Cold Deck

Cold Decked Definition

by Jesse Knight


Cold Decked
Cold Deck - A deck intentionally rigged for certain players to lose.

A cold deck is a deck that the dealer has intentionally rigged, so that certain players will win and other players will lose. In this type of cheating operation, the dealer will often be a mechanic (someone who can manipulate the deck without being detected) and there will be one or more agents playing in the game. If the dealer is not skilled enough to fix the deck during the shuffle, a hidden cold deck may be slipped in between hands. Typically, in a cold deck scenario, both the losing and winning players will be dealt very strong hands. This will generate a lot of action, maximizing profitability for the cheaters. The cheated players are referred to as having been “cold decked.”

While this type of cheating used to be common, you are not likely to witness it in a casino today. In addition to video surveillance, casinos have strict rules regarding the handling of the deck in order to protect its integrity. This makes dealer participation in a cheating scheme very difficult in a casino setting, because it is nearly impossible to set up a deck without being detected under these circumstances. Cold decking is much more common in home games, or other games under limited or no surveillance.

Many players are fond of accusing the dealer of cold decking them, however unlikely it may be. The truth is that about 99% of poker dealers are not skilled enough at manipulating cards to even have a chance to pull it off. Even if they could, their risk of getting caught is very high, and the reward for the team of cheaters is only one poker pot. This is not to say that cheating does not occur in casinos, because it can. Realistically, you are much more likely to be cheated by a player who crimps or marks cards, then you are to be cheated by a team which includes the dealer.

Even though a cold deck was originally used to describe a certain type of cheating, players now commonly use the term to describe how bad they are running. It usually means they are not winning any hands and it might seem that somebody had rigged the deck.

Usage: I was Cold Decked, Is that a Cold Deck

Previous Poker Term: Chop the Blinds
Next Poker Term: Collusion


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