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Practice Matters

Introduction to modern poker 451
The famed magazine writer 452
My 1978 nationwide survey of Poker gambling 453
SCARNE AND THE LAS VEGAS WORLD SERIES OF POKER 454
Benny Binion and his son, Jack, are the owners of the highly 455
Seated at the table at my left was Benny Binion, followed by Johnny 456
However, as expected, it was a Poker-dealing trick that most 457
Binion, wearing his characteristic smile, replied, "I would not let 458
The idea of running a championship Poker tournament was first 459
By the time the 1972 World Series of Poker Tournament rolled 460
The many variations of Poker described above as played during the 461
Each World Series Poker Tournament is a table stakes freeze-out 462
Generally speaking, the tournament is a knock-down drag-out table 463
Most of the major casinos situated in downtown Las Vegas do a 464
The five most played Poker games in Nevada, in order of their 465
A player needs a minimum sum of money to sit in any game, and 466
The above are basically the general rules that make Nevada Poker 467
CALIFORNIA POKER CLUBS 468
There are over 400 licensed and legalized Draw Poker card clubs 469
Unlike most Nevada Poker rooms, the Gardena Poker palaces have 470
Facts About Poker in General: 471
A condensed version of the principal general Poker rules found in 472
After studying Gardena's standardized rules of play, the internal 473
That Poker can be played commercially in only two states, 474
To most Americans, Draw Poker means the game of Five Card 475
It is strictly a gambling card game, 476
THE HISTORY OF POKER 477
By the time Green wrote this, Poker had become the number one 478
I doubt all these theories, and I have my own. I believe it was 479
To go even further back, the work "poke" probably came from the 480
As-Nas may also have been the father of the Italian game of Primero 481
POKER NOT ACCORDING TO HOYLE 482
On March 2, 1974, the prestigious London Times ran a six-column 483
POKER HAS ENRICHED OUR LANGUAGE 484
The occasional Poker player, 485
The Poker chiseler, who knows considerably more about Poker 486
I have a grudging respect for the professionals 487
The code of a professional 488
CAN LUCK BEAT SKILL? 489
A game of skill is a game 490
But most Poker variations, 491
When you double the insurance on your car you are both gambling 492
"Malarkey, Scarne," you say, "there are times when for hours on 493
This notion, that luck has a cumulative tendency to change, 494
The key word in that formula is "apparent." 495
As a matter of fact it is just the threshold 496
I recently watched a rank novice win 497
You understand me now. 498
POKER, AMERICA'S MOST SCIENTIFIC GAMBLING CARD GAME 499
Contract Bridge is a partnership game, 500
The probability is that in any card game 501
WHAT POKER SKILL CAN'T BEAT 502
In the licensed Poker rooms of Nevada 503
Since in California's Poker rooms 504
An example: Four Stud players 505
Let's assume that each player began with $100 506
Never having stopped to dope this out, 507
The operator's alibi, 508
If you play in such a game after reading this analysis of the 5% cut 509
Keep your eye on the discards; an unskilled cheater will often reach 510
I gave him that advice thirty-four years ago. 511
It is thirty years since my Poker rules 512
GENERAL RULES FOR POKER 513
In case of a tie, tied players share equally in the pot. If a pot is not 514
The Pack of Cards 515
Standard Rank of Poker Hands with a 52-Card Deck 516
RANK 2 The Straight Flush: 517
RANK 4 The Full House: 518
RANK 6 The Straight: 519
RANK 8 Two Pairs: 520
RANK 10 High Card: 521
1. The joker, 522
Stripped Decks 523
The low hand is evaluated by the rank of its highest card; 524
Rank of Low Hands Explained 525
So that the reader can see at a glance 526
How to Declare in High-Low Poker 527
The Consecutive Declaration (which I do not recommend). Prior to 528
How Winners Are Determined in High-Low Poker 529
Cards Speak 530
Preparation for the Play: The Banker and his Duties 531
Value of the Chips 532
Number of Raises Permitted: 533
A raise freezer is a special call bet 534
Royalties or Bonuses 535
SELECTING THE DEALER AND ESTABLISHING 536
The Cut 537
The Deal 538
Cutting the Pack During the Deal 539
Pot, Ante, Bets, and Their Functions 540
The Ante: 541
The Showdown 542
Coffeehousing 543
During my national Poker survey 544
The range of coffeehousing may include such heartbroken 545
Miscalling a Hand 546
Verbal Announcement 547
Calling Time 548
Illegal Cutting of Cards 549
Changing Positions at the Table 550
Going Through the Discards 551
Betting for Another Player 552
Overs in the Pot 553
Removing Money from the Table 554
How Chips or Cash Bets Must Be Placed in Pot 555
SCARNE'S RULES FOR PRIVATE OR SOCIAL POKER 556
All the basic preliminaries before actual play 557
Draw Poker and its variants. 558
Dealer's Choice 559
COMMERCIALIZED POKER 560
The Color and Value of Chips. 561
Examples: in a $1—$3 limit, the ante 562
House Dealer, Shuffle, Cut, Burnt Cards, and Buck or Button. 563
Unlimited Raises and the Raise Freezer. 564
12. A player folding or throwing his hand in on a deal where all 565
General Strategy 566
Watching tens of thousands of Poker players 567
What is card sense? 568
The most important thing to remember 569
You must always be keen about sizing up situations. 570
The first rule is: 571
The third rule is: 572
Poker is a money game, not just a pleasant way to spend an evening. 573
Learn the correct rules of the game 574
Before joining a Poker game, a 575
Before you sit down to a Poker game 576
Poker skill consists of six elements: 577
I do not believe that giving sample problems and their solutions 578
Know the Mathematics of the Game. 579
Keep a Poker Face. 580
Know Poker Psychology. 581
Study Your Opponents' Style of Play 582
THE BLUFF AND ITS STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE 583
The purpose of the bluff is threefold: 584
Brunson was on the button 585
Soon after the 1976 tournament 586
During the writing of this book I visited Doyle Brunson, 587
While Brunson was shuffling the deck, 588
"Gentlemen, watch this," I said as I reached into my inside jacket 589
"Gentlemen, you haven't seen anything yet. 590
As I backed away Bruce said, "I'm thinking of a card." 591
Brunson and Baldwin remained silent while watching the 592
