What is a False Shuffle?
A false shuffle is a cheating technique used in card games when handling the deck. The dealer holding the cards pretends to shuffle them, but in reality they use sleight of hand to ensure no mixing of the deck actually takes place. A false shuffle may be used to protect a stacked deck that has been set to favor a cheating player. It is also used by dealers to mask their setting of the deck.
False Shuffle Explained
If a dealer is using a false shuffle during a card game, they are attempting to cheat by fixing which way the cards fall. A false shuffle is any supposed shuffle of the cards where no mixing actually takes place. Instead, the dealer uses clever hand movements to make it appear they have shuffled the cards, when in reality they have kept one or more (or all) of the cards in their original order.
A stacked deck is one set to deliver the right card at the right time to a particular player. In private games, a player acting as dealer could favor themselves with a stacked deck. In a casino, a cheating player will need an accomplice on the casino staff. Once the deck has been stacked, shuffling it would move the fixed cards to new positions – so the dealer might attempt a false shuffle instead and only pretend to mix the cards.
False shuffles can also be used to keep a single card on the top or bottom of the deck. This ensures that card can be dealt to the right person at the right time. This is a much easier and more subtle way to succeed with a false shuffle. While a dealer who is not shuffling at all might be spotted, one who keeps a close eye on one card’s position is harder to detect.