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tenbob

tenbob

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This has been a post ive been wanting to do for a while. I put up a poll a while ago to see just how many people play live.

https://www.cardschat.com/showthread.php?t=63349

And BBB put up a post about how many people are prepared to cheat

[old link~tb]https://www.cardschat.com/showthread.php?t=64058[/URL]

Ive also seen several threads about cheating, house rules etc ect so hopefully this will clear up a lot of questions.

The sad fact about poker is that it attracts a bad element, gamblers, drinkers, cheaters, along with the majority of people. This is by no means definitive and just my experience, feel free to critize or add to this guys.

OK let’s start at the beginning, your starting a home/bar game. You need to set rules and stick to them, the basic basic stuff is the most important, and this avoids confusion and arguments at the table. Have your blind levels set and timed correctly, and all breaks made clear.

Betting: Announce your intention (check, call, raise, fold) and then move your chips in one movement towards the centre of the table, not into the pot.

Act in turn: Texas holdem is a positional game, even if you’re going to fold your button, wait until it’s your turn to do so. An out of turn call, will stand if someone ahead of you raises, it will cost you chips.

Folding: Throw your cards face down into the muck pile. Don’t hold on to them or tell any other players what they are. Once you muck your cards you are folded! Be careful, don’t fold you un-raised BB and then attempt to retrieve them.

Raising: ANNOUNCE your intention to raise first. Your raise must be at least twice the amount of the BB or the previous raiser. (You cannot raise to 300 if the previous bet was 200, you must raise to 400 or more, unless you’re all-in)

String-Betting: Is if a player doesn’t put his/her chip into the centre in one movement it’s considered a string-bet and is disallowed. This is the same thing as saying CALL pause AND I RAISE 1000. This is disallowed for several reasons, the main one being experienced players will call a raise, attempt to spot a tell, and re-raise if the raiser gives a tell or appears weak. I would let in-experienced players away with this the first time, but not the second. The call would stand, not the raise.


OK THAT’S THE BASICS. NOW TO THE CHEATING BIT


Disclaimer: I by no means endorse cheating, and although well versed in the tricks of the trade I never use them. I feel every poker player should be aware of the possible techniques used against them, cheating is effectively stealing.

Cheating is VERY prevalent in poker and always was. The first time I ever saw it was an incident in an army barracks in Donegal. 5 card draw game, the cheater was stealing 3’s and sticking them under the table with blu-tak. He figured no one would notice 3’s missing, he was right. In the biggest hand of the night, the guy produced quad 3’s to make several hundred pounds. No one noticed, expect the guy I was drinking with, who knew the craic with this dude and had me told to watch his method.

Now the most common form of cheating is COLLUSION, ive come across it more than once.

Collusion is two or more players playing together with the goal of getting heads up with your accomplice. This can be very effective, but unless they are experienced it’s usually very easy to spot. Colluding players will fold KK to AA, fold their nut flush to an unlikely boat ECT, by signalling their hands to each other. This signalling can be as basic as the way that they stack their chips
https://www.cardschat.com/cheaters-never-win.php
Or as complicated as having third parties sitting behind you, (happened to me a matter of weeks ago) or even tapping Morse code on the table.

Soft Playing: Usually by a husband/wife, best mates act; it involves checking down huge hands that they would usually bet. These players do not want to take money off each other. Some games tolerate it, it is however a form of cheating. This takes a more sinister turn when the colluders bet out a third party and then check it down.
Chip Dumping: Involves your colluding friends once more, in a tournament situation, the bigger stack will raise with the intention of getting heads up with his buddy, chips can then be dumped to the smaller stack easily. If you see players that usually soft-play each other, fold out of a large pot, because of a small bet, you can be sure they are chip dumping.


SPLASHING THE POT : Is basically throwing a handful of chip into the pot without doing a correct count. I find players that do this generally are short ! Why else would anyone do it ? Don’t allow players at the table to do this.

