False Cutting

With your undisturbed stack resting on top of a "thoroughly shuffled" deck, you then want to execute a legitimate-appearing cut that leaves your stack intact. To accomplish that, grasp the deck with both hands at opposite ends with the thumbs and index fingers (or middle fingers) as shown in Figure 16. Now while looking at Figures 16-18, execute this false cut by first pulling out about a third of the deck from the bottom with your right thumb and index finger and place those cards on top of the deck portion held by your left thumb and index finger (but retain your grip on the block of cards in your right hand). Then as shown in Figure 17, grasp the upper half of the cards held by your left hand with part of your right thumb and right middle finger while simultaneously releasing your left thumb and index finger from that same block of cards. At that brief moment, the deck will be split into three separate blocks, your right thumb and index and middle fingers gripping the two upper blocks while the left thumb and middle finger grips the bottom portion as shown in Figure 17.

Figure 16 Starting the False Cut
Figure 17 Breaking the Deck into Thirds

Instantly release the uppermost block from your right index finger and thumb, at the same time pulling outward and slightly upward the two other blocks beneath held by your right and left hands. Each hand will be grasping about a third of the deck as you do this, and the top portion will now fall through the other two blocks of cards onto the table. You may use your right index finger to help guide the right-hand portion of loose cards as they fall to the table.

Next, with a slow smooth motion, slap the portion of the deck in your left hand onto those loose cards now on the table as shown in Figure 18. Then place the remaining cards (your stack) in your right hand on top of those cards and square the deck. Again, your stack sits undisturbed on top. Executed with any degree of smoothness, the cut looks very thorough and legitimate.

Figure 18 Placing the Stack on Top

A mirror to view your motions is helpful for practice. For the best effect, you should perform the cut fairly rapidly, but slow down to place the two remaining blocks of cards from your left and right hands on top of the portion that falls to the table. Your stack will end up intact on top of the deck.

After thirty minutes of practice, you can execute this cut fairly smoothly. Remember to angle the card-blocks in your right and left hands in a slight upward sweeping motion as the top block falls between them. Strive for gracefulness. Again, the first phase of this cut, including dropping the top block between the other two portions in your hands, should be done fairly fast. But the final phase, which completes the cut by placing the other two blocks of cards on top, should be done more slowly.

More false cuts are described later in this book. But learn this basic standby cut first. The cut need not be done perfectly to be effective. And even if the cards tend to spread somewhat when they are dropped, do the cut without hesitation.

a. Detecting False Cutting

  • Watch for the same block of cards consistently ending on top of the deck.
  • Be suspicious of fancy cuts, extra thorough-looking cuts, and quick three-way cuts. Also, watch for simple crimp cuts (described next in this chapter).

b. Defending Against False Cutting

* Same defenses as against blind shuffling described on page 62.

The three basic techniques in this chapter -- blind shuffling, false riffling, and false cutting -- are invaluable to the Neocheater. He uses those techniques constantly. With only a few hours practice, each technique quickly becomes habit, performed routinely without groping or thinking.

The blind shuffle will usually dispel any suspicion of cheating or stacking. For example, when cutting an ace for high card, a Neocheater culls an ace to the top of the deck in one riffle shuffle; he then blind shuffles the deck four or five times, runs the ace to the bottom in one overhand shuffle, crimps the lower deck, gives it two or three rapid center cuts and then a final bottom cut before slapping the deck on the table. ... The deck now appears thoroughly shuffled and cut.

The blind shuffle is more convincing than the false riffle. And when the blind shuffle is combined with the false cut, the illusion is deadly. In certain games, Neocheaters will not even need to offer the deck for a cut, and rarely will anyone request a cut if the Neocheater executes the blind shuffle and false cut with any degree of smoothness.

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