darwin-ortiz-cardshark

INTRODUCTION

card shark you might feel different. They are both criminals, they both steal money and rip people off but you still feel different about them. So, what’s the difference?

A mugger uses physical force, a knife, and perhaps even a gun to get your money. They attack helpless old people, women, kids or anyone who seems to be weaker than they are. Really, they are cowards with a gun and an IQ to match.

It takes years to become a real card shark and believe me, every single one of them at one time or another had to pay for an expensive lesson. When they were young and foolish with less experience they were also victims of bigger sharks. In their case it’s more or less like paying for college. It could actually be considered an investment into a future career. From a purely financial point of view it really doesn’t make much difference if you pay someone for a private lesson or if you loose your money learning. One way or the other you pay to learn.

This site offers you the privilege to learn for free. Many of the cheating strategies exposed here are closely kept secrets of the gambling community. It took me years to research this science and believe me, the learning never ends. Part of the reason for building a web site as opposed to writing a book is the fact that I always lean something new. This medium makes it easier to update the information and make changes. The book format does not offer this flexibility.

Another reason for a web site is to make it accessible to many people for free. The goal of this site is to educate honest players about the dangers of card play. True, some cheats will learn from it too and use some of the ideas they learned from here. However this is exactly the point. They accessed the information on the web, but so did millions of other players. Some of them are their potential victims. Believe me it is a lot harder to pull a fast one on someone who knows the trick.

At one point I would still like to put all this into a book. I like books and if that ever happens it would just be a hard copy of my work. A nice thing to have. I am sure many readers of this site will also feel that it would be nice to own the actual book. It feels different than virtual information. You can feel it, take it on a trip, to a party Š you know what I mean. With your support this may even happen one day.

As I already mentioned many of the cheating methods revealed on this site are closely guarded secrets. In fact, some of the information here was never before revealed to the general public. Up until now they were the cheat’s most prized possessions. Professional cheats depend on them to be able to survive and hence are not willing to spill the beans for someone who just wants to know how it’s done. They use money making strategies and as a general rule you have to provide some form of payment to learn the real secrets. The pros want to be sure that you won’t just go around telling everybody their secrets. One way to be sure you won’t do that is to make you pay for the information.

I am in a different type of business. My life doesn’t depend on whether or not I can rip you off. I am a professional entertainer with a big interest in crooked gambling. Since I do not want to become a criminal but still want to be involved in crooked gambling in some capacity, I offer gambling lectures. In a sense I use the same skill as card cheats and use that skill to make money, except I do not have to worry about getting caught, beat up or killed. People gladly pay me to do what I do. And that’s the way I like to keep it.

Some people like to play cards honestly. They like to win against good players. They like the challenge that the game presents. So if you are an honest card player and wish to continue to play honestly then you should read these pages. You should also always come back and check for updates.

I do not claim to know everything there is to know about the subject. In fact, I welcome your input. If your goal is the same as mine, which is to promote honest play (the way real players play) then by all means feel free to elaborate with me. If you know anything you wish to share with other card players around the world devoted to the real game please write it down and send it to me. However you must realize that I might have omitted something simply because I didn’t get to it yet, so check with me first.

For the same reason I will assume the cheat is right-handed. Whenever I describe certain moves I will explain them as for a right-handed person.

 

The information given in this site is intended to be used solely for the purpose of informing people about the possible risks involved with card play. It is not in any way an instructional manual for those who wish to learn how to cheat.

Crooked card moves, gaffs and techniques will be discussed only to the extent to which I find it necessary to inform people about what to look for. No practice exercises will be given.

When it comes to magic I am very much against any type of exposure. Out of respect towards my fellow magicians I do not wish to reveal any methods that might hinder their shows.

In any case magicians are in a completely different business than cheats. A card cheat who accomplishes miracles during a game would soon be out of a job. They are not performers and they can’t afford any glamour. On the other hand a magician who doesn’t accomplish miracles is boring and would also soon be out of a job. Those are two different worlds and they simply do not mix.

