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Stripping (cards)

What is Stripping Cards?

Card stripping is the practice of removing some cards from a standard 52-card deck, in order to make certain games easier or to raise the chance of certain cards being drawn. The simplest form of card stripping is removing the two jokers from a deck to leave the usual 52 cards. Other games use even fewer cards. A stripped deck may have just the numbered cards in it, or some of the lower ranked cards might be removed. Card stripping is more common in private games than in casinos, but there are some casino card games which use a stripped deck for play.

Stripping Cards Explained

Card stripping simply means removing unwanted cards from a standard deck before play. This might be done to facilitate a particular game, or to make gameplay faster and more exciting. In the UK, card stripping is more commonly called pack shortening, though both terms mean the same thing. Card stripping might occur as part of a game, in order to alter gameplay or increase the odds of winning. In cheating and dishonest play, card stripping is a form of deck tampering.

Some games, such as euchre, involve just 24 of the original cards. In some versions of five-card stud, sets of numbers such as 2s, 3s or 7s could be removed in some games. If a stripped deck is used, the ranks of different hands may also change due to the altered probabilities or certain draws.

Casinos are less likely to use stripped decks for play – in fact, many casinos add more cards and play their games with multiple decks. This can deter card counting. With a stripped deck, tracking cards through card counting is much easier and players can gain a larger advantage for themselves. Stripped decks were common in early European card games, but they are not seen as regularly these days.