What is Edge Sorting?

In 2012 the world was properly introduced to the art of edge sorting when Phil Ivey admitted that he had edge sorted when playing at the Crockfords Casino in London, giving rise to a heavy lawsuit that saw Ivey trying to recoup the massive $12 million he claimed he won from the casino.

While edge sorting certainly existed before, it was really brought to light by the experiences of this well-known professional poker player, and is now known as one of the most popular techniques that allow players to gain some advantage over the casino.

Ins and Outs of Edge Sorting

Put simply, edge sorting is a technique that players use to keep track of cards and use them to their advantage. This is basically done by recognising irregularities in the imagery printed on the back of the cards, or by cut patterns. Obviously this wont work when you play online casino games, but then you’ll also never find yourself a loss like Phil Ivey!

Looking back on Ivey’s case, the player used certain techniques to help gain an edge, such as asking to use the same deck of cards as the one that was used the very first night, requiring an automatic shuffler and insisting that the dealer complete an 80-degree turn of specific cards before putting them in the deck or shoe.

How It’s Done

If you take a good look at the print on the back of a card, you will notice that the diamond pattern on the one side of the card is full, while the other side cuts the pattern off and displays half diamonds along the edge.

In edge sorting, players essentially take notice of the fact that the pattern on the right and left edges of the cards are asymmetrical and thereafter align the cards in such a way that all full diamonds are important cards aligned along a single edge, while all unimportant cards are aligned along the half diamonds.

Recipe for Edge Sorting Success

The first thing to look at when trying to ensure edge sorting success is the pattern of the back of the card and whether the asymmetry is clearly visible.

Among other factors, edge sorting only works if one or more of the cards are seen beforehand, when a fixed procedure is in place for dealing and playing the cards, if the position of the edges are not disturbed in any way and the shuffling has to be done in order.

We don’t suggest you try this, but it’s interesting to know just what the furore that surrounds Ivey’s case is all about.