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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Gambling Spot » » Mastering the Bottom Deal (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cagliostro
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On Nov 13, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:

...Had you simply said, "mastering paper is harder than being able to do a half-ass bottom deal" no one would've noticed...


Okay. If that is your understanding of what I wrote at length, well...if it works for you, then it works for me. Smile
252life
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Jason lives in a world of skill, knowledge, proof, ability, sharing, humility, and intellect.
And then there’s others that can’t use the cool terminology enough.

I’d write more but I have to go “get the money” as they say lol


It’s good to have a healthy imagination though.
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
Cagliostro
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On Nov 13, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:
Cag,

...This has been (and will continue to be) an argument over your using the word "mastery" in two different ways, and yet trying to somehow draw conclusions from that...

Had you simply said, "mastering paper is harder than being able to do a half-ass bottom deal" no one would've noticed. But when you use the same word in 2 different ways without clarifying that you're doing so, you get problems...
Jason


Fair enough. Sarcastic --- but fair. The problem I have is I write from the perspective that the purpose of cheating moves and ploys is to get the money in gambling situations, not to perform exposes of "How Gamblers Win" or gambling themed magic tricks. I originally was not going to comment on this post, but after receiving some PMs to clarify I decided to reply.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that many if not most members on this BB are primarily interested in learning basic manipulative moves from an academic perspective and showing them for performance or discussion purposes. Unfortunately, I often assume too much actual real-world gambling experience, understanding and knowledge on the part of others. So, for the benefit of those few who may be interested in real world application and for those whom this may be somewhat helpful, I will clarify that which I incorrectly assumed others should know and something, quite frankly, most decent hustlers would understand immediately.

To start, for our purposes the word "mastery" simply means: "comprehensive skill or knowledge in a subject or accomplishment."

Now here is where the confusion seems to exist: There are also two levels of mastery when discussing card table chicanery on this BB which are related but quite different.

There is the solely technical - demonstration level of mastery (which the vast majority of non-hustling card table enthusiasts are learning and performing. This is the type mastery which is touted and sold by academic experts, gurus and teachers and the type mastery that is understood and learned by 99%+ of card table demo practitioners.

The second level of mastery is the application of manipulative moves and/or other cheating techniques and methods under game conditions, which few in the demo community truly understand or even bother to consider. It is usually outside their actual experience and/or of no relevance since what they do are doing are gambling type demonstrations and magic related presentations.

I almost always use the second definition of mastery given above in my posts and discussions, that is to say, the use of such methods under fire.

That these two levels of mastery are not the same or even equal appears apparently not well understood to many demonstrators, card table manipulative adepts, gurus and academic gambling experts. They may think they understand but apparently don't in most cases.

So to clarify, one can have mastery of a card table move (or ploy) in singularity, in and of itself, (a demo move), and one can have mastery of a card table move in totality, in conjunction with all the critically related aspects of its execution and application in use under fire. Two related levels of mastery but not the same, or even equal although apparently many may believe they are.

Mastery of a demo move (say a bottom deal for example), is to have it look as deceptive as possible, that is to say, lack of finger flash, dealing smoothness, sight and sound similarity in the dealing of both top and bottom cards, moderate dealing rhythm, good workable technique, naturalness of execution and so forth in order to make the move look and sound as natural and deceptive as possible under scrutiny, either during a live spectator performance or on video. That is the standard that one should look to achieve for a demonstration move.

Mastery of application includes all of the above requirements for excellent technical mastery of a bottom deal but in addition and more importantly incorporates many other critically necessary considerations of deceptive application under live gaming conditions - which is different and much more involved that doing a demo.

For example, this can include for professional play a myriad of factors, some of which might be: what game are we playing and what are the rules and game format, where is the game located, is it in a professional or amateur setting, what is the physical location of the table in the gaming environment, are there bystanders observing the play and where are they observing from, are there any cameras, what are the stakes, how many players are in the game, how many if any are experienced and /or knowledgeable, are we taking off one player or several players, is this a single-o play or are we using partners in the game and if so, how will they be utilized?