CHIP IMPORTING

These days poker chip are widely available, mark your chips, or buy a custom set, its very easy for a player to put a common $50 chip into their pocket and introduce it to the game. Or pack your case of chips so tight that it can’t handle a single extra chip. At least you’ll know if extra chips are being introduced.

CARD MARKING

Last week in a live game a regular commented to be, that the cards were creased. I said “I know he has the Queens marked”. So many players will corner fold, nick or crease Aces, but the better cheaters will mark lowers cards, ive even seen 8’s marked. If you see creased or corner folded cards, change the deck. Even better have plastic cards, that take much more effort to mark.

Marked cards: YES they exist. We sell them. It took me 15 minutes to tell a genuine red bee card form a marked red bee. Buy a pack learn how to read them. Better still make sure you open a new sealed pack at the start of each game. Have some back up packs, always sealed. It’s worth it!
An easy way to protect yourself from marked decks is to as the cheats say "go to the movies". The idea is to flip through the cards rapidly, treating the deck much like a movie flip-book. If there is any difference in the cards, they should become rapidly apparent

ANGLE SHOOTING

Ok this is an odd one, its not exactly cheating, more bending the rules a little. Example raising out of the SB out of turn, in order to get others to fold. Or placing a bet that looks like a min raise, but you have a large denomation chip hidden in the centre of your stack, and forcing a player to call your larger than expected raise.

MISCALLING HANDS:

Calling 4 hearts a flush, or announcing your 2 pair as a full-house. This may sound very stupid but it works, and this is a trick ive seen in action. The thing about this method is that the cheater if corrected will simply say that he has made a mistake.

Realistically the cheaters that should cause the most problems for you are the card mechanics. Everyone thinks seems to think a card mechanic is like Kiser Sosee (forgive the spelling film fans) but it’s very real, I can even do it! It can be very difficult to spot but generally card mechanics hold the pack in a different way.

Much cheating occurs through the perfection of sleight of hand in manipulating cards in the deck. This is facilitated by a special manner of holding the deck to perform these cheating manoeuvres. One such way of holding the deck is called the Mechanic's Grip.

To best understand this grip, pick up a deck of cards as though you were preparing to deal some cards out. It is likely that you are currently holding the deck in the palm of your hand with all four fingers on the long side of the deck, and your thumb on the top of the deck. When you deal, you use your thumb to push a single card onto the tips of your four fingers. The thumb holds the card in this place until the thumb and index finger of the other hand grabs it and deals it across the table.

Now, holding the deck in this manner, move your index finger and middle finger from the long side of the deck to the short side of the deck away from yourself. In a very general sense, this is the Mechanic's Grip. It is through this grip that such cheating as peeking, second dealing, and bottom dealing are facilitated. Note that more of the deck is now being concealed by your hand.

Another Mechanic's Grip is to hold the deck with the thumb on top of the deck, the index finger holding around the front edge, the two middle fingers beneath the deck, and the little finger around the rear edge. This manner also ensures that much of the deck is being covered by the dealer's hand


People generally don’t use this grip unless they are going to attempt to cheat, if you spot someone using this grip be very aware of their deals.

Basic card mechanics use the following bag of tricks.
Second dealing: Is basically keeping the top card in place and dealing the second card to whomever he wants (usually himself)

Bottom Dealing: Dealing from the bottom of the deck, he will usually deal the bottom card to himself, used in conjunction with second dealing; the cheating player can effectively give himself any 2 hole cards.

Palming Cards: Is basically removing a card from the deck for use at a later stage.

Extra dealing: Giving himself 3 cards instead of 2, and keeping the extra card for use at a later stage in the game. Both of these tricks are easy (ish) to spot as the cheater will have to re-introduce the extra card to the pack. But the cheater usually just pockets or discards the extra card. (If you spot a 2 on the floor, after your game, someone usually has been careless while attempting to cheat.)

