What is a Greek Bottom?
The ‘Greek Bottom’ is a technique used by card cheats to deal their chosen card to a playing accomplice (or to themselves) while masking the identity of that card, and the fact that cheating is underway, to all other opponents at the table. It is done by dealing the second card up from the bottom of the deck, rather than the bottom card. The second card from the bottom of the deck might itself be called the ‘Greek Bottom’ as well.
In poker, one method card cheats use is having the dealer assist them by giving them strong cards. This is less obvious than dealing yourself good cards! However, other players will be suspicious if it appears one player is being given the best cards in the game – especially if they themselves have seen the bottom card in the deck, and it then appears in the game!
The ‘Greek Bottom’ is a cheating technique used to get around this risk. Instead of passing the bottom card to a player, the technique passes the ‘Greek Bottom’, or the second card up from the bottom of the deck, to the intended recipient. This way, any player who sees the bottom card through an accidental dealer flash will not be alerted to the cheating by that card appearing in the game.
The second card up is often called the ‘Greek Bottom’ itself, as well as giving its nickname to the cheating technique. In poker, ‘Greek’ play is dishonest play or cheating, and the name is a derivative of this phrase. Greek Bottom dealing is prohibited in casinos and frowned upon in private games, and any dealer or player found using the banned technique could face civil or criminal penalties if the game operator chooses to press charges.