Cracked cards: history of occurrence, methods of stain, how to protect yourself from a sharpie?

Any person playing cards for money or just for fun, heard or even met with speckled cards. Even natural wear and tear, crease or just a torn edge of the card can easily make it different from others. A player with a trained eye gains an advantage over his rivals, knowing only one card in the deck. It is easy to imagine how tremendous superiority of the sharpie is the game with marked cards, because he easily recognizes the entire deck.

Classic cards


The first mention of maps dates back to the ninth century. In China, a card game with a deck of thirty-eight cards was popular. This game, like many other things, was adopted by the Mongols from the Chinese; they also spread it to other countries during their conquests. In the thirteenth century, maps appeared in Persia and India, then in Egypt. Moreover, the Egyptians used them not so much for the game as for fortune telling.

Italian sailors in the fourteenth century brought exotic oriental pictures and games to Europe, where they quickly entered fashion. From Italy in the 15th century, the cards moved to France, from here through Germany and Poland, by the seventeenth century they came to Russia.

Vintage cards


They guessed with the help of cards, of which solitaires were laid out, they played for money. It was the thirst for profit that led to the emergence of scammers cheating frivolous rivals with the help of marked cards. Honest players and authorities punished cheaters with the most radical methods: from instant punishment in the form of beating right at the crime scene to public executions.

However, the temptation of easy money was stronger than fear of a possible retribution. In addition, writers to some extent idealized the image of a cheater, telling what it means - stained cards, revealing the secrets of fraudsters, often exposing this unrighteous occupation in a romantic, profitable light.

Therefore, gambling fraudsters have not disappeared anywhere until now, with the same zeal they continue to deceive gambling and inattentive people, using both old, but perfectly working methods, and modern technologies. All methods of decking can be divided into two types: visual and physical.

Visual staining

This is a simple, and most importantly, inconspicuous way to stash cards. Often miserable changes on the shirt can be noticed only by a person who has an eagle eye and knows what exactly needs to be sought. Sometimes it is necessary to have additional tools, such as lenses or scanners, for spotting.

Cracked cards can be purchased at a specialty store, but real scammers do not usually rely on a mass manufacturer, but make a crash on their own, sometimes even during the game. In the pattern of the shirt, barely noticeable dashes, dots, marks are made by which the sharpie recognizes the cards.

But an experienced opponent with a trained eye can notice the specks and expose the scammers, so they adopted technical innovations. Signs and inscriptions indicating the denomination and color are applied on the shirt with special paint. But these marks cannot be seen without special lenses that a malicious gambler puts on before the game.

Infrared tags

Physical staining

This method of staining is suitable for people who better perceive tactile sensations. Fingers act as a tool for reading secret signs printed on marked cards. It can be creases or tattoos, previously made with a needle or right during the game - with a fingernail. Fraudsters can change the roughness of cards, marking the cards they need with an eraser or paraffin, and artificially โ€œageโ€ the necessary cards. Physical staining is less reliable than visual. Creases, suspicious roughness, and punctures are easier to spot for other players.

Fan of cards

How to avoid cheating?

There are a number of simple but effective rules that will help the player not become a victim of a card cheat:

  • You need to sit down at the table with trusted players, because fraudsters often give the impression of charming, honest people, they are rubbed into trust so that it is easier for them to deceive an opponent.
  • If the company is unfamiliar, then you should be vigilant up to suspicion.
  • It is better to play with a completely new deck, and if this is not possible, then the deck needs to be carefully reviewed so that it does not include any marked cards. Any dubious spots, prints, damage, different color shades on the shirt, scratches are a cause for alarm and an argument in favor of changing the deck.
  • During the game, you need to monitor the hands and facial expressions of opponents. A sharpie can put a speck of paint with a fingernail or a ring right at the table, and facial expressions, excessive nervousness, a close look at other people's cards or running eyes give out inexperienced deceivers.

How to make speckled cards yourself?

First you need to decide which feeling is better developed: vision or touch. If preference is given to the eyes, then visual tags are applied to the shirt of cards from the new deck. This should be a playerโ€™s understandable system of dashes, leaves or dots, imperceptibly woven into the shirt pattern and denote the denomination and suit. Tags are located in the corners of the cards so that they can be seen in the hands of the opponent.

With physical staining, marks are applied with a needle to the shirt, and then slightly rubbed so that they are not felt by other players. One of the most effective methods of netting is the clock method. Twelve hours of the dial represent 12 card values. For example, an ace is assigned a clockwise position for 12 hours, a king for an hour, a lady for two hours, a volt for three hours, and so on. Each suit has its own conditional dial, which is located on the shirt in a strictly defined place. When he is satisfied, the player can even find out what cards his rivals have when they are dealt.


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