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Vest Holdout

What is a ‘Vest Holdout’?

A ‘vest holdout’ is a device used by magicians and by card cheats to store cards for later use, without being detected by anyone watching. The device is worn close to the chest and is typically used when wearing a suit with a waistcoat or vest. The device was commonly seen in casino games as used by cheats, though their use is strictly prohibited. Casino players caught with any kind of holdout device will be banned from the premises and could face criminal charges, depending on local laws.

‘Vest Holdout’ Explained

In poker, one way players are known to cheat is by taking good cards from the game without being noticed, and using them later when they can improve a hand. Using a special device, known as a ‘holdout’, can assist in pulling off this trick without being detected by the casino staff and the other players. Card holdouts work by having a secret storage compartment somewhere on the body and feeding the card through the clothing using one of several clever methods. Magicians often use holdouts to pull off card tricks, storing an audience member’s card and showing it back to the crowd later, so it appears they have selected it at random by magic.

If a poker player refers to using a ‘vest holdout’, they mean that they cheated using a special device to store cards. A ‘vest holdout’ is designed to be worn under the waistcoat or vest of a tailored suit, and it consists of a small metal case along with a piece of thread or wire which has a clip or clasp at the end. The player uses the thread to pull cards up to the holdout through the sleeve, and can effectively remove cards from sight and bring them back through manipulation of this thread.