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  CRB Dictionary - Cut:

As a regular term, “cut” is a verb that indicates division, splitting, piercing through a piece, slicing, and editing among others. In the world of poker, however, the word “cut” means two things. The first and more popular meaning of cut pertains to the deck of cards. Cut is what the Dealer makes as he divides the deck of cards in two after shuffling. The other meaning of “cut” in the poker arena is taking a percentage or portion of the pot or the winning bet to be used for another purpose.

Cutting Cards

Cut is an action that involves the playing cards used. It is often performed in various card games but more popularly, in all poker games. There is a standard in performing the act of shuffling and cutting of cards. That is to ensure that the cards that will be dealt are dealt randomly. The standard procedure is meant to prevent the Dealer from manipulating the cards.

The standardized procedure of shuffling and cutting cards is this. The Dealer shuffles the cards twice, and then boxes the cards. After boxing, he needs to make a final shuffle. After three shuffles, the Dealer cuts the deck by splitting the cards roughly in the middle. The top portion and the bottom portion are switched places. As you may have observed with the procedure, the cut is intended to further ensure that the deck of cards is no longer in its original order; that it is as random to give all the players on the poker table equal chances at getting either strong or weak cards, high or low-ranking hands.

Cut Poker


Cutting is therefore a protection for the players. With such a movement, it would be pretty difficult for anyone to manipulate the cards that will be dealt, especially the top portion, which usually lands to compose the starting hands.

If some players try to unlock the codes to the “perfect shuffle” so they can control the hands to be dealt, their intent is busted by performing a cut. This act encourages players to be as honest as possible when it is their turn to deal the cards. When they have no way to maneuver the stack that will be dealt to them, they have no choice but to just perform the operation without any hocus pocus.

Cutting the Pot

Another reference of the word “cut” in the world of poker is in the removal of a particular portion of the prize pool, the pot, or the winning bet. Typically, this cut is made to be given to a backer or a person who buys a game for a particular poker player. Basically, the percentage or the amount of the cut is agreed upon between the backer and the player even before the game begins. For example, a financier agrees to pay for a player’s entrance to a tournament. That financier will then make a contract that in return he will get a 20% cut off the prize pool his player wins at the end of the game.

Gambling winnings are cut in some other different ways. Usually, it was a pre-agreed contract to compensate a favor.

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