How to Mark Cards


Anyone who has watched an old movie where a scene revolved around a card game has probably come across the cliché of one of the players getting caught with marked cards. Most people are only familiar with the use of a decked of marked cards through what they have seen on the movies because most card cheats adept at being able to “doctor” a deck of cards will probably not broadcast such a skill! There is good reason for this; the ability to cheat at cards is best served when it remains a clandestine ability. Raised suspicion is the enemy of the card cheats.


As dubious as it may be, the ability to cheat at cards is a skill. It is not a skill many will brag about because it is hardly a skill that will result in an individual’s reputation in the community to rise, but it is a skill none the less. While thoroughly dishonest, it is a skill that can reward its master with a great deal of money, provided they do not get caught! Getting caught can result at minimum, being thrown out of a card game, and, at worst, well, the worst that can happen to a card cheat is best left to the imagination!


Marking a deck of cards involves putting a scratch, indentation or coloring or any method of ‘marking’ a deck so as to be able to read the cards from the reverse view. By being able to do this, the card cheat understands exactly what cards the opposing players have in their hands. By having this information, the player will be able to adjust his method of play (i.e. cheat) so as not to lose or to lose with a minimal amount of monetary expenditure.


In our dishonest world, one does not even have to learn the skill of how to mark a deck of cards. The reason for this is the fact that there are numerous pre-marked cards that are available for sale. These decks of cards can be purchased at any novelty shop or, being unable to find such a shop, can be purchased online at a variety of sources. Most serious card cheats, however, would never purchase a set of marked cards. They far prefer to mark the deck themselves.


The most common way of ‘marking’ a deck of cards is to purchase a solution that when applied to the cards will be able to be viewed under certain light conditions. Also, there are certain solutions that are only viewable by a person wearing a specific set of sunglasses! Even if one does not go to the lengths of the ‘sunglasses only’ marking solution, one can rest and relax knowing that since the other players are unaware of the markings on the deck, where they are located, their size and their meaning, detection of the markings will generally be difficult. The key word here is ‘generally.’ After all, accidents do happen and cheaters do get caught. Nothing is foolproof, but a fairly smart card marker will be able to mark a deck without anyone being wise to it.


If one is a novice at this method of cheating, it would be best to practice a few games with friends where no money is on the line. This way, one can work out all the bugs in terms of one’s ability to cheat while not getting into trouble if caught. After all, how mad would an opponent get if they realized they were being cheated in a game where no money was on the line. Also, even if they do get angry or upset, the cheater can always fall back on the statement that the reason for cheating was just as an experiment to see if it actually works. This isn’t even being disingenuous because it is the absolute truth. In a way, it is the only honest aspect of the particular venture.



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