Beware of ‘red’ games

Jul 10, 2007 12:07 AM

Carol, I want to talk to you and the folks about The Red Games of Poker, which explores cheating in poker.

I know that this is a controversial subject and I don’t wish to accuse anyone nor make any references to a specific casino or card room.

Let me begin by prefacing with a few comments.

I would rather trust a poker player than any other professional — banker, lawyer, preacher, politician, doctor, accountant, policeman, car dealer, professor, plumber, contractor, stock broker, Indian chief or any other of the professions.

Yes, I have been cheated while playing poker. But I have been cheated more often and for more money in my lifetime by any and all of the other professions that I listed.

Here is a good rule: where the carpets are the deepest you are at the most risk of being cheated!

I will use the litmus stick test as the marker for good and bad: a 7.2 pH indicator is neutral; above a reading on the litmus stick of 7.2 is red or acid and for us will indicate bad or cheating; the higher up the pH scale the worse the cheating; and below a reading of 7.2 is a heavenly blue.

Since this is a big task, I will break it into a few columns.

In this the first one I hope to give you a few things to think about in life and the living of it and of poker and the playing of it.

Let me say that with the Nevada Gaming Commission in force here in Nevada, I believe that all poker games in the state, where the limits are less than $10 and $20, the color is a neutral purple. Sure, silly stuff happens, but they are minor problems and are so small that the average recreational poker player can relax and enjoy the games.

So I will not be reporting on the small, social, recreation games, but will try to tell you about how cheating is done in the playing of live larger poker games and in tournament poker.

I think it is a subject that should be talked about, and as the Christophers have said, "Let us light one little candle, rather than to cuss the darkness!"

So here we go. Rate this one as very red and even off the Litmus test! Team play: which means one or more poker players playing at the same table or playing with the same money.

There are 52 cards in a standard deck; the knowledge of one card has from 2% to 100% of the DNA or information about the deck you are playing with and in the playing of any poker hand.

In hold’em, you have two personal cards, therefore you have 4% of the DNA or information about how to play the hand.

Each other player has the same knowledge. But if there are three team members in the same game, each of them has 3 X 4 = 12% of the knowledge of how to play the hand.

Thus, if there are three members in your poker game, you are in a very RED game. Here is why.

Most of the time they play the best hand against you. For example you have two cards, but they have six cards. And like in baseball, they communicate via signals. For instance, if they throw their cards in with the left hand they had trash (little cards and if little cards come on the flop, they can signal with the way they play with their chips each card that they discarded.

Or if they throw them in with their right hand they are throwing away the name brand cards!

Let me just say that you and I could develop a signal for every card in the deck in a very short time!

The team members work for years developing their means of silent communications. And they practice, day after day, hour after hour.

When one of the team members has a big hand, they can signal their partners, and one of them can play fast and loose, while the real hand is hidden from the betting until the pot is ready for them come in with a big raise.

Here’s a hypothetical hand. You are in a big no limit hold’em pot and you have money left to bet with and so does your opponent.

The board shows a three card flush and you have the flush, say with queen high. You make a big bet. Now, the team member has the king high flush, but is afraid you have the ace high.

So he goes into a stall and takes a lot of time to review the discards of his team members. He can signal a request for information about the missing ace.

If he gets the information that one of them did in fact discard the ace, the cheating team member can raise you all of the rest or maybe just a small part of your chips with zero risk, and you must call.

I could tell you a hundred red cheating stories. If you want more email me at [email protected] Or just come back next week.

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

If it quacks like a duck

If it waddles like a duck

It may not be a duck

But that is the way I would bet:

That it is a duck.

So if you are playing in a Red Pond game and the ducks are quacking, it may be a Red game

and you should be like a frog, and give that pond a hopping!

Until next time, stay lucky.