Section 1: Dealing Mechanics –
Lesson 2: Cutting Cheques –
Cutting cheques is the first dealing mechanic we are going to focus on, and it’s a universal skill used across all table games. It is especially important in poker to have good dealing technique, since it increases your hands per hour – giving you more opportunities to make tips and to make more money for the house. Practicing to refine your fundamental dealing techniques will greatly increase your game speed which directly influences how much money you can make while dealing cash games.
- Learn the two techniques of cutting cheques: The Table Cut and the Drop Cut.
- Familiarize yourself with cutting drills and practice regularly in order to build solid dealing fundamentals.
As mentioned in the last lesson, cutting refers to the initial measurement of cheques that you will then use to run out the rest of the stack. When you practice cutting cheques, make sure that you are holding stacks of 20. The reason this is important is because when you or your bosses need to quickly count to see how much money is left in your well, the stacks are measured out in 20s so you can count in units to speed up the process. This is the standard across all table games, not just poker.
THE TABLE CUT
The table cut is the basic cutting method for beginner dealers. It’s used primarily in blackjack or carnival games, where game speed isn’t as important as poker or craps. Learning how to table cut properly will start to give you a feel for the cheques, and build up your coordination for the drop cut and other dealing techniques.
The table cut is very simple:
- “Spider web grip” a stack of 20 cheques.
- Place your stack of cheques like a tower on the table.
- Lift up the top half of the stack, leaving your desired amount on the table.
Basically, you use the table as leverage in order to separate out the cheques.
One important thing to remember is to only table cut up to 5 cheques at once. You don’t want to table cut more than that because it is hard for the security cameras to read any stack of cheques that is above 5 high. In order to measure out more than 5 cheques, you need to size out the rest with proper cheque breakdowns.
We’ll get into the specifics of sizing and breakdowns in the next several lessons.
THE DROP CUT
The drop cut is the advanced cutting method for experienced dealers. It’s used in games like poker and craps where game speed and control are both very important. Learning how to drop cut properly will set yourself apart when you audition, and increase your game speed so you have more opportunities to make tips at the end of each hand. Start on this technique once you have table cutting down, as this technique takes a lot of practice. It’s harder than it looks.
Make sure you don’t go too fast when learning how to drop cut. Technique over speed. Speed will come with experience and table time, you don’t want to run yourself over when you’re in the middle of dealing a game.
The steps to the drop cut are as follows:
- “Spider web grip” a stack of 20 cheques.
- Draw your pointer finger from the bottom of the stack to the desired value of cheques.
- Lift the top of the stack with your pointer finger, separating the 20 stack out into two piles, still holding on to both.
- Drop the bottom stack on to the table.
For this technique, you’re going to separate out the cheques while they’re still in the air instead of when they’re resting on the table. Again, do not drop cut more than 5 cheques at a time. To measure out more than 5 cheques, you’re going to size out the rest using your cheque breakdowns.
For cutting, you just need table time. Practice, practice, practice.
Try cutting out cheques in different piles, amounts, and values in order to get a feel for the weight of the cheques and the techniques needed for both cuts. TECHNIQUE OVER SPEED. I can’t stress this enough.
Practice with both your right and left hands, and both drop cuts and table cuts. Practice stacks of 4s and 5s in particular. The reason for this is when you run out a full stack of 20 cheques, your breakdowns will have you cutting in either piles of 4 or 5 to measure them for the surveillance cameras.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CUTTING CHEQUES
The initial measurement of cheques is very important for game speed, as if you cut out improper amounts you’ll have to re-stack and re-do your measurements during the middle of your game. This leads to game slowdowns and weak game protection. You don’t want game slowdowns because it gives you less opportunities to make tips and it effects house revenue due to fewer hands per hour. Weak game protection will make it harder for surveillance and your bosses to double check your work in case there’s an issue on the game, and it exposes your game to cheating tactics used by advantage players.
Start with table cuts, and work your way up to drop cuts throughout the gaming course. Strong fundamentals are essential to getting hired as a break-in dealer, and proper techniques will serve you long into your gaming career.
Dave’s Class Notes for each Lesson will be released twice a week as blogs here on our website. The corresponding Video Lessons will be posted on our YouTube channel at the same time. In this way, people will be able to see the entire Poker Dealing course over the course of a year. (There are more than 100+ training videos in the full course).
If you’d like individual instruction, a contact on the ground here in Las Vegas, online tutoring, or want to accelerate your education, we’re offering the full package on our Teachable Page for $299.
Check out the SuperDealer Course here.