Thumb Prick Card Punch
an improved classic card-cheating gaff
This card punch is used to mark card during a game, by punching miniature blisters onto the cards as they are being handled. The blister marks can be read by feel in much the same way as reading the Braille script. This method of marking cards is particularly well-suited for second dealing, but it cal also be used just to gain information about the location of certain cards. It takes a considerable amount of practice to be able to use this gaff properly, in a live game.
There have been many variations of this classics card punch. One crude variation is a modified thumb tack worn under a Band-Aid. In that case a pin protrudes through the Band-Aid and can be used to punch cards during the game. Another variation is a small metal disc with a pin on one side. That type of punch is intended to be glued onto the skin; the problem is that any metal disc, no matter how small, can be noticed because it stands out like a sore thumb (no pun intended).
Finally, we designed our own variation which we believe to be superior to all the previous variations of this gaff. Our card punch consists of a metal pin that has been submerged into a tiny droplet of translucent colorless hard resin. The diameter of our punch is around 2.5 mm, which we believe to be the smallest size that will still give enough support to enable the user to punch a blister through a playing card.
The image below shows our card punch as it appears when in use. The translucent resin base makes it almost impossible to see from a natural distance. Even if one knows what to look for (and where to look for it) one has to look very closely to see the punch. The punch is glued onto the skin by a special skin adhesive (sold separately). When glued properly the punch should stay on for a long time and there should be no risk that the gaff should come off.
Please note that the position of the card punch on this image is not necessarily the best place to wear the punch when in use. This is simply the place we used for this photo, to get a good angle for photographing the gaff. Suggestions for use of the punch are included in a PDF downloadable file that is available to customers that purchased the card punch.
The blisters produced with this card punch will be somewhat coarser than blisters produced with a mechanical pegger. This is not in any way a malfunction of this gaff. This gaff has been designed to work on the fly, during a card game, while the cards are handled in the hands. Those conditions, along with the fact that the punch is worn on the skin, are not the best conditions for a completely controlled environment. This punch simply does the job when one has to sit down at a game where one cannot control all the variable. If you are looking for a precision punch, one that will give you 100% control over the quality of the blisters, then you should be looking for a mechanical pegger which can only be used to put the work on the cards before the game.
Caution: Harmful if swallowed.