July 1, 2011

Harry Houdini on bunco.

Harry Houdini's definition of BUNCO.

The origin of the term “bunco” (sometimes spelled bunko) comes from an old English game of chance in which a checkered cloth covered with numbers and stars is covered with a hood called a “bunco.” The game was to throw dice, which counted up to a certain concealed number. The man who knew the game was called the “bunco man,” or the banker, and later when this form of swindle became notorious the term was corrupted into “bunco.” To-day the word is used to denote almost any swindle where the victim is made to believe he is to receive a large sum of money or valuables, and then gets nothing at all.

Harry Houdini, The Right Way to do Wrong, 1906

Jeff Smith


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