Getting back to the World Series Hold Em Championship 593
And now for some bluffing advice for the limit Poker player. Don't try 594
But when a pot contains $50 and the limit is $2, and you were not the 595
It is good practice not to show a hand 596
Card Memory and Table Analysis 597
An honest kibitzer 598
After an hour's play, Bernstein, who sat against the wall, was a 599
"You're right, Nick. If Marie hadn't left the table I would never 600
But you can't get enough action 601
You should always try to anticipate what your position will be on 602
Doyle Brunson, twice winner of the Las Vegas World Series of 603
Eric Steiner, one of London's top five Poker wizards, and my 604
The best strategy is to adopt the style of play 605
Sandbagging and Slowplaying 606
Why are playing positions so important 607
When deciding whether or not to sandbag, 608
In Draw Poker, recent attempts have been made 609
A player's position is considerably more important in Hold Em 610
Money Management Versus Probabilities 611
Now you must calculate your chances of bettering your hand and 612
Here we find a good reason for that old Poker expression, "Don't 613
Compare it with a table stakes game in which the average bet is the 614
Whatever the style Poker game you play, don't play against a single 615
Lack of heart (courage) is the reason so many otherwise good Poker 616
If the amount of Poker money at stake is frightening to you, I can 617
Courage at the Poker table is the ability to take control of each 618
To acquire "betting courage" in big-time Poker games, one must 619
I tell you, Deuce-to-Seven can be brutal. It's a game where you need 620
SCARNE'S POKER-PLAYING SYSTEM 621
622
So, in order to play your best Poker game, you must enter any game 623
Next, we must know where this pocket bankroll money is coming 624
What happens when we lose the recommended amount? We simply 625
Last, and most important, we now discuss the maximum amount of 626
1. The prime rule of Poker is: 627
The more reckless you feel, 628
Draw Poker: The Granddaddy of Modern Poker 629
The Object of the Game 630
The Ante 631
Openers 632
Player's Turn of Play 633
If all the players pass, they must ante again, and the new dealer 634
Burning Top Card of the Deck Before the Draw 635
The dealer must ask each player 636
The Betting After the Draw 637
Showdown 638
If one or more cards are exposed 639
9. If the cards have been improperly dealt—for example, more than 640
Betting 641
Verbal Betting 642
False Openers 643
Improper Fold-up 644
Variation in betting limit. 645
4. Pot Limit. 646
6. Freezeout. 647
For additional betting methods 648
The correct money-making decisions 649
Aside from his estimate of his opponents, 650
Nearly every average Draw Poker player 651
VALUE OF HANDS TO OPEN WITH 652
A pair of queens with an ace-king-ten 653
A pair of aces or any two pairs 654
The following table depicts the hand 655
Raises 656
PERCENTAGE AND CHIP WIN BY HOLDING TWO LOW PAIRS 657
The reason for these happenings 658
If the pot is opened 659
At this point I would like to remind my readers 660
The following table depicts the approximate probability and odds 661
True, by holding a kicker 662
"But," you say, "should I make the flush, 663
Betting After the Draw 664
Whether to raise and bluff in Draw Poker 665
I have divided the Draw or Closed Poker-style games 666
BASIC VARIANTS OF STANDARD DRAW POKER 667
All the rules of standard Draw Poker apply to this variation with the 668
A standard 52-card deck possesses 669
A California Draw player 670
Following are a number of important one-card draws 671
And there are hands such as A-K-Q of the same suit, 672
Furthermore, there are 1 1/3 as many flushes and straight flushes 673
English Draw Poker, or Blind and Straddle 674
Once the pot is opened, the game proceeds 675
Once this voluntary straddle is made, 676
Once a player has made the last voluntary blind bet, each player 677
The advantage of voluntary straddling 678
In practice, I've noticed that most players 679
Old-time English Blind and Straddle 680
In the case of two cats or dogs of the same rank, highest-rank hand 681
Later I learned they were two French multimillionaires from Paris 682
"What limit do they play?" I inquired. 683
I nudged Steiner and said, "Eric, that's the first Poker game 684
I asked Eric to get me two decks of cards—a red and a blue—with 685
The moment had arrived. 686
Mr. X's hands were visibly shaking 687
As Mr. X faced me, I discarded three cards 688
Since I was the last voluntary straddler, 689
Steiner followed suit and pushed his remaining chips into the pot. 690
Steiner followed immediately and spread out his club royal flush. 691
I didn't want this joke to continue 692
Mr. Y joined in and said, "Mr. Scarne, during the game I kept thinking 693
As the sun began to rise in the east, 694
Draw Poker—Blind Openers 695
Most of the Draw Poker strategy 696
Straight Draw Poker, or Anything Opens, 697
Straight Draw Poker for five or fewer players is a superior game to 698
Generally speaking, in a six- or seven-handed game, if you should 699
Following is the rank of hands it takes before the draw to have a 700
Note: To improve your Straight Draw Poker game to an expert's 701
Showdown Straight Poker 702
Draw Poker High Spades 703
Progressive Draw Poker is played like standard Draw Poker with 704
In a game of this type where the compulsory antes in the pot at any 705
The above general strategy rules are applicable only when the size 706
Draw Poker—Joker Wild 707
CHANCES OF HOLDING VARIOUS POKER HANDS IN 708
Spanish Draw Poker 709
Draw Poker—Deuces Wild 710
In standard Draw Poker, 711
As mentioned earlier, the total number of possible five-card hands 712
The first thing to note in the above table 713
Fives and Tens 714
Jimmy approached me in the lobby of the hotel one night and said, 715
After leaving the cardroom, I rushed to my room, grabbed paper 716
The rules of play for this game are the same as those governing 717
For the purpose of this discussion, a low-ranking hand will be 718
The above table of probabilities is based on 2,598,960 possible 719
Most Poker writers that I've read maintain that there is only one 720
But, let's consider the money outlay of a supposed smart player 721
The best possible two-card draw is a hand consisting of 7-3-2-2-2. 722
