SHORTING THE POTthe pot is one of the most common forms of cheating in poker. Often, it is done innocently, when a player gets distracted and forgets to ante up, or places the wrong amount into the pot during a round of betting. But there are also players who do this regularly and on purpose. It is the lowest form of cheating I know of.Tips: There are several ways to prevent a player from shorting the pot. The first is for the person dealing the game to keep track of each player’s bets during each round. This A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница is the dealer’s responsibility, and a job that should be taken seriously.way is to “spoke” your bets. This was developed by a group that I play with, and is especially good in games where players ante up if no one wins the pot. The idea of the spoke is to place each bet behind the other on the table, so that your opponents can see that you’ve bet the correct amount for each round.third deterrent, and perhaps the most effective, is to politely reprimand any player who gets caught shorting the pot. This puts the guilty player A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница on notice, while informing everyone else at the table what’s going on.
HOLDING OUTout is when a player secretly takes a card (or cards) out of the deck, and switches them in later during a hand. While this might sound bold (or difficult), it’s relatively easy to accomplish. A cheater can simply drop his hands below the table, remove a high pair from his hand, and slip them under his leg. He then declares he’s dropping out of the hand, and discards his remaining cards. The high pair is later used to create an unbeatable A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница hand.Tips: First of all, begin each game by counting the cards in the decks you’re using, even if the cards are brand-new. Cheaters who hold out often remove the cards before the game, and then patiently wait to bring them into play., make it a rule that players cannot take cards out of sight at any time. This includes during the shuffle (some players like to shuffle on their legs) and during play, when everyone is holding their hand. Cards stay on the tabletop. Period., when a player discards his hand, it is the dealer A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница’s responsibility to make sure the proper number of cards have been discarded into the muck.to these rules will make it difficult for a player to hold out during a game.
SHINERSshiner is a common method of peeking cards, and something most card players should be aware of. A hustler who uses a shiner is said to be “playing the lights.”shiner is particularly effective in Texas Hold ’Em, where each player receives two face-down cards. Let’s say there are five players. By using a shiner, the cheater memorizes the first ten cards dealt. Let’s A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница say the cards are the ace of clubs, king of hearts, two of spades, five of hearts, nine of diamonds, ace of hearts, eight of hearts, two of hearts, six of hearts, three of clubs. The cheater now knows the following:one has pocket aces (a great hand).two has the king and eight of hearts (a possible flush).three has pocket twos.four has the five and six of hearts, connected (also a good hand).five (the cheater) has the nine of diamonds and three of clubs (a bad hand).on this information, the cheater would drop out of the A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница hand.come in many shapes and sizes. Pros use small, coin-shaped mirrors tucked in their hands to spot cards during the deal; amateurs tend to favor mirrors stuck in pipe bowls or shiny rings to do the dirty work. Another favorite shiner is a common Zippo lighter, which sits on the table next to the dealer. As the cards are dealt, the deck is brought directly over the lighter, allowing the cheater to spot their values in the Zippo’s reflection.Tip: Keep the playing area for your games clear of any foreign objects, no matter how innocent they A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница might appear. Even a cup of coffee can be used as a shiner, with the liquid’s dark surface reflecting the face of a card. If you think someone might be using a shiner, glance up at the ceiling. Any light reflected off the shiner will also be reflected on the ceiling, and will look like a tiny butterfly.a peek at James Swain’s next exciting novel,’S BLUFF,on…soon from Ballantine BooksJulie, a famous New York gambler, once said that the person who invented gambling was smart, but the person who invented chips was a A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница genius.had a similar truism. The person who’d invented poker may have been smart, but the person who’d invented the hidden camera that allowed a television audience to see the players’ hands was a genius.“The Tuna” Scalzo sat on his hotel suite’s couch with his nephew beside him. It was ten o’clock in the evening, and the big-screen TV was on. They were watching the action from that day’s World Poker Showdown, which was generating the highest ratings of any sporting event outside the Super Bowl. His nephew, Skip DeMarco, was winning A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница the tournament and had become an overnight sensation.
“Tell me what you’re seeing, Uncle George,” DeMarco said.nephew faced the TV, his handsome face bathed in the screen’s artificial light. Skip suffered from a degenerative eye disease that he’d had since birth. He could not see two inches past his nose, and so his uncle described the action.
“They’re showing the different players you knocked out of the tournament today,” Scalzo said. “‘Treetop’ Strauss, ‘Mad Dog’ McCoy, ‘The Wizard’ Wang, and a bunch of other guys. It’s beautiful, especially when you call their bluffs A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница. They don’t know what hit them.”was what made poker exciting. A man could have worthless cards, yet if he bet aggressively, he’d win hand after hand. DeMarco had made a specialty of calling his opponents’ bluffs, and had become the most feared player in the tournament.
“Is the camera showing me a lot?” DeMarco asked.
“All the time. You’re the star.”
“Do I look arrogant?”didn’t know what “arrogant” meant. Proud? That word he understood. He glanced across the suite at Guido, who leaned against the wall. His bodyguard had a zipper scar A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница down the side of his face and never smiled. Guido came from the streets of Newark, New Jersey, as did all the men who worked for Scalzo.
“Guido, how does Skipper look?”
“Calm, cool, and collected,” Guido said, puffing on a cigarette.
“Is he a star?”
“Big star,” Guido said.
“There you go.” Scalzo elbowed his nephew in the ribs.show ended, and was followed by the local news. The broadcasters covered the headlines, then a story from the University of Nevada’s football field came on.
“What’s this?” his nephew asked.squinted at the screen. The A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница story was about Rufus Steele challenging a racehorse to the hundred-yard dash. Rufus appeared on the screen dressed in track shorts. Beside him was Tony Valentine, the casino consultant who’d caused them so much trouble. Scalzo grabbed the remote and changed the channel.
