There are many cheating techniques in cards: marking of cards, pushing a good card to a fellow player, controlled shuffling and dealing of cards from the bottom or even from the middle of a deck. Some manipulations with cards can be done by very skillful and sure-handed scammers only. One of the perfect poker scam can be seen on this page.
By way of introduction Paul, Alex and Jess are professional hustlers. In 2006 they made a documentary TV series The Real Hustle. They prove how easy it can be to cheat (not only) naive and trusting people. Some of their performances (not dealing with cards only) are true masterpiece.
Despite it is a deception that should be refused, their skillfulness and wits raises considerable sympathy. It is needed to add that the people in the TV series were really tricked, it was not according to any screen play, but they were notified of that at the end and agreed to be broadcasted. That is how the whole series came into existence.
Let us have a look at their must-watch poker scam in a cash game. The hustlers Paul, Alex (and Jess) invited three professional poker players Ross, Bonnie and Joe who belong to the top British poker players and call themselves “The Hendon Mob”. The game is recorded on camera.
Paul and Alex admit that without cheating they would not stand a chance against the pros, despite they themselves are very good poker players. Alex pretends to be an amateur who joins the game for documentary reasons only. Paul is one the best card magicians in the world. He has trained the tricks for years and can shuffle himself any cards he wants at any time. He shows that in the video: e.g. after shuffling he deals himself four aces as the first four cards…
The poker scam begins. First a few rounds of Texas Hold’em is played. Now it is time to get into the game a deck of cards that has been pre-shuffled by Paul and Alex. So they know exactly, which cards is each player going to be dealt and how – very likely – they are going to play with those cards. The cards cannot be too good or too bad, just right. One big game will be enough to beat the pros and take everything from them.
As the pros from the Hendon Mob use their own brand cards, Paul and Alex must have bought them on their website. Now the cards are ready. Cute Jess, who acts as a waitress, will help get the cards into the game. She holds the cards below her notebook.
Jess hands the deck over to Paul who switches the cards unspotted at the right moment. Then he shuffles the cards. Actually he only pretends to shuffle the cards as he can shuffle the cards in a way that does not change the order of each individual card!
Now one of the hardest parts comes. Paul lets Alex cut the cards, but before that he marked the spot for Alex who must cut the cards precisely, otherwise the whole scam would fail. Now the big – pre-arranged – game begins!
Paul, who is a dealer, folds.
Ross was shuffled bad cards by the hustlers (luckily for him) and folds as well.
|Bonnie gets||, that is the cards with a very good potential; the hustlers are sure we will continue in the game.|
|Joe looks at his two cards||and hides his emotions very well. There is something to hide, since he has been dealt the best cards a player can hope for at the beginning of the game.|
|Alex takes a look at his cards too||, although he already knows what they are going to be.|
The pros who stay in the game, Bonnie and Joe, made their bets as good boys. It is clear they swallowed the bait. After the Flop (the deal of three common cards) they will be even more willing to bet. The flop:
|Now Alex holds three queens||(and a "remote" flush draw),|
|Joe possesses three aces|
|and Bonnie is very close to straight of flush||that belong to the strongest poker hands.|
Two of spades appears on the Turn.
Bonnie has the flush already (the queen of diamonds is simply replaced with the two of spades) and as a skillful player bets a lot of chips to scare off his opponents. Nevertheless all of players think they have got the winning hand, that's why they go all-in. Now the cards can be shown down before the last community card – the River.
Paul as a dealer turns around the last card: the six of spades.
Thus Alex gets a flush, which is slightly stronger than Bonnie's and as a amateur defeats all the pros and becomes the winner of the game! It is no surprise for Alex though... Let us recapitulate each player's strongest final hand:
|Alex:||(Alex's flush with Q-A is stronger than Bonnie's flush with J-A)|
Bonnie can't believe his eyes losing with such a small difference and to the "amateur" Alex on top of that. Nonetheless the pros still have no idea that they have been tricked. After the next game, when Bonnie for change loses with four eights to straight flush, the magic is revealed.
The professional poker players in the video are not concerned with the cheat; they are actually surprised and kind of admiring it. They do not mind at all being cheated (in this case). Joe also answers the question how to recognize cheating. He encourages people not to be afraid that everyone cheats in poker.
Poker is mostly played in controlled environment, but players themselves are the best security. If they think somebody cheats, they shall stand and speak up. Even though chance can play a big part sometimes, cheating can be revealed by sort of inner feeling. If somebody cheats, course of play is not quite normal as regards probability. If you are suspicious, you can have the cards shuffled or cut over and over again.