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Jagging

What is Jagging?

Jagging is a term used in poker to describe the way in which someone will mark certain cards, to give them an unfair advantage as the cards are in play.

Jagging Explained

Jagging is a way of cheating at poker, which involves the player in marking their cards using a variety of methods. They then fold or play the card to move it out of their hand and on to the other players. The advantage to the cheater is that they can now see where the marked card is and who is holding it, whenever the card is in play.

The cheating player can scratch or gouge the cards using a thumb or fingernail to make a mark, or slightly bend a corner of their cards (which should be easier to detect). A scratch could also be made on the cards, using a customised device. Any mark will be small, to reduce the likelihood of anyone else detecting it.

To make the risk of being caught worthwhile, jagging is more likely to be used with high-value cards, such as Aces or Court cards. Marks will only appear on the back or side of the card, so the cheat can track the card in play.

There are several ways for a poker player to prevent themselves becoming the victim of jagging. One of the simplest ways is to open a new deck of cards when starting a game. A cheat can still mark the cards as they play, but a clean deck makes it more challenging for them to mark the cards effectively.

Learning about the ways in which players cheat at poker and knowing what to look out for is another effective way to avoid a marked deck, so pay attention.