The best hands you should try to make are low nines (9-5-4-3-2) and 723
18. Lowball Ace to Six 724
In short, at the showdown the lowest-ranking five-card hand wins 725
The following table will give you an idea of the frequency with 726
More important than any of the above probabilities is to know that 727
The following table gives the odds against improving (assuming 728
After the draw an eight high 729
When only you and one opponent remain and both of you have 730
The way California Lowball is played 731
This Lowball variation is played with a 53-card deck that includes 732
Usually, when played in California Poker clubs, this game is played 733
The following table will give you an idea of the frequency with 734
The player should realize that when playing Lowball, a pair, 735
The above probability chart is based on the premise that all 4-card 736
And a very important rule to remember is: Don't try a bluff in last 737
Each dealt round of hands in High Back to Low Draw Poker is 738
When the hand shifts to Lowball, which happens about once in four 739
21. High-Low Draw Poker 740
In playing for high, I recommend that you play any hand that you 741
In this variation draw, it is rare for a player 742
24. Laino High-Low Roll Em Over 743
Should you be on a bluff, then you must turn over your cards in a 744
25. Seven Card High-Low Draw Poker 745
THE BIRTH OF THE SPIT IN THE OCEAN FAMILY 746
The original Spit in the Ocean game that follows undoubtedly 747
Spit in the Ocean games that involve three or more wild cards cannot 748
One Community Card 749
In playing this game you must consider that every player is dealt 750
Wild Widow 751
In playing this game you must consider that there are only three 752
Three Community Cards 753
On the showdown, a player is permitted to make use, for his fifth 754
Cincinnati, or Lame Brain 755
On completion of the betting round, the dealer turns the second 756
If as many as three cards of the same suit 757
High-Low Split Draw Poker 758
Twin Beds 759
Twin Beds Roll Em Over 760
There are nine rounds of betting in this game 761
Five Community Cards 762
Rockleigh High-Low 763
The crucial feature of this game 764
Italian High-Low Draw Poker 765
Two Community Cards 766
Teeko High-Low 767
Bing-O-Draw 768
Klondike 769
Scarney High-Low Draw Poker 770
The dealer deals five cards to each player, 771
If the low hand is comprised of zero, 772
After each player has picked up 773
The strategy and skill in the play of Scarney High-Low Draw Poker 774
Gin Poker 775
Three-Card Poker 776
Two-Card Poker, or Frustration 777
One-Card Poker 778
Big Sol 779
Draw Your Own 780
Whiskey Poker 781
If no one takes the widow until it comes around to the dealer, the 782
51. Knock Poker 783
Whenever a player believes he has a good enough Poker hand, 784
If the stock has been exhausted and no one has knocked, high hand 785
The man at the dealer's left possesses the best player position, and no 786
52. Knock Poker—Deuces Wild 787
4. After the betting round, if two or more active players remain, 788
The play of the hand: The players cut for high card. The player 789
The dealer may stand pat, or he has the option (minus the penalty) of 790
A player may lead to two tricks at the same time by playing a pair 791
After the last trick has been played and the score recorded, players 792
55. Red and Black 793
HOW TO FIGURE POKER PROBABILITIES AND ODDS 794
The above method of calculation, plus clear thinking and a 795
Royal Flushes 796
Four of a Kind 797
Now we must find the possible number of pairs to be matched with 798
Straights 799
Two Pairs 800
POKER PROBABILITIES 801
Although Poker is a game of skill, the judgments and decisions to be 802
The Poker odds, percentages and probabilities given in this book, 803
POSSIBLE POKER HANDS OF LESS VALUE THAN ONE 804
The lowest-ranking regular five-card Poker hand when an ace is 805
ODDS AGAINST IMPROVING THE HAND IN DRAW POKER 806
ODDS AGAINST CHANCES OF IMPROVING THE HAND IN 807
The two tables above show that the best chance for improvement with 808
ODDS AGAINST FILLING IN A FOUR-CARD STRAIGHT IN DRAW 809
ODDS AGAINST MAKING A STRAIGHT FLUSH IN 810
CHANCES OF HOLDING VARIOUS POKER HANDS IN THE FIRST 811
The following table gives the chances that a certain card (ace, king, 812
With your hole card matched twice in the upcards, the chance of 813
Seven Card Stud Poker 814
Seven Card High-Low Stud Poker 815
In the past twenty years, professional Five Card Stud has lost 816
RULES OF PLAY 817
BETTING VARIATION I 818
BETTING VARIATION III 819
Jackpot 820
Pot Limit 821
A player is not permitted to make a bet that exceeds his table stake, 822
Should a player fail to have enough money or chips to cover other 823
The Beginning of the Deal 824
First Round of Betting 825
B. Or until two or more players have put an equal amount of 826
This rule is highly recommended to minimize dealer mistakes and to 827
Second Round of Betting 828
1. Play or stay, by putting into the pot an amount equal to the 829
The dealer then deals each player another card face up in the proper 830
A call is similar to a play or stay in Round 2, but it completes the 831
Misdeals 832
Passing the Deal 833
On Being Dealt an Exposed Card 834
Exposing the First Card of a Round 835
Protecting a Hole Card 836
Betting out of Turn 837
Tapping Out 838
Dealer Errs in Calling Highest Open Hand 839
Looking at Undealt Cards 840
Betting for Another Player 841
Overs in the Pot 842
Illegal Cutting of Cards 843
Criticism 844
This was part of the period when Prohibition laws caused the greatest 845
This was the era of high living and low morals. Gamblers, 846
It was during this same period that a few outstanding individuals 847
It was at Lindy's, however, that the most prominent members of the 848
Arnold Rothstein was the most notorious big-time gambler in the 849
Whenever Rothstein spotted me in Lindy's he would ask me to 850
The most memorable Five Card Stud Poker game in history started 851
Since Poker at the time was played with cash (Poker chips were 852
After the game had ended Rothstein asked Meehan to total his high 853
Rothstein walked out that morning a $60,000 cash winner—money 854
I first learned of this memorable Poker game on a visit to Lindy's in 855
"Well, Johnny, McManus brought three stranger card cheats to 856
Three weeks later McManus was arrested and charged with 857
