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Nullifying the Cut

The greatest obstacle the card cheating has to overcome is the cut. If the rules did not ask for a cut, gambling with cards would have long ago become obsolete and playing cards would now be used only for. Solitaire. Stacking and false shuffling are moves not too difficult for the average sharper to master, but shifting the cut (secretly returning the cut deck to its original order) successfully under the pressure of the game and under the watchful and observant eyes of experienced card players requires the skill of a master cheater. Since most card players are chumps who can’t spot crooked card moves even when sloppily executed, average cheater  still manage to get away with it.  Other cheats manage to avoid the cut altogether as explained in the section on the pickup stack.

One-hand shift.  The lower half  of the deck is being pushed up by the fingers.  When it touches the thumb, the top half drops down and the lower half takes its place on top.  Done under cover, it cancels the cut.

            Ordinarily, when the deck is cut, the dealer pushes it toward you and says “Cut, Mac?”  You take a block of  cards off the top, put them on the table, and the dealer completes the cut.  He picks up the bottom block you cut off.  This buries the cards the cheater is trying to control he must undo the cut and return the deck to its precut position.  It must be done swiftly and without causing any suspicion.
            crimping is most often used for this purpose because it is much easier than shifting the cut and is almost impossible for the untrained or unsuspecting eye to detect.  It has the further advantage that it is the honest chump himself who unknowingly does some of the work.  Actually, a crimp is a bend placed in one or more cards.  when such cards are in the middle of the deck, the crimp causes a small break or opening in the deck’s edge which can be felt and cut to.  Don’t look for an obvious crimp from a pro.  His crimp is so slight that the eye can hardly detect it, if at all, but his educated fingers can always feel it.  Even when the sucker cuts the deck he is more likely than not to break at the crimp.  Also, the crimp is almost always so placed that the break appears in the edge of the deck nearest the cheater and away from the other players.
            A crimp so slight that it can barely be seen is still sufficient to cause the pack to break five times out of ten exactly as the cheater wants, even when the unsuspecting chump does the cutting.  The cheat  also assists the victim to cut at the proper place by putting the crimp in the middle of the deck, which is where most players naturally cut.  The bigger the crimp, of course, the greater the chance that the sucker will cut to it.  Some stumblebum cheats even make crimps so big that a tunnel appears in the center of the deck.  When the cheater must have an absolutely sure-fire foolproof crimp, he simply has a confederate sitting on his right who obligingly cuts to the crimp every time it is needed.
            The cheater uses the crimp this way: He stacks his wanted cards as previously explained, has them where he wants them, and must keep them there.  An honest cut would bury them in the deck, so the sharper simply gives half the deck a fast crimp during another false shuffle or cut, leaves the crimped half on the bottom, and offers the pack to be cut.  If the unsuspecting player cuts in his usual fashion, the cards break at the crimp.  When the dealer  completes the cut, the cut, leaves the crimped half on the bottom, and offers the pack to be cut.  If the unsuspecting player cuts in his usual fashion, the cards break at the crimp.  When the dealer completes the cut, the cards he is interested in automatically return to their original position and at least one player is happy.

Shifting the Cut
This is a sleight-of-hand maneuver which secretly restores the deck to its original order after the cut.  It offers no particular challenge to the magician or exhibition card manipulator, who can employ  various   types of misdirection to cover it.  But it is tough to accomplish without being detected at the card table, where a single slip is disastrous.  In fact, there isn’t a sharper living who can executive the move successfully without a cover up, that is, without hiding the move in one way or another.

The pass.  The lower half of the deck moves up to the top as the upper half is pulled out of the way, restoring the original order of the deck.

