Fast & Loose: Origin

On another thread, the term fast & loose is mentioned. This is a con game that I use as part of my magic hobby.

Fast & loose has many names, endless chain & pricking the garter, among them. It is an old con trick using a circle of chain, or even a length of cord. The idea being that the length of cord (garter,) is made into a spiral, or the circle of chain is made into a figure of eight & the spectator places a finger within & bets on does it hold fast or run loose.

Shakespeare mentions it in King John, Loves Labours lost & in Anthony & Cleopatra.

“Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose, Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.”


Brilliant Gee - thank you!

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