3 Things to Avoid When Cutting the Deck

Learn how to avoid these three mistakes when cutting the deck as a professional casino dealer.

Takeaways

  1. Do not show the wide side of the deck to the players.
  2. Do not let players run the cut card along the edge of the deck.
  3. Do not hand the cut card to the player.

Watch the video or read further to learn why exactly these three mistakes are so critical, how you can avoid them and protect yourself as the dealer, as well as the players, while still providing a great experience.

Three Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting the Deck and Why They Matter So Much

Thank you for stopping by.

Let’s get started. Three things to remember to avoid when cutting the deck. Now, when you are a dealer, as a casino dealer, everybody tells you… "don’t do this, don’t do that, do this, do that."

But they forget the why.

They forget: what is the reason why. Why do we do that?

That is what I want to explain here today. For the common mistakes that we see people doing in casinos. Let me know if you guys have any questions.

1. Do Not Show the Wide Side of the Deck

So. No. 1 the first thing that you should avoid when cutting the deck is you do not show the wide side of the deck to the player. So if this is the player right here, and you are handing them the deck, you are showing them the wide side of the deck right here.

This is the wide side of the deck. Now as the dealer you never want to show the wide side of the deck to the player. When you offer the cut card to the player you always offer it at a T-shape. Here is the player, here is the line of vision. The deck is in the T-shape. We will draw a line right here and the deck is right here. This way as you can see on this camera, the player can’t see the wide side of the deck when they are cutting the deck.

So this is really important, you want to make sure you are not showing the wide side of the deck to the players. You want to make sure that it is in the T position like so. That way all they have to do is just cut the deck.

Why is this mistake important to avoid?

The reason why you don’t want to show the wide side of the deck to the player is because this inhibits shuffle tracking. So if the player is shuffle tracking, this makes it a lot easier to decide where to cut the deck. This makes it a little bit harder for them. Also, it protects against cutting to a marked card. If any of these cards are marked and the player wants to cut to the marked card, then showing them the wide side of the deck makes it easier to cut to that marked card. So that is why as a dealer, when you are offering the cut card to the player you never show the wide side of the deck. You always want to make sure the deck is a T angle, like so.

Also when offering the cut card don’t go past the insurance line. I know it’s really easy to just and the whole deck to the player like so. It’s arm length, it’s easier. But as the dealer, remember do not go past the insurance line. So that’s just another quick reminder.

Questions & Answers

Let’s see what you are saying in the chat. If you have any questions. Then we will go on to No. 2…

Superchat

Something witty? Mr. Chad if you want to email me at [email protected] we will come up with something witty.

Dane says to avoid literally cutting a deck of cards and expecting it to be cake. That's cool.

Joey: While practicing blackjack my maid tried to cut the deck along the face of the top card and I just shook my head.

Heather: Yeah I would shake my head too. I don’t blame you.

There’s no questions…

2. Do Not Let Players Run the Cut Card on the Edge of the Deck

No. 2. The second thing that you should avoid when offering the cut card to the players is the player will sometimes take the cut card and run it along the edge of the deck. I know some of you have heard this before because I have heard it a million times when I was dealing. They always tell you never let the player run the cut card along the edge of the deck.

But for most dealers you’re thinking what’s the harm in that. That’s not going to do anything. If people want to be superstitious, let them be superstitious. You know if they want to do this before they cut that’s not going to change anything.

Why is this mistake important to avoid?

Well, the reason behind it -- remember we are going over the whys today. The reason behind it is because of two devices. In Las Vegas, really quick, it is a felony to use a device at a blackjack table. In order to complete this cheating maneuver you need two devices. You need a camera and you need an app.

So what they do is they’ll have a camera either in their sleeve or they will have a ring that has a camera in it, and when the player is running the cut card along the edge, they are very slightly moving the cards away enough that their ring camera or their camera in their sleeve can see the very tops of the cards and it records it. So when they are doing this, they are recording the sequence of the cards. That camera is then putting that information into an app. The app is recording it. The app is getting all the information ready. The player who does this, stays for one or two hands and then leaves, because they did their job. They did what they were supposed to do.

During the middle of the shoe, you have the big spender come to the table, and with the app, with the information that he got from that, he now knows the sequence of the cards and now he can be big money. He can win a lot of money. That’s one of those scams that you try to avoid. The way you avoid it is, you don’t allow the players to do this when they are cutting the deck.

It’s always interesting to find out how people are cheating because they come up with some very interesting cheating techniques.

Questions and Answers

So again let me know if you have any questions. Then we will go on to No. 3. Let’s take a look at the chat.

Blackjackcon says: Don’t show the bottom of the deck.

Heather: That is very true. You always want to protect the back card of the deck.

Comment: Cheaters and getting smarter and smarter these days.

Heather: Yep exactly Dane.

Comment: I just bought my first shoe

The cut cad can be different colors. You can have red, blue, green -- let’s see I think I have a red one. Yep. Here is a red cut card. Here is a yellow cut card. They can be different colors. Usually yellow is the normal card that you use.

I have to watch that Simpsons episode. I really need to watch that Simpsons episode.

Q:  Off topic, how much is a gaming license?