There are no less than four manners of false shuffling:

1) Keeping the bottom card on the bottom. At the ideal opportunity, the cheat will glance at the bottom card, after which the cheat will deal in such a manner as to keep that card at the bottom. This can be done with the "interlocking card" shuffle where the deck is divided in two halves that are shuffled together by interlocking the cards. Ensuring that the half with the correct bottom card is brought down first, that card will remain at the bottom. This trick is useful for a cheat who anticipates bottom dealing.

2) Shuffling the bottom card to the top of the deck. At the ideal opportunity, the cheat will glance at the bottom card, after which the cheat will shuffle that card to the very top of the deck. This can be done with the "undercut" shuffle whereby the bulk of the deck is held in the left hand, with the right hand pulling out portions of cards and shuffling them off onto the top of the rest of the deck in several motions. Ensuring that the final motion consists of only one card -what was the bottom card- this card is dropped by itself onto the very top of the deck. This trick is useful for a cheat who anticipates second dealing or dealing extra cards.

3) Shuffling to keep one card or a number of cards undisturbed at the top of the deck. Either by having used the second form of false shuffling, or by having peeked at the top card, the cheat will shuffle the deck so that the top card remains at the top. This is done with the "interlocking card" shuffle where the two halves are shuffled together by interlocking the cards. Ensuring that the half with the correct top card is brought down last, that card will remain at the top. This trick is useful for a cheat who knows what the top card is, and plans to second deal or deal extra cards.

4) Stacking the deck: This manoeuvre requires considerably greater sleight of hand ability. It is less likely that a poker cheat who is that skilled and experienced will find himself or herself at a smaller stakes table, where the money to be made is not as great. However, a deck-stacker may just as soon sit in on such a home game. Stacking the deck is the act of manipulating the positions of cards in the deck while shuffling. Manipulated properly, they allow the dealer to deal himself or herself a specific hand. For example, the cheat shuffles the cards until all four Kings have been positioned at the top of the deck. No simple feat, but this is the easy part. The dealer then proceeds to shuffle the cards in such a way where each King is separated by a number of cards equal to the number of other players at the table. That way, the dealer performs a natural deal with all four Kings landing in his or her own hand.

The deck can also be stacked by picking up mucked cards in such an order as to “Clump” them at the top of the pack, so they will fall as the dealer desired. Achieved again by false shuffling.


Even the cut is worthless protection if the dealer is allowed to shuffle at all after it. The cut is only effective if the dealer immediately deals after it. Any false shuffling allows the dealer to manipulate the deck.


What do you do if you see someone cheating?
Well the nature of the beast is that they will deny it to the death. They may even try to get into your game again. Be firm on your rules and you need to have definite proof of whats going on. This is difficult and varies from situation to situation.
If you see cheating at a game that you are new to, shut up, say nothing, and get your ass out of there. It’s likely the table is playing YOU.

Remember low stakes will not deter a cheat, nor will letting everyone know that you know “All the tricks in the book”, this may make them more determined to get away with it.

That’s it for the moment. This is by no means an authoritative guide (this thread was originally 11 pages long), but it’s the basics that every poker player NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF.
 
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diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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Nice post tenbob. I was unaware that I had a fellow card mechanic amongst the CC members. I have always loved cards since I was a kid, and enjoyed doing card tricks and other such things which is where I learned mechanic's grips and ways to force cards, false cuts, base dealing, second dealing, and all kinds of other nifty stuff.
 
Greg

Greg

Keyser Soze
Thanks for teaching me how to cheat tenbob ;).

In all seriousness excellent post - i'm sure this will be made into an article.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
/me is not going to get into a game with Tenbob or Diablo

Good stuff to know though...
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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Maybe that's why I like live play better than online, huh?:)

Truthfully, I play in some games periodically that I would be downright scared to be caught rigging the deck. Being a decent card mechanic is easy, but being a very good one (as in undetectable by anyone that is sober) is almost impossible. If you mess with a deck enough in front of people they will eventually catch on to what you're doing. The principle is the same one that magicians use for not doing the same trick in front of an audience repeatedly when it involves sleight of hand or forcing cards, etc. Cheaters are the lowest form of life and is the same as outright thievery.
 
tenbob

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diabloblanco said:
Cheaters are the lowest form of life and is the same as outright thievery.

