False Dealing Techniques: Second, Bottom, and Middle Deals

Master false dealing techniques to gain an edge in card games. Explore 3 main categories and become a skilled player.
False dealing techniques

False dealing techniques are a staple for professional card cheats who manipulate a standard deck of 52 cards to steal pots from honest players. These techniques can be difficult to master, and even experienced cheaters can fail. There are three main categories of false deals: seconds, bottoms, and middles.


Seconds involve taking cards directly from under the top card or cards. This technique can be just as challenging as dealing from the bottom of the deck since the card being taken is between other cards, causing issues of friction. Cheaters need to deal the desired card while maintaining the illusion of taking the top card. This illusion can be destroyed if the deck does not appear natural before and after the false deal.


Bottoms are one of the most powerful moves available to professional cheaters. Once a desired card is moved to the bottom, it can be kept there until needed. The bottom deal has similar issues as the second deal, but friction can be defeated with the way the deck is held to avoid contact with the palm. The secret to a successful bottom deal is the ability to swiftly extract the 52nd card down, while creating the illusion that it comes from the top.


Middle deals involve holding desired cards in the middle of the deck and squeezing them out without hesitation while maintaining a consistent “from the top” illusion. This technique is rare, and experts believe that it is either extinct or never actually existed in the first place. While it is entirely possible to deal four aces out of the middle of a deck, the risks involved and the work required to get into position (and stay there) make the center deal far less practical than other methods.

False dealing techniques can be used in many situations in the heat of play, solve problems, fix bad situations, or, in the event of a failed deal, send the operator directly to jail. These techniques remain a staple of the mechanic’s repertoire and can be applied to countless games. However, they have probably done more damage in private poker games than any other cheating technique.

A professional mechanic will do one or two things very well in order to “get the money” (G.T.F.M.). On the other hand, a sleight-of-hand enthusiast might perform a dozen variations of every move. This obsession with variations has led to some ridiculous “show” moves that are purely designed to demonstrate skill rather than win money.

There are many ways to hold the cards for a false deal, and it’s essential to master at least one of them. False deals are a dangerous technique, and it’s crucial to know when someone is using them against you. If you think someone is cheating, don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

False dealing techniques can be challenging to spot, but there are ways to protect yourself. By being aware of these techniques and how they work, you can be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior during a game. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to call attention to it. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting yourself and your hard-earned money.

In conclusion, false dealing techniques are a powerful tool for cheaters at the card table. However, it’s essential to know when they’re being used against you and how to protect yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think someone is cheating. By being vigilant and proactive, you can ensure that your card-playing experience remains fair and enjoyable for everyone involved.