During one of my many visits to the Sands Hotel Casino in the late 858
After Bernstein finished relating his views on the night of the murder, 859
"Before that game of high spades began that night, Rothstein took 860
To summarize: After reading the court records of the McManus trial 861
The real Poker hustler prefers Five Card Stud to any other game in 862
Getting back to the reader (whom we might as well call the player), let 863
The player must bear in mind that the chances of being dealt a pair or 864
The substance of the above boils down to this: You must play them 865
It is also advisable for a player to know that the chances of pairing a 866
A player must also realize that should he fold up his first two or 867
Whenever a player has his hole card paired with one of his two 868
When you are in a pot and have drawn your third upcard, with one 869
After you have received your last card at Stud, odds should no 870
First, let us consider the situation when the player has an ace in the 871
The following table gives the chance against the player of pairing 872
The two tables above are approximations. Surely, the odds against 873
The game is played exactly the same as Five Card Stud (High) with 874
If you can beat everything showing on the board, bet the limit. 875
If you yourself have the best hand showing on the five cards dealt, 876
When playing this game, play for either a high or a low hand, not for 877
This game is often played with the option of turning up the hole 878
FACTS ABOUT AMERICA'S SEVEN BEST POKER GAMES 879
The seven Stud Poker games that follow are far superior to Five 880
58. Seven Card Stud: America's Most Popular Poker Game 881
The playing of Seven Card Stud is completely different from Five 882
The tactics of betting and raising in Seven Card Stud are almost the 883
Strategy at Seven Card Stud 884
Good plays in this game on the first three cards (two face down and 885
Strong plays in this game with the first three dealt cards are roughly 886
After the fourth card has been dealt and the second betting interval is 887
After the fifth card, the player should fold if he does not have at 888
Probabilities in Seven Card Stud 889
59. Razz, Las Vegas Low Seven Card Stud 890
A curious feature of Razz as played in Nevada is that the high upcard 891
Strategy in Razz 892
60. Seven Card Stud Low 893
Seven Card High-Low Stud Declare is the favorite gambling game of 894
The game is played the same as Seven Card Stud, with the following 895
For detailed information on simultaneous declarations before the 896
A low three of a kind (aces, twos, threes, fours, fives or sixes) is an 897
To become a consistent winner at this game, at times you must do 898
Anytime you can read an opponent's hand with a high degree of 899
62. Seven Card High-Low Split (Cards Speak) 900
Generally speaking, in Nevada's Poker rooms, the ante runs from 901
The basic strategy rule for most high-low games including this one is 902
But what one must remember is that there are also many low starting 903
Following are listed several best two-way hands: A-A and 5 or 904
63. Hold Em Seven Card Stud, Club and Home Game 905
During the writing of this book I decided to remedy this situation by 906
The advantage claimed for this game is that as many as twenty-three 907
Next, each player, in clockwise fashion starting with the leader, is 908
Strategy at Hold Em Poker 909
Control of a small-limit game can only be had by holding superior 910
Following are the ten best-rated two-card hands held by a player 911
The ten ranked hands, but not their probabilities, however, are 912
Once the flop has dropped, there are two things you need to be 913
64. Hold Em, has Vegas Style 914
3. The house charge (rake) depends on the particular Poker room 915
If you are seriously thinking of plunking down $10,000 to qualify as a 916
All bets after the flop, be they call bets, raises or reraises, must be 917
English Stud Poker 918
The rules for Five Card Stud apply, with the following exceptions 919
Upon the completion of the first discard and replacement, the fourth 920
The rank of final hands is slightly lower in this English Stud variation 921
The tactics of betting and raising in this Stud variation are almost 922
The game requires less concentration than California Lowball 923
After each player has received his fifth card, play with a three-card 924
THE ACCUSATION THAT ROCKED THE BRIDGE WORLD 925
Sometime after the Buenos Aires Bridge debacle, I received a 926
Truscott later forwarded to me a set of the page proof's to read. I 927
If you want absolute proof of the detectability of this childish 928
My comments concerning the Buenos Aires Bridge accusation 929
The World Bridge Federation (WBF) tried to remedy the situation in 930
FACTS ABOUT STUD POKER VARIATIONS 931
Strategy in the private game of Five Card Stud, Deuces Wild: You 932
68. Five Card Stud with the Bug 933
69. Five Card Stud—Joker Wild 934
Dealing the last card down makes for a good game. All the strategy 935
On the first betting round the leader must make the first bet. He cannot 936
72. New York Five Card Stud 937
Actually the only real skill in this game consists of betting a good 938
73. Spanish Stud Poker 939
As mentioned earlier, there are 115,540 five-card combinations in a 940
75. Five Card Double-Handed High-Low Stud 941
77. Three Card Substitution 942
79. One Card Buy or Substitution 943
1. Crazy Five Card High-Low Stud begins with each player receiving 944
81. Five Card Turn-Up Stud 945
82. Shifting Sands 946
84. Blind Five Card Stud 947
1. The player whose turn it is to deal antes an agreed amount into 948
86. Six Card Stud 949
This is an additional Six Card Stud variation: To start the game each 950
87. Six Card High-Low Stud 951
Strategy: Because of the deuces and joker wild, there are frequent 952
89. Seven Card Stud—Low Hole Card Wild 953
Even a backed-up pair of jacks in the hole is worth nothing because 954
This is one of a very few Poker games where you may hold four of a 955
91. Seven Card High-Low Stud with a Joker 956
92. Flip Seven Card Stud 957
93. Kankakee Seven Card Stud 958
1. Seven face-down cards are dealt, one at a time, to each player, 959
Note: Frequently Anaconda Seven Card Stud is played with only 960
In a variation of Screwy Louis, instead of passing two cards, you 961