            The crimp and the shift are used together after an honest cut. Before offering the cards to be cut, the sharper crimps the inner half of the deck, usually bending all the cards slightly downward. Because of the deck’s thickness the bottom cards are bent somewhat more than those on top, and when the deck has been honestly cut, a small break appears in the middle of the deck at the narrow end nearest the cheat. When he picks up the deck his practiced fingers locate the break, and the cards are shifted back to their original position. There are many cut shifts, the most common of which are as follows:
One-Handed Cut Shift. Here the two portions of the deck are shifted back to their original positions with one hand only. It is deceptive because the chumps don’t suspect that such a complex maneuver can be done with one hand and do not, therefore, watch closely when the deck is held this way. Since the other hand is away from the deck, some other type of cover must be used. The usual practice is to reach across the body with the free hand to take a cigar or cigarette from an ash tray which has been purposely left at that side. The reaching arm covers the poker hand holding the deck for a brief moment and the shift takes place unseen.
One-Handed Table Cut Shift. After an honest cut, while the two blocks of cards are still on the table, the cheater completes, or rather pretends to complete the cut. He picks up the cards originally on the bottom and appears to place them on the top block. Actually the bottom block passes above and a bit beyond the top block, comes quickly back and slides in under the top block. This is a very deceptive shift provided that it is done with lightning speed and a single, unhesitating sweep of the hand.

Two-Handed Cut Shift
Magicians, who call this the pass, have used this shift for many years; it is still used by some sharpers. After the cards have been cut by another player, the cheat replaces the lower block on the upper one, but not squarely; it projects slightly at the inner end, leaving what is called a step. He scoops up the cards and inserts his little finger into the deck at the step. In the act of apparently squaring the deck and under cover of the hand above the deck, the lower half of the deck is pivoted upward. It pushes against the upper half, which swings aside as though hinged, and is deposited again on top, where it was before the cut was made. This is accomplished in a split second.

False Cuts

Like the false shuffle, a false cut, when well executed, appears to transpose the two halves of the deck but actually leaves them just as they were. When the other players are in the habit of letting the dealer do his own cutting, he executes the false cut. Otherwise, a confederate at his right does the dirty work. This last is the most effective method because suspicion is much less likely to fall on a non- dealer. In games involving more than two-players, particularly Poker, most cheating is done by two cheats who pretend to be strangers to each other. The partnership in crime is more dangerous to your bankroll than any other kind of cheating.
False cuts are employed not only when the cheat is the dealer but also when it is your deal. How? Most players are honest and awkward. When they shuffle; they often fail to mix the bottom cards of the deck thoroughly. The cheater detects something down there he wants, or he may glimpse the bottom card during the shuffle and see that it could be useful. Or, perhaps, after your shuffle, he secretly puts some palmed cards on the deck and false-cut so that they stay there.
The Running False Cut. Instead of a single cut, the sharper makes a fast series of single cuts using both hands. He pulls a small block of cards off the bottom, slaps it on top and leaves a step. He repeats the action with the opposite hand, and continues until the block originally on top has gone down through the deck and, on the last cut, comes back once more to the top. It looks good, but nothing was changed; all the cards are in their original order. Many honest players make running cuts like this but eye anyone closely who does so. Watch for a step in the deck, although the whole action is done so fast your chance of spotting it is slim.
Your best bet is to wait until after the dealer has completed his fancy cut, then ask for the deck, as is your right, reshuffle and offer it to the dealer to be cut. This will totally upset all his careful preparation and expert card manipulation. He can’t very well object because that would be suspicious in itself.

The Prearranged or Cold Deck

A cold deck is any deck that has been stacked (prearranged) either before the game or during the game by a cheat who leaves the room for that purpose. It is switched (exchanged) during the play for the deck in use either on the cheat’s or player’s deal. If the room temperature is low, an experienced player might detect a prearranged deck which has just been switched in because it has not been warmed by the heat of the player’s hands hence the name “cold deck,” cheats sometimes warm the arranged deck before switching it into the game.
The cold deck is useful in any card game . It must, of course, be an exact duplicate of the deck in play. The object of the swindle, in case there are any men from Mars reading this, is to insure the crook a killing hand and send the chumps home broke.
The cold deck was the favorite cheating device used by the transatlantic card mobs some years ago. In a Poker game the boys would switch in on the chump’s deal and let him deal himself a straight flush or four of a kind, The rest of the mob would also get good hands; one, perhaps a straight flush, would be just a shade higher than the chump’s. Beating a mark for $25,000 on one cold-deck hand used to be a common occurrence on the liners.
Deck Switching. The most usual methods of replacing the original deck with a stacked deck are these:

