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Last Laugh
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I'm familiar with the Up The Ladder technique as well as the Gambler's cut. Ben Earl has a few nice ideas in this department too.

Are there any overwhelming favorites in the card sharp realm?
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Thomas Gilroy
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Do you need to control the full deck or just a slug on the top or bottom?

I've never felt that the Gambler's Cut was particularly deceptive. Cutting small packets from the bottom to the top repeatedly is exactly the same as cutting one larger packet from the bottom to the top. I know many people don't realize that. I think Up The Ladder is more deceptive to a casual observer, especially when done with rhythm of your usual strips cut. I think both moves are easy to identify when you are familiar with them. With a borderless deck, I often think it's more deceptive just to strip packets from the bottom to the bottom, but it looks obvious with a bordered deck.

I don't like fancy multiple-packet false table cuts, like the ones that appearing in Erdnase. I think they're obvious, and they don't imitate any legitimate stripping actions that I'm familiar with.

If you only need to control a slug, I think there are much more deceptive options, since legitimate strip cuts can be incorporated as part of the action. Steve Forte demonstrates some nice examples in his GPS series.
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Thomas,

There is a small difference in cutting small packets vs a single cut. Imagine you have a normal deck of cards in front of you. Imagine that you know the identity of the top card. If you perform a single straight cut, you may not know exactly where that card is, but you'll still have a good idea. If you're especially good at estimation, you may even know it's location to within a card or two. This is also true if you just observed someone perform a straight cut. Now imagine the same scenario but with the cutter (whether you or someone else) performing a series of very rapid straight cuts, varying their size from small to large. You would probably have no idea where that top card ended up.

The simplicity of a single cut allows for information to be retained. The complexity of multiple straight cuts can, if done quickly enough, eliminate all of the information. It's a small point to be sure, but occasionally an important one.

Jason
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Thomas Gilroy
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Hi Jason,

I meant that a series of sequential straight cuts always results in the same cyclic permutation of deck order as some single straight cut. You are of course correct that while mathematically equivalent, they are are not practically equivalent for the reasons you mentioned, which I had not considered. Thank you for the correction.

I'm now wondering why this action isn't incorporated into a standard shuffling procedure. It's not too difficult to estimate the locations of the bottom cards exposed at the end of the wash throughout the RRSRC sequence. I'm guessing that card rooms feel that the dealers should vary the number of packets cut off the top in their strip cut and the depth of the one-handed final cut enough for this estimation to be unpredictable, and it's not their money on the table anyway.

While I can now see that the Gambler's Cut imitates an action that has value in a genuine shuffling procedure, I don't really see it imitating a stripping action. I think a stripping action and a sequential cutting action are easily distinguishable.
Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:

The simplicity of a single cut allows for information to be retained. The complexity of multiple straight cuts can, if done quickly enough, eliminate all of the information. It's a small point to be sure, but occasionally an important one.
Jason


That is a very good point. Perhaps even more so if a small packet is on top and a single cut is made. Further if this single cut is followed by a single riffle shuffle, one still often has a good idea where those small packet cards are. Not exactly, but pretty close. With multiple cuts that certainly would be more problematic, if not impossible depending on how many single cuts were made.

Of course, in either case the sequence of the cards remains the same, just the starting point changes.
Last Laugh
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Thomas Gilroy wrote:
Do you need to control the full deck or just a slug on the top or bottom?



I'm mainly looking for a full deck option. For controlling a slug, I'd probably use genuine strip cuts and a jog to pick up a break.
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TH10111
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Personally, I like stripping from the bottom of the packet. I add a little movement with the right hand to help hide the action. I also try to keep the number of strips low, so that if someone does think something doesn't look right they don't get much of a chance to confirm their suspicions.
Last Laugh
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On Sep 11, 2018, TH10111 wrote:
Personally, I like stripping from the bottom of the packet. I add a little movement with the right hand to help hide the action. I also try to keep the number of strips low, so that if someone does think something doesn't look right they don't get much of a chance to confirm their suspicions.


Yeah, that's the Ben Earl idea I mentioned. Definitely a good idea.
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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:

Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Thomas Gilroy wrote:

Do you need to control the full deck or just a slug on the top or bottom?


I'm mainly looking for a full deck option.


