[ 37 ] To detect invisible cheating, a player must be involved in at least one hand and perhaps several hands in which cheating occurs in order to observe the illogical poker patterns and variables. For that reason, every player must be cautious about high-stake or no-limit games in which he could be lured into a single cheating setup and financially wiped out before detecting any cheating. A player must never relax his vigilance against being set up for a one-shot, big-hand play designed to wipe him out. Indeed, the wise player views with suspicion and is prepared to throw away without a bet any super-powerful hand (e.g., four of a kind or a straight flush) that he receives in high-stake games with strangers.

The alert and adroit player, nevertheless, can beat the one-shot, big-hand cheating setup by scalping the bait but not swallowing the hook when the setup hand finally appears. Being aware of a cheating setup, the shrewd player can sometimes extract sizable bait (e.g., $5000) by staging an illusory huge payoff (e. g., $100,000). After plucking the bait, he must fold without a bet on the first super-powerful hand dealt to him. Or better yet, he should leave the game before the big hand is sprung--in which case, he may even be able to return for more bait But the good player is also smart--he never tries conning unsavory players who might rob, assault, or even kill him for his counter-intrigue.

  • 38 ] Normally even the lowest-level management in major casinos is unaware and innocent of professional cheating in their cardrooms.
  • 39 ] Rapid memorization of large groups of cards can be difficult. But, with practice, most players can learn to rapidly memorize fourteen or more cards (even the entire deck) by association, mnemonic, and grouping techniques. (Reference: Perfecting Your Card Memory by Charles Edwards, Gambler's Book Club, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1974.)
  • 40 ] Six-card stud with no final down card has nearly replaced seven-card stud in Reno and is beginning to appear in Las Vegas. Without an unknown final hole card, five-card and six-card stud give an unbeatable advantage to the dealer-player collusion cheaters.
  • 41 ] Not every house dealer cheats. In fact, most casino dealers never cheat and are probably unaware of any professional collusion cheating occurring around them. When a collusion dealer is temporarily relieved by a non cheating dealer, the collusion partner will sometimes leave, but will often continue playing while waiting for the collusion dealer to return. Agreements with and payments to collusion dealers are usually made off shift, away from the casino. Payments are by a flat rate, by a percentage of winnings, or by a combination of both.
  • 42 ] The alert player detects and verifies illogical cheating patterns by evaluating the actions of cheaters relative to his own playing and betting actions. But without actually playing in the game, an outside observer, even an alertly suspicious and knowledgeable observer, cannot easily see or verify the illogical patterns of a competent cheater . . . at least not in a short period of time. (That is one reason why casino management is seldom aware of professional cheating in poker; few people can detect competent poker cheating without actually playing against the cheaters in order to notice and evaluate illogical cheating patterns.)

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