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Cut Poker Definition

Cut the Cards - Cutting the Deck

by Jesse Knight
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Cut the Deck
Cut -
1. To randomly split the deck after shuffling.
2. A percentage of a pot or winning bet taken for some purpose.


The cut is a maneuver preformed by the dealer at the end of a regulation shuffle. It is used in many different types of card games, and in virtually all poker games. The shuffle procedure has been standardized in the poker industry, to maximize efficiency and randomness of card distribution and to protect the deck from manipulation. The standardized shuffle consists of two shuffles, followed by a boxing of the cards, and then a final shuffle. When the shuffle is complete, the dealer cuts the deck by splitting it roughly in half, placing the top portion on a cut card, and the bottom portion on the top portion. The cut has the effect of moving the top of the deck to somewhere in the middle of the deck. The dealer is required to perform the cut maneuver after every standardized shuffle.

Cutting the cards can displace cards that may have been exposed during the shuffle. It also can prevent the dealer from manipulating the top of the deck during the shuffle. The top of the deck is where the starting hands are dealt from. Of course most dealers would never manipulate cards or cheat the players, and even if they would, they are mostly not skilled enough to do it without being detected. Still, procedures relating to the handling of the deck are in place to protect the players.

A “cut” can also refer to a dividend taken from cash game winnings or a tournament prize pool. Typically, this cut is calculated as a percentage of the win. Most commonly, a person who finances a poker player (a backer) will take a cut of the player’s winnings based upon a previously made agreement or contract. This is one common type of cut, but gambling winnings can be cut in any number of ways for many different reasons.

Players may also agree to “cut the pot” in order to finance an agreed upon expenditure. It is not uncommon for players to agree to finance cocktail service in this way. If a pot is to be cut for a purchase from the bar, it is called a “drink pot.”

Usage: Cut the Pot, Cut the Cards, Take Your Cut, Cut Card

Previous Poker Term: Crying Call
Next Poker Term: Cutoff Position

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