What are ‘Wedges’?
‘Wedges’ are modified cards used for cheating or for card tricks. They have a slightly tapered design which allows them to be identified in the deck through touch and removed or stacked as needed. Cards are often prepared before the game and added to the pack during the game by means of a holdout or other device. The name comes from the ‘wedge’ shape this kind of alteration creates, although the difference is very slight to avoid detection.
In casino games, cheating is far more than a breach of casino etiquette. It is seen as theft or fraud in many jurisdictions, and anyone caught cheating in a public game will face a ban from the casino along with possible criminal charges. However, cheating is still a popular way to make big money from games, and there are all manners of different methods used to create advantages in the game or to fix the result of a round.
Cheaters often use the same techniques employed by magicians to secrete cards, identify them and produce them at will. Through clever devices and alterations, they can work out where cards are in the pack, and they can even hold cards back to use at a later time. These techniques are usually extremely subtle and are used by players who work independently or as part of a team – including those who work in conjunction with corrupt dealers.
One such method of cheating is to use ‘wedges’. These are specially modified cards, with a slight shaving of the sides to create a very gentle taper. This means that when the deck is felt from the side, the tapered cards can be worked out easily. In magic tricks, they are used to produce a seemingly random card that the audience has selected. For cheats, they ensure that strong cards can be identified and pulled to the top of the pack when a cheat is ready to use them.