crooked shuffles

Crooked shuffles for card cheating

Introduction to crooked shuffles:

A crooked shuffle (a.k.a. false shuffle) is any shuffle which does not accomplish the primary goal of a shuffle. There are numerous methods of crooked shuffles can be divided into two groups:

Crooked shuffles mimic different shuffling styles. Some crooked shuffles may be made to look like overhand shuffles, while others may mimic a riffle shuffle. By rule of thumb, a cheat should use the appropriate style for the appropriate circumstances. For example, although a riffle-style crooked shuffle may be superior to an overhand style, it may look out of place in a garage poker game where people are used to look at sloppy shuffles. In other words, in this case a riffle shuffle may simply look too slick, so the cheat will adjust to the skill level of the other players.

Some crooked shuffles are easy to spot. This is usually the case when the cheat uses an overhand-style stacking method. In order to stack the deck for a good hand, the cheat will at one point manipulate single cards, rather thank groups of cards. As a result the shuffle takes up the appearance of a count (which is exactly what the cheat happen to be doing - counting cards).

If you ever suspect that a player is either stacking the deck or using any other method of manipulating the deck during the shuffle you can always ask to shuffle the deck yourself. According to general rules of card games any player can shuffle the deck out of turn, but the dealer must shuffle last. However, if the dealer is in fact attempting to stack the deck, and you ask to shuffle out of turn, your shuffle will most likely spoil the set up the dealer may have had.

There are some other good principles to follow. One is to insist that the cards be scrambled after the showdown and before the dealer picks them up for the shuffle. The other is to insist that the deck is openly cut and that the cut is openly completed. Many authorities also suggest that you play with two decks (one red, one blue) and rotate the decks randomly. This procedure not only makes it harder for cheats to hold out cards, but also makes it more difficult to benefit from culling cards into slugs - because the cheat never knows who will get to shuffle the deck (possibly containing a slug).

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