 

 

The Mind of a Card Cheat

. A shark is definitely a cheat, but a cheat is not necessarily a shark. A cheat may be someone who just happens to take advantage of a situation. Or it may be someone who just likes to gain advantage by cheating, but doesn’t really know how to cheat. Eventually both of these kinds of cheats will get caught, simply because they are not good strategists.

Sharks come in all shapes and colors. For example, take the three card monte guy. He is a smelly street guy in worn out clothes, who probably lives in a dump (or at least it looks that way). There is not much appeal in this guy. In fact from his appearance you would not be surprised if you found out, that he has a criminal record and never did anything decent in his life.

. He is obviously a card shark, but this type of shark you like. He is your hero and you do not care much that he is a criminal. This is how Hollywood portrays card sharks. In real life there may be a handful of charismatic sharks who look like movie stars, but the real-time sharks look a lot more like average guys, from any background.

 

 

So lets talk about cheats in general. What makes them tick? Why do they cheat?

A cheat doesn’t necessarily have to cheat. In fact, the best cheats will only cheat when it is absolutely necessary to do so. This way they decrease the odds at getting caught. Even if they play a square game from beginning to end, they are still cheats, simply because they entered the game with the intention to do so.

All a smart cheat wants is an edge other players don’t have. This edge translates into a profit over a long term play. It is like a tank full of water with a miniature hole on the bottom. If you put a container under it, all the water will eventually end up inside it. The same kind of edge brings millions of Dollars into casinos every year. Except casinos, don’t have to cheat, the rules of the games are set up so that they have a mathematical edge. Some people would consider this not fair play and they may argue that this is a form of cheating, other people may disagree with that. Those are just different points of view.

 

Three card monte mobs operate at a totally apposite principle. They take your cash and run. After that you never see them again. You eventually figure out that you were cheated but there is very little you can do. Plus you kind of get over the twenty Dollar loss. They don’t want to establish a relationship with you — all they want is your cash, they want it fast and then they want to deal with another sucker (all right, let’s call him a customer). You will never get a Christmas card from any one of them and they don’t give a damn if your feelings are hurt. Sure, if you are dumb enough to come back, they will be willing to take more cash from you, but if you make too much noise, they will walk away from you or even push you away.

 

 

Professional and Amateur Cheats

One can categorize cheats in any way he/she wishes. There is no real right way to do so. However, I made up a few categories, which make sense to me.

Anyone who takes advantage of an opportunity and acts upon it is a cheat. Sometimes a seemingly innocent opportunity may mean loosing your entire bankroll to a cheat, who just acted upon the knowledge gained through such opportunity. For example it won’t do you any good to bluff on a possible spade flush in five card stud, if your opponent (the opportunist) happened to accidentally catch a glimpse of a red card being dealt as your hole card.

The opportunist is a dangerous cheat. It is impossible to catch him, since the critical information happened to land into his lap. He didn’t plan it, he didn’t make any sleight-of-hand moves and neither is he using any gaffs. In fact, he may have even not had any intention of cheating, he just couldn’t resist.

The name says it all. The main motive this type of cheat has is to satisfy his ego. Usually the ego cheat will improvise as the game progresses. Perhaps he hates one of the other players, so he wants to make him pay? Perhaps he just can’t stand loosing? He is not a pro — his livelihood doesn’t depend on it, but he does it anyway, just to feed his ego. What a lovable guy!

The first example describes an enthusiast who happens to win money because this is how you play the game. The other example is a person who actually needs the extra cash. They are both semipros, but their motives are completely different.

A typical street corner professional is a three card monte cheat. This is by no means an amateur. However these cheats are most likely not sophisticated. They don’t really finesse their strategies and as hard as it may seem to believe it, they don¹t really care if they end up hurting your feelings. These guys have one or two fast plots that work for them and they do the job fast — and then they move on to the next client.

There is however another kind of card cheat who knows exactly what and when to do it and knows how to do it not to get caught. This is of course an expert card shark. All the cheating strategies a shark would apply are premeditated and well rehearsed. If you are a recreational player you may not stand a chance against a real pro.