98. Fairview High-Low Stud 962
100. Two-Leg Stud 963
102. Football 964
104. Heinz 965
106. Four Forty-four 966
108. Night Baseball 967
If your memory is bad and you cannot recall the cards you passed 968
111. Follow the Queen 969
113. Follow Mary 970
Each player is dealt a face-up card. If two or more players receive 971
1. Each player except the dealer antes a chip into the pot. 972
116. Acey-Deucey 973
The game is played the same as Five Card High-Low Draw Poker 974
Six Possible Community Cards 975
Of the hundred-odd private Poker games that my aides and I 976
I ran into Nick at the Flamingo Hotel Casino bar soon after the 977
I am proud (not vain, I hope) to repeat what many experts on 978
Cheats working together are known as a "card mob." The mob is 979
The honest player's best protection against these crooks is to learn 980
What do you do when you suspect a friend or acquaintance of 981
The surreptitious manipulation of cards by card mechanics, hand 982
The truth of the matter is that no card sharper or magician can take a 983
Never overestimate a Poker cheat. Don't expect him to work 984
During one of my recent gambling lecture demonstrations at the 985
It is much easier for a card sharp to cheat at Draw Poker than at 986
The same crooked moves and artifices used at Draw are also used by 987
How to Spot a Skilled Poker Cheat 988
Most professional dealers in Nevada's and California's legalized 989
This consists, as the name implies, of dealing the second card from 990
When playing Stud Poker or one of its variants some cheats deal 991
If you suspect a second dealer is at work, look for the mechanic's 992
The move, a simple one, consists in exerting pressure on the top 993
Eye with suspicion the player who uses the mechanic's grip and 994
Ordinarily, when the deck is cut, the dealer pushes it toward you 995
1. One-handed shift cut: Here the two portions of the deck are 996
3. Two-handed cut shift: Magicians, who call this "the pass," have 997
Protection Against the Bottom Deal 998
The bottom dealer, like the second dealer, uses the mechanic's grip. 999
This is easier said than done—much easier. It takes years of practice to 1000
How to Spot a False Shuffle 1001
The deck is cut into two blocks and their ends riffled together quite 1002
You have only one small clue here—that fast "cut" following so 1003
In games involving more than two players, particularly Poker, most 1004
The most popular, the most effective and the least suspicious-looking 1005
Regarding the question of cutting the cards prior to the deal, I agree 1006
There's a foolproof defense against the two-handed running false 1007
The sharper, let us say, has three kings on top of the deck. He cuts the 1008
The semiprofessional sharper who is unable to execute the riffle 1009
The giveaway signal here is the unusual sound of the shuffle caused 1010
You simply stack the deck in such a way that you deal the two aces to 1011
There's a foolproof defense, however, against all stacked decks— 1012
Over the years I have appeared as guest star on hundreds of national 1013
Protection Against Steer Joints and Cold Decks 1014
Most of these mobs employ "steerers," whose job it is to locate 1015
The actual swindle is accomplished as follows. The four player 1016
The mark deals the cards, and when he picks up his hand and 1017
Then the whipsawing begins, one confederate betting the entire 1018
Suppose four Poker cheats plus a mark are playing pot limit. The 1019
Most sharpers have developed their own cold-deck switches. 1020
How to Spot Palming 1021
When the sharper at Draw Poker does not have a confederate to 1022
The best way of detecting the kind of cheating described here is to 1023
Signaling—Poker's Least Detected Cheating Practice 1024
Women Poker cheats who work in teams of two are prone to signaling. 1025
During my World War II gambling investigations for the War 1026
Modern signaling codes between expert Poker cheats have 1027
The best advice I can give to protect yourself against signal cheats is 1028
The legalized Nevada casino Poker rooms protect their customers 1029
This was a challenge they couldn't resist and they went to work to 1030
"Well," I said, "it proves something. As a matter of fact, all twelve 1031
Marked cards are commonplace because they are easy to obtain. 1032
It's even possible that you might buy a marked deck without knowing 1033
The ordinary player also thinks the cards are marked when they are 1034
Although individual marking systems vary, all card markings fall 1035
Blockout: Parts of the design are blocked out with white ink, or 1036
Trims: A marking method used on cards whose back designs have 1037
Luminous Readers: I put this one in mainly because it shows how 1038
There are many items listed in the catalog which no smart cheat has 1039
Nailing: The cheat digs his thumbnail into the side edge of the card 1040
Waving: Essentially the same gaff, except the cheat places one finger 1041
Pegging: A very old marking method which is sometimes still used. 1042
How to Spot a Marked-Card Poker Cheat 1043
After you have convinced yourself that you have been playing with a 1044
THE SCARNE POKER SHUFFLE 1045
First, place the deck flat on the table directly in front of you. Grab 1046
Third, after the cards have been riffled together, release your hold 1047
The GIs used to call this the "Scarne Shuffle." It's foolproof, 1048
ABC. A Las Vegas term used to describe the first three dealt cards in Seven Card 1049
Ace. The one-spot in a deck of cards. The highest- and lowest-ranking card in 1050
Ace-Kicker. A three-card hand in Draw Poker, a pair plus an ace in a two-card 1051
Action. The betting. "The action is good." 1052
Advertise. To bluff a worthless hand with the intention of having the bluff seen 1053
Ahead. Winning in the game. "I'm ahead fifty dollars." 1054
All In. To bet all the money you have left on the table. 1055
Angling. Proposing to another player an agreement, private and outside the rules, 1056
Ante Up. A directive to all players to put their ante in the pot. 1057
Ax (The). When a game operator extracts a cut (charge) from a Poker pot, a 1058
Back to Back. Said of the first two hole cards or the hole card and the first upcard 1059
Backer. Someone behind the scenes who supplies a Poker player with his 1060
