Card Marking

The system of card marking involves changing the playing cards in such a way that the rank, suite or both is only evident to the player who marks the cards. This is mainly done for the reason of cheating. To make this process more distinguishing marks should be done on facade side that is mostly uniform. This process is sometimes called card bending as well.

This is one of the easiest ways of marking cards. In this method a cheater mark cards by crimping them. This kind of methods are generally used to cheat while playing cards in casinos, however, many casinos in Las Vegas punches holes in the centre if the cards to prevent the cheaters from coming back to the tables after purchasing cards and after that slipping good cards in their hands.


No matter, who deals or shuffles the cards, marked cards could be easily used. There are a few very complicated marked cards rip-offs, which comprised of extra manipulative skills to direct the cards in the right positions, at the moment when the required cards are identified. Earlier, the attempts of marking cards were mainly related to crimps, tiny bumps, or bends that are called blisters.

Soon, when the initial designs emerged on the playing cards, cheat started to change the designs that are on the card's back. Hustlers tried to use different kinds of scratches, pigments, inks etc to remove or add patterns and lines from the patterns on the cards. Some type of card marking involves cut-out work, block-out work, the scroll work, tint work, shade work, etc. With the recent developments in technology and science the techniques of card marking have also enhanced.

The most high-tech of these techniques are variations of the shade techniques. These latest kinds of methods are very futuristic as well as deceptive techniques of card counting. The disadvantage of cut-out work or block-out method is that they have to read close up as the marks are pretty small. Some of the other advantages luminous techniques are that these can be read far away from the table.

Cut-out and Block-out work:

  • Briefly, this technique simply uses the same colored ink just like the one used on the flipside of playing cards. For instance, at times people put in ink to flowers that are on the flipside of cards and make the petals narrower. Sometimes, they even block out a bird onto the design.
  • In cut-work people utilize a razor to wisp off a few of the printed segments of the cards. The outcome is that they add a white bird on the design.

These can be easily detected by a riffle test.