Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dirty deals and deceptions

Euchre QOD: “I don’t mind cheaters, as long as they lose”

Euchre Haiku:
Focus on the game
Reneges and botched scores abound
Play should show winners

Euchre Palaver
“Table talk” – Saying something that reveals information about your hand or indicates what your partner should play. For example, telling your partner not to trump your ace or to lead a certain suit is illegal table talk. Some also call this “Kibitzing”.

Savvy Strategies
Just to finish up on our “Euchre Cheaters Exposed” segment I direct you to Harvey Lapp who has written an excellent article about cheating at euchre. He exposes the many accidental cheats and also some blatant ones. It’s unfortunate to think that people will cheat at a card game but they will. The bottom line is Pay Attention! Cheaters rely on the fact that people are either not paying attention or don’t know the scam. Read Harvey’s article and you’ll learn many of the scams. Pay attention during play and you’ll ensure your opponents aren’t working them. Here is a list of cheat moves to look out for in a live game.

  1. Reneges. Not following suit when you must. We discussed this in a previous entry.

  2. Card manipulating. As discussed yesterday.

  3. Shifty scorekeeping. Adding extra points that weren’t earned.

  4. Signaling. Letting your partner know what’s in your hand through some subtle (or not so subtle) method.

Again, the best way to defeat these cheating methods is to pay attention! If you find someone is cheating don’t accuse them straight out. For reneges and shifty scorekeeping, assume it was a mistake and point it out in a friendly manner. For card manipulating just ask for the deck to be reshuffled. Saying something like “I just don’t feel good about the cards” is usually effective and non-confrontational. For signals, just tell a story about an article you read discussing all the methods for signaling. If a cheat knows that you know their methods or that you are just paying attention, they will be too sheepish to try. If that doesn’t stop them, then you’ll have to just stop playing.

In an online game the only form of cheating that will take place during a game is signaling. It is simple enough to instant message or talk on the phone with a partner during the game and just tell what you have. There is very little you can do to prevent this except don’t play euchre online for money. You could still get lucky and win but it is just much harder.

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