Ive been involved in 2 incidents of collusion against me personally in the last few months. The first time it was beginners and became very obvious very quickly. The last time though I took it very personally.

I was at the heads up stage of a game when the guys i usually dominate heads up, seemed to wake up with some kinda of amazing insight into whay i had in my hand. It was ****ing amazing, he knew when to push or fold every time. A mate of mine spotted what was happening, I was kinda pissed, and not guarding my hole cards correctly.

Basically he had a guy simply looking over my shoulder at my hole cards and indiciating to his mate what to do. Gave his accomplice the Irish-mans death stare. I re-adjusted, and normal service resumed, but the 2 guys legged it after the game was over, he never even collected his cash, which was over €200.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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You seem to have an uncanny knack for keeping your cool when in situations where I would flip my lid and go friggin' nuts on someone.
 
tenbob

tenbob

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Not really I couldnt get to the bastard in time, he just legged it, so i just took his money !
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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You seem to have an uncanny knack for keeping your cool when in situations where I would flip my lid and go friggin' nuts on someone.
 
trentonlf

trentonlf

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Very nice tenbob!

I was at a live tourney once where we were getting more players at our table and it so happened that a husband and wife got to sit next to each other. No big deal usually but i caught them showing each other their hole cards when they were both still in the hand (one would lean back a little as if relaxing and then look to their partners cards wich they would just happen to be flipping up to check at that time lol). Pointed it out to the tourney director and the table was broken (sadly nothing happened with the two players as i was the only one who saw it, but i have not seen them back either)


g/l
 
Tammy

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I despise cheaters. Like Diablo said, it is just basic, downright theivery. I would always be the banker when we'd play Monopoly as kids, just to make sure no one was "withdrawing" from the bank. :p And during home games, I'm the one with the rules in hand settling any argument.

Great thread Tenbob! It never ceases to amaze me how low on the ladder of life some people are.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

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tenbob, this is the best poker related post I have ever read on this forum. I read it twice. I'm printing it to read on the jobsite tomorrow. This must be blogged.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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Better article than a blog entry. This is great information that needs to be easy to find and not lost in archived blogs.
 
Gizzi315

Gizzi315

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/me agrees with Dave

Nice and naive people like me would never guess there are people who would do this stuff out there.

It is good to be aware of tho. AWESOME post!

Gizzi :hello:
 
A

AceofKings

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GREAT POST

i have a player at my home games that always splashes when he is all in on a short stack, also i have a player that raises out of turn, i never thought twice about it TILL NOW, buh buh buh!!!! youve opened my eyes
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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I just want to point out that a professionally trained poker dealer will have something very close to the "mechanic's grip"-- but please don't automatically think you are getting cheated the next time you are playing poker in a casino!
 
Mr. Pink

Mr. Pink

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Agreed!

And by the same logic, don't assume you are NOT getting cheated by the dealer, just because you happen to be playing in a reputable casino. Make sure you don't fall off your chair when you read what I am about to say.

I have seen, with my own eyes, a dealer stealing chips from a pot, in a reputable casino. In fact, I have seen the same dealer do it over and over again. Of course none of the players saw anything because it is usually understood that dealers protect the games for the benefit of the players. But remember one thing. Dealers are human. Some humans are bitter and think that they are not getting paid or tipped enough.
 
Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels

Charcoal Mellowed
LOL at Mr Pink resurrecting yet ANOTHER two + year old thread.
I have seen, with my own eyes, a dealer stealing chips from a pot, in a reputable casino. In fact, I have seen the same dealer do it over and over again.
We call that "rake". :p
 
amygrantfan

amygrantfan

Rock Star
i would have never thought of these things. thanks for pointing them out. i play home games all the time w/friends. i don't tyhink anyone ever cheats, but i suppose it doesn't hurt to be on the lookout
 
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