Cutting the Deck

Old State

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For most of the last 18 years I have played 95% of my home poker with the same 20 guys. One thing that was pretty much abandoned very early on was having someone else cut the deck. Most felt it was a pointless tradition and the likelihood someone would or could cheat was virtually non existent. Who ever was the dealer did a quick but thorough shuffle, placed the deck in front of them with the cut card next to it, and cut the deck themselves...as a casino dealer would.

Now, in the last year of so, I’ve started playing in a couple totally new games with a lot of people I never played with before. One thing I noticed is that people seem to really be into having someone next to them cut the deck. Some insisting that it must be the the guy to the right and a few even commenting on how many cards were cut, etc. In the poker league I joined I’ve seen some really bizarre superstitious stuff.

When I host I always cut myself as described. When I started hosting some of these new cash games I mentioned the first few times that you could cut the deck yourself. But this was either not heard or ignored.

I don’t really care but sometimes I wonder what people think of cutting yourself. Not that I’m going to change at my place...but just curious.;)
 

abby99

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Casino dealer's shuffle, cut, and deal, but they're not playing. Big difference.

Wrt to home games, requiring a separation of duties is probably more of a perception thing than an attempt to thwart cheating. As a host, I insist that everything to be on the up-and-up, but it's very important to me that nobody has reason to wonder why shortcuts are being taken.
 

Jimulacrum

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Someone other than the person who shuffled should always cut the deck IMO. It may seem needless, but it's one small, easy step toward making sure everything looks above-board in your game. It's just good procedure.

I especially want someone cutting the deck when I deal, because I don't want there to be even a drop of suspicion if I catch the good end of a brutal cooler or make a bizarrely good call on the river—never mind if it happens more than once in a short period. Over a long enough sample, you're bound to deal yourself fishy-looking hands. Better if the guy next to you can vouch that he cut your deck.
 

trigs

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I always default to handing the deck to the guy on my right to cut it. However, I have had that guy tell me to just cut it myself from now on and I'm fine with that. At my home game, I think this is how it normally goes. We basically all know each other and have played with each other before. Some guys like to cut it, some guys don't care. None of us are good enough to be manipulating the deck.
 

Old State

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I always default to handing the deck to the guy on my right to cut it. However, I have had that guy tell me to just cut it myself from now on and I'm fine with that. At my home game, I think this is how it normally goes. We basically all know each other and have played with each other before. Some guys like to cut it, some guys don't care. None of us are good enough to be manipulating the deck.

The decline to cut or knocking the deck and no cut is baffling to me. I’ve always felt, especially with lower limit or newer players, that they were more into the theatrical element of cutting the deck vs what the original intent is. I’d bet the majority of casual poker players in this country have never really put any thought into why they are doing it in the first place.
And I would add to your comment that I don’t think there are many people in the world that can manipulate a deck...especially with those likely to show up at a low stakes home game.

If I was playing in a shady underground club for $2/5 + with people I didn’t know, I would be all about having another person cut the deck. That would be where any shenanigans would likely happen.
 
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Poker Zombie

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The only time we don't have someone else cut, is when @Mrs Poker Zombie and I are playing heads-up. Any other time, the practice remains with a mandatory cut, because new players are always a possibility.

People like to look for excuses as to why they lost. "Online poker is rigged" is almost a mantra, and that statement is "fact" to many. So when a new player shows, and sees a possible cheat, they won't return. You lost a possible new friend, and a new player, and your reputation may be besmirched.

Don't get lazy. Let someone else cut the deck.
 

bsdunbar1

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Whoever shuffles the deck, cuts the deck in my games. It has just been a non issue for the same reasons mentioned in the OP.
However, I am 100% on board if anyone wants someone other than the shuffler to cut, I see the benefit and wouldn't argue it. Rarely when we have new players some guys will take it upon themselves to have someone other than the shuffler cut the deck, but because we are all such a close group it's just not a big deal for us.
 

bsdunbar1

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Im also struck by the irony that shitty half assed shuffling...which is what most players do...doesn’t seem to bother many comparatively
There is a dealer at Planet Hollywood in Vegas who has been there for years. Most of them are great and I love playing there, but this one particular dealer shuffles the cards in a way that about 50% of the time the two halves are not even touching each other. I have tried to record him a few times but never could do it inconspicuously enough. I know it is done 100% out of laziness but it still annoys the shit out of me.
 

legend672

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The cut goes to the right. The cut is very important. That’s why there is a thing called the cut card. None of that tap the deck either. You tap the deck on the cut, it goes to the next guy to the right until someone actually cuts the cards. This self cut bullshit is worse than the clowns who want to lay out all the community cards at the beginning. Is some millennial thing ?
 

Jimulacrum

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"Online poker is rigged" is almost a mantra, and that statement is "fact" to many.
Online poker is legit rigged, though. You're braving a field of grinders using HUDs, all the while risking that someone is manipulating the software from behind the scenes, peeping hole cards, colluding with other players, or spending your deposit funds instead of holding them in escrow. And if that's not enough working against you, the government could come along and lock you out at any moment, leaving you begging for your roll back. All of this stuff has happened and/or is still happening. If that's not a game that's rigged against you, I don't know what is.

I'll happily play online with people I know, but putting my own money in an account with some offshore company so that I can drift around in the sea of what's left of online poker players … no thanks.
 

saskbull

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back in the day, we had a “friend” that was an expert at sleight of hand. his card tricks were amazing, and a hit at parties, until he was caught cheating at our $10 card games...always use a cut card, and always cut the deck.
 

Jimulacrum

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back in the day, we had a “friend” that was an expert at sleight of hand. his card tricks were amazing, and a hit at parties, until he was caught cheating at our $10 card games...always use a cut card, and always cut the deck.
Yup. It's not the amount of money that tempts people to cheat. It's the ability to get the money by cheating.
 

Poker Zombie

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Online poker is legit rigged, though. You're braving a field of grinders using HUDs, all the while risking that someone is manipulating the software from behind the scenes, peeping hole cards, colluding with other players, or spending your deposit funds instead of holding them in escrow. And if that's not enough working against you, the government could come along and lock you out at any moment, leaving you begging for your roll back. All of this stuff has happened and/or is still happening. If that's not a game that's rigged against you, I don't know what is.

I'll happily play online with people I know, but putting my own money in an account with some offshore company so that I can drift around in the sea of what's left of online poker players … no thanks.
I agree that online players cheat, but that is different than "rigged". Without seeing the deck, many believe that the program favors players that stay in to the river, to get more rake, thus believing it is rigged.

There are lots of reasons to avoid online poker, but "rigged" is not a one.
 

bsdunbar1

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Highli99

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Lol I don’t even know how to buy a HUD to grind PCF $15 sit and gos. My hourly is like 1.25
 

Old State

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The cut goes to the right. The cut is very important. That’s why there is a thing called the cut card. None of that tap the deck either. You tap the deck on the cut, it goes to the next guy to the right until someone actually cuts the cards. This self cut bullshit is worse than the clowns who want to lay out all the community cards at the beginning. Is some millennial thing ?
Technically it’s called a cut card because the type most often used these days are blackjack cut cards used to physically cut a blackjack shoe. And, ironically, the heavier and thicker “bottom cards” (the correct term)for poker used to be sometimes called “shoes”. I used to buy them from Gamblers General Store many years ago and they have nothing to do with cutting the deck. They simply hide the bottom card from view.

This is as close as I have been able to find. The type they used to use in AC and Vegas were yellow on one side and black on the other
https://spinettisgaming.com/products/bottom-card-for-poker

Also, knocking the deck is way older than millennials. The old men I learned to play stud with before Holdem used to do it all the time. Those guys are probably in their late 80s now.
 
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Old State

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There is a dealer at Planet Hollywood in Vegas who has been there for years. Most of them are great and I love playing there, but this one particular dealer shuffles the cards in a way that about 50% of the time the two halves are not even touching each other. I have tried to record him a few times but never could do it inconspicuously enough. I know it is done 100% out of laziness but it still annoys the shit out of me.
You should say something. They would probably see it in the cameras
 

Beakertwang

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Jimulacrum

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I agree that online players cheat, but that is different than "rigged". Without seeing the deck, many believe that the program favors players that stay in to the river, to get more rake, thus believing it is rigged.

There are lots of reasons to avoid online poker, but "rigged" is not a one.
It depends on what we mean by "rigged" now. I don't believe the RNG deliberately doom-switches people with cold cards. I just know for a fact that all kinds of unfair behaviors are either routinely allowed in online poker or happen anyway with little to no recourse for the victims. The end result is that you are almost guaranteed to eventually lose your money as a result (if you don't lose it by bad play anyway).

Think about it this way: if you knew of a live cardroom where all of the players were wearing glasses that track all play and display a HUD for them, would you feel like you're walking into a fair game? And in general, apply whatever analog you need to convert the online issues I listed to in-person issues. Stacking the deck isn't the only way to rig a game.
 

Jimulacrum

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I get the feeling many people like to imagine their low stakes home games are just like playing at Teddy KGBs place. If you have people coming over who you actually think are trying to manipulate cards to cheat at your $.25/.50 game to win $50 - 80, I think you need new poker friends.
That's the thing, though; you probably don't suspect it at all if it's happening in this kind of context. It's not like the cheat's going to announce it, and other players will have their guards down. Home games are low-hanging fruit. The cheat would just act like any other player, making friends, blending in. If he doesn't get too greedy or stupid, an effective cheat could skim a nice win rate off the top of a home game for years without anyone even getting suspicious. All it would take is a couple "lucky" hands here and there.

Doesn't matter if it's a cheeseburger-stakes home game or some big-time underground game with thousands getting shipped every hand. There will always be people who want to take money without earning it—whether it's $20 or $20,000—and manipulating cards isn't as hard as most people seem to think.
 

Mental Nomad

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The import thing is to do a "single overhand cut" directly onto the cover card (cut card.)

Then it makes little difference who cuts.

As far as ensuring fairness in game - the most important thing is that when a player is dealing, that dealer cannot deal their own cut. Never have the same person cut and deal, unless they are a dedicated professional and you know they're not cheating.
 
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