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Profile of TH10111
Thanks guys!

Expertmagician, I would be happy to get involved in some constructive conversations to further develop the ideas Smile

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Profile of Cagliostro
I thought it might be interesting to a few to read about a real time, done under fire example, of killing cards. I know most want to see some fancy move or read some exciting story, but perhaps a few might be interested in reading about how it has been done and then figure it out from there.

First of all, I enjoyed Killing Cards and from a theoretical perspective it offered some good information. It is important to note that the concept of killing cards is really a subset of location play. There are other things that can be done with location play that do not involve killing cards in the way described and can be as strong or even stronger, in fact considerably stronger. That being said, let's get back to the book itself.

Killing Cards concentrated the analysis on poker as this is probably the most familiar game to most who read the book. While the analysis was good, it was highly theoretical and therefore has to be modified somewhat for use in the real world. Consider that there are many gambling card games other than poker that are played for big money, in some cases much bigger than poker.

Winning at poker is usually a slow, drawn out process and in most casinos the poker pit is off to the side, away from the main pit games and of somewhat lesser importance to the casino's bottom line. It is not considered a "main" casino game and its popularity is in part derived because of continual TV coverage. Contrast this with say Blackjack, Craps or Baccarat where there can be a decision every 10-15 seconds or so and which can have betting limits of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 or more for select players depending upon the casino policy.

Let me start by saying that amateur games, which range from somewhat structured formats on down to anything goes, is the arena where you would most likely find the standard, somewhat overexposed card moves being used (stacking, hops, seconds, bottoms, etc.), with various levels of proficiency and success. Knowledge about these moves is almost commonplace.

In the more professional plays where the bigger money is usually made, one very important element is to fool the minds of one's opponents, not necessarily their eyes. This is where the critical elements of grift sense, con, cleverness, timing and other non-move factors come into play. If a move is involved in the play, it usually is the least important element and often is something simple.

With that being said, here is an example of an actual play, purposely going back in time, showing a real method, the principles and psychology involved and the reasons for this type approach which members can build on if they are so inclined.

Similar approaches are still being used, in different form and structure, some of which can be quite strong. However, the reason I use old plays for expose examples is because divulging current methods can adversely affect those who are using these techniques so that information is off the board as far as I am concerned. I don't have to "prove" anything by having an ego trip.

So here is an old example of how it was done in the past. The game in question was a single deck game of Blackjack with standard casino rules. A professional hustler was working with the dealer, the cards were dealt down to about the last 1/4 of the deck (13 cards) and the deck was fairly cut. The dealer was able to kill 6 low cards every time he shuffled, so they would not come up during the deal and in effect had been removed from play. (The six low cards killed were not be the same each and every deal through the deck).

The hustler automatically had an edge of 3 percent over the house right off the top of the deck while playing basic strategy and while his edge fluctuated above and below the 3 percent mark as the cards depleted, it remained pretty consistent on average but increased significantly at times during the deal. (For example, at about the 26 card level, if the deck composition remained the same as new deck distribution, with 6 low cards killed his edge would increase to 6%). He was also a decent card counter and varied his play of the hand slightly (hitting, standing, doubling down and splitting) depending on the count which increased his edge even more.

All the dealer had to do was to kill or control six cards during the shuffles and cuts, something that required only modest ability with the right technique and was done undetectibly against surveillance and the cameras. The cards were then cut "fairly" (no breaks, briefs, crimps, etc.) to bring this "slug" to the bottom 1/4 of the deck by the hustler/player. Those who are somewhat proficient with basic manipulation can figure this part out for themselves - it is pretty simple stuff.

Does anyone not think it is worthwhile to have a 3 percent edge (or more) over the house, consistently hand after hand with a win/lose decision every 15 seconds or so and virtually no chance of being caught or accused of cheating, something that will fool the floor men (assuming they are not in on the play), fool the cameras and even if suspected, there would be no valid proof? Keep in mind the hustler couldn't be suspected of card counting on this play because he was flat betting and playing a pretty straight forward game.

Here is how the play breaks down mathematically; on average the hustler gets 75 hands per hour in a heads up game which is quite reasonable. Also let's assume he is betting $1,000 a hand and let's be conservative and keep the edge at $3%. So, 75 hands per hour x $1,000 per hand = $75,000 worth of action. $75,000 x 3% means the player will "earn" $2,250 per hour.

A normal stay at a hotel casino is about three days. If the player puts in 20 hours of play over a three day period which is not hard to do, he will earn about $45,000 during that time period. If he is considered a whale, has a credit line enabling him to play $5,000 per hand, he will earn five times the amount shown above which is $225,000.00. The beauty of this is he can keep coming back time after time, say every 3 to 6 months or so and have his entire stay comped each time by the casino, receive all types of perks and be considered a highly desirable premium player.

Contrast this with a sleight of hand "mover" approach. Does it seem better to work the way described above with virtually zero chance of getting "nailed" and where the hustler can win or actually "earn" large amounts of money over time, or instead have the dealer pull seconds, hop the cut, flash cards, run-up hands or any similar type move under close scrutiny and video surveillance, even though that type work can be a great deal stronger?

The answer would seem to be obvious to all but the most oblivious to "real" card table chicanery.

The first approach would just keep generating money for the hustler, and did so play after play, trip after trip and the second would get the hustler back roomed and perhaps beaten up and/or landed in jail.

Using strippers as explained in Killing Cards would make the play even stronger but the inside would have to be involved to get the cards in.

And...that is just one small example of how it has been "professionally" done in the real world, under fire; the setup, planning, thinking, psychology, cleverness and lack of sleight of hand in going for and "getting the money."

There are many other ways to apply similar concepts, some considerably stronger than this and not just in casino card games but also in Poker, Gin and other private games, but the bottom line is this: you not only want to fool people visually, but more importantly fool them mentally or psychologically.

I have known professional advantage players who use mostly their playing ability to win in private and casino games that regularly use similar techniques to increase their edge significantly and...their chance of getting "nailed" is virtually zero. The worst that could happen is they get "winning heat."

Funny thing though, the above would not even make for an interesting story or exciting demo performance. For that you would need a lot of fancy, razzmatazz manipulative moves like dealing Greek bottoms, thirds, fifths, centers, hops, one handed bottoms or whatever else visually and viscerally excites the mind of man.
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Eternal Order
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Profile of tommy
Thank's Cag.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Profile of Cagliostro
You're welcome, tommy.
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Profile of MarcoLostSomething
Thank You Cag, an interesting post and story to read!
As a side note, you're overestimating the move-like posts, I think every gambling related post is informative for whoever is interested in the subject.

@TH: I'm reading it, I'll post you my comments when I have finished it.
For now I can say that I'd follow the Stripper Chapter better with the help of some more pictures (maybe because of the convention of N's in my mind as a certain type of work).
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Profile of Cagliostro
On Feb 17, 2017, MarcoLostSomething wrote:

Thank You Cag, an interesting post and story to read!
As a side note, you're overestimating the move-like posts, I think every gambling related post is informative for whoever is interested in the subject.

Okay...I agree. However, keep in mind my posts are geared more to modern day professional play rather than standard card manipulation techniques.
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Profile of Expertmagician
Interesting post...thanks Cagliostro !
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