How did old time gambling hustlers pull off their proposition bets on unsuspecting marks?

I was reading an old gambling book in my grandfather’s bookshelf, and it was discussing hustlers like Titanic Thompson. He would win large sums of money on prop bets like counting the number of pumpkins in a passing truck on the highway, or hitting a 500 yard golf drive (either off the edge of a cliff or on an icy, frozen golf course in winter).

Why would anyone want to bet on something that seems too obvious? The other person wouldn’t suspect that you know the person driving the pumpkin truck, and pre-counted the pumpkins? It’s physically impossible to hit a golf ball 500 yards so there must be some trick involved?

submitted by /u/NicholeDaylinn1993
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