Baggage. An observer of a Poker game who is broke and does not play. 1061
Bang Up. To close up a Poker game voluntarily. 1062
Banker. The player or houseman responsible for selling chips to players and 1063
Beef. (1) A complaint. (2) To complain. 1064
Bet. Any wager made in Poker. 1065
Bet Into. To bet ahead of an opponent whose face-up cards, bets or draw indicate 1066
Bet the Pot. To bet the total amount of money or chips in the pot in a pot limit. 1067
Betting Interval. The round in which each active player has the opportunity of 1068
Big Blind. The second or third blind bet permitted in a game that possesses 1069
Big Hand. A hand such as full house, four of a kind, or better. 1070
Bit. A jail term. "He did a year bit." 1071
Blind. A compulsory bet made before a player is dealt his cards or looks at his 1072
Blind Raise. A forced raise, usually double the amount of the blind opener's 1073
Blood Money. Money that is hard to get, that one has worked hard to earn. 1074
Bluff. To bet an inferior hand in such a way that opponents will think it is a strong 1075
Bonus or Royalty. A predetermined sum to be paid by the other players to any 1076
Boys. Racketeers. "The boys financed this Poker game." 1077
Buck. To persist in Stud Poker in playing against an opponent's hand whose 1078
Build-up. The act put on by the operators of a Poker room and/or their employees 1079
Bump. To raise the pot. 1080
Bum Steer. Wrong information. 1081
Buried Card. A card placed among the discards and usually so disposed of as a 1082
Burn and Turn. To burn the top card of the deck prior to dealing the next round 1083
Button. When there is a house dealer (as in Las Vegas) a small circular disc called 1084
By Me. A phrase used when passing, checking, dropping out or standing pat. 1085
Call Bet. To make a bet without putting money in the pot. To pay later. 1086
Calling Station. A Western term used to describe a weak or bad Poker player 1087
Card Mob. Two or more Poker players working as a team to cheat the other 1088
Card Shark. A slang expression for a professional card cheater. 1089
Case Card. (1) The one remaining card in the deck that will improve a Poker 1090
Cash Out. Quit a game, converting the chips or checks to money. 1091
Check. To signify, as commonly used at Stud, Draw, and their variants, that the 1092
Check Cop. An adhesive paste that a cheat places on his palm. When he helps 1093
Chill. To lose interest. 1094
Chips (In the). Said of a Poker player who has a lot of money. 1095
Chump. An inexperienced Poker player. A sucker. Also a mark, mooch, monkey, 1096
Clean. (1) Said of a person who does not possess a police record. (2) To win all 1097
Closed Poker. Said of a Poker game in which all the cards are concealed. Also 1098
Cold Caller. Said of a player who has no money invested in the pot except a 1099
Cold Player. Poker player on a losing streak. "My cards are as cold as ice." 1100
Come (The). Staying in a pot with hope of catching the desired card. Sometimes 1101
Confederate. See Agent. 1102
Cooler. See Cold Deck. 1103
Court Card. A picture or face card—jack, queen or king. 1104
Crimp. (1) To bend one or more cards in the deck in such a way that the cheat or 1105
Crumb Bun. See Chiseler. 1106
Cutout Card Markings. To mark cards this way, a minute area of ink on the 1107
Cutter. A Poker-room employee (usually the dealer) who takes a money charge 1108
Cutting Out. Said of two people who have formed a partnership when one player 1109
Cut Up Jackpots. To boast about one's previous Poker winnings. 1110
Daub. A paste or fluid secretly applied to a fingertip, used to mark cards during 1111
Dead Hand. A hand that is not playable, due to an irregularity. 1112
Dead in the Pot. When there is no possibility for a player to win, he's said to be 1113
Deal (The). The shuffle, cut, distribution of the cards to the players, the betting 1114
Dealer's Choice. Poker as played often in social and home games where the deal 1115
Deuce. A common term for the lowly two-spot. 1116
Discard. A card or cards no longer wanted by the players and disposed of into the 1117
Door Card. The first dealt face-up card in a Stud game. 1118
Draw. Cards dealt from the stock after the first betting interval in Draw Poker; to 1119
Draw Out. To improve one's hand on the draw and beat an opponent who 1120
Driver's Seat (In the). Said of the player who holds what appears to be the best 1121
Ear. A bent corner put on a card to identify it or locate it. "He put the ear on the 1122
Early, Middle, and Late Positions. The early positions in a nine-handed Stud 1123
Edge. (1) An advantage enjoyed by one gambler over another. (2) An ante put in 1124
End Betting. The last bet prior to the showdown. 1125
Exit. To get out of the game. "I'm exiting this Poker game." 1126
Exposed Pair. A face-up, or open, pair in Stud and in community cards. 1127
Face Card. King, queen, jack are called face cards. Also known as "court cards," 1128
False Opening. One in which the pot is opened with less than the required rank 1129
Family Pot. A pot in which most of the players are in at the showdown. 1130
Fast Game. The speed at which the action betting is progressing. A fast action 1131
Fatten. To increase the money or chips in the pot. 1132
Feed. To put money or chips into the pot or kitty. 1133
Fifth Street. The fifth card dealt each player in Stud Poker. 1134
Flat Call. Same as call. The "flat" denotes that the player did not raise. 1135
Floorman. A Poker-room employee who oversees and supervises the action in 1136
Fold. To drop out of the pot. 1137
Four-Card Straight. A hand consisting of four cards in sequence not of the same 1138
Four of a Kind. A hand comprised of four cards of the same rank and one odd 1139
Free Ride. A round of cards in Stud or Draw in which no player makes a bet; each 1140
Freeze-out. A game in which a player has lost his original buy-in and is out of the 1141
Full House. A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair. "I have a full 1142
Full Table. Table at which no seat is available and there is no more room. 1143
Fuzzing (the Deck). Mixing the cards by drawing two cards simultaneously from 1144
Gallery. The nonplayers who are spectators and kibitzers. 1145
Game. Any form of Poker played, be it Draw, Stud, or any of their variants 1146
Get Out. To regain one's losses. "I got out of the Poker game even." 1147