 

Standard Crooked Moves

 

Sleight-of-hand is usually practiced by professional cheats. This doesn’t necessarily mean sophisticated cheats. Again, a three card monte mob is hardly sophisticated, but they are professionals — not just a group of card shark enthusiasts who get together on the weekends. Sometimes amateur cheats will use sleight of hand. Some manipulative techniques are not even too difficult to do

I doubt that the best professional cheats ever resort to sleight of hand. First, hardly any sleight of hand is undetectable. If something is not undetectable, it is just a matter of time when someone will detect it. Cheats who wish to be in this risky business, can’t afford being detected. When you play against strangers all the time, you don’t know how educated some of them may be. It is also not easy to guess how aggressive some of these strangers may be, nor can you know how they will react if they catch you cheating. A pro, who wants to stay in the business wants to avoid these risks, so common sleight of hand may not be the best choice.

You could divide card manipulation into two groups: pure manipulation and manipulation with gaffs. Most gaffs require some degree of manipulation in order for the gaff to do what it is supposed to do. Although many techniques associated with certain gaffs are valid manipulative techniques this chapter focuses on sleight of hand techniques, which are done without the use of any crooked equipment.

 

 

FALSE SHUFFLES AND CUTS

There is no fundamental difference between a shuffle and a cut. Both change the position of every single card in the deck, so the cards end up in different hands when dealt out.

There is however one main difference between the two. After a shuffle all the cards end up thoroughly dispersed throughout the deck, while a cut only mixes groups of cards. You could say that a cut is a form of a shuffle, but a shuffle is not necessarily a form of a cut.

In the cheat’s hands cards may not end up being mixed at all after a shuffle or a cut. This is because cheats have various methods of faking shuffles and cuts. A false shuffle may be a blind shuffle or a stacking method. If it is blind, it means that the deck remains in the same order after the shuffle. A shuffle can be 100% blind or just partially blind. Each will serve its own purpose. However if a shuffle is a stacking method, the cards will end up in a predetermined order (to benefit one of the cheats) after the shuffle is over.

shuffle work

 

 

CROOKED DEALS

In an honest game, all the cards are supposed to come off of the top of the deck when being dealt. This may not be the case if the cards are being dealt by a cheat.

The most popular crooked deal is the second deal. The cheat will deal the card second from the top of the deck instead of the top one. The second deal is frequently being used in conjunction with marked cards — this is how the cheat knows which card to deal.

Another popular crooked deal is the bottom deal. As the name suggests, the cards are being dealt from the bottom of the deck rather than the top. The bottom deal is mainly used when the cheat assembles a slug (a group of good cards) on the bottom of the deck. When a round is dealt, the cheat will deal cards from the top to every player except himself (or the accomplice).

There are some other crooked deals which are very difficult to learn and therefore are not widely spread out. The center deal is a technique of dealing cards from the center of the deck. The third deal is almost like the second deal, except that the third card is dealt instead of the second one. The Greek deal is basically the second deal from the bottom of the deck. This deal is used in games such as single deck blackjack, because a face-up joker is kept on the bottom of the deck — to avoid bottom dealing and/or flashing the bottom card.

All the crooked deals described above are techniques used to deal a card other than the top card. There is one more false deal, which serves a totally different purpose — the double deal. This deal is used to get a hold of an extra card. There are two basic types of double deals. One deals a double card as one from the top of the deck, while the other takes a card simultaneously from the top and from the bottom of the deck.

crooked deals

 

It is really difficult to argue about any kind of crooked move taking place. The problem is, once the move is over all the evidence of the move is gone. This is even the case if the move goes wrong and cards end up in an unusual state. The crook will of course have an explanation for the unusual state of the cards and will not know what you are trying to prove. How do you argue with that? You don’t! The truth is, if someone is cheating at a card table, the odds are that this person is not alone. Your suspects, in this case, are all the other people in the game — unless one of them is someone you trust 100%. Even if you are allowed to prove your argument you may not come out a winner. Will you try to collect your money? What will happen when you try to leave?

When you play cards with fast company and you think you caught a cheat you are better off not making any waves. Any emotional reaction can get you in more trouble than it may be worth. If you fell into a trap against a card mob, the odds are that they are prepared for trouble — if things go wrong. The problem is that you are not prepared for it. Or are you?

