In an honest game of poker, players offer each other a chance to cut the deck. Cutting the deck serves as a protection from many poker cheat techniques such as second dealing, bottom dealing, and peeking. The problem being presented is that poker cheats have learned an advanced sleight of hand technique that allows them to shift the cut made by the neighboring player.
A regular card deck cut is when the dealer moves the deck towards another player and offers that player the opportunity to cut the deck into two parts, placing the bottom part on top of the top part. This moves the cards that were originally on the top to the middle and the cards that were on the bottom to the middle.
To shift the deck, the cheat must be able to perform the trick while being under heavy watch by the other players at the table. Even though he is being watched by other players, the cheat somehow manages to take the cards that were originally on top of the deck back on top of the deck.
How Does a Cheat Properly Shift the Cut in a Deck of Cards?
There are several different ways that a cheat can shift the deck. We will start with the simplest method and then describe more difficult methods.
Easy: You are going to say “duh” when you hear this one. Simply take the original top half of the deck and place it back on top of the deck. If the cheat is playing against savvy opponents it is best to distract them with their free hand. If nobody is looking, this cheat is very easy to accomplish without anybody catching on.
Intermediate: The cheat will take the bottom pile and pass it over the top pile, then quickly pick up the other pile at the same time and drop it on top of the cards. This maneuver basically makes it so the deck is exactly as it was before the cut every occurred, allowing the cheat to move desired cards to the top or bottom of the deck so they can set the deck up before the deal
Expert: The cheat will pick the deck up and drop the bottom pile on top of the top pile, making it appear as if the cut was honestly performed. However, the bottom pile was not effectively dropped directly onto the top pile. It was dropped so there is a considerable edge of where the original cards landed, also known as “the step” by many magicians. The cheat will then take the step and keep it seperated and use it to replace the bottom pile with the top pile by pretending to square the deck. If this is done with dexterity, the cheat will have accomplished this trick without disturbing the cards.
Final Words About Shifting the Deck’s Cut to Cheat at Poker
Shifting the cut requires a lot of practice and a great deal of skill. Once this skill has been mastered, it can be extemely dangerous when used in conjunction with the other variations of cheating at poker, especially because they can now cheat an “honest game.”