules of the game being played, whether the thrower (often called the shooter) wins, loses, scores points, continues to throw, or loses possession of the dice to another shooter. Dice have also been used for at least 5,000 years in connection with board games, primarily for the movement of playing pieces.

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Dice and their forerunners are the oldest gaming implements known to man. Sophocles reported that dice were invented by the legendary Greek Palamedes during the siege of Troy, whereas Herodotus maintained that they were invented by the Lydians in the days of King Atys. Both “inventions” have been discredited by numerous archaeological finds demonstrating that dice were used in many earlier societies.

The precursors of dice were magical devices that primitive people used for the casting of lots to divine the future. The probable immediate forerunners of dice were knucklebones (astragals: the anklebones of sheep, buffalo, or other animals), sometimes with markings on the four faces. Such objects are still used in some parts of the world.

In later Greek and Roman times, most dice were made of bone and ivory; others were of bronze, agate, rock crystal, onyx, jet, alabaster, marble, amber, porcelain, and other materials. Cubical dice with markings practically equivalent to those of modern dice have been found in Chinese excavations from 600 bce and in Egyptian tombs dating from 2000 bce . The first written records of dice are found in the ancient Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, composed in India more than 2,000 years ago. Pyramidal dice (with four sides) are as old as cubical ones; such dice were found with the so-called Royal Game of Ur, one of the oldest complete board games ever discovered, dating back to Sumer in the 3rd millennium bce . Another variation of dice is teetotums (a type of spinning top).

It was not until the 16th century that dice games were subjected to mathematical analysis—by Italians Girolamo Cardano and Galileo, among others—and the concepts of randomness and probability were conceived (see probability and statistics). Until then the prevalent attitude had been that dice and similar objects fell the way they did because of the indirect action of gods or supernatural forces.

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Almost all modern dice are made of a cellulose or other plastic material. There are two kinds: perfect, or casino, dice with sharp edges and corners, commonly made by hand and true to a tolerance of 0.0001 inch (0.00026 cm) and used mostly in gambling casinos to play craps or other gambling games, and round-cornered, or imperfect, dice, which are machine-made and are generally used to play social and board games.

Cheating with dice

Perfect dice are also known as fair dice, levels, or squares, whereas dice that have been tampered with, or expressly made for cheating, are known as crooked or gaffed dice. Such dice have been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt and the Orient, in prehistoric graves of North and South America, and in Viking graves. There are many forms of crooked dice. Any die that is not a perfect cube will not act according to correct mathematical odds and is called a shape, a brick, or a flat. For example, a cube that has been shaved down on one or more sides so that it is slightly brick-shaped will tend to settle down most often on its larger surfaces, whereas a cube with bevels, on which one or more sides have been trimmed so that they are slightly convex, will tend to roll off of its convex sides. Shapes are the most common of all crooked dice. Loaded dice (called tappers, missouts, passers, floppers, cappers, or spot loaders, depending on how and where extra weight has been applied) may prove to be perfect cubes when measured with calipers, but extra weight just below the surface on some sides will make the opposite sides come up more often than they should. The above forms of dice are classed as percentage dice: they will not always fall with the intended side up but will do so often enough in the long run for the cheaters to win the majority of their bets.

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A die with one or more faces each duplicated on its opposite side and certain numbers omitted will produce some numbers in disproportionate frequency and never produce certain others; for example, two dice marked respectively with duplicates of 3-4-5 and 1-5-6 can never produce combinations totaling 2, 3, 7, or 12, which are the only combinations with which one can lose in the game of craps. Such dice, called busters or tops and bottoms, are used as a rule only by accomplished dice cheats, who introduce them into the game by sleight of hand (“switching”). Since it is impossible to see more than three sides of a cube at any one time, tops and bottoms are unlikely to be detected by the inexperienced gambler.

Yet another form of cheating with dice produces controlled shots, in which one or more fair dice are spun, rolled, or thrown so that a certain side or sides will come up, or not come up, depending on the desired effect. Known by such colourful names as the whip shot, the blanket roll, the slide shot, the twist shot, and the Greek shot, this form of cheating requires considerable manual dexterity and practice. Fear of such ability led casinos to install tables with slanted end walls and to insist that dice be thrown so as to rebound from them.

Slot Sleight of Hand — Game Review

Fast. Play only during your turn.

Put an Item asset into play from your hand. At the end of your turn, if that asset is still in play, return it to your hand.

Ilich Henriquez
The Path to Carcosa #29.