Get Your Feet Wet. An invitation to a spectator to get into the Poker game. 1148
Give Him a Card. To let your opponent get a free draw. 1149
Go for the Money. To cheat. "That mob at Duke's Poker game is going for the 1150
Good Thing. A good bet or a good hand. 1151
Go South with It. (1) To put money in one's pocket during a Poker session. (2) 1152
Grind. A low-limit Poker game that requires a good many players and good 1153
Half-Pot Limit. A fixed betting limit that permits a player to bet, raise or reraise 1154
Hand. (1) The cards dealt to, drawn or bought by a player. A Poker hand must be 1155
Hand Mucker. A card cheat who specializes in palming, holding out of play and 1156
Has a Sign on His Back. Said of a Poker cheat who is widely known as a crook. 1157
Heart. Courage. "He has plenty of heart. He always bets his hand up." 1158
Hedge. To bet against a Poker situation already bet in favor of, in order to be sure 1159
Heist. To hold up or rob someone. 1160
High. (1) The player who has the high hand at any betting interval or on the 1161
High Spade Bet. A side bet usually made in Draw Poker in which the hand 1162
Hold Check. A postdated check. 1163
Hold Over. To hold the best hand continuously against a certain player. 1164
Hook. A word occasionally used to describe a jack. 1165
Hot. Said of a player on a winning streak. "That guy's so hot he can't lose a pot." 1166
Hoyle (According to). An incorrect term for any set of modern rules. In 1167
Hush Money. (1) A bribe paid to a policeman or politician to permit the 1168
Ice. The money paid to police and politicians for permitting an illegal Poker game 1169
Imperfect Deck. A deck minus one or more cards; a deck with one or more cards 1170
In. Having called the highest betting opponent, active in the pot. 1171
Indices. Number designs or letters printed in the top left-hand and bottom 1172
In the Middle. To be the player (caller) sandwiched between two players who are 1173
In the Pocket. Hole or face-down cards are "in the pocket." 1174
Inside Straight. Four cards of a broken sequence needing a card of an inside rank 1175
Interval of Betting. Period of deal in which players open, check, raise, reraise 1176
Irregularity. Any departure from the Poker rules, an inadvertent error—not a 1177
Jacks Back. A hand of Draw in which, if the pot is not opened, the hand becomes 1178
Jerk. See Lob. 1179
Joker Wild. Any Poker game in which the joker is used as a wild card. 1180
Kibitzer. A non-player who stands behind the players to watch the game and pass 1181
Kicker. An unmatched card held with a pair or three of a kind held in the hand 1182
Knave. Jack of any suit. 1183
Ku Klux Klan. A Southern name for three kings. 1184
Lam. See Runout Powder. 1185
Lay Down. For each active player to expose his hand by placing it face up on the 1186
Leg. One game of a series of Poker pots. 1187
Legit Game. An honest game. 1188
Light. A term denoting that the player owes chips to the pot. The amount owed is 1189
Limit. The fixed, agreed-upon ante, the maximum amount to open, to raise, and 1190
Line Work. Adding small spots, curlicues or lines to the back design of playing 1191
Live Hand. A Poker hand held by an active player. 1192
Lob. A hanger-on around gambling joints who runs errands for players. Also 1193
Long Run (The). An indefinite time period in which the theory of probability is 1194
Looking for Action. Said of a Poker player who is trying to find a game. 1195
Loose Player. A player who gets involved in most pots regardless of whether he 1196
Luminous Readers. Marked cards that can be read only through tinted glasses. 1197
Make Good. To satisfy a pot shortage by adding cash or chips. Also, to satisfy 1198
Mark. A sucker. 1199
Mechanic (Card). A skilled card cheat who resorts to sleight of hand to 1200
Mess. Said of a draw or buy that failed to improve a hand. 1201
Michigan Bankroll. A large bankroll consisting mostly of one-dollar bills with a 1202
Misdeal. An illegal deal after which the cards must forthwith be reshuffled, cut 1203
Money Management. (1) The proper handling of your Poker bankroll as a 1204
Move. Sleight of hand. "That's when he made the crooked move." 1205
Mug. (1) A low character. (2) A sucker or chump. 1206
Muscle Man. A tough guy or bouncer who keeps order in an illegal Poker room. 1207
Natural. A winning five-card Poker hand (deuces wild) containing no wild cards 1208
Number Two Man. A card mechanic expert at dealing seconds. See Seconds. 1209
Nut Flush. An ace-high flush. 1210
Nuts. The best possible winning hand at a particular betting interval. "It's tough to 1211
Odds On. Odds at less than fifty-fifty. 1212
Okay. Protection furnished by politicians and police enabling an illegal Poker 1213
On the Come. To bet a hand with possibilities of filling in on the draw or with the 1214
One Big One. Gambler's term for $1,000. 1215
One-Ender. A possible one-card straight with only one end open; four cards of 1216
One-Way Cards. Cards whose backs bear pictures or designs that are not 1217
Open-Ended Straight. A holding of four cards in different suits with both ends 1218
Open Game. Similar to games in Nevada Poker rooms, where anyone may 1219
Open Poker. Any form of Stud or other form of Poker involving community 1220
Open Up. (1) To start a Poker game. (2) To give information. "He opened up to 1221
Out Draw. See Draw Out. 1222
Out in Front. To be ahead money at the Poker tables. 1223
Out of Turn. Betting or receiving a card or cards in some other player's turn of 1224
Overhand Shuffle. The old-fashioned shuffle, now obsolete in most Poker games, 1225
Overlays. Cards in Stud that are higher in rank than any opponents'. 1226
Pack. A 52-card deck. 1227
Pad. Payroll. "Everybody's on the pad including the cop on the beat." 1228
Pair. Two cards of the same denomination. 1229
Paper. Marked cards. "I laid down paper in the Poker game." 1230
Partners. Two or more players forming a team in a sophisticated Poker game to 1231
Pass. Check, play. 1232
Payoff Odds. The odds at which a bet is paid off, usually less than the correct 1233
Peg. To mark cards during play with the sharp point of a pin or thumbtack 1234
Penny Ante. A game in which the ante (if any) and the bets such as the opening 1235
Percentage (P.C.). An advantage obtained by offering less than the true odds. 1236
