A bug is a simple holdout device that is attached under the table. Most bugs are fitted with a pin, but other models have been developed with other methods of securing the bug to the table.

Bugs are usually used to cheat in the game of poker. The concept is very simple and the moves are also relatively easy to use. The bug is basically secured to the underside of the card table, near the edge, right in front of the player. When the player slides the cards towards himself and picks them up, his thumbs naturally go under the edge of the table. That's where there is a card clipped inside the bug, so that it can be picked up at the same time as the legitimate cards. This works best in games such as 5-card draw poker, lowball, and so on. It can possibly also work on 7-card draw, after the river card is dealt out, but it is definitely not the preferred method of cheating at hold'em (Texas Hold'em is actually not a game that is well suited for folding out, for various reasons).


bug: card cheating device


The bug in the photo above is made from a small round metal plate cut in half (could be a small coin, such as a penny), with a pin and a watch-spring attached. This model is described in the book Phantoms of the Card Table, and credited to Walter Scott.