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If someone offered to introduce you to a real mugger you probably would not feel too thrilled about the idea. By contrast, should anyone offer to introduce you to a real card shark you might feel different. Even if card sharks and muggers basically do the same thing (i.e. they find ways to get people to hand over their money to them) you still feel different about each one of them. Card sharks seems to have a certain appeal the muggers lack. This is why I've created the Bustout Dealer show where people get the chance to voluntarily submit themselves to a crooked blackjack game (please visit our sister site).

Muggers use brute force and physical threats to get the money. They prefer to attack helpless people or anyone who seems to be weaker than they are. In essence, your average mugger is just a bandit.

Card sharks, however, use strategies, tricks and refined skills to make suckers "voluntarily" hand out their money to them. In some cases it took them years to learn their craft and some of the tricks they use are considered to be secrets of the trade. In short, they get the same results as muggers but they use different methods to accomplish these results. That's why card sharks will always have a certain appeal over the dumb criminals. In fact, in most places, card sharping may not even be specifically prohibited by law.

It takes years to become a capable card shark and most likely every single one of them had to pay for an expensive lesson at one time or another. When they were young and less experienced they were most likely also victims of bigger sharks. In their case could be (should be) more or less considered like paying for college -- an investment into a future career. From a purely financial point of view it really doesn't make much difference if you pay someone for a private lesson or if you lose some money learning. One way or the other you pay to learn. In the real world one could spend thousands of Dollars for this education.

This site offers the privilege to have a glimpse into the same secrets for a fraction of the cost. For the price of a deck of cards you have one year of unlimited access to all the information on this site. Once you have an active membership, you have the option to sign up for our Bulletin Board and share ideas and information with other members around the world.

Some of the cheating strategies described on this site are old tricks; others fall into the category of (what some may like to call) closely kept secrets of the gambling community.

Throughout this site I will assume that the reader is familiar with the basic rules of popular card games (mostly poker, blackjack and baccarat) so these basic rules will not be explained here. Should you ever have the need to look up the rules, please visit our rules of card games page on our sister site Playing Cards Online.


How do I feel about cheating?

I have absolutely no respect for irresponsible gamblers who just keep tossing money into high-risk situations that will most likely end up costing them. I don't believe there is such thing as a "friendly" poker game, as some like to call private poker games. One thing you should generally avoid doing with real friends, is taking money (as in poker). I personally don't see anything friendly about a bunch of people getting together and playing cards with the intention to take each other's money.

As a matter of course, I always assume others will try to cheat. Playing cards are essentially cheating devices that are occasionally used to play a game on the square. Next time you play poker try switching the deck on your group. Then sit back, relax and watch them play. You'll see... it's a totally different experience when you know the exact outcome of a game while everyone else is just trying to figure out how to beat the game. It's no longer the same game as when you play it on the square.

Unlike a mugger, one can be a card cheat and consider himself to be an ethical cheat. But wouldn't "cheating" and "ethics" be a contradiction in terms? It all depends how you look at it. One can deliberately target suckers that have earned the right to be taught a lesson. Without getting into too much detail I am sure anyone can think of at least three people who deserve to be taught a lesson. One could say that these same folks may also deserve to be mugged. However, this is where I would disagree, because a mugging is a violent crime, but cheating at cards is more about outsmarting an opponent.

But I don't want to be misunderstood or end this on the wrong note. It is a fact that most card cheats are just compulsive gamblers and low-life crooks. The odds of finding a card cheat with high moral and ethical standards are like the odds of finding a salamander in the Sahara desert. Although this animal does exist it is definitely a rare species.


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