Phony. (1) A person who pretends to be something he isn't. (2) A crooked deck of 1237
Pile. The amount of money or chips the player has on the table before him for 1238
Play. (1) Opening bet, call, see, and stay in. (2) Betting in general. 1239
Player. Anyone who sits at a table and gambles his money at Poker. 1240
Position. Not where you are seated in the game, but where you are in relation to 1241
Pot Limit. A betting limit that permits a player to bet the total of the pot as a 1242
Private Game. Any game that has no houseman or banker and in which no charge 1243
Proposition Hustler. A bettor who offers betting propositions which appear at 1244
Public Game. A Poker game that's open to all, such as the legal Poker rooms in 1245
Pull Through. A crooked table riffle shuffle which appears to be an honest 1246
Quack. A noisy and complaining player when losing. 1247
Quart. A four-card straight flush. 1248
Queer. Counterfeit money. 1249
Quit (the Game). (1) To pocket your cash or cash in your chips and leave the 1250
Quitting Time. An agreed-upon time to end a Poker game. 1251
Rabbit. (1) A timid person. (2) A sucker or inexperienced Poker player or 1252
Rail. The velvet rope separating Poker players (Las Vegas style) from spectators 1253
Raise (Freezer). A special optional call bet created by me that is made after three 1254
Rangdoodle. See Pot Limit. 1255
Rap Pot. To refuse to draw cards in Draw Poker. 1256
Read. To try to figure out an opponent's hand. "The way he bet, I read him for a 1257
Ready Up. To get ready to make a crooked move in Poker. 1258
Redeal. A new deal by the same dealer after an irregularity in the previous deal. 1259
Reraise. To bet a larger amount than the previous raiser. "He reraised the raiser." 1260
Rig. To gaff or make crooked. "The game is rigged." 1261
Rock. A player who won't lend any money. 1262
Roscoe. A revolver or pistol. 1263
Rough It Up. To bet heavily, thus enlivening the tempo of a Poker game. 1264
Royal Flush. An ace-high royal flush is the highest possible hand without wild 1265
Run-out Powder. A gambler who leaves town without paying off his debts is 1266
Sandbag. To check the probable best hand in an attempt to lull your opponent 1267
Scarne Cut (The World-Famous). A defense against card cheats. To execute, 1268
Scooping. To declare for both high and low in a High-Low Poker game. Also 1269
Score a Big Touch. To fleece a player or players for a large amount of money. 1270
Screen Out. To cover up or misdirect attention away from a crooked Poker 1271
See. To call in the last betting round. 1272
Shading. A method of marking cards. The backs of cards are delicately shaded 1273
Shift the Cut. To return secretly the halves of a cut deck to their original 1274
Shiner. A small mirror that secretly reflects the top card of the deck as it is dealt. 1275
Show. To face or expose a player's entire hand on the showdown. 1276
Shuffle. To mix the cards together preparatory to the cut and deal. 1277
Side Bet. A bet between players made privately and put aside separate from the 1278
Sit In. To become a player in a Poker game. 1279
Skimming. Secretly taking money from a gross handle of any gambling venture. 1280
Slough or Slough Up. To close up. "We sloughed the game." "The police 1281
Smooth. Describing a good hand. 1282
Spit. A community card turned face up by the dealer in the center, which may be 1283
Spot Card. Any card ranked from ace to ten. 1284
Streak. A run of good or bad luck. 1285
Stripped Deck. A deck with certain cards removed, such as the 40-card Italian 1286
Stud. The large family of Poker games in which some cards are dealt face up and 1287
Swing. To declare high and low. 1288
Table Stakes. A betting limit in which the maximum bet is the amount of 1289
Stack. The chips belonging to a player. Also "stack the deck," to arrange cards in 1290
Standard Deck. 52 cards, 13 of each suit, clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades in 1291
Stand Pat. In Draw Poker, to refuse to draw cards, and to choose to play one's 1292
Steal a Pot. To win a pot by bluffing or by failure of another player to press his 1293
Stiff. (1) An unlucky player. (2) A non-player. 1294
Straight. Five cards in sequence of mixed suits such as 5,6,7,8,9. 1295
Two-Way Call. A declaration of both high and low in any variation of High-Low 1296
Underdog. Said of a player who has little chance to win at Poker. "He's a 40 to 1 1297
Two-Way Hand. A Poker hand that has a possibility of winning both the high 1298
money or chips in front of the bettor. The bettor cannot bet more than the 1299
Tail. To follow someone. 1300
Telegraph. To give away unknowingly the fact that a cheating move is about to 1301
Tie. Two or more winning hands of the same value requiring the pot to be split. 1302
Toke (or Token). A slang expression for the word "tip." 1303
Touch. (1) A loan. (2) To borrow money. (3) A Score. 1304
Trim. To fleece, gyp, clip, beat, etc. 1305
Trips. Three of a kind. Also called "triplets." 1306
Two Pairs. A hand containing two pairs of different rank and a fifth card. 1307
Third Street. The third card dealt to each player in various forms of Stud Poker. 1308
Trey. Any three-spot card. 1309
This is strictly poppycock. There is no such Poker game. In fact, there is no 1310
Up. (1) The act of anteing. (2) The higher of two pairs such as "aces up." 1311
Uphill. See Chase. 1312
Vigorish, Viggerish or Vig. A percentage extracted from the pot or an hourly 1313
Way Off. Imperfect or incorrect. "You're way off when you say that big pot last 1314
Wheel. See Bicycle. 1315
Wild Card. A card that the holder can use to represent any card; see also Bug. 1316
Window. The card that the player purposely or inadvertently exposes at the end 1317
Wired. When the hole card and the first upcard in Five Card Stud or a variant are 1318
X (the). The control of all the illegally operated Poker clubs in town. "The Irish 1319
Zinger. A stare at a player in an attempt to put a so-called hex on him, causing 1320
Zombie. An expert Poker player who shows no emotion either when winning or 1321
Big Sol, 156 1322
Card mechanics, 246 1323
Dandolos, "Nick the Greek," 76, 191, 243 1324
Low and High-Low variants of, 124-38 1325
checking on last round in, 186 1326
Folding, 53, see also Dropping out in 1327

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