Everyone would cheat, but they are afraid of getting caught.
The goal of a poker game is to win. As long as everyone walks out of the room agreeing that you are the winner, does it matter how you got there?
Deploying an actual ace in the hole is utterly satisfying and not to mention convenient. Let’s imagine the ruse.
You assemble with opponents, and begin play. The setting will immediately determine whether odds of success are in your favor. Casino? Pro tourney? None. Casual game with business partners or friends? Play on.
Alcohol is a game changer. Swiggin’ Satan’s sauce is a sure way to find yourself as the clown in this charade, so let everyone else get drunk, or pick drunken opponents.
Let a few of them deal first, if possible. Make sure it’s loose, trusting, jovial. Let the deck pass through you once or twice. Sort out the room in your head. Study mannerisms. Smirk as the odds of success favor the bold.
If you are out to an early lead by dumb luck, table the scheme for awhile. It’s called “dumb” luck for a reason. Some asshole wins 4 hands in a row to start every so often, so it might as well be you.
If things are progressing “normally,” begin planning your strike. You’ll need the deck.
Quickly assess whether or not you can find a King or an Ace, and if so, subtly remove it from the pile and slide it under your leg using sleight of hand. It must be smooth, body language in control.
Deal the cards. If a hand has ended, opportunity can also be seized as you pass the deck.
Now you have a card you can deploy whenever you want. This is highly enjoyable.
There is nothing quite like the experience of sliding a stealth ace next to the ace you were dealt. Many a hand was snaked in this manner. Also keep in mind that you are privy to the fact the one card is out of play, allowing you to manipulate odds.
Maintaining sleight of hand requires discipline and impeccable timing. If someone appears suspicious, the deck presents an opportunity to bail out. Returning a card might also need to be considered.
Let ’em keep drinking. Encourage it even. Fill your glass with hardly any gin and mostly water. Play into the revelry. Exploit tendencies and ego.
You will reap some cash, shake a few hands, and leave the room a winner.
Cheaters prosper – you’re just afraid of getting caught.