A very nice 3-way and 4-way false cut that retains the entire order of the deck was described by Vernon in Revelations. It simulates a stripping cut and was designed to replace the Erdnase 3-way and 4-way false cut which in my opinion is a monstrosity or at least an oddity at best.
Last Laugh
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Cagliostro wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:

Quote:
On Sep 11, 2018, Thomas Gilroy wrote:

Do you need to control the full deck or just a slug on the top or bottom?


I'm mainly looking for a full deck option.


A very nice 3-way and 4-way false cut that retains the entire order of the deck was described by Vernon in Revelations. It simulates a stripping cut and was designed to replace the Erdnase 3-way and 4-way false cut which in my opinion is a monstrosity or at least an oddity at best.


Thanks - I'll look it up.
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Taylor Haws
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The "Up the Ladder" false cut looks pretty deceptive. I like to combine it with a bottom strip cut at the end.
Last Laugh
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Yeah, I'm getting it up to speed and it is pretty good. I can't decide though, just cutting twice then stripping off the bottom of the packet might actually more closely match the real thing. Good to know both I guess.

One thing I did see when watching the 'TruePokerDealer' videos on youtube was that they said that 3 or 4 strips was ideal, and that any more than 5 was a waste. I'm not sure if most (or many) dealers these day abide by that, but it made me consider that the 7-9 strips that the usual up the ladder cut emulates may not be quite 'realistic'.

Can't find the one Cagliostro mentions (or rather, can't find the book for a price I'd like to spend), but I am curious how the Erdnase fancy cut could be made more natural looking (I'm assuming it's the 'fancy cut' that Cagliostro is referring to).
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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Sep 18, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:

One thing I did see when watching the 'TruePokerDealer' videos on youtube was that they said that 3 or 4 strips was ideal, and that any more than 5 was a waste.


In casino poker and other table games, 3-4 strips are what they require and usually enforce.

Two reasons for this. The first is too many multiple strips can lead to chicanery whereas 3-4 strip cuts are easy to follow and the procedure is very "clean."

Second reason is, in casino table games the house has a percentage on each hand. The more time spend shuffling, the less hands dealt and the less the house earns. In poker, the house collects a "rake" on each hand. The more hands dealt, the more the rake earns for the house.

Sometime "less" is "more." The casinos usually have specific shuffling and cutting procedures for each game. This is to make cheating more difficult. Deviating from established procedure is a big red flag. Seven to nine cuts, either stripping or going up the ladder is ridiculous in casino gambling and is for magician demos only.
Thomas Gilroy
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The TruePokerDealer videos are excellent.

The 2013 Dealer Guide for the WSOP insists that the deck be stripped at least 3 times, to achieve 4 sections. See here:

https://www.wsop.com/2013/2013_WSOP_Dealer_Guide.pdf

It would seem that 4 sections is agreed upon as neither too much or too little.
Cagliostro
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Casino poker usually requires at least three or four strips.

Just to give an ideal of how rigid this stuff can get here are the rules for one Nevada casino for their hand held 2 deck Blackjack game.

Quote:
Holding the deck with cards on table --

Cut one third of deck from top and place on bottom. Riffle shuffle the deck.

Cut one third of deck from bottom and place on top. Riffle shuffle the deck.

Strip the deck with 3 - 4 packets on strip. No less and no more.

Riffle Shuffle the deck.

Angle cut card on top of deck and holding the cards in your right hand, pass it to a player to cut by inserting cut card into deck.

Complete cut at cut card. Place deck in dealing hand. Burn one card.

Protect deck at all times by holding it up towards your chest. (To prevent players from reading the top card.)


Any deviation from that shuffle plan will have surveillance call down to the pit, or the pit person will inform the dealer his shuffle is incorrect.

There are more rules to the dealing procedure, but that give an idea of how it is done.

Obviously this will not work for slick demos. For slick demos one might want to spring the cards from hand to hand, spin them, do some fancy one handed flourish cuts. pop some aces out of the deck, wear a blindfold, etc. etc. etc. Smile
Last Laugh
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Okay good to know. Yeah I hadn't considered the rake issue, but I guess every second counts. As someone who learned to play mostly online, the pace of live poker can seem sooo slow, even with super fast dealers. I'd probably be grinding my teeth if the dealer was doing 8 strips every hand.

I'll keep practicing the up the ladder cut for fun, but I think for the most realism, it'll be the 'off the bottom' strip after a cut and replacement.
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Cagliostro
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Quote:
Can't find the one Cagliostro mentions (or rather, can't find the book for a price I'd like to spend), but I am curious how the Erdnase fancy cut could be made more natural looking (I'm assuming it's the 'fancy cut' that Cagliostro is referring to).


Yes, that is the "fancy" cut I am referring to. However, here is another way to do the Erdnase 3-way fancy cut without the "fancy" part...for what it is worth.

With the deck on the table, cut one-third of deck from the bottom to top with right hand, stepping the packet slightly to the left. Cut another one-third of deck from bottom with the left hand, placing it on top of stepped portion. Cut remaining one-third of deck at step from bottom to top with right hand. The hands alternate on the cuts and the best way to do this is to move the hands apart each time one is pulling a portion from bottom to top.

The Vernon 3 and 4 way cuts are much better.
Last Laugh
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I see, similar to the gamblers cut, but using alternating hands and steps. Thanks.

I was inspired by the Rod the Hop video to play with using the one where you pull a section from the middle of the deck. Yes, it's a true cut (though not a true strip), but with a little jog it can easily be whole deck control. With a few little touches I think it looks very disarming.
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JasonEngland
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Not that it makes a huge difference, but creating an odd number of similar-sized packets has the peculiar effect of only reversing top and bottom packets. In other words, if you stripped off one packet, then another and then placed the remainder on top, a full third of the deck is still in the same place it began. If you strip 3 times (creating 4 packets) then NONE of the cards are in the same place that they started. Stripping 4 times (creating 5 packets of roughly 10 card each) leaves the center packet in essentially the same place it began.

Like I said at the beginning - this isn't a huge deal in most practical applications, but it would matter to someone studying these types of strips and shuffles from a mathematical perspective. Say, a Persi Diaconis for instance, or a shuffling machine inventor trying to mechanically replicate a stripping action. Stripping an odd number of times (and making an even number of packets) would probably help you achieve randomness a bit quicker than stripping into an odd number of packets.

Jason
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Thomas Gilroy
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On Sep 20, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:
Not that it makes a huge difference, but creating an odd number of similar-sized packets has the peculiar effect of only reversing top and bottom packets. In other words, if you stripped off one packet, then another and then placed the remainder on top, a full third of the deck is still in the same place it began. If you strip 3 times (creating 4 packets) then NONE of the cards are in the same place that they started. Stripping 4 times (creating 5 packets of roughly 10 card each) leaves the center packet in essentially the same place it began.

Like I said at the beginning - this isn't a huge deal in most practical applications, but it would matter to someone studying these types of strips and shuffles from a mathematical perspective. Say, a Persi Diaconis for instance, or a shuffling machine inventor trying to mechanically replicate a stripping action. Stripping an odd number of times (and making an even number of packets) would probably help you achieve randomness a bit quicker than stripping into an odd number of packets.

Jason


Hi Jason. Your point is interesting to me.

Speaking as a mathematician, the study of randomness via shuffling is seemingly a controversial topic. Perci Diaconis' results, while very interesting, are not universally accepted as mathematical fact. The most common criticisms I've heard is that the model of the "riffle shuffle" used allows for shuffles which would not be considered to a genuine riffle shuffle by most in practice. For example, the sky shuffle (or doing nothing) would be a riffle shuffle, as is any cut (sky shuffling the bottom packet on top), as is taking the top or bottom card and inserting it into the middle of the deck.

The riffle shuffles of an experienced human shuffler are also much more uniform. The initial cut is often very close to center, there is usually a strong preference for which hand drops first and last, and clumpy or lopsided shuffles are unlikely.

Incidentally, all 52! many possible orderings of 52 cards can be generated by some sequence of just these two actions:
1) Take the top card and move it on the bottom
2) Switch the top card with the second card
It would of course take an unfathomably long time to reach some orderings using only these two actions however.

I don't think Diaconis has studied shuffling procedures involving a combination of different shuffling methods, like wash, riffle, riffle, strip, riffle, cut. My guess is that this is a very difficult problem.

In the context of a shuffling procedure, I'd expect that randomly choosing the number of packets stripped and insisting on randomly differing packet sizes would be ideal to best ensure randomness.
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