Latest Taboo

This card’s ability now reads: “Put a level 0-3 Item asset into play from your hand.”

Sleight of Hand

FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG’s responses to the official rules question form)

  • If you use Sleight of Hand to put Jenny’s Twin .45s into play, you never pay the cost so you never specify what X is. (“If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.” RR, page 22) Same goes for while Jenny’s Twin .45s are in your hand. After it is played, its cost is no longer defined, so it reverts back to being undefined (“X”, or “0”). Essentially, the cost of Jenny’s Twin .45s is only defined while you are playing it.

Last updated 9/26/17

I’d like to see someone hide the Chicago Typewriter up their sleeve! Whip that bad boy out, unload on a mob of goons at your location, then after the smoke clears and your stepping over the corpses, just return it to your hand! Awesome card!

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For me the main problem is that it doesn’t work with Jenny’s guns. — Magnificate · 1126 9/15/17
Alternately, with Lightning Gun in a Zoey Deck. Bzzzzzzzzzzzt! — HollowsHeart · 17 9/16/17
This and Grotesque Statue? — XehutL · 47 9/26/17

Pretty disappointing that a card that has such excellent theme/flavor for rogue stuff like Jenny’s guns, ends up being more desired for pulling out gigantic, awkward weapons like the Lightning Gun or Chicago Typewriter. Seems like a bit of a miss, thematically speaking. Not that it’s a bad card, quite the opposite, I’d argue that it’s too good, and it being a level 0 card and available to non-rogues who will likely desire it (see above) further waters down its class identify, in my opinion. — gionazzo · 63 9/27/17

This card is great in Zoey with Shotgun or Lightning Gun. Incredible power, value, and flexibility. — Low_Chance · 6 5/2/18

Lupara. That is all. — Batra · 1 5/2/18
Can’t wait to use Wendy to pull the Typewriter out and reuse it again. — AquaDrehz · 188 6/27/18
Wendy can’t include Chicago Typewriter in her deck. — Indog · 1 7/8/18

Lupara and Derringer, with some value with a flashlight. One of the best rogue cards, if not the best, waiting for more combos to come. — Fishiste · 141 8/3/18

Most people think guns when they think about this card, but imagine Rex Murphy pulling Strange Solution (Acidic Ichor) out of his sleeves, dealing 9 damage, and be ready to play that card normally the next round! Also great with a Flashlight.


I have made a build for Rex containing this cards. https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/7301/acid-rex-1.0 — Clash77 · 70 9/25/18

Gotta love this card. It’s use depends on the exact character you are playing, but the overall utility is the same:

Play a weapon with ammo and use it for one round cheaply.

  • You can play Leo Anderson or Zoey Samaras and play a Lightning Gun for 1 resource, waste all the ammo, and still be ready to play it later again with full ammo.
  • You can play «Skids» O’Toole, Jenny Barnes or Finn Edwards and play Lupara or Chicago Typewriter.
  • You can play the vast majority of characters and a smattering of others and sneak out the Ornate Bow for an extra shot.

Obviously the card isn’t bad when used to cheat out a less powerful weapon (.45 Automatic for example) cheaply and when you really need it.

The main downside to Sleight of Hand is that, if you have no worthy weapon in hand, or draw it too late and your weapons are already in play, then this card is totally useless. You really need to have a reasonable selection of weapons to choose from or ways to tutor them like Backpack or Prepared for the Worst.

The best case scenario for this card is super rewarding, but the worst case scenario (playing it for just the lone icon) really evens things out.

Tsuruki23 · 2376
This card is also problematic if the required slot is occupied. — Django · 4547 9/2/18
Problematic, or a scavenging/deck cycling opportunity? — Zinjanthropus · 214 11/1/22

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Sefina Rousseau, This, and Ornate Bow = potential 15 damage for 5 resources and 2 extra actions. Back her up with Backstab, and Sefina can now deliver that 3 damage burst pretty consistently (and cheaper than ever). I can’t think of another investigator this would be better on.

Could you explain you calculation? — Django · 4547 8/30/18

I think the calculation is: Sleight of Hand underneath Sefina, Ornate Bow + 3 Paint the World = 3 attacks of 3 damage, then Ornate Bow + 2 Sleight of Hand = 2 attacks of 3 damage. Total is 5 attacks (at one resource each from Sleight of Hand cost) for 15 damage. — everyoneknowsitswendy · 1 9/4/18

Okay, so you mean spread out across 5 separate turns? That is a good value in terms of resources, but not in terms of tempo. Personally I think Sleight of Hand + Lupara or Chicago Typewriter is way better than the Ornate Bow. — Faranim · 369 9/19/18

Does latest taboo means ‘at the end of turn~~ return~~» — ashxd2 · 1 12/23/21

I’m not clear what the intent of the latest Taboo is on this one.

