Does Edge Sorting Work?

Gambling is a game of skill and luck. Some games like Baccarat is considered to be more luck based while games like poker are considered to be more skill based. What all of these games have in common is that players play in hopes to walk away with a winning that is worth their while. Sometimes this can however be a bit shifty and the consequences can leave you without anything.

Edge sorting is most definitely a ‘technique’ that has been used by players in the past to attempt to give them the upper hand. However in 2017 a high court ruling from Britain, officially declared this ‘technique’ as simply another way to cheat at gambling. The ruling was made after player Phil Ivey took the casino to court for not wanting to pay out his $10million that he admitted to winning, by using edge sorting to give him the upper hand.

What Is Edge Sorting?

Cards very often can have irregularities on the printed back side. These irregularities, if visible, are more commonly seen on the long edge of the cards. Let’s say that the card has a circular design printed on the back. The circles might be slightly bigger on the left than on the right. Meaning, where the card was cut, the circles on the left have a slightly larger circumference than those on the right as less was cut off. More of the circle is therefore visible.

These cut irregularities are normally incredibly small. The cut line might be a millimetre or two out. Therefore it is not something that everyone will pick up. It takes a trained eye to notice these slightly larger circles on the one side. A player would then ask the dealer to rotate all the face cards 180 degrees. The dealer would more often that not do this, thinking it is simply player superstition, believing that rotating these cards would bring the player luck.

Once a deck of cards as been worked through and all face cards have been rotated, it is time for the shuffle. The player will now insist that the dealer use an electronic shuffler. Electronic shufflers won’t rotate some cards again as it shuffles, whereas with a manual shuffle the dealer could most certainly rotate some cards as part of the shuffle process.

Drawing to Win

It is important to know that the dealer is allowed to refuse a player both requests, the request to rotate the cards and the request to use a shuffle machine. Most dealers, especially those not trained in edge sorting, will however indulge the player believing the player when they say this will bring them luck. The player is after all the customer and the customer is king.

At the start of the next deal, now all the cards would have been arranged for the face value cards to have the slightly larger circle design on the right, while the smaller circle design of the non face cards will still be on the left. While cards are face down on the table, the player has a better chance of attempting to calculate the value of the card, increasing his opportunity to win at the game.

But be warned, if they catch you, it could leave you without any winnings.