Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Soft Cheating", and preventing it. Part 1.

Hello everyone.

Today, I bring to you a guide to "soft cheating", and more importantly, how to avoid it.

So, what IS soft cheating?

"Soft Cheating" isnt quite cheating, but it does give you a considerable advantage.

Things to keep in mind is that while soft cheating is not illegal, but instead taking advantage of the rules, it CANNOT be relied on 100% of the time, and there are ways to prevent all of them.

There are all sorts of ways you can use this to your advantage, and there are a consdierable number of ways you can do it

Indeed, there are many more ways to cheat that will not be reviewed, because they dont come to mind.

Lets get started shall we?

Soft Cheating can start even before the duel starts.

Yes, the dice roll. You CAN CHEAT DURING THE DICE ROLL.

First, the obvious: Let your opponnent roll first, then roll your own six sided die with 7 through 12.


What? You can do that?

Yep. Read the rulebook.

"Six sided die" is specified. 1 through 6 is NOT.

Other ways you can use this to the advantage is with Snipe Hunter.

This, of course, will probally get you kicked out of the tournament, so lets try other ideas.

There is a technique to roll the die in a certain way, such that it has a set number of revolutiopns in a certain direction, and thus land on the number you want.

However, this does take practice with your size of die, and wont work when the opponent supplies the dice.

Also, the composition of the die will also make a difference. I wont go into the scientific study that proves this, but keep this in mind. Clear plastic die and resin die and wooden die all roll differently.

To solve this problem, have two different sized dies(you should keep a few anyhows. they work awesomely as tokens in need. Also Reasoning says hi.), each with different composition. Clear die have a statistically higher chance of rolling LESS ones(again, science), so use them if you have them,

There is yet another way to cheat during this point, "flicking".

Flicking is a technique where one draws up the die, and spins it horizontally, without giving it any spin vertically. What this results in is the die landing on the face which was face up when you flicked it, preferablly 4 or 5(as long as its higher).

Whats to be noted is that if the die has rounded edges, and smaller, the increasingly difficult it becomes to land it well.(This is why many people rolled off three to four times with me)

So: Bring small, rounded dice. Use them. World of Warcraft TCG dice are incredibly easy to "flick", so roll your own die if your opponent hands you one of these.

Also: Some playmats increase the bounce of the die, making it increasingly hard to "flick" the die.

Okey, so you rolled off, and either won or lost.

Next, both players reveal side count and extra count, then shuffle.

Keep in mind the number of side cards, and make sure it doesnt go into a box between games(well come back to this later).

During shuffling, there is some soft cheating yet again.

Did a card slip? YOU pick it up and hand it back to the opponent. Did you see what it is?

This way, it makes people thing you are just a nice guy(unless youre an ass in real life, in which you should NOT be doing this, since it draws suspicion), while letting you cheat.

To prevent this, dont let cards slip. If they do, dont let the opponent touch them.

It might not be much for some people, but catching one card gives you considerable information advantage, and thus, more or less EXACTLY whats in their deck and side deck.

Gemini Spark slipped? Its Dimension Eatos.

Any Lightsworn monster(sans Ryko)? its Lightsworn.

Darius slipped? Its GBs. Prepare to side in trap stuns.

You get where Im going. Most of the time, one card can give off a lot of information. But then again, this is hard to pull off at times, since cards like Mirror Force tell you NOTHING of the opponents deck.

Note that Trap Dustshoot gives you exactly the same advantage.

It is also due to this that it is important to know the general decklist of popular decks.

During the duel, this can be used to confirm what cards are in the opponents deck, even more information advantage.

How people shuffle is another way you can cheat, or stop them from doing so.

Despite popular beleif, shuffling is NOT a randomization of cards, like in games, but instead a systematic changing of order of cards.

Lets look at the three more popular and most used ways of shuffling: Hindu shuffle, Table shuffle, and Side shuffle.

Hindu shuffle is one of the more popular ways to shuffle, being the fastest and easiest.

The player takes a "random" number of cards in a clump from the middle of the deck, and places it on top of the deck, so the previous top becomes the middle, and the bottom remains the same.

This is done several times over and over, sometimes placing on the bottom, or taking the bottom, so the bottom becomes "randomized" as well.

Where is cheating in here: Note that individual cards are not moved around, but instead clumps of cards, in "groups". Thus, each card is not moved, but instead groups of cards. A skilled shuffler can shuffle so that he opens with a certain number of cards he wants. Thats why we cut.

Another thing to take note of is that Hindu shuffling allows for what I like to call "soft stacking".

Soft stacking is a technique originally in Magic the Gathering, such to ensure you dont open with no lands, or all lands.