I can see it restricts the items you can deploy to level 0-3.

Does it also cancel the «At the end of your turn» effect? Or just restrict the items you can deploy?

If it cancels the return, that seems to be 9/10ths of the value of the card gone?


Seems like they forgot to add the ellipsis here. It’s just the first part that gets replaced, like with Milan. — Nenananas · 227 4/20/23

If you’re confused about the full sentence about the tabooed card, I think, it’s good to check Printable Taboo Card from FFG site here: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/arkham-horror-the-card-game/. — elkeinkrad · 426 4/21/23

  • ← Stealth
  • The Path to Carcosa
  • Daring Maneuver →

R. Paul Wilson On: When Sleight Of Hand Magicians And Card Cheaters Collide

R. Paul Wilson On: When Sleight Of Hand Magicians And Card Cheaters Collide

Over the years, a few sleight of hand magicians have sought out card cheaters and crooked gamblers to share ideas and perhaps add new weapons to their arsenal.

In the 20th century, Dai Vernon was most famous for courting cheaters and adapting ideas for the art of close-up magic but these two worlds are not as alike as you might think.

What works perfectly for one rarely works so well for the other.

Dai Vernon

Vernon could watch a fellow magician demonstrate a new idea for a move and immediately suggest a more elegant solution or devise a new approach to old techniques that would make them more deceptive or natural.

He championed this natural approach to card magic where complex sleight of hand is concealed behind layers of subtlety to create the illusion that nothing is happening except what the audience sees, despite whatever secret actions are being performed beneath the surface.

This reputation made him a legend in the magic community, but it also served him well when seeking out gamblers and cheaters who are naturally wary of strangers asking questions.

After a few demonstrations and dropped names, Vernon would quickly gain the confidence of cheaters but on one occasion, he found himself ‘on the spot’ when a cheater refused to tip the secret of a technique unless Vernon could solve a problem the cheater was having with a situation at the card table.

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The Card Cheater’s Problem

During a game, the cheater was able to steal an extra card into his left hand but needed to transfer that card to his right hand in order to return it to the deck and end clean.

The steal into the hand was beautiful and the addition to the deck was perfect but getting the card from one hand to the other proved to be a real problem since the cheater felt that existing methods were too obvious or unnatural.

The challenge was for Vernon to find a way to transfer the card without changing the position of the cards or any other adjustment that might look odd or out of place to other players.

While there are many ways to move cards from hand to hand, they often require a hand-washing motion that some people find comfortable but for others, it looks (and feels) like an impersonation of Fagan from Oliver Twist!

This was not the cheater’s only problem.

All existing hand-washing methods turned the card over between hands but for the cheater’s purposes, the card needed to remain face-down with the back of the card against the palm of the right hand.

But since it also started with the back of the card against the palm of the left hand, the transfer would be doubly difficult.

Worse, it might require an additional action to prevent the card from turning over and that would definitely attract unwanted attention.

All of this had to happen above the table, in an instant and without raising suspicion!

So Vernon retired to his hotel, laid a towel over the dresser and spent several hours trying to find a technique that would move a card from one hand to the other without turning that card over and without calling attention to the action.

Time To Think: The Solution

Vernon worked for hours without finding a solution until, in the small hours of the morning, he checked his watch and decided to sleep on it.

Then he stopped— and checked his watch again.

Vernon’s natural action of looking at the watch on his left wrist was to lay his right hand over the back of his left, framing the right side of the watch as he glanced at the time.

In fact, this was a common action when most people looked at their watch and Vernon instantly recognised the solution he had been searching for.

The position of the two hands was perfect and allowed Vernon to slide the card backward from the left palm, pulled away by the fingers of the right palm after checking the time; invisibly moving the card without turning it over and under cover of a completely natural action!

The cheater didn’t just need a move, he needed ‘shade’ to cover that move and avoid suspicion and was delighted when Vernon shared the solution.

Vernon stumbled onto that solution after many hours exploring everything that didn’t work and while the resulting technique seems obvious today, without that Vernon Touch, I doubt anyone would ever have come up with it.

Whether or not the technique shared by the cheater in return was ever useful to magicians, I can’t say…

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