With hand mucking, the quickness of the hand deceives the eye. A hand mucker will normally work alone with some agility and a poker face.
Muck in normal terms is mess, rubbish or anything which you might want to throw away. In poker terms muck is a piles of cards which is discarded, when a player folds or throws in his cards, the hand, or group of cards, which is abandoned is known as muck.
Hand mucking occurs when a player deliberately retains a card for later use in the game. The card will be concealed or hidden, thus it is secretly withdrawn from the game. Well, you might ask how does that happen without detection? It is a well practised sleight of the hand. Normally, when hand mucking the offending player will conceal the removed card in a pocket, under a leg, up a sleeve, or even under the table.
So, how does this scam work? In blackjack the Ace is the most coveted card because players will be wanting to score twenty-one. The winning hand will be made when combining the Ace with a Ten, Jack, Queen or King. Of the 52 cards in the deck there are 16 cards which score ten points. The Ace can be scored as a 1 or 11 so, the chances of getting a winning hand with one of the four Ace cards is very high.
Does it work?
It may work for a while in certain situations but canny players or dealers will be looking out for it. It would be noticeable if the cards were counted before inserting them back into the deck. Otherwise, there is no way of telling if someone is cheating the cards. That is of course unless they are seen removing or replacing the card.
The success will be dependant on where one is playing. In a private card game it would be easier to get away with it but in a casino you would have to have some balls to even try it. The dealers are well-trained and there will be pit managers and security watching over the game. Also, in a modern casino there will be CCTV cameras so, it is not really viable to try hand mucking in a casino environment.
Due to security, this card cheating prctice is not as popular as it was in the old days. Imagine how many dollars were won by cheats using this deceitful practice.
Read more about casino scams.
Other Gambling Scams which involved criminal activity
The Roselli Brothers who conned the banks and casinos out of 37 million dollars during the 1990’s.
Louis Colavecchio who became an expert forger of casino tokens. He went to prison for seven years and then tried again.
Bill Brennan a casino employee who apparently walked out of a casino at the end of his shift with half a million dollars in casino chips and cash.
Dennis Nikrasch a slot machine cheat who reportedly won more than 15 million dollars over time.
Monique Laurent a Roulette cheat who worked with her brother to electronically control the outcome of the spin.
Ida Summers a casino worker who learned to re-arrange the cards so that the punters won.
Richard Marcus who won hundreds of thousands of dollars by manipulating casino chips.
Ronald Dale Harris and Reid NcNeil who learned to cheat the the gaming machine software.
Tommy Carmichael who manipulated slot machines to win. He is now a reformed character an works as a slot machine security consultant.
A Blackjack card counting scam which enabled a group of students to win millions of dollars from US casinos.
A card cheating mobile phone which can scan and read a deck of cards, discovered by Google.