A false shuffle is basically when the cheating deal pretends to shuffle the deck in a regular manner, but is truly placing cards in their desired location and using the knowledge to their advantage in the poker game.
There are more ways to accomplish a false shuffle than many think, no less than four actually. These include keeping the bottom card on the bottom, shuffling the bottom card to the top of the deck, shuffling to keep one or more cards undisturbed at the top of the deck, and stacking the deck.
Shuffling to Keep the Bottom Card on the Bottom
Basically, the cheat will quickly glance at the bottom of the deck during the shuffle to gain knowledge of the card’s value. The cheat will then determine whether or not they can use that card to their advantage and, if they can, will dshuffle in a manner where they keep the bottom card right where it is: at the bottom.
This card shuffling trick can be accomplished quite easily. Typically, the interlocking card shuffle (where the deck is divided into two and brought together by shuffling the cards together in the center) allows cheats to shuffe the deck in a manner where they can make sure that they bottom card is the first card to shuffle downwards, keeping it at the bottom. This card shuffling technique works especially well with a cheater who is planning on using the bottom deal poker cheat maneuver during the deal.
Shuffling the Bottom Card to the Top of the Deck
A cheat can easily use the former false shuffle to prepare to shuffle the bottom card to the top of the deck. At the right time, they will peek at the bottom card to see what it is and decide one of two things; whether to keep it at the bottom of the deck and shuffle it to the top now, or shuffle it to the top right away.
When the cheating dealer shuffles the card to the top they must use what is called the “undercut” technique. The undercut technique is performed by keeping most of the deck in the left hand and allowing the right hand to pull portions of cards and shuffle them onto the top of the deck repeatedly. It almost appears as if these type of shufflers are new to card games and don’t know how to shuffle the cards in a regular manner. The cheat then makes it so the final undercut shuffle consists of only the bottom card and lays it on the top of the deck as if it was simply the end of the shuffle.
Shuffling the bottom card to the top is especially useful to a cheat who plans on using other poker cheating methods such as second dealing or dealing extra cards to themself.
Shuffling to Keep Top Cards Undisturbed
A cheat may want to preserve the nature of the cards that are at the top of the deck because of their knonw value (from peeking) and therefore have found a way to keep them in the exact order that they were before the shuffle.
This false shuffling cheat is performed by the player using a special shuffle known as the “interlocking card” shuffle. The interlocking card shuffle is performed by taking the deck, cutting it in half, and shuffling them together. The twist that the cheat uses during the interlocking shuffle is to ensure that the top cards land on top during every shuffle, thus maintaining their position and order.
This false shuffling trick is especially dangerous when used in conjunction with a cheater who anticipates second dealing or dealing extra cards to themself.
Stacking the Deck
Unlike the poker cheat methods mentioned above, stacking the deck requires a high skill level in the art of sleight of hand. Players who have perfected this skill will generally be found at high stakes poker games, but amateurs can easily exist in other stake games too.
When a cheat plans on stacking the deck they are basically planning on ordering the cards in such a fashion that certain people receive certain cards. The outcome of the hand is predetermined by the way the cheat stacks the deck. When this cheat is performed propertly, the dealer receives the winning hand (expert deck stackers) or a very strong starting hand.
I believe that this method of cheating was best presented by the movie Rounders. Ed Harris was dealing the cards to Matt Damon and he stacked the deck so Damon would receive rolled up kings (three of a kind) as his first three cards in a seven card stud game. Ed Harris did this by seperating the position of each king by a number of cards equal to the number of players at the table. This positions the cards in the deck so Ed Harris can have a natural deal and the kings would naturally land at Matt Damon’s position at the table.
Conclusion of False Shuffling
These and all of ther forms of false shuffling have one thing in common, they allow the dealer to organize the cards in a manner that holds a benefit for him and/or his partner(s) to receive certain cards while making it appear as if his shuffle was natural. False shuffling can only be prevented by making a cut AFTER the shuffle and watching the player’s hand very closely at all times during the game.