First EditionTEMPLAR. The Poker Manual: A Practical Course of Instruction in the Game with Illustrative Hands and Chapters on Bluffing and Jack-Pots; Together with International Code of Laws. London: Frederick Warne & Co. / Mudie & Sons, 1895. Rare First edition., 4.75” x 7" inches. Green cloth boards ruled and lettered in gilt on front and spine; all edges gilt; patterned endpapers. Finely-wrought illustrations in red and black of poker hands throughout. Scarce first edition of this fascinating turn-of-the-century Poker Manual, illustrated throughout with colorful red and black diagrams of poker hands, in original cloth with lettered in gilt and decorated with 3 poker chips in colors.
In this early 19th-century Poker Manual, the anonymous author "Templar" wisely observes that "the spirit of the game, and of the laws, must be kept in view." Profusely illustrated with displays of poker hands in red and black, this elegant yet practical volume covers etiquette and jackpots, strategies for varying "your play and style," outlines the international codes of the game, and offers a reminder that "bluffing… is the finesse of Poker. It is this element that gives to the game its intense human interest. without it Poker would be mere chance." A beautiful and instructive book from the earliest years of poker-playing. Binding wear; otherwise very good condition. First editions are rare. (Powell 447. Holden 112. See Jessel 1576.).