I head over to meet Mr. Cool. He stands, we shake hands then we sit down privately in the back of the lounge to – shall we say – lay our cards on the table. As I’m showcasing the range and deceptiveness of the techniques within my arsenal, he crosses his arms in front of his chest, and I can feel his eyes burning my hands. I say calmly, “Shuffle and cut the cards.” I take the deck and rapidly deal myself winning blackjack hands. Again, I have Mr. Cool shuffle and cut. This time I deal out poker hands with machine-gun efficiency – all pat hands- sailing cards to the hands he designates, and I can tell at this stage that he is leaning forward and squinting hard to catch my moves. I stop, scoop up the pasteboards, and square the deck.

Mr. Cool finally speaks in a confident manner, “You’re holding out,” he says. “You’ve got to be holding out!”

I hold up my hands and say gratified, “No, I’m clean. No mucking.”

So, once again I hand him the deck, and with my palms held face-up, I tell him with a little mischief in my voice, “Shuffle them good.” I take back the deck, and accelerating my pace, I deal him a pat hand to his designated position.