Further, what type cards are being used, (paper, plastic, bridged sized, poker sized, white border, all over design), what is the condition of the cards, is it necessary to hop the cut or use a partner on the cut to bring desired bottom cards into play, how will this be done, is it better just to peek the bottom cards and use that information for dealing bottoms or should select cards be on the bottom prior to the deal, what are the best denomination cards to cull for the play in question and how will they be culled, are the partners, if any, trained to assist on the culling, how are the discards handled, is it better to deal known cards to the suckers or just potential winning cards to the partners, should a bottom deal double duke approach be applied?

Moreover, are there chip stacks on the table and will the pace of the dealing have to be modified to account for this to deal over or around these stacks, is there a cut card in use and if so, how will one get around that, how often will you be able to deal bottoms and when, and on and on and on...? PLUS...EXTREMELY IMPORTANTLY, THROW IN A GOOD DOSE OF GRIFT SENSE, especially if the game is tough.

And all of that is just for a simple bottom deal. What do you thing one would have to consider for more involved or sophisticated plays, especially in a casino environment?

Of course, all of these elements would not be considered every time for a simple bottom deal. Sometimes many of them would be, at other times perhaps just a few or even none would be applicable. It depends of the situation and conditions under consideration. I am just showing what other factors could be involved.

Okay...I think everyone gets the idea.

Oftentimes the move itself has to be modified, sometimes considerably so, to account for one or more of these additional factors under live game conditions and therein lies the confusion as to the different types of mastery.

As any reasonably astute person can see it takes additional and different skills, ability, know-how and courage to not only get a move on undetectably, but further and even more importantly, to actually get the money with the move, especially in tough games, certainly much more so then simply doing make-believe demos. Keep in mind, getting the money is is different, and considerably more difficult that simply getting a move on deceptively under fire...and I might suggest that maybe it might be is a little more involved than just "dealing a half-ass bottom" as has been suggested.

Hopefully this clarifies my use of the concept of mastery and perhaps helpful to some members of this board.

Sorry for any confusion that I may have caused.
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One cannot normally use a bottom deal in a poker game worth the light because of the procedures, not least of which is either a cut card or a table deal is used in such games. I have not seen a soft amateur poker game worth the light and no hustler who values his reputation is going risk it in penny-ante games. There are exceptions and my only experience using a bottom deal was in a steer game set up at a billiard hall by the hustlers there. The game was soft by design. It was worth the light because the couple of marks it was set up for were millionaires. The marks were businessmen, fish, as opposed experienced gamblers. The game was strip deck draw, no cut card, hand dealt I was the croupier and dealt bottoms to boys on the draw. In the past, there certainly were soft high stakes poker games going on in the USA by all accounts of Texas oil boy games and so on but not here, in my experience. It seems to me the bottom is a thing of bygone days more or less. One might use a bottom is some self-side games perhaps.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cagliostro
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On Feb 19, 2019, tommy wrote:

One cannot normally use a bottom deal in a poker game worth the light because of the procedures, not least of which is either a cut card or a table deal is used in such games. I have not seen a soft amateur poker game worth the light and no hustler who values his reputation is going risk it in penny-ante games...It seems to me the bottom is a thing of bygone days more or less.


I agree with tommy's observation regarding the bottom deal. It reflects the understanding of someone who is around live gambling.

For the sake of discussion and to make my post understandable to most, the bottom deal was used because the thread was about the bottom deal and because most BB members are familiar with this move. The purpose of the explanation was to show how a pro hustler would have to think when using just about any ploy. Using a more sophisticated example for discussion would have been inappropriate IMO.

Aside from that, the bottom deal actually was not the best choice. The reason being is the bottom deal is severely dated, probably one of the least practical moves one could attempt to use under fire in modern day game conditions and in my opinion never was a very sophisticated method of getting the money. Even Maskelyne in Sharps and Flats stated it was used by the lower-class sharps back in the late 1890s and these guys always got caught in the long run. Further, virtually everyone on the planet has heard about dealing cards from the bottom, even half-naked primitives in the deepest and darkest bowels of the African jungle, so the move is no great secret.

However, because the bottom deal it is so well known, with an almost romantically-sinister reputation, it is an ideal demo move in my opinion...perhaps even better when using a grotesque-looking grip like the Erdnase. It is the darling of many in the demo crowd and any good demonstrator would have to be able to perform the move if requested by his audience.

