While many forms of gambling are games of chance such as slots and roulette, card games such as poker are won partly by chance and partly by skill. Cheaters at the gambling table, however, can manipulate their chances of winning games by manipulating the cards used.
Cards, a vital component of games such as poker and blackjack, can be tampered with to the advantage of the cheaters. One method of card manipulation is by using pre-arranged cards. Players who know what cards are dealt to the other players gain an unfair advantage during the game. Knowing the cards of the other players can immensely help the cheater know when and how much to bet.
Another method of cheating in card games is by using marked cards. Cards can be marked before or during the game. Special ink, trimmings on the edges or distinct patterns on the cards can be used so that the cheaters can readily identify them during the game.
Players can also put markings on the cards during the actual game itself. Cards can be crimped, folded, pricked by fingernails or marked with cigarette ash, again with the aim of being readily able identify them later on the game. These markings can help the cheaters know if the cards are high or low cards – vital information that can make them win against the other players.
A player should be observant and should check if any of his opponents are too focused on the backs of the cards while they are being dealt or held by the players. This could be a sign that a cheater is looking for markings on the cards.
Established casinos and gambling centers generally have safeguards against cheating like frequently replacing used cards with a fresh, unmarked deck. After all, these establishments have to protect the reputation of their businesses and ensure continued patronage of their customers. Cheating is more likely to occur in smaller, more informal and private games. Private organizers of games can cut deals with the crooks at the gambling table and share the profits gained from unfair play afterwards.
Players have to be aware that there are times they might end up sharing gambling table with individuals who disregard the ethics of the game. Being a victim of cheating in gambling does not only cost the player the game but money as well. Players have to well-aware of the methods and alert enough to detect cheating through card manipulation.