Heather: A gaming license is different every place that you go to. Every different location. Also, they change the price in regular intervals. So I am sure the price has gone up since the last time I got it. 20 years I think it was $100. If you guys have an amount that you paid for your gaming license please put in the chat or in the comments. I would love to hear what you guys have to say.

So we went over No. 1 which did not show the wide side of the deck, and we went over the reasons why. The second for the second for those who are brand new, was don’t run the cut card along the edge of the deck. We went along the reasons why that is. Go back and watch this video if you didn’t see one and two.

3. Do Not Hand the Cut Card to the Player

No. 3 is do not hand the cut card to the player.

So when you are offering the cut card, on the deck. You offer the cut card as part of the deck. So the cut card is on top of the deck. You are holding the cut card with your finger. You extend it out to the insurance line and the player takes the cut card and cuts the deck. Should be that quick easy and simple. When I say don’t have the cut card to the player, I mean don’t physically hand the cut card to the player.

I know as a break-in dealer you’re not used to being a dealer just yet and there are something that are totally not ok to do when you are the dealer. One of those things is you never hand anything to the player. Whether that’s the cut card, whether that’s the players card. Anything like that. You never had it to the player. If a player comes up to the table and they give you money, you never take it from their hand. They never hand you money.

Anything you do, the player has to put it on the table, and then you can take it from there.

Why is this mistake important to avoid?

So again the reason for this video is to go over the why’s. The why for that one is slide of hand transferring. You don’t want to transfer anything to the player. These make really great covers if you want to transfer something to the player. So it’s a lot harder to do this if you have the cut card on the shoe. Oh oops, can’t transfer it that way.

You never want to hand anything to the player. Reason why for transferring, slight of hand. You want to protect from this.

So everything you give to the player always goes on the table first and then the player takes it from the table. That also protects you too.

As a dealer, let’s say you had no clue what’s going on and you don’t follow policies and procedures and you hand something to the player and the next thing you know management is saying that you just stole money and you gave it to the player and the player walked away. Well, you can’t protect yourself if you don’t follow policies and procedures.

Always, always, always follow policies and procedures.

There’s a reason why they are put in place. If you follow the policies and procedures in your casino, then security will see all the dealers doing uniform motions at all times so if anyone does anything that is not procedure, they can catch it immediately and they can go...oh that’s not normal. We need to check it out. That is why it is extremely important for dealers to follow all policies and procedures at all times.

Recap

So again let’s go over the three subjects really quick before we end this. If you have any questions, you guys have some time. Put it in the chat. I am here for you. I am here to answer your questions. Anything that you have feel free to ask.

The Wide Side of the Shoe

First thing to avoid when offering the cut card on a shoe is, you do not show the wide side of the shoe. When you are offering the cut card, you always do it at a T angle so that the player can not see the wide side of the shoe. The reason why we do this is to inhibit shuffle tracking. In case someone is shuffle tracking they will be able to see where to cut a lot easier if you show them the wide side of the deck versus if you show them a T, like so, they can not see the wide side of the deck. It makes it a little harder for them.

Running the Cut Card Along the Edge

The second thing is it also protects from cutting to a marked card. If you are showing the wide side of the deck and they are marking the cards, this makes it easier to cut to that marked card. So that was No. 1, No. 2 was not to run the cut card along the edge of the deck, remember the reason why for this is because there are two devices, a camera and an app the players can use. For example, on a ring there can be a ring on there. When you are sliding this card then that camera can see all of the cards as they are going by. That information goes to an app. The app. Gives that info to another person who uses it to take advantage of the casino. So in order to protect from this scam, do not allow players to run the card over the side of the deck. That is a no-no.

Handing the Cut Card to the Player

That was No. 2. No. 3 is do not hand the cut card to the player, the reason why is you could be transferring something to them, a slide of hand. You don’t want to say, have a chip in your palm, and then when you go to hand the cut card to the player they take that chip and now you have a theft. So those are the three things to avoid when offering the cut card on blackjack. Now hopefully you guys understand the reason why you want to follow these policies and procedures. Why it’s so important for you to follow this on your table.

Final Questions and Answers

Let’s see if you have any questions.

This is from Momasita: What are the exercises for dealing blackjack referring to math. Do dealers have to learn how to count cards so they can catch card counters?

Heather: Learning how to catch a card counter is different from say blackjack math. We do have card counting drills that we use to be better dealers. But that is not card counting like how you are thinking. It’s more actually counting the cards to make us better dealers.

If you are a dealer who wants to be better at what they do then yes you would learn about card counting, you learn about deviations, you would learn about EV. You would learn about as much as you can in that industry so that you can get better. The only way you can identify that something is happening, is if you have that knowledge to identify it. That’s why we are here. We are here to teach you. And we are here to help you identify these things on the table so that way you can catch a card counter. So that way you can catch someone that is using a ring to get information about an entire deck of cards. (23:18)

There are plenty of books out there. We are going to start putting more information on our website about that. So expect that to be coming here in the future. We had planned on doing that earlier this year but unfortunately Covid sorta knocked us upside the head. So we are just trying to get back from that. Let’s see if you guys have any other questions.

Clint: Can you backhand the player?

Heather: No you can not backhand the player. Although I have seen a dealer punch a player before but that is because the player punched him so it was sorta justified. That’s an interesting story for later.

So it looks like that is all the questions you have.

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