What is done is the player, before the game starts, stacks his/her deck so there is an equal a distribution of card types(and in higher levels/more intense stacking, comboes and monster levels), throughout his or her deck, so that each hand will have a good number of monsters, traps, and spells.

During my Singapore trip I taught a few people how to do this.

Thus, when the deck is shuffled, there are some anomalies, but in the end, there will be an equal distribution of card types throughout the deck, regardless of how you hindu shuffled. However, which traps and which spells and which monster will be together cannot be determined.

Even after the cut, this will almost be 100% retained, such that it doesnt matter how they cut, you will still open with good distribution, and thus less horribad hands.

It takes a master to stack this way and still get exactly what you want.

Thus, this is considered the least "cheating" of the three shuffle types.

Then again, if you use this type of stacking, you should already know that is THE most unreliable stacking, more of a protective measure than getting what you want.

In table shuffling, there are literally countless way to stack, regardless of how the opponent cuts.

Because table shuffling is a series of systematic distribution of cards, even more than any other type of shuffling, it is what allows classic stacking, bringing exactly what you want, where you want it.

So, table shuffling is beyond "soft cheating", and possibly actual cheating. The way to try to prevent this is to cut when you can.

Side shuffling is when the player takes half of the deck, and puts the decks together sideways, such that the deck is shuffled in a similar way as bridging in normal poker.

Of course, it looks much cooler than that always.

But, if you really notice, the top card before the shuffle once becomes the second card, and the second from the top becomes the fourth, and so on.

A good mathematician or a good program can give you an order of the cards and the number of perfect side shuffles to give you the desired opening hands.

So, again, soft cheating is possible here as well.

It should be noted that side shuffling is much more used to cheat during the cut than during shuffling.

As we have shown, all three shuffling ways have techniques to stack what they want where they want, to an extent.

However, the game gives us a cut, such to prevent this.

After every time you shuffle(after doing things such as mystic tomato or foolish burial included), the opponent is entitled to cut your deck.

Note that the tournament rulebook does not say "shuffle", but "cut". If they start hindu shuffling or side shuffling, it is possible they can cheat.

The "only" legal cut there is is to take a stack off the top, and place it to the side, and the remaining cards to be placed on top. Once or twice is the most commonly accepted. Once with three stacks is also accepted.

While most people dont really bitch if the opponent shuffles, cheaters do use this to their advantage.

If you side shuffle, it is easy to catch a few, if not all, of the opponents cards, while appearing as just side shuffling(this is done by shuffling at an angle).

When hindu shuffling, the information advantage is attained by looking at the card right above the stack you took out, before it falls onto the bottom stack, and the bottom card of the stack you pulled, before you put it on top.


Information advantage is one of THE most powerful advantages you can have. By knowing what comboes a card can pull off, and other cards with synergy that are included, ones deck composition can be determined by almost three cards.

This is knowing Murmillo can destroy only face up monsters, that Judgment Dragoon pays 1000LP and not 2000LP, but also that most Lightsworn decks have a certain composition, and run three honest.

Also, your "hidden tech".

If the opponent sees your deck before the game, your hidden tech isnt hidden anymore, almost destroying its purpose and the element of surprise.

Also important with side shuffling the opponents deck is that you can effectively see what the opponent will draw into, and what their hand is, without the use of Trap Dustshoot.

So? Always only take a single deck cut, and dont even pick up your opponents deck.

If your opponent starts side shuffling, tell them that your sleeves are a bit damaged and youd like them intact for the rest of the tournament.

If they start hindu shuffling, finish your cut and roll a few dice, roll your eyes, drum your fingers and make them feel uncomforatable. Tell them the tournament rules(only cut), then bulldozer over them during the game.

All of this is possible cheating, even before the duel begins!

All possible, but also all preventable.

Join us again tomorrow as we review cheating and soft cheating, and ways to prevent such things from happening.


  1. Yu-Gi-Oh! just got a whole lot more complicated lol.

  2. O man I need to get one of those 7-12 dice for celfon.
    But seriously the "letting a card slip" happens way too much at SJCs and Regionals.

  3. When I use my Lightlord deck, I insisted having a GB Retiari in my side deck. Before the duel starts I would require to confirm my opponent side deck's presence. Then I ACCIDENTALLY slip my Retiari and said, "Oh sorry', making my opponent scared to set unnecessary cards as bluffs.

    Once it works. I set a Lyla, and my opponent went like this: Oh it's Hoplumus.

  4. the sniper hunter thing is easy, the 1 and 6 are at opposite ends of the dice, make sure they are on the left and right sides of the dice and just roll the dice in a straight line. I did this when using my snipe hunter deck

  5. Isn't posting this stuff a little risky? You sound like you're promoting cheating here..

  6. The way to prevent cheating is to show how to prevent it.

  7. The six-sided die thing, made me laugh. Hard. xD