Thoughts on Dealing from a Tabled Deck

I say thoughts in this case because I haven't practiced enough to make this process an exact science. While I've found numerous methods are reasonably effective some tip offs remain that irritate me. Thus, what I now describe are some ideas I developed based on the concept of dealing from a tabled deck, though they originate for me with me I have no doubt the same notions exist elsewhere since as I see it there aren't a multitude of potential variations to tabled dealing.


We shall begin by examining the basic deal and ways in which one might set up the deck for subterfuge at a later date. Although I examined a number of slight variations, I'll focus simply on the one I feel works best for false dealing.

You begin with the deck tabled in front of you, long sides facing towards and against you, while the short sides (ends) point right and left. (See figure 654.)

Figure 654.

Now you take hold of the deck on the far left of the sides with your right hand. Your thumb on the back side (side closest to you) and your middle and ring fingers on the front side (side farthest from you). You place your pinky at the left end and your forefinger on top, slightly to the right of the right edge of your middle finger, and slightly forward of the middle of the deck, though you could simply place it directly in the middle. (See figure 655.)

Now you move your right hand in to perform the take from the front and right. The last three fingers of your right hand will strike the front side so your pinky makes contact at the right corner that is farthest from you with your ring and middle fingers striking naturally next to the pinky. The pinky should be at the table level while your forefinger remains loose and your thumb moves in above the deck. (See figure 656 from the back and figure 657 from the front.)

Figure 656.
Figure 657.

Note that in this position the deck is almost completely obstructed from a front view. You now strike the top card with your thumb and pull it forward, allowing it to pivot around your left hand middle and ring fingers. As it comes off the deck you pinch it with your last three fingers and deal it to the appropriate player. Note that the pinky plays the primary role in this pinching action. (See figure 658 and figure 659.)

Figure 658.

The idea here is to deal quickly, but to cover the top of the deck for a fraction of a second as you perform the take, obstructing any view of the top of the deck so as to facilitate false deals. You should also note that the thumb slides across the top card until it reaches roughly the border at which point it performs the take itself. Finally, when you perform the take you should pull the card downward slightly below the level of the top of the deck.


The only difference for seconds is that the left forefinger will pull back the top card slightly exposing the second card of the deck. (See figure 660 for an exaggerated view.)

Figure 660.

Now, your thumb strikes on the exposed border pulling the card out slightly where it is pinched between the last three fingers of the right hand and the thumb and dealt out. As soon as the strike is performed the left forefinger moves the top card back into place. (See figure 661 and figure 662.)

Figure 661.

Figure 661.

It is important that you perform this action quickly, you want to perform the take so that the card comes out of the deck level (otherwise it will lift the edge of the top card and provide a flash) and then move down to establish consistency with later deals.


Though I've never really tried it to any great extent, you may find strike doubles are possible, by taking the top two cards rather than just the second card, using the method for tabled seconds.


The difference with bottoms is that you will hold a "break" at the back of the deck between the table and the bottom of the deck with your thumb. Essentially, your left thumb will lift the back left corner of the deck off the table slightly. (See figure 663.)

Figure 663.

Now, as the right hand approaches from the front and the last three fingers of the hand cover the front edge of the deck, you will pivot on the left hand thumb tip, to lift the whole deck off the table ever so slightly. You want to minimize the lift to the point where the tips of your right hand fingers can just barely make contact with the bottom card of the deck. (Note that the fingers don't lift up, the deck rises due to the pivot on the thumb, essentially you are tilting the deck backwards and to the left, which naturally creates a space between the bottom of the deck and the table.) (See figure 664 for a view from the back, figure 665 for an exposed view from the front and figure 666 for a covered view from the front.)

Figure 664.

Figure 666.

The key now, is simply to perform the take with the last three fingers of your right hand instead of with the thumb, taking the bottom card instead of the top. Naturally, you close up the gap under the deck immediately after you've begun performing the take so that it is never exposed to a view from the front.


I find Greeks extremely difficult to perform on a table, and what I'm going to suggest now, is far from elegant, in fact I consider it hideous at best, but then, it's a start and something few will find any need for anyway. Essentially, the technique is the same as that for bottoms, but you angle jog the bottom card in advance, much like you would angle jog the top card when dealing seconds. (See figure 667.)

Figure 667.

With the card jogged in this manner you will find you are able to perform a take on the card second from bottom, though it is a delicate process and will likely require substantial practice. In addition to this, there is naturally the problematic jogged card as a tip off, however, if one employs the correct angles the jog is invisible and thus acceptable.


The concept of centers is simple, you use the same method as bottoms, except instead of holding the break below the deck, you hold it at the cards you wish to deal off (as per a regular center deal), typically around the center of the deck. (See figure 668.)

Figure 668.

From this point you simply execute the mechanics of the tabled bottom deal in the middle of the deck rather than the bottom. You may find, if you are able, that a slight pivot of the top half of the deck helps as well.

Tabled Punch Dealing

Though it is quite obvious, I figured I would point out that a tabled punch deal is possible using the tabled second deal and feeling for the desired cards with the forefinger if the punch work is on the appropriate portion of the card. The center of the card works well here, though it is not the only option.

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