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Wild West is gone. A local cardroom or casino usually offers a safe poker atmosphere.
Card cheats excel at inventing new ways to cheat. Marking cards are one of the oldest poker cheats. Casinos can now catch cheaters, but new ways to mark cards make it a constant game of cat and mouse. Licensed casinos rarely allow poker.
Underground and home games are popular and often the only alternative for poker players in countries where gambling is illegal. Thus, you must guard against marked card fraud. If you play private games often, these tips should help protect you and your money.
- Avoid interacting with shady characters
Poker players should seek “spots.”
You want to play poker with poor players with heaps of money.
However, if you are approved for a new private game, choose your lineup carefully.
Marking cards or other tricks are more likely in a game with dishonest people (see: the Tip Scam or fake transactions).
Naturally, this isn’t always clear-cut, and you could be tricked without knowing. Not always.
Stay away from dodgy games.
Because you can “read” people, use these skills to choose where to play poker.
If someone who doesn’t know you well promises a game full of affluent fish, you should question why you were chosen for this amazing “opportunity.”
- Pay Attention To The Players’ Card-Handling Techniques
Today, there are several ways to mark cards, but most cheaters are not clever.
Fingernail marks along card borders are the most common way to mark them quickly.
Shuffle and lift cards without penalty. Online and offline casinos do it often.
However, squeezing their cards oddly or spending too much attention on them may indicate wrongdoing.
Avoid criticizing too quickly.
Since accusing someone of poker cheating is a severe charge and an insult to most honest players, you must play it cautiously.
Observe privately for now.
- Keep an eye out for odd physical markings on the cards.
Check the backs of the cards for any odd markings if you have reason to suspect a player is marking them.
Have the edges been slightly twisted or are there any tiny, hardly perceptible cuts?
The most effective way to achieve this is to focus on large cards like aces and kings.
When using these on-the-spot card-marking strategies, cheaters typically don’t have enough time to plan out a comprehensive method to mark the entire deck.
Instead, they’ll work to make important cards stand out, which, if successful, will provide them a big edge.
- Keep An Eye Out For Odd Play Patterns
Unfortunately, advanced card marking methods are now available.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t see invisible print without special glasses or lighting.
Poker players should always be alert for strange scenarios.
In rare cases, someone may call a large bluff with the queen high.
Too many odd hands in a short time may indicate a problem.
Casino and licensed poker room floors will usually investigate your complaints.
Private games are harder.
You must be sure of cheating and suspicious of others.
If the game’s director knows about your complaints, they’ll be ignored.
- Request a new deck.
If you suspect marked cards are being used to cheat, ask for a replacement deck.
If you’re in a private game and don’t want to explain your request, don’t.
If your request is received with hostility, blow it off and joke that the deck isn’t friendly.
Even if they know, the person in charge will usually ignore the cheating to avoid upsetting other prospective targets.
At least you’ll know your situation.
- Take Courage And Leave
You cannot win rigged games or alter the world.
Despite your skill or luck, they will catch you.
Why waste time if you think the deck is tampered with?
If you’re uncomfortable, rise, cash your chips, and leave.
You can always think up a cause to leave.
Don’t feel bad if you’re afraid to speak up in a foreign place where you only know a few people.
After the game, you could discuss your worries with the person who invited you if you’re sure they’re not involved.
If you’re unsure, don’t return. That’s the best and easiest self-defense!
- Don’t be overly suspicious
It’s vital to be cautious, but don’t become paranoid about marked cards and other cheating methods.
Your gaming experience will suffer, and you’ll assume all good games are fixed, making it impossible to find them.
I’ve seen and played many weird hands and terrible beats in my poker career.
Avoid making snap conclusions based on isolated instances.
If these things happen too often, the game host won’t switch decks, etc., it’s okay to go on to a new game.
Avoiding unlabeled private games is the best advice.
Due to the possibility of modern cheating technologies, I would never play shady games.
Playing in authorized poker rooms where you can seek help is optimal.
Request a different deck, inspect it, and rectify any issues.
Safety trumps regret.