  1. The cheat leaves the shuffled deck on the edge of the table just as the waiter arrives with a previously ordered tray of sandwiches or drinks. The waiter holds the cold deck beneath the tray, which he rests on the table for a moment above the square deck. When he leaves, the cold deck remains behind and the shuffled deck goes with him. Or the tray may simply cover the shuffled deck for a moment as the cheat makes the switch under it.
  2. A special mechanical deck-switching machine strapped to the cheater’s body may be used, although its proper handling requires some skill. Not many present-day crooks use this gadget because, if discovered, its possession is prima facie evidence of guilt. A player using a mechanic’s grip or a two-handed false cut may possibly be innocent; if not, he can at least try to talk himself out of trouble, since there is no tangible evidence of his guilt. A man caught with a holdout machine can, at best, try to get out of town in one piece.
  3. The commonest and cleanest cold-deck switch consists of pure sleight of hand. The sharper surreptitiously spreads his handker-chief on his lap, slips the cold deck from his pocket and holds it in his left hand below the table. When he takes the deck after the cut he pulls it back toward himself and appears to catch it with his left hand just as it clears the edge of the table. Actually the deck drops neatly into his lap and his left hand comes up at the same time with the cold deck. A spot of misdirection by another member of the mob (a paroxysm of sneezing, a spilled drink, or the punchline of a joke) may be used to take attention away from the action. After the deal, the discarded deck is gathered up in the handkerchief and replaced in the pocket.
  4. The best results are obtained by switching the cold deck in on the chump’s deal. One method is this: When the sucker has shuffled and offers the deck to be cut by the player (a cheat) on his right, another cheat at his left asks the victim to change a large bill. While he is busy being helpful and making change, the cheat who should be cutting the deck is switching it. He takes his handkerchief out, blows into it and lets it cover the shuffled deck momentarily on the way back to his pocket. As the shuffled deck leaves the table under the handkerchief, the cheat’s left hand replaces it with the cold deck. And when the mark turns back to take the deck for the deal the cheat executes a false cut to put him at his ease. The mark is now ready to deal himself to the cleaners.

Second Dealing

One of the most common cheating moves used by both the top-notch card mechanic and the would-be cardsharp is the second deal. This consists, as the names implies, of dealing the second card from the top rather than the first one. Any good second dealer will clip the best of players in any card game . The underworld calls a second dealer a number two man.
Dealing seconds is the move most often used when the cheats have had no opportunity to stack the cards. This time the cheating is done during the deal rather than earlier. The time-honored mechanic’s grip is again used.  When the left hand holds the pack, the  thumb pushes the top card over the side of the deck in the usual fashion so that it can be taken by the right hand.  but when the right hand comes up to take it the right thumb strikes against the exposed corner of the second card and pulls it out enough so that it can be gripped and taken by the right thumb and forefinger.  As the second card leaves the pack, the right thumb pulls the top card back to its starting position, the curled index finger of the mechanic’s grip acting as a stop for the swinging top card.  When expertly done, the sleight is a split-second, beautifully coordinated move that is exceedingly difficult to detect even by the most observant players, and it will deceive the average player if done merely competently.
When playing Black Jack or Stud Poker some cheats deal with one hand only, turning the deck over as the card is dealt so that it comes out face up.  Don’t let this one-hand action convince you that everything must be on the up and up; a good mechanic can and does deal seconds with one hand just as neatly as with two.
Second dealing isn’t worth a plugged nickel unless the cheat knows what the top card and wants to save it for himself or a confederate, or, in Black Jack, give it to the player who doesn’t want it.  It is, this reason, mostly employed with marked cards, although it is also used with the peek, which is explained below.  If you suspect a second dealer is at work, look for the mechanic’s grip; they nearly all use it.

The one-hand hop.  Scarne demonstrates this move with the deck face up (left).  When an opponent cuts off the upper half of the deck (topped by the ace of spades here) Scarne apparently places the lower half (five of diamonds) on it, completing the cut.  Actually, the fingers of the rights hand (right) pull the top half of the deck up into the palm, and when both hands square cards, the original bottom half
goes back on the bottom.



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
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The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
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CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
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The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
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Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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