Poker Cheating Secrets Part 2

False Shuffling: There are no less than four manners of false shuffling:

1) Keeping the bottom card on the bottom. At the ideal opportunity, the cheat will glance at the bottom card, after which the cheat will deal in such a manner as to keep that card at the bottom. This can be done with the “interlocking card” shuffle where the deck is divided in two halves that are shuffled together by interlocking the cards. Ensuring that the half with the correct bottom card is brought down first, that card will remain at the bottom. This trick is useful for a cheat who anticipates bottom dealing.

2) Shuffling the bottom card to the top of the deck. At the ideal opportunity, the cheat will glance at the bottom card, after which the cheat will shuffle that card to the very top of the deck. This can be done with the “undercut” shuffle whereby the bulk of the deck is held in the left hand, with the right hand pulling out portions of cards and shuffling them off onto the top of the rest of the deck in several motions. Ensuring that the final motion consists of only one card — what was the bottom card — this card is dropped by itself onto the very top of the deck. This trick is useful for a cheat who anticipates second dealing or dealing extra cards.

3) Shuffling to keep one card or a number of cards undisturbed at the top of the deck. Either by having used the second form of false shuffling, or by having peeked at the top card, the cheat will shuffle the deck so that the top card remains at the top. This is done with the “interlocking card” shuffle where the two halves are shuffled together by interlocking the cards. Ensuring that the half with the correct top card is brought down last, that card will remain at the top. This trick is useful for a cheat who knows what the top card is, and plans to second deal or deal extra cards.

4) Stacking the deck: This maneuver requires considerably greater sleight of hand ability. It is less likely that a poker cheat who is that skilled and experienced will find himself or herself at a smaller stakes table, where the money to be made is not as great. However, a deck-stacker may just as soon sit in on such a home game. Stacking the deck is the act of manipulating the positions of cards in the deck while shuffling. Manipulated properly, they allow the dealer to deal himself or herself a specific hand. For example, the cheat shuffles the cards until all four Kings have been positioned at the top of the deck. No simple feat, but this is the easy part. The dealer then proceeds to shuffle the cards in such a way where each King is separated by a number of cards equal to the number of other players at the table. That way, the dealer performs a natural deal with all four Kings landing in his or her own hand.

In these and its other myriad forms, false shuffling allows the dealer to give the impression of mixing up the cards randomly when the cheat is actually manipulating the deck to place certain cards in certain places.

Even the cut is worthless protection if the dealer is allowed to shuffle at all after it. The cut is only effective if the dealer immediately deals after it. Any false shuffling allows the dealer to manipulate the deck.


Palming: This is the act of secretly hiding individual cards, moving them either from the deck onto one’s person or one’s hand or from one’s person into one’s hand or back into the deck.

Basic palming involves hiding a card in the palm of one’s hand. A playing card can fit perfectly into the palm of one’s hand, held at one end by the last bend of each finger and at the other end by the cup of the palm.

From the deck, the cheat may palm cards into shirt pockets, under the leg, onto the floor and covered by a foot, etc. From there, the cheat may bring the palmed card into play by adding it to his hand as an extra card, palming that hand’s worst card into the place where the originally palmed card was being kept.

Shifting the Cut: Shifting the cut is the sleight of hand solution around the protection of cutting the deck. Honest players developed the tendency towards cutting the deck as a way to foil second dealing, bottom dealing, and peeking. However, advanced sleight of hand permits the cheat to overcome the cut.

The traditional cut involves the dealer pushing the deck towards another player, who cuts the deck into two smaller piles. The dealer then picks up the pile that was on the bottom and places it on the top of the other pile. Therefore, cards that were at the top or on the bottom of the deck are now lost in the middle of the deck. Shifting the cut involves the cheat returning the deck to its original order, while being watched by the other players.

In effect, the cheat manages to place what was the top of the deck BACK ON TOP of the deck. This can be done as follows:

1) With one hand, the cheat simply picks up the ‘top pile’ and quickly places it on top of the other pile. Such an elementary way would most likely require distraction with the cheat’s free hand. If nobody is looking, the cheat may manage to pull it off without anybody even noticing or suspecting.

2) As a more complex move, the cheat passes the ‘bottom pile’ over the top of the other pile, but quickly drops the ‘bottom pile’ right beside the other pile, picking up the other pile just as quickly. The cheat then drops this other pile, the ‘top pile’ back onto the other cards, not disturbing the order of the cards. This would obviously require tremendous speed, and most likely, some distraction.

3) Also requiring great dexterity, the cheat indeed picks up the ‘bottom pile’ and places it on top of the other pile; effectively, an honest cut. The cheat, however, does not drop the ‘bottom pile’ on the other pile squarely; the ‘bottom pile’ sticks out ever so slightly from the other pile (called “the step” by stage magicians). The cheat then picks up the deck as it is, and while pretending to square the deck, actually uses the step to replace the ‘bottom pile’ at the bottom of the deck. Done quickly enough, the order of cards is not disturbed.

All of these maneuvers require great skill, but help the cheat overcome the cut. Shifing the cut is worthless on its own, however, and is combined with another form of cheating that takes advantage of having beat the cut.

Post Author: Annie Craig