If you educate yourself and anticipate trouble you will probably be ready if it happens. Then you will probably not act on emotional instinct and you may do the right thing. Even if you just end up walking out of a crooked game on time to cut your losses, it may be the best thing to do.

 

Shuffle Work

 

 

 

A more thorough way to execute the overhand shuffle is to alternate the destination of the packets, so that some packets land on top of the take-up pile (the pile where the cards end up in), while others end up on the bottom.

is a variation of the overhand shuffle. It is an even more thorough way to shuffle the deck overhand style. The deck is cut into two piles and then the piles are jammed together by dispersing the cards throughout the deck. Each time the deck is squared and then the process is repeated.

This style of overhand shuffle is a true shuffle and not just a series of cuts, because the cutoff piles of cards end up dispersed throughout the deck, as opposed to either on top or on the bottom, which is the case with the common overhand shuffle.

 

 

certain cards.

A riffle shuffle is what you see in casinos. The deck is cut into two piles while laying on the table. The piles are riffled together and the deck is squared. This process is repeated once or twice.

.

 

 

THE FALSE OVERHAND SHUFFLE

As the name suggests, this is a false shuffle, made to look like a genuine overhand shuffle. Since there are many different styles of shuffling a deck overhand style, there are also many different types of false overhand shuffles — each mimicking a particular style of an overhand shuffle. Furthermore, there are various different techniques made to fake just one style of an overhand shuffle. Ironically, there may actually be even more ways to do a false overhand shuffle than there are ways to do an honest one.

Since the purpose of this text is not to teach you how to learn these skills I will not go too deep into explaining the details, especially because to really explain all the possible ways to fake an overhand shuffle would require a decent size book. However here are two simple examples:

 

 

bottom dealing. This is how it could be done by faking an overhand shuffle.

The deck is held upright, in the left hand, in readiness for an overhand shuffle. As the deck is lifted by the right hand the left thumb peals off a group of cards from the top of the deck. This is normal, however, under the cover of these pealed-off cards, the tips of the left hand’s fingers also peal-off a group of cards from the face of the deck. This group contains the slug. Now the shuffling continues, however only the top part of the deck is being shuffled, therefore the bottom remains undisturbed. It is really child’s play to pull this off!

The overhand lift shuffle is even easier to do. The cheat will begin the shuffle by pealing off a group of cards from the top into the left hand. This group contains the top slug. Then another group off cards is pealed off, however in doing so the remainder of the deck naturally covers the slug already in the left hand. Under cover of the deck, the cheat picks up the slug behind the deck by squeezing the right hand’s fingers a bit tighter. This pack is held separated from the rest of the deck with a thumb-break. Then the cards a shuffled off until the break is reached and once again, the slug is thrown on top.

Both of these are examples in which just a portion of the deck remains intact — the portion which may prove to be costly. A 100% blind overhand shuffle is actually really difficult to do and doesn’t really have many practical applications in the world of card cheating. Many cheats just want to accomplish their goal (taking the money) in the most straight forward way and do not care much for being purists. The portion of the deck which in this case ends up being shuffled has no real importance in these two cases.

 

 

False butt-in overhand shuffle: this is the easiest overhand shuffle to fake. If the top of the deck is stacked, the cheat will be careful not to jam any cards into this part of the deck. Instead all is done below it.

If there is a slug on the bottom of the deck, the cheat will undercut at least half of the deck in readiness for the shuffle. Then only the top portion of this pack will be jammed into the rest of the deck, thus retaining the bottom slug intact.

The picture shows a simple false shuffle in which both, the top and the bottom, are left undisturbed. To illustrate this detail clearly, I have kept the deck neatly squared during the taking of the photograph. In reality the shuffle would be performed messier to obscure this detail.

 

THE FALSE RIFFLE SHUFFLE

As was the case with the overhand shuffle, there are many ways in which a riffle shuffle can be faked. Again, to explain all of them would take too long, however, I do want to shine some light on the most basic ones.

if you know how to riffle shuffle, you already know how to fake this one. If you desire to retain the bottom stack all you have to do is start your riffle with the pile, which has the original bottom stack. After a few cards have been riffled off you just continue to shuffle regularly. This is very easy to do and it is completely undetectable and impossible to prove.

