3 Card Brag has notoriously been a game that has its fair share of cheats and cheating methods. You just need to look at the fixed game in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels to see how lucrative cheating at the game can be, enticing players to ditch fairness for taking players to the cleaners.
If you play in your local against real players, then forewarning yourself about these cheats could just help you avoid becoming a prize chump. By uncovering these cheats and knowing what to look for, you can ensure your game is fair and square for everyone.
The Over Shoulder Brag Card Beholder
This technique is the one best illustrated by the camera and receiver rig in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. Basically, one player has an advantage as he’s able to see the other player’s cards. It could be with a camera, or it could be something more low tech, as in a friends sat at the bar giving signals back to the cheating player.
Betting Blind But Always Winning
Be alert, just because you fellow player is playing blind, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t already seen his cards. He could have used a reflection cheat to see them, or more likely employed the age-old technique known as “a quick sneaky look whilst no one’s watching…” If the player is betting and winning with big blind hands, then keep an extra beady eye on them to see.
Spiking The Pot
A nasty little trick this one, deft handed players adding funds to a large pile of coins can sneakily take out more than they put in. Keep an eye on the stakes and what’s being put in / changed by the player and make sure it does what it says on the tin.
Setting Up A Winning Hand
Another old favourite from the less than honest player. Unless a game is won with a prial, the cards are added back to the deck at the bottom and the deck is not shuffled. It’s not unheard of for the dealer to ‘fix’ the way the cards are added back to the bottom of the deck, knowing full well that they will come around to him in X number of goes providing there’s not a prial in the meantime.
Thankfully, playing the game online can negate a lot of these problems. Card counting can still happen in the game, but if the amount of players in each game fluctuates it can mess that up. Sneak peeks and pot cheats can’t happen, but be weary, it is possible for players to play in tandem, communicating with each other via IM outside of the game. It’s not likely to do them a lot of good, but it can give an advantage if you know you pal has a good hand and doesn’t need your cards. Overall though, online cheating at any card games is pretty rare, so don’t let it worry you.