For the expression 'giocare col morto' see here:
The working title of the 2nd movie was
Continuavano a chiamarlo Tresette... bussava solo a bastoni
which is He only knocked for Clubs (one of the suits in Italian and Spanish cards).
See below the term 'Busso'
Just an elaborate way of saying that Tresette was always ready to kill his opponents or, in the latter case, give them a beating.
The German poster summed it up very well...