& Some of you may feel that I cheated in my description of the effect. I said, "The deck is thoroughly shuffled by several spectators," rather than, "Several spectators each shuffle a portion of the deck," To a lay audience, however, I don't think that distinction means anything. If we define effect as "what the audience perceives happened," then I think my description is accurate. In fact, I have more than once heard a layperson describe this demonstration to someone else as, "A bunch of us shuffled the deck and he still dealt himself a royal flush.'1

^ For the sake of completeness, I'll mention that this approach to the peg deal can also be used to create a no' shuffle version of the Tm-Haruied Poker Veal plot. In this case, you peg the four aces. Start with the aces on top and give the deck three in-faro shuffles. This time you need only five spectators to shuffle. The first four each receive ten cards; the last person receives the remaining twelve. The rest should be obvious.

I think that the average audience can relate to an eight-handed poker game more easily than a ten-handed game. That's why I preler the royal flush approach.

$ One of the ironies of doing gambling routines is that great cheating methods don't always make for great cheating demos. This is particularly true of percentage moves. It does no good to explain to an audience that controlling one die out of live from a cup provides a big edge. If you can't roll five aces, they won't be impressed.

There is probably no card cheating method of which this is truer than the peg deal. It's great for card hustling. But, in the past, it's been of little use in gambling routines because it can't guarantee the nuts on any one hand. There are two reasons for this. Desirable cards may be so far apart that some never come up during the deal. Alternatively, they may be so close together that, in holding back one, you second deal another desirable card to someone else. Some gambling demonstrators try to beat the first problem by dealing a game consisting of a larger number of players. But, in so doing, they only increase the risk of running into the second problem.

A cheat dealing the bump has time on his side. In a demonstration, however, you don't have the luxury of dealing round after round to show how the odds gradually shift in your favor. And you won't make a strong impression by winning with a mediocre hand.

These points are well illustrated by two examples I've seen of peg deal demonstrations. A few years ago a magician was making an impression at magic conventions showing his mastery of this technique. Typically, he would have to deal round after round after round before finally coming up with something impressive. Magicians loved it, but I can't imagine any lay audience ever sitting through such a protracted non-event.

An even more dramatic example of the pitfalls of using the peg deal as a demonstration occurred on a TV show 1 saw a few years ago. A card man was doing a gambling demo on a talk show. He had the kings and queens pegged and dealt out a seven-handed game of seven-card stud (a common format for demonstrating the bump). As the deal progressed, the host grabbed the poker hand closest to him and said, "This'll be my hand." (If you've done much television, you know this is the sort of thing talk show hosts do.)

At the end of the deal, the performer showed that he had given himself two pair, kings and queens. The host replied, "Sorry, I've got you beat," and showed that he had received (through pure luck) a full house. You can be sure that the performer's explanation that this was a percentage play and that, in the long run, he would have won the money sounded hollow to the viewing audience. The great card shark had lost to a mere bystander. At that point his prestige was beyond recovery.

There is a world of difference between cheating at cards and doing a successful demonstration of cheating at cards. The difference is that the latter is theater.

Audiences want to see something spectacular and they want to see it on every deal. The strength of Raw Deal is that it takes a percentage move and, within the context of a demonstration, turns it into a sure thing.

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