But once again, it is not a very good move under fire in today's gambling world even if executed superbly well. For the most part it is confined to amateur and relatively easy to beat games, generally speaking of course. I'm sure one could always find a rare exception here or there.

Further, I'm sure there is a story of a professional bottom deal cheater who travelled the world, used the move for 40 years, made millions of dollars with it and never was caught. Well...only I would believe a story like that but only if someone wrote a book this superb bottom dealer's exploits.
alexandreventura
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I studied card magic for months and months before discovering what a bottom deal was. I saw gambling demos all the time, and thought the aces were stacked in the deck. If they can fool a new magician, they can fool laypeople, absolutely. I also didn't know it was possible for someone to be this irrationally mad about a magic move, but judging from all the posts in this forum from Cagliostro, I was proved wrong.
Cagliostro
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On Mar 1, 2019, alexandreventura wrote:

I studied card magic for months and months before discovering what a bottom deal was. I saw gambling demos all the time, and thought the aces were stacked in the deck. If they can fool a new magician, they can fool laypeople, absolutely. I also didn't know it was possible for someone to be this irrationally mad about a magic move, but judging from all the posts in this forum from Cagliostro, I was proved wrong.


Interesting perspective and certainly one way to look at things. Smile

We give our opinions in large part based upon our prior experience, our knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and hopefully our ability to impart ideas that are not part of mainstream or common perceptions. That being said, my posts in general are not meant for most, but primarily to be helpful to the few who are interested in a different perspective. As such they would probably be unpopular, threatening or annoying to some.

Since our opinions are but a reflection of such background and base of knowledge upon which we perceive and make determinations, it follows that others might reach different conclusions.
landmark
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If this comment is considered off-topic, I apologize.

As a non-gambler I always assumed that the main way cheaters got caught was not so much by being caught doing the move, but being caught betting in a pattern that seemed slightly askew. Is that true, or not really a consideration?

Thanks for the interesting discussion.
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Well, I would say yes and no: Suspicious betting patterns can lead to players being watched and this in turn can bring to light a method. Sometimes in a casino, a player will report his suspicions to the manager and he can then get surveillance staff to take a look at the film and so on. Suspicious betting patterns are what they say. Mere suspicion does not amount to evidence that can prove anything.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cagliostro
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On Mar 2, 2019, landmark wrote:

As a non-gambler I always assumed that the main way cheaters got caught was not so much by being caught doing the move, but being caught betting in a pattern that seemed slightly askew. Is that true, or not really a consideration?


It is usually not so simple.

There are a number of areas in which a cheater can be detected or at least suspected of cheating, which can be almost as bad. Betting patterns certainly can lead to suspicion, especially if the cards are marked or the cheats are playing collusion and doing so poorly. However, for an actual move, a bottom deal in this instance, suspicion and detection usually occur in a different manner.

Obviously if the bottom deal is poorly executed, that in itself my lead to detection. However, there are usually better ways to eventually detect a bottom deal, or any manipulative move, in play. If a move is performed well, detection usually starts with suspicion that something is not quite right.

There are a number of areas which can lead to this suspicion. Keep in mind being able to fool someone with a bottom deal in a casual setting is not the same as getting the money with the move. It is not even a close call. If someone handles the cards too skillfully compared to the other players, that can create suspicion. The "not normal" grip of some bottom deals or the skillful or adroit dealing of the cards can also create suspicion. Then again there are allied moves that must be incorporated to make the bottom deal work. The desired cards have to be culled in some manner, the cut must be nullified, a partner may have to do a false cut and so on. These allied area of making the move work are where suspicion most likely will occur. Once suspected, then it is usually just a matter of time before detection occurs, which is why a pro will back off if he feels even slight suspicion or if he is under exceptionally close observation. Of course, receiving too many good hands can lead to closer observation and so on which can eventually lead to being "caught."

