For most of his life, people have wondered what Steve Forte was doing with his hands. A precocious card dealer who arrived on the Las Vegas Strip in his early twenties, he became known as a professional gambler, an occasional target of law enforcement and as the greatest sleight-of-hand artist in the business.

Now, at the age of 65, Forte is giving it all up. He has published Gambling Sleight of Hand, a two-volume book that in 1,100 pages lays bare the secrets of the swipe, spin shift or shuffle-over, with photographs to show what observers would usually miss.

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