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As you see neither one of these two shuffles are 100% blind but again they do the job and that is all that counts.

at the beginning. Spotting this slip cut may be your only chance of detecting a Zarrow in action.

this is another 100% blind shuffle. It is, however, totally different from the Zarrow shuffle, just described. In this case, the two piles are riffled together and pushed together under an angle. During the fake squaring action the piles are pushed slightly beyond the squaring point, thus cards of opposite piles end up protruding from the sides of the deck. This irregularity is covered by the fingertips which keep holding the deck by the corners at all time. Right after this squaring action is faked, the cheat fakes a cut. During this fake cut the cheat will pull the opposite piles by gripping them by the opposite corners, thus stripping the two piles free of each other At the completion of the cut the two piles are reassembled in the same way they were divided. Then the deck is squared.

I already gave you many clues to what you need to look for. First the action of pushing the piles through. Then the strip-cut. However there is another clue that gives this fake shuffle away, when executed poorly. Sometimes the cheat may not do a really good stripping action. When this happens some cards will end up trailing out of the sides of the opposite piles. This is a definite giveaway. The stripping action is supposed to mimic a cut — there is no way that cards would end up trailing out of the middle of the piles after a cut.

similar to the push-through just described, except that the action of pushing through is omitted. Instead, the cheat will slightly angle the two piles as the squaring action is being faked. One side of the deck will be totally squared, while the other side is left not completely squared. This will allow the cheat to grab the piles apart and strip them out as faking a cut. You should look for the same giveaway signs.

FALSE CUTS

There are far too many false cuts for me to list them all here. As in the case with false shuffles, some false cuts are 100% blind, others are not. Those that aren’t 100% blind, are not necessarily inferior — they just serve a different purpose.

First let’s examine what an honest cut should be like. It is very simple — the deck is divided into two piles, then to complete the cut, the bottom pile is placed on top of the original top pile, thus reversing their order. At the conclusion of the cut, the deck should be squared.

This is the simplest cut there is, because the deck was divided into two piles. There is also a variety of triple cuts and even multiple cuts. All of the above can be faked. Many false cuts of the multiple variety are much to slick looking to be used by cheats and are more appropriate for magicians. For this reason I will only describe some of the most popular false cuts likely to be used by cheats at a card table.

 

THE SLIP-CUT

This is one of the most basic false cuts. It is not quite 100% blind and it can be used for different purposes. The basic mechanics of the cut is apparently pulling a pile from the bottom of the deck and placing it on top, while really pulling a small packet from underneath the top card and placing it back on top. All that really happens to the deck is the transfer of the top card to the middle.

From the description you can already guess what applications this cut could have. One application could be to fake a cut while retaining the bottom part of the deck intact. Another application could be to get rid of an unwanted top card, by slipping it into the middle, while retaining the rest of the top part of the deck undisturbed (there may be a desired card or stack on top).

Second is the sound. As the pile is pulled out from underneath the top card, the slip-cut may end up being noisy. This is a sound that definitely can not be a result of a normal cut.

The third giveaway is apparent if the cheat makes a mistake. As the top pile is drawn away, some cards may end up trailing off of the top of the bottom pile. This happens under the slip card (top card) and is a result of the pressure the cheat must apply onto the top card in order to slip it off. This trailing of cards can not possibly happen if a cut is genuine.

SIMPLE FALSE CUTS

For lack of better terms, I made up this name myself. As the name suggests, these cuts are easy to do. Nevertheless, they may be quite deceiving. Below I describe two popular variations.

Before the deal, the cheat offers the deck to be cut (as it should be done), but instead of letting the other player complete the cut, the cheat does it. This is done very casually, as if there is no valuable time to waist on such insignificant parts of the game, such as shuffling and cutting. During the completion of the cut, the cheat will reassemble the piles in their original order. The technique is very simple.