Oh, I think I should mention this. When using a beautiful bottom deal in a tough game, a game where you could be severely hurt if detected, unless you have a lot of experience under those conditions, for some strange reason your fingers will not work the way they usually work when practicing on the kitchen table. The cards won't seem to feel the same and dealing the bottom card, and perhaps even the top cards won't come so easily. That additional tension and associated nervousness can lead to your beautiful bottom deal becoming botched under fire...botched just enough to cause detection.

"Stuff" happens under fire, often when you least expect it or at the most inopportune or "unfortunate" moment.
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Can I propose a fun bet to Cagliostro?

Let's assume you take your lifesavings, what is the percentage you would be willing to bet that you could spot the exact hand someone like Jason England has dealt, let's say, 2 cards with a bottom deal?

The conditions are simple, let's say it's a casino table with some background noise and you are sited exactly in front of the dealer.

Jason would deal a random hand from the bottom, 2 cards. If your lifesavings are 100%, what % would you be willing to bet? Would it be 51, 1, or 99?
tommy
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Let's assume you are the croupier and let us ask you how are you going to deal bottoms when there is a cut card on the bottom?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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I once picked up a deck in a side game and instinctively knew it was short a card or two, which lead to a fellow getting nailed holding out. Professional poker dealers discreetly count the stub by spreading it to know if the deck is short. That is another way a move can come on top without the move being seen.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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"which lead to a fellow getting nailed holding out"

Can you provide more details to this particular event? Sounds interesting.
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On Mar 5, 2019, alexandreventura wrote:

Can I propose a fun bet to Cagliostro?

Let's assume you take your lifesavings, what is the percentage you would be willing to bet that you could spot the exact hand someone like Jason England has dealt, let's say, 2 cards with a bottom deal?

The conditions are simple, let's say it's a casino table with some background noise and you are sited exactly in front of the dealer.

Jason would deal a random hand from the bottom, 2 cards. If your lifesavings are 100%, what % would you be willing to bet? Would it be 51, 1, or 99?

I don't mean to be impolite so don't take this the wrong way. I'm sure you are great guy and a serious student, but...

I do believe you may have missed the point of my previously posts entirely. You are still thinking like a magician, albeit in fun, and you are topping it off with a little hero/guru worship. Smile

That is okay and I enjoyed your post, but you may want to go back and figure out why I say you may have missed the point of my previous posts. Smile

PLUS, and most importantly, I'm very easy to fool with demo moves. Smile

However in a serious game...well..I am even easier to fool. Smile
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Well, it was a long time ago but as I recall, four of us had been playing this side game for some time, when I picked up the deck to deal and said: “This deck feels light.” I then spread the cards and we saw there were at least a couple of Aces missing. Now the player on my left figured it was not me and he also knew it was not him who had the missing cards. He stood up and he said “We are all going to search each other!” he told the fellow on his left to get up but that fellow did not move but after a moment he gave up the cards.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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"at least a couple of Aces missing"

Interesting. A lot of people, and especially Giorgio, said that holding out 1 card is the reasonable limit. Maybe the fellow in your story would not get caught if he were to follow that rule.
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He should have ditched the cards under the table but he was not a full shilling. The question then arose as to punishment. He sat there silently awaiting his fate, while the three of us calmly debated what we were going to do to him. We were only kidding and let him off and he swore that he would never be caught cheating again. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cagliostro
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On Mar 7, 2019, Peterson wrote:

A lot of people, and especially Giorgio, said that holding out 1 card is the reasonable limit.


That is a good rule to follow. Further, if a shuffle machine is in use, or the dealer is frequently counting down the deck stub, one has to bring in an extra card, say an inconspicuous one like the 2 of clubs, to substitute for the card being held out.

Of course, eventually the duplicate card will be detected and the question will then be, who is responsible? Usually they will just change the deck. If a camera is used above the game, they may be able to back it up and determine who did the dirty work.

Quote:
On Mar 8, 2019, tommy wrote:

He should have ditched the cards under the table...


Of course. There is usually plenty of time to do this if the stub is being counted down or someone notices the deck feels light. To pitch a card under the table, away from you and near another player's feet, is quite easy to do.

My only question is, what does this have to do with the bottom deal?
tommy
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Once upon a time in the West, one would cop the Aces off the bottom for the cut, after the cut put them back and then do a bottom deal.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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