sharper

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Related to sharpers: shepherd's pie
See: bettor
References in classic literature ?
On the minor gambling houses your worship may exercise your power, and it is they that do most harm and shelter the most barefaced practices; for in the houses of lords and gentlemen of quality the notorious sharpers dare not attempt to play their tricks; and as the vice of gambling has become common, it is better that men should play in houses of repute than in some tradesman's, where they catch an unlucky fellow in the small hours of the morning and skin him alive.
Very often, in company with these sharpers, I observed an order of men somewhat different in habits, but still birds of a kindred feather.
I soon became acquainted with the whole fraternity of sharpers, and was let into their secrets; I mean, into the knowledge of those gross cheats which are proper to impose upon the raw and unexperienced; for there are some tricks of a finer kind, which are known only to a few of the gang, who are at the head of their profession; a degree of honour beyond my expectation; for drink, to which I was immoderately addicted, and the natural warmth of my passions, prevented me from arriving at any great success in an art which requires as much coolness as the most austere school of philosophy.