 

 

To complete a regular cut, the player would have to pick up the bottom pile and put it on top, thus reversing their order. In the case of this fake cut, the cheat picks up the bottom pile, but instead of putting it on top of the other pile, he places it in his left hand. Then he approaches the other pile (originally on top) by holding the first pile near the edge of the table. The cut is completed by lowering the left hand slightly under the surface of the table and sweeping the other pile, with the right hand, right on top of the first one. Therefore the top pile goes back on top.

Note that the cheat did not pick up the top pile and placed it back on top — this would be glaringly obvious. Instead, he first picked up the bottom pile, then placed the top back on top. By first picking up the bottom pile, he conditioned the other players into thinking that it was going to be placed on top of the other pile. This is done casually, with some distraction so that no one really notices it. If the cheat gets caught, he will, as you may expect, pretend this was an honest mistake.

The other variation is done by crossing the arms. Again the deck is cut into two piles by the player sitting to the cheat’s right. The cheat awkwardly picks up the pile to the left with the right hand. While the left arm is still stretched, the right hand picks up the left pile. For a moment the arms are crossed. Then the cheat uncrosses the arms and reassembles the deck in the original order. This cut tends to confuse the minds of the onlookers, so that they no longer know which hand contains which pile.

 

 

TRIPLE UNDERCUTS

During the procedure, the step was hidden with the tips of the fingers, which were holding the deck by the corners. Besides all three cuts happened rapidly and the eye didn’t have time to register every detail of the cut.

 

 

Then the cheat cuts another third and transfers this pile from bottom to top. This pile is allowed to land without a break. Finally the deck is cut at the break and the last third is transferred back to the top, to its original position.

This type of the triple undercut is not only used to fake a cut, but sometimes also to transfer cards from top to bottom (or vice versa). For example if the cheat needs to transfer two cards from top to bottom, he will first get a hold of a break under the top two cards. Then he will proceed by cutting the deck into thirds, while holding this break. At the conclusion of the cut the top two cards will end up at the bottom of the deck.

 

 

THE TABLE HOP

This is yet another case, when the cheat will complete the cut for you. Again, he doesn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart, but to reassemble it back to the condition preceding the cut — in other words, to the stacked condition.

The cheat does this only if he thinks it is safe. In other words, he will only do this move if the group is not really paying close attention to the shuffles and cuts, but instead having an animated lively conversation. The cheat may even crack a joke and time the punch-line to fall during the critical moment. Alternately, the cheat’s partner (also a cheat) may distract the crowd at that moment. This type of distraction is a form of misdirecting.

 

 

FORCED CUTS

Another way of beating the cut is to force a player to cut at the exact spot where the cheat wants it. This is in many ways a superior method of beating the cut. Not only does this method eliminates a risky move, but it is also less suspicious, because another player actually cut the deck.

There are basically to ways to accomplish this. One method utilizes either the crimp or the bridge. The crimp is a bend placed on one side or a corner of a card. The bridge is similar except that the entire deck is bent.

In any case, during the shuffle the cheat bends a card (or cards) and gives the deck a cut (to complete his shuffle). Then he squares the deck and offers it to be cut by the person to his right. Chances are, this person will cut right at the crimp.

The crimp creates a small gap between the two halves of the deck. This gap is an inconsistency, which makes the deck break at this point in much the same way an old book will always open at the same page.

Another popular method of forcing the cut is to use salt. The cheat will keep a few grains of salt nearby at his side of the table. At the conclusion of the shuffle he will press one of his fingers onto the salt. A few grains of salt will stick to the tip of his finger. He will they quickly conclude his shuffle with a cut and deposit the salt between the two halves. The force works in the same principle as with the crimp. The salt separates the halves slightly and makes the deck break at this point.

Before any shuffle work can begin, the cheat must accomplish one thing — get the desired cards to the desired place. This is usually done towards (or at) the end of a round, so that the cards are in place for a good old false shuffle. This assembling of cards can either be accomplished by culling or by stacking.

 

CULLING

Culling means placing desired cards in a group at a desired place in the deck. Usually it is either the top or the bottom of the deck. These cards may later be manipulated into desired positions so that they can be dealt to the winner (or looser).

bottom dealing) will retain the culled cards at the bottom and later deal them to the desired hand by dealing them off of the bottom. Alternately, a the cheat may actually shuffle the deck so that the cards actually end up in the correct position for dealing.

