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Cheating in live poker. Part 2.

What's up villains! We start a series of posts about different forms of cheating you may experience in live poker games around the world. This articles were originally posted by ZapahZamazki at the biggest Russian poker community Gipsyteam and afterwards translated by Worldpokerdeals.com.

Cheating in live poker. Part 2.

Part two."Push" by the dealer (without using the marked cards).

First of all, I need to describe how the "right" process of interaction between the house, the dealer, and the card deck looks like in general.
Several dealers work in shifts (more than 2), the shift lasts for half an hour — i.e. once in a half-hour the dealer sits at the table with a card deck that has been prepared beforehand (from A to K by suits), shows it spreading on the table, like in casino, makes CHEMMY Shuffle (the dealer distributes the cards on the table with his both hands, shuffles them in circular motions and piles them up), after that the card deck is put on the side (the BACK OF THE DECK facing the dealer, obligatory), the cards are aligned, and then starts the procedure of a set of shuffles standard for this house (different for every house), as a rule it's 2-1-1:

2 RIFFLE Shuffles in a row (the most popular shuffle when the deck is divided by 2 parts and the cards are shuffled by the dealer's thumbs)

1 STRIP Shuffle, when the deck is stripped several times (5–6) with a thumb and an index finger (in fact, this kind of shuffle is mandatory as a rule and it is very good in protecting the deck from fake shuffles, but I know that in many places the dealers, intentionally or not, are allowed to skip it)

1 more RIFFLE and cutting off of the deck (the part of the deck is put on the cut-off card, the rest of the cards are put above — sometimes the players are allowed to do it).

Of course, during these shuffles there should be no delays, overturning or burning of the cards (the cards can be burned when the deck is turned after the Chemmy), and the lowest card should be covered with a cut-off one, otherwise the whole shuffle should be done anew. By default, the Chemmy shuffle is done only in a half hour when the dealer or the deck is changed; in all other hands the 2-1-1 shuffle is done, but any player is allowed to ask for the Chemmy shuffle anytime (without abusing it), even during the shuffle but before the deck is cut-off (except tournament poker). Sometimes the Chemmy shuffle is done every hand. While the Riffle and Strip shuffles may be faked, making a fake Chemmy shuffle is almost impossible.

Now about the dealers. Many of things depend on the dealer's talent, skill and experience, but I'll tell you this: all these stories when the casino dealer dealt himself a Royal flush in Russian poker or about the roulette dealers who can throw the marble in the sector they need — though all these stories look fantastic, but they are not fiction at all. Of course, such sophisticated dealers worth their weight in gold and they are very rare, but they do exist. To avoid a world of questions, I recommend you to watch some documentary about the Las-Vegas card-sharpers (the first that I've found — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8_vQp7SZNU). Of course, some things in such movies are far-fetched, some are very hard in performing and have very low efficiency ratio, so they are not used anywhere, some things are not applicable to poker in the first place, some things are just impossible to be performed with standard plastic Fournier cards and are done only with carton Bicycle card decks (American carton card decks for tricks), but, say, you can pick some valuable info about the fake shuffles from these movies.

"Push" with a cooler with a card deck that has been prepared beforehand (popularity: 3/5, complexity: 3/5).

The point is very simple — the dealer uses a card deck for a table that is already known (by the number of players and the type of the game), where, let's say, there is going to be a set vs. set hand.
I would divide this "push" into 2 subtypes:

- The dealer sits with a new readied card deck and for some reason (playing fool or using the players' carelessness) does not make the shuffle at all, or does the fake (not Chemmy) shuffles and cut-offs and then deals the cooler.

- In some moment, the dealer discreetly changes the shuffled card deck with a readied one, for example with the help of the accomplice on the 1st or the 9th box, and then skips the shuffle. He can do it, for example, at the "drunk" table, during a cigarette break, or when everyone is distracted (let's say, the waitress spilt coffee or there is a new guest who loudly greets everyone).

I can say that the pool of players (the circus) might sit for several hours or even the whole evening (or gather, in the first place) for the sake of one such hand and wait for the appropriate moment that decides the fate of a deep stack (or even several).

Let me tell you a couple of fascinating stories. I once heard about a hand that saw four preflop all-ins with АА, KK, KK and 43 in a rather expensive game. You don't have to be Einstein to guess which hand won. I need hardly mention that the dealer and the player were never to be seen again. Though I think that there is a billion of such stories, the point is that it is in these situations that the readied card decks are used.
(I had a dream. The beginning of the dream): one guy was playing in the gambling den (fly-by-night likes) on good conditions. The game was fair, the table was full, including the owner of the house, there was a @@couple of "houses" on the plastic and several @@bun-guests. The bonuses were dealt, some guests won a little and left, the owner and the "houses" got stuck in the game. The game was reaching its end, the guest was on the point of leaving, but it suddenly finds out that there is no money in the cashier — emergency, what to do? It was decided to substitute the card deck (when the player looked in the opposite direction) and deal a cooler (they dealt an OESD that got there vs. a top-set of the guest). Whew... That was close... (End of the dream. I woke up).


- Occasional skipping of one or several shuffles;
- The dealer is playing fool, ignoring the players' remarks, making no Strip shuffle at all, refusing to do the Chemmy shuffle;
- Delays during the shuffle, slow shuffles;
- Action at the table every time the dealer or the deck is changed;
- Slurry, odd and dull game, when you can't understand what these people are doing here and what they are waiting for;
- The suspect that represents obvious fish playing for fun is constantly rebuying according to your full stack as if he is waiting for a cooler;
- Inadequate and alogical play from the suspect, when he, for example, being a straightforward nit fish and facing his opponent's ABC game and obvious AA, can enter the pot for a half of his stack with a little pair (say, coldcall a 4–5 bet of 400 with a 800 chip stack and 1–2 blinds) and flop his set;
- Hands like quads vs. fullhouse in the deep stacks;
- One of the particular cases: say, you've left for the bathroom and getting back you see that the hand like just started and the dealer waits for your move and not mucks your cards. Of course, you must not take part in the hands that were not shuffled in front of you.

"Push" with a card deck that's been readied during the shuffle (popularity: 1/5, complexity: 5/5).

The hardest method of "pushing" that requires madskillz from a dealer. It can happen, for example, when the dealer "pushes" independently of the house. The point is that the cards that has been peeked into by any way are collected in the "right" order during the very shuffle (Chemmy, as a rule). For example, sometimes it's quite enough to "push" 2 similar cards to the player you need and 1 card on the board (for a set), if the dealer sees 3 similar cards during the shuffle or piling of the card deck. Obviously, the fewer the players in the hand, the easier it is for the dealer to "push". The result, of course, is not 100% too, as collecting the card deck in the "right" order for all the preflop and common cards is next to unreal.


- The dealer shuffles slowly, with delays;
- The dealer spontaneously, like for fun, peeks into the cards after they are folded;
- The dealer does slow and unnatural Chemmy shuffle, sorting the cards in different piles;
- The dealer piles the card deck with its back facing the players, so he can see the lower cards;
- The dealer made a mistake during the hand and opened the turn (for example) ahead of the game (to open the "right" turn afterwards).

Particular case. Dealing the last card instead of the first one (popularity: 2/5, complexity: 4/5)

The dealer finds АА, KK, AK and other monsters in the deck with the help of any methods above, puts these 2 cards underneath the deck (as a rule) and deals them preflop to his accomplice. If the dealer is fast enough, it's almost impossible to note that. That is why his accomplice can be in a godmode in some small tournament the whole evening.

A trick with a burned flop/turn/river card (popularity: 4/5, complexity: 2/5)

The dealer pretends to play with the deck and, while holding it by default in one hand, quickly and discreetly lifts 2 upper cards with his little finger, thus letting his accomplice see the flop cards, or turn/river when his opponents thinks over his next move on the flop. A particular case — when the dealer saw the cards himself and sent a signal to his accomplice.


- The dealer restlessly holds the card deck in his hand, creeps on his chair and plays with the deck;
- The suspect sits on the 1st or the 9th box;
- With generally adequate game and obvious opponent's monster, the suspect easily pushes his stack an the turn, for example, having a gutshot or a shitty flushdraw.

Extra fee (popularity: 5/5, complexity: 1/5)

And now about a true plague of modern gambling dens. The money was/is stolen from the pot in every gambling den, the only difference is the extent of hutzpah. It is often done not only without the opposition from the club's side, but with its full support. Sometimes organizers of the game intentionally cut their staff's wages/tips, putting them on the percent from the day fee, thus stimulating the thievery. The bigger the pot and the more different chips in it — the easier it is to steal them. So never be shy to count the chips in the pot and the fee and ask the dealer about it directly. There are even cases when the dealer takes a fee of 250 instead of 50. Be stricter with them.

- The dealer messes the pot/fee or collects the fee not in the pile on the table, but in his hand;
- The dealer replaces the chips/makes unnecessary exchanges from @@the float into the bank and vice versa.
- The dealer gets his tips out of nowhere.

Timofey 10.09.16
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