Flipping baseball cards…
Flipping baseball cards was one of many gambling games played in Far Rockaway, N.Y. The others being marbles and tops. We had two variations:
1. Closest to a wall – Standing a determined distance from a wall, each player would flip a card frisbi-like with a flick of the wrist towards the wall. The winner would be the closest card to the wall. A leaner (leaning against the wall) would beat a card laying flat on the ground touching the wall. If two card were touching the wall laying flat on the ground, the top one won. If two cards were leaners, the most vertical card won. The winner kept all of the card in play. The big dilemma was that crisp new cards flipped best, but who wanted to lose a crisp new card?
2. Flipping Heads or Tails – By swinging your arm in an upwards motion and releasing the card just as the arm started up, the card would overturn and land on the ground either heads up or down. There were alternate ways of flipping the card, but this one was by far the most popular and effective. The goal was to meet the pre-negociated arrangement. Sometimes it would be simply to match the number of heads and tails. Sometimes it would be to match the exact order and number of heads and tails (ie; 6 heads, 1 tail, 3 heads). The number of cards could be 1 to whatever. Of course, if the matcher met the challenge, he kept all of the cards. As with the flipping dilemma, the crappier cards that you didn’t care about were more difficult to control.
Gottem, needem was the universal language for trading.