 

The discard cull:

This method of culling would not pass in a serious high-stake game. However in soft games players often don’t pay much attention at what happens to discards after the draw. Just in case you are wondering, this is what could happen to them:

A player drops out early (you guessed right — this is one of the cheats). Since he is no longer interested in the game, he has nothing better to do than kill a few minutes by looking through the discards. The sole motif for this is his boredom and curiosity (should anyone ask). However during this time some cards in the discard pile may change position. The cheat will assemble a slug either on top or on the bottom of the discard pile. This rearranging will be done very casually without any obvious moves.

If you see anyone play with the discards in this manner, don’t jump to conclusion. In soft games, some players actually have a bad habit of doing this, as they wonder why they were dealt a weak hand.

 

The pickup cull:

This happens after the showdown, as the cards are being assembled for another round. For example, the cheat will attempt to spot a pair and a card to mach. This will make it three of a kind. Another pair will make it a full house.

As the cards are gathered, and other players are counting their losses or winnings, the cheat is already a step ahead of the game. A good cheat is able to cull cards (either to the top or to the bottom) very smoothly without making it apparent.

 

STACKING

Stacking means placing the desired cards into desired positions, so that they may be dealt to the desired hand. It can be done during a false shuffle, if the cards were previously culled, or it could be done before the shuffle. In the second case a false (blind ) shuffle will leave the stack intact.

 

The pickup stack:

Overhand stacking methods:

. The slug will be at the bottom of the deck. The cheat will then start to shuffle overhand style. After a few cards have been shuffled off, he will pull a single card from the top and a card from the bottom simultaneously. Then he will run a few single cards from the top (depending on how many players are in) and repeat the procedure until all the cards of the bottom slug have been used.

The cheat will then mark the top of the stack by running another single card from the top, but this time the card will fall badly miss-aligned with the rest of the deck. The rest of the deck is shuffled off on top of the slug.

Once the position of the stack has been marked with the in-jogged card, the cheat will fake another shuffle, this time bringing the stack to the top.

A giveaway of this stacking method is the sound. At the point when the cheat is running single cards, you can hear a change in sound. The shuffle will sound as if the cheat is counting cards — in fact, this is exactly what he is doing.

 

 

Riffle stacking methods:

. This is quite difficult to master and impossible to detect when well executed, even if you know exactly what the cheat is doing.

There are three methods of riffle stacking. Let’s imagine the cheat needs to stack the deck for a four handed game, by making the four aces fall into his hand.

The most basic method calls for four consecutive shuffles in order to stack for cards for a hand (the four aces). The four aces are on top. The cheat divides the deck into two piles and riffles the corners of the piles together. However, he finishes off the first shuffle by controlling three odd cards into the position above the fourth ace. On the second round the cheat will control three odd cards above the third ace and make sure not to disturb the result of the first shuffle. Then he will shuffle off three cards above the second ace and finally another three above the top one.

A more advanced method would require less rounds of shuffling because the cheat can stack either all four aces on one round or two aces at one time.

And finally there is an advances method which requires two rounds of shuffling and some controls cutting. The cheat must start with one ace on top and three aces on the bottom. This can be done either by culling the aces in this position or by cutting after the cull. Once in this position, the cheat will stack one of the bottom aces and the top ace in one round. As he splits the deck for another round, the cheat will transfer the bottom stack onto the top. During the next round he stack two of the remaining aces, one on the bottom, the other on top. The stacking is finishes off with a cut which transfers the new bottom stack to the top.

 

The double duke:

Some cheats are good at stacking that they are able to stack two hands at once. A good hand for one of the aggressive players and an even better one for himself or for his partner.

 

You should always pay attention when the deck is shuffled and cut. Even if you don’t know what to look for, the cheat will notice this and may not want to take a risk — depending on his skill and confidence level.

It may be difficult to ask to shuffle the deck on every round. This is another reason why you should pay very close attention to the cut.

Also pay attention to how cards are picked up by players after the showdown. If a player has any hesitation in the way he is picking up the cards you have reasons to suspect cheating.

 

Crooked Deals

 

 

 

 


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