Card manipulation is another technique that a cheater may employ in the game of gin rummy. It is relatively easy for someone to do with the proper amount of practice and perfection.
For example, it is considered to be card manipulation if after a hand has been played, as the cheater scoops the cards to himself after the previous hand has been finished, he can leave an entire meld on the bottom of the pack. He gives the pack a little shuffle so as not to disturb these bottom cards. Most of the time, no matter how the deck is cut, this four-card meld will be together and in the course of the deal or play, each of the players will receive two of the four cards. Since the cheater now knows two of the cards in your hand, he of course, will be able to play around them until you either break your pair or he utilizes his two cards in other melds. Your best protection against this or other types of stacking the deck is to shuffle the cards thoroughly when they are given to you to cut. Because cheating was so prevalent in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s this is now been established as one of the prime rules of the game.
Another action of a card manipulator is the removal of a card from the deck. This may be done by leaving one card in the box when opening and removing a new deck. It may also be done by inadvertently dropping a card on the floor while shuffling or handling the deck. It can also be done by palming a card and putting it in their pocket. The advantage that can be obtained by the cheat is unbelievable. With his knowledge of the missing card, he first has the benefit of not trying to establish a meld in his own hand around that missing card. He also has relatively safe plays around the missing card, since he knows that his opponent does not hold it.
The 51-card deck play is usually good for only one or two hands at a crucial moment since many gin rummy players at the end of a hand will glance at the unused deck to see how close they got to the card that they were looking for. Obviously, it would not take more than one or two hands for them to realize that a key card is missing. Since the rules of gin rummy establish that once a hand is completed, it stands, even though the deck was bad. The damage then has already been done, even if you do suspect a player cheated.
There are two ways to protect yourself against a “short” deck. The first is to count and verify a deck before it is put into play. Second, when a hand has been completed, glance through the remaining cards in the deck to verify that the cards you needed to complete your hand are still in the deck.