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There is zero doubt and I have seen first person someone dealing seconds and doing forces that I totally could not detect even when it explained to me. Someone who understands how shuffling carefully affects where cards go in the deck I am pretty sure can deal a cooler from a random deck if he is able to shuffle a few times and looks, as dealers do, at the deck. Pretty sure the origin of card magic/tricks was to cheat.

But a magician and well-known player has asserted that since he himself is not touching the deck, he can't cheat. That is of course in his interest to convince people of but is it completely true?

I have seen other close magic that truly seemed magical and a good, not even top magician, could mark cards, hold out cars or introduce cards. Would you play poker with David Blaine even if he was not the dealer, just another player? I sure would not -- I would not even want to have to worry about nothing happening for hours and then, in NL, suddenly something happens or simply the guy having the small advantage of marking which would tell over time.

Of course, the magicians we have to worry about are the ones who never say a word about their card manipulation skills.

Despite the terrible cheating the Russ Hamilton perpetrated and got completely away with, I felt that in theory online poker could be made much more cheat resistant that playing at a real table with a physical deck.

If I lacked the skills to manipulate cards but managed to convince an opponent that I could, I am sure just his worry would give me a large advantage. (Of course, getting tossed from the casino and/or physically attacked is a good reason not to do this --I have seen over the years many poker fights although far fewer nowadays since in the past they had no clear penalties in place -- it used to be crazy.

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  • Sorry, I'm not quite sure what the question is here, are you talking about card mechanics and their ability to cheat?
    – Grinch91
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 9:59
  • @Grinch91: yes and one guy, who is a magician, asserting that since he doesn't touch the deck he can't do anything.
    – releseabe
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 10:44
  • Well if you can't touch the deck you can't manipulate it in terms of mechanics point of view. They could mark cards sure but manipulate the deck, how?
    – Grinch91
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 12:48
  • @Grinch91: seems like a mechanic could hold out cards. The deck is not counted after each deal.
    – releseabe
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 16:05
  • I worked before with a dealer who was an excellent card mechanic. The main reason why he ended up being a dealer was he wanted to ensure a fair game because he knew how it all could be done. Put it this way if he wanted a pair of aces to go to seat 4 he repeatable could do it. But my question still stands what do you want out of an answer here? Can someone manipulate a deck without touching it, no is the answer other than marking cards they get or pocketing cards. Should you play against a magician, why not, up to you. The likely only advantage they have is being able to do speech play well.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Apr 21, 2022 at 8:28

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