The Definition: The Poker Scam requires some sleight of hand, but nothing so difficult that a small gang of determined hustlers couldn’t pull it off with a moderate amount of practice. When a rigged deck of cards is smuggled into the game, the odds against you go off the charts. Then your chips go off the table – right into the scammers’ pockets.
The Mark: Anyone that likes to sit down for a few hands of cards with a bit of high wagering could be a victim. If you’re not suspecting anything, and our hustlers have a deft touch, you haven’t got a chance.
The Scam: Our scammers have taken what is called a “cold deck”, and set it up so that it deals a winning hand to the player of their choice; this is done in secret, before the other players arrive. First, the hands are created, face up, around the table. The cards are carefully arranged to achieve the desired result, with certain players dealt bad cards so that they will fold, and others dealt cards just good enough to keep them in the hand and betting generously. Of course, the winning hand is reserved for one of the two scammers sitting at around the table. The cards are then restacked to achieve the desired result and placed in the possession of a female “smuggler” – this can be done with more than one deck, but not so many as to raise suspicions.
Our two scam artists play their regular brand of poker for the better part of the evening; maybe winning a bit, maybe losing a bit, but all the while angling for the fantastic run of “luck” that they know is yet to come. Our female hustler is playing a role too, most frequently as a cocktail waitress, regularly walking into the poker den with her notepad in hand to take orders. It is imperative that the players become quite comfortable with her movements in and out of the room, since she is also playing the role of the aforementioned “smuggler” – and special attention is the last thing she wants.