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Types of false shuffles and how to spot them

When it comes to playing with cards, you will often be with someone who will assist and manage the game. In casinos, these people are called dealers and one of their most important tasks is to shuffle the deck as the game progresses. 

While a good dealer is aware of the rules and mechanics of the game, there are dishonest ones who will intentionally shuffle the cards in a way that they can manipulate the outcome of the deal. Avoid such cheaters trick you by learning the various types of shuffles and how to spot them below:

False riffle shuffle

The riffle shuffle is one of the most common ways to arrange the cards randomly before dealing. Since it is easy to do, cheaters quickly found a way to trick the players by manipulating the arrangement of the cards while doing this type of shuffle. Here is how the false riffle shuffle is done:

  1. Divide the deck into 2 and split it as evenly as possible.
  2. Riffle the cards down the table or in the air, whichever is preferred.
  3. Once all the cards have been rifled down, you will observe that the deck has been separated into 2 halves which means that they are not completely piled into one. 
  4. Get the other half of the card by sliding it diagonally then return them on top of the other portion.

How to spot a false riffle shuffle:

Since cheaters use 2 portions of the cards to control the order of the deck, see if the deck is being arranged into one portion before they cut it again. If you don’t see them doing that, call them out or request them to make sure that the piles are arranged into one after every split. Doing this will ensure that they won’t know exactly where the two portions of the cards are, preventing them from doing the false riffle shuffle. 

Moreover, make sure that the dealers use more than one kind of shuffling method aside from the riffle shuffle. Keep in mind that no single card trick can be used in all kinds of shuffle methods. Thus, deviations in the way cards are shuffled can help ensure that dealers have no tricks up their sleeves.

False overhand shuffle

The false overhand shuffle is a card control technique that is designed to look like the deck is being shuffled fairly even if it is not. Here is how card manipulators do the false overhand shuffle:

  1. Hold the whole deck using your dominant hand and place your other hand under it.
  2. Drop 10 to 15 cards, or whatever portion you want to split, from the top of the deck then take the deck of cards up. Flip the 10-15 cards to the other side to provide room for the next portion you are going to drop.
  3. Return the deck to your palm then drop another 10-15 cards and flip them next to the pile earlier.
  4. Continue doing this until the cards you are holding using your dominant hand runs out.

How to spot a false overhand shuffle:

It is hard to spot a false overhand shuffle especially if the shuffler has fast hands. One way to see if they are doing this card manipulation is to check if they consistently peek at the top or bottom of the cards. If they’re doing that, it means they are making sure that the deck is back to its desired order.

False deals and cuts

Dealing cards is a way of distributing randomly-ordered cards fairly. When the cheater wants a specific card to be pulled, he should place the card anywhere other than the top. Three main types of false deals are often used in card manipulation, and these are the second, middle and bottom card deals. Take a look at how they are done below:

Second deal

In a second deal, the cheater is expected to deal with the desired card by pulling the second card on top of the deck. The cheater should maintain the illusion that he is taking the top card, when in fact he is taking the next one.

This is challenging to pull off since you will be extracting a card between other ones which may cause friction. As a result, the pull may not appear natural and players may call the shuffler out. In other cases, the shuffler will fail to get the desired card and remain inside the deck.

Bottom deal

The bottom deal is one of the most powerful moves of a professional cheater since the desired card is placed on the bottom. With this, the card can be quickly retrieved and easily pulled to the side. However, since the card is at the bottom, it will be hard to show the illusion that the card is dealt from the top. The only way to spot this false deal is if the cheater has fluttering fingers which will ruin the illusion.

Middle deal

In the middle deal card trick, the cheater’s desired card is placed in the middle of the deck and pulled out while maintaining the illusion that it came from the top. 

The good news is that cheaters are most likely to use second and bottom card deals compared to the middle one. This is because doing the middle deal card trick is too risky and difficult since the cheater has to put the desired card in the middle of the deck, maintain it and eventually pull it out.

How online casinos prevent false shuffles

With the help of the latest technology, it is now hard for people to cheat in online casinos which gives players peace of mind knowing the games are fair. Take a look at how online casinos prevent false shuffles below:

Card shuffling machines

To ensure there won’t be any cheating involved, online casinos are using automatic card shuffling machines that are designed to improve the randomness of the shuffles within seconds using mechanical tricks. There are two kinds of card shuffling machines which are:

  • Automatic shuffling machines: Shuffle one deck of cards
  • Continuous shuffling machines: Shuffle one or more decks of cards continuously.

Multiple high definition cameras

Live games are being broadcast online. That’s why clear and high definition cameras are required to give the players multiple angles where they can view the table clearly. Players can now monitor the cards just like how they will see them in a brick and mortar casino. Thus, they will be able to spot any card manipulation easily.

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