“Put it back on, Uncle George,” his nephew said.
“Why? He can’t beat no fucking racehorse,” Scalzo protested.
“I want to see it anyway. This is the old guy who wants to play me.”suite fell silent. Ever since they’d arrived in Las Vegas, his nephew had been challenging him.
“You’re not going to A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница play that son-of-a-bitch,” Scalzo declared.
“If he has the money, I don’t have a choice, Uncle George. This is poker. If I don’t accept his challenge, he wins.”did not like the direction the conversation was taking. He clicked his fingers, and Guido rose from his chair.
“Yes, Mr. Scalzo.”
“A glass of cognac for me. What would you like, Skipper?”
“For you not to drink while we have this conversation,” his nephew said.balled his hands into fists and stared at his nephew’s profile. If someone who worked for him had said A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница that, he would have had him killed.
“You don’t like when I drink?”
“You get mean. Doesn’t he, Guido?”hard, the bodyguard said nothing. Scalzo made a twirling motion with his finger. Guido walked into the next room, and shut the door behind him.
“This cowboy is the real thing,” his nephew said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Scalzo snapped.
“He’s an old-time hustler, Uncle George. I can’t scam him the way we’re scamming the tournament. It won’t work.”had won dozens of poker tournaments on the Internet, and was A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница a feared player in cyberspace. Live games were a different matter, with other players ganging up on him because of his handicap. Scalzo had found a way to level the playing field, and Skipper had gone along, wanting the recognition that he believed he deserved.
“But no one has figured out the scam so far,” Scalzo said.
“Steele will. He’ll feel a breeze.”
“So let him put a sweater on.”
“It’s a gambler’s expression, Uncle George. Steele will know something is wrong. Even if he doesn’t know what it is at first, he A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница’ll figure it out eventually. I have to play him on the square. If I’m as good as I keep telling myself I am, then I should beat him.”
“You want to play the cowboy legitimately?”
“Yes.”scowled. Skipper was letting his mouth overload his ass. He wasn’t going to play Steele head-to-head. The old cowboy knew too many damn tricks. Scalzo dropped the remote in his nephew’s lap.
“I’m going to bed,” Scalzo said. “Let’s talk again in the morning.”nephew stared absently into space as if disappointed with his uncle.
“Good A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница night, Uncle George,” he said.into the next room, Scalzo was greeted by an unexpected guest. Karl Jasper, founder and president of the World Poker Showdown, was at the bar, talking with Guido while drinking a beer. The face of the WPS, Jasper had dyed hair, whitened teeth, and shoulder pads in his jackets that made him look trimmer than he really was.
“Nice place,” Jasper said.and his nephew were staying in a high-roller suite, compliments of the hotel. It had a fully stocked bar, pool table, Jacuzzi, and private theater with reclining leather chairs. It was A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница the best digs in town, and it wasn’t costing them a dime.snifter of cognac awaited Scalzo on the bar. They clinked glasses, and Scalzo raised the drink to his lips.
“Did you see Rufus Steele on TV?” Jasper asked. “The man is becoming a menace.”let the cognac swirl around in his mouth. It felt good and strong and made him wake up. He liked how Jasper addressed things. He was a product of Madison Avenue, and had gone from account executive to founder of the WPS in the blink of an eye. He was a smart guy A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница who suffered from the same problem a lot of smart guys suffered from: He didn’t know how to run a business. Within six months of starting, he’d run out of cash. In desperation he’d gone to the mob, and Scalzo became his partner.could not have envisioned a more perfect setup. The biggest mistake the mob had ever made was letting themselves get pushed out of Las Vegas. No other town in the world had the same kind of action. By partnering with Jasper, Scalzo could run a card game inside a Las Vegas casino without law A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница breathing down his neck. It didn’t get any better than that.
“Rufus Steele is a clown,” Scalzo said. “The real problem is Tony Valentine. He wants to expose Skipper. He has a grudge with me.”beer in Jasper’s glass had disappeared, and Guido poured him another.
“You’ve dealt with Valentine before?” Jasper asked.nodded almost imperceptibly.
“Can he be bought off?”
“He used to be a casino cop. They called him the squarest guy in Atlantic City.”
“So, what should we do?”stared across the suite at the picture window on the other A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница side of the room. The curtains were pulled back, allowing him to see the pulsing neon spectacle that was the strip at night. For years he’d run a successful scam in Atlantic City that had made him a small fortune, but this was different. This was Las Vegas, and for as long as he could remember, he’d wanted a piece of it for himself.
“We need to get rid of him,” Scalzo said. “Once Valentine’s gone, Steele will fade into the sunset, and we can go back to business.”
“When you say get rid of him,” Jasper said, “do A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница you mean, run him out of town?”put his snifter down and coldly stared at his guest. Jasper’s face and hands were evenly tanned from playing golf three times a week. They’d been partners for over a year, and so far, Jasper had shown no regrets for having jumped in bed with the devil.
“I mean kill the bastard,” Scalzo said.blinked, and then he blinked again. Making a Madison Avenue decision, Scalzo thought. He put his hand on Jasper’s arm and squeezed the younger man’s biceps.
“We need to do it right now A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница,” Scalzo added.
’s Poker is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.Ballantine Books Mass Market Original© 2006 by James Swain
Excerpt from Deadman’s Bluff by James Swain copyright © 2006 by James Swainrights reserved.in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming paperback edition A Brief Glossary of Useful Cheating Terms 17 страница of Deadman’s Bluff by James Swain. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.: 978-0-345-49375-0: 0-345-49375-3.ballantinebooks.com.0
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