Beat the Cheat: Cheaters and How to Deal with Them

Jonathan Moore here, with a pretty controversial subject concerning and surrounding the game if not the most so. Cheating. I’ve seen, heard, and dealt with some of the most outlandish things in my Yