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Ross W
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Does it happen much? Personally I am beginning to doubt it. Here's why:

These days most games seems to fall into two types (at least where I play). There's the casual game with friends and acquaintances, for proper money but really, who's going to cheat in these circumstances? It would be VERY easy in the games I play: everyone is so relaxed that you could get away with anything! Of course, no one does. (I don't think...!)

Then there's the bigger games, with strangers and high-stakes players. And these are almost always run by professional dealers, severely limiting one's ability to stack, false cut, false deal and so on.

Does anyone these days do second-deals and so on for any reason other than demos of crooked gambling techniques? Moreover, going back a few years, to what extent were the "greats" - Walter Scott, Erdnase etc. really involved with real games? Surely they'd be recognised? Are there verifiable stories of men being found out and shot, or is this all part of the mythology of the card cheat?
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ImpromptuBoy
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Here are my thoughts. Let's divide the games you're talking about into two types: private/home games, and playing in an actual casino.
In private/home games, without surveillance, cheating will most likely occur, as often as a cheat wants to cheat. The only way to get caught in these types of games are if you mess up a move, or there might be someone who's knowledgeable at the table you're playing with. The knowledgeable person can walk away from the game if they know you're cheating, or worse scenrario, you get your arms taken off. So if you palm a card, and you drop it by accident, you're pretty much dead.
In an actual casino, you are carefully monitored. There's pit bosses, and surveillance. Cheating does happen in casinos, but you have to be a champion if you want to pull it off successfully. A group of hustlers/rings will work in unison to cheat the casino. They plan what they're going to do well ahead of time, and they practice it for a very long time before they'd bring it into actual play. But with today's technology in casinos, eventually you'll get caught, one way or another.
The only ways to beat a casino is if you're extremely lucky, or if you cheat. But cheating's the worst thing you can do. Think of what's on the line when you cheat, and what you're risking.
Ross, I hope this information helped you out a little
Paul H
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I think its also worth pointing out that the UK does not have the same poker culture enjoyed for many decades by the US. I suspect that soft private games are much harder to come by in Britain and lucrative high stakes poker is more likely to be professionally managed.

Regards,

Paul H
Ross W
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OK - so let's accept that the cheating methods that we demonstrate in our acts have no, or very little, place in casino games.

That leaves private games. These days, though, don't most high-stakes private games hire a dealer? Hell, I've been to plenty of low-stakes games where a few guys get together and hire a dealer. OK - so you could be a crooked dealer available for hire but I'd have thought the employment opportunities were limited.

And that leaves low-stakes games with your buddies and frankly, no one's going to cheat in them. Or, to put it another way, you've got to be mad to spend years perfecting an indetectable second deal only to use it against your mates to win £100.

So does anyone - HAS anyone - profitably used the methods that we demonstrate?
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chappers
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It's an interesting question for sure. I have played in soft home games where it would be easy to cheat and indeed whereas I couldn't pull off any moves, simply because I don't have the skill yet, I do take advantage of casual handling, flashed cards etc.

However I have also been in some privately arranged tournaments (20-30 players) where the players themselves deal. This is usually held in someone's house and I reckon someone good enough could do some moves.

My thoughts on cheating these days, from what I have read, would most likely not be mechanically based but rather collusion, signalling, squeezing marks and so on. Richard Marcus wrote about this in one of his books and explained how it would work in the casinos, let alone private games.

The type of game where moves could be used, I imagine, would be something like what happened in Rounders when the duo get beaten up by the Good Ol' Boys upstate.

As far as Alan Kennedy is concerned (a la Erdnase, Scott etc ), the book The Magician and the Cardsharp does explain how that in certain towns there was such traffic of people passing through that there were plenty of games so that recognition would be rendered almost irrelevent. Besides you don't have to win a great deal in any one game. Tell me truly that anyone who plays poker would not be happy to never loose any money. Consistency is the key.

chappers
papermechanic
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"And that leaves low-stakes games with your buddies and frankly, no one's going to cheat in them. Or, to put it another way, you've got to be mad to spend years perfecting an indetectable second deal only to use it against your mates to win £100."

I don't know anyone who goes to a poker game to lose money. so lets say you know that top card now and its gonna make you a big winner. do you burn it, give it to the first pplayer or save it for yourself with the second? I would say regardless it you win 10, 100, 1000 and so on you are gonna use it.
Ross W
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Not me: I wouldn't dream of cheating, especially not my friends.

The guys who have perfected their seconds, bottoms etc. are going to want games where the risk of employing these manoeuvres is compensated by the reward.

I read The Magician And The Cardsharp and my imagination was caught by the accounts of 24-hr card games in these dusty railroad towns. But there's nothing like that, surely, nowadays? The modern equivalent to cowhands passing through Nowhere Junction, Idaho, would be IT salesmen meeting in a Best Western for a capuccino and you just don't see them playing cards much.
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Expertmagician
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I remember playing poker with magician friends of mine during my teenage years. The idea as to play for low stakes AND to cheat.

The fun part was that if you got caught, you lost your entire bankroll and your money was split among the remaining players.

After the game we reviewed gambling techniques and what gave the move away. (ie. constructive criticism)

Fun stuff for 2:00 AM after the midnight lecture at a magic convention Smile
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New York
sodman12
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Quote:
On 2007-06-29 08:34, Expertmagician wrote:
I remember playing poker with magician friends of mine during my teenage years. The idea as to play for low stakes AND to cheat.

The fun part was that if you got caught, you lost your entire bankroll and your money was split among the remaining players.

After the game we reviewed gambling techniques and what gave the move away. (ie. constructive criticism)

Fun stuff for 2:00 AM after the midnight lecture at a magic convention Smile


Nerd Alert.


j/k
you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but never all of the people all the time.
Dannydoyle
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To me it is like the Robin Hood thing. He robs from the rich, although who would want to rob the poor is beyond me. Low stakes games strike me the same.

As for high stakes, cheating is more and less likely at the same time. Get a high stakes game known for being cheated, and it is over for the game.

In private games and casino games the most likely scenario for cheating is collusion in my opinion. Guys working together. The 4 or 5 of the are happy to have your bankroll split up amongst them, along with anyone who happens to wander into the casino that day. Maybe not playing with each other, but definatly not against each other. This happens a lot. Maybe not likely in a home high stakes game I don't know.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Expertmagician
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Sodman12,

I have 3 comments:

1) I have changed a lot in 30+ years
2) Whether I am a nerd or not does not matter across a poker table .... who has the greater level of skill and knowledge does Smile
3) I'm not easily offended....so, don't worry about it....

As long as I have a great wife, family and live comfortably I don't mind being a potential nerd. After all, speaking of nerds, look at Bill Gates Smile

He who laughs last ......

Remember enjoy and have fun in all of your endeavours !
Long Island,

New York
iamslow
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Hey Impromptuboy, you're alive... whats up bro?? let me know how things are going.. good to see you on again here..peace..


j
"Everyone is tough till they get punched in the face" Mike Tyson
DStachowiak
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Where are all the guys who usually post here about their cheating exploits, and talk about what players and sharps they are?

Actually, I do believe there is a lot of cheating that happens in small home games. Many of these are not just groups of friends, but actually relative strangers who make contact over the internet and meet in home card rooms for weekly Poker games. In my area there is actually a "circuit" of home and private games that many players work.
I stopped playing in one home game a couple of years ago because I became convinced there was collusion going on between some of the players.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
stoneunhinged
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I don't cheat in home games with my friends. But if I wanted to, I would need NONE, truly NONE, of the sleights we talk about here. And if I wanted to use sleights, I could false shuffle and peek and even do a pass EVERY TIME I DEALT THE CARDS without any of them noticing. That's how loose it is.

What's fun, however, is to test myself as a poker player. I'm not bad, actually. In fact, I would even say my poker skills are better than my sleights.

But as for the original point of the thread--what's really going on out there--I would have NO idea.

I DO think, however, that when DOC shows up I get the feeling that there are two very distinct worlds: the first is the we-pretend-we-are-in-the-movie-Rounders world (in which mechanics prey on frat-boy fish); the second is the REAL world of underground gambling that someone like DOC knows and 99% of us in this forum have never encountered. And maybe I'm fooled by DOC, but the African American world is so unfamiliar to me that I can easily believe that on a given night in New York or Detroit or Atlanta there is a LOT of action to be had. But it's not frat boys playing T Holdem; it's men in the African American community playing dice or games like Tonk (or Tunk or whatever it is). And in this second world, I think that men like DOC really exist, and that what he writes here is probably relatively accurate. (And I THANK him for coming by to tell us something about his world.)

I would say a LOT of cheating exists, but not where the great majority of the people of this forum encounter card playing. Do we even know what card games Turks play? Albanians? Egyptians? Iranians? Serbs? You get the idea. In the town where I live, many ethnic minorities rent a room somewhere in town which serves as a club. The men meet there after work and watch soccer on TV. And play cards. And bet on the soccer games. These clubs are basically gambling halls, and everyone knows it. And I wonder: are there some cheats working these clubs? Probably not, since they are part of a very small community. But who knows? If you were a Turk and a cheat, couldn't you go from town to town in Germany, pretending you are a business man who travels a lot, and get some action at the local Turkish gambling hall?

Again, maybe not. My point is that for the typical western-world, ethnically main-stream magician, the REAL world of underground gambling is probably on the other side of the tracks--the side of the tracks where DOC works, or an itinerant Turkish business man living in Germany.

But I could be wrong, and I apologize if anyone finds this post to be stereotyping in any way. I certainly do not mean it so. I just mean that there is a MUCH LARGER world out there than a bunch of American college students playing hold em.

Jeff
silverking
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A question in response to the original question proposed by Ross:

Do you really think the folks who could answer this question honestly are going to respond here on the Café with details of HOW hustling goes on each and every night of the year?

Remember the creed "never wise up a sucker"?

In the right situation, everybody who posts in this forum is a potential sucker. The guy who says that there's "no way" he could ever be a sucker is the biggest one of the bunch, and the one hustlers dream of meeting and getting into a game with.

Hustling goes on everywhere, and goes on all the time. That there are folks who think getting hustled could never bite them in the ass is exactly what keeps it going so strongly.

I think Jeff's post above is pretty accurate. American college kids playing like they've seen others play on TV represents only a tiny portion of what goes on with a deck of cards in America on any given day or night.
Expertmagician
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My teens were my finest training years.....Peak ability was in my late teeens, 20s, 30s and middle 40s.

Then family life gets in the way Smile
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New York
Ross W
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Quote:
On 2007-07-01 12:36, silverking wrote:

Do you really think the folks who could answer this question honestly are going to respond here on the Café with details of HOW hustling goes on each and every night of the year?



Well, I don't expect "genuine" card cheats to be hanging out in a magic forum, if that's what you mean!

I was PM'd on this topic by a regular poster in the "Workers" forum, who assured me that I was way off target with my suspicions, and that "genuine" cheating does indeed go on. It may be down to a difference in gambling culture between the UK and the US. Or maybe I just mix in the wrong (read "right"!) circles...
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silverking
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Considering that genuine hustlers don't tip, I'm not sure you'd ever get an answer to your question.
Dannydoyle
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News flash guys, the "underground world of gambling" has been brought to the daylight.

It does not HAVE to exist any more. It can be found at almost any state in casinos nation wide. Craps games, card games, no problem. Fair limits too.

What you end up with is guys who play at home and in general know each other. I don't care what anyone says, it has taken the suckers and made them tougher to access.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
DStachowiak
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Danny,
There are still some areas where this isn't true. Where I live in Maryland, if I want to play in a casino game, I have to travel to Atlantic City NJ (170 mi.) or Wheeling, WV (300 mi). The alternative is an underground game.
There are plenty of home games available here, but contrary to your assertion, most of the players know each other ONLY from the game circuit. These are NOT friendly games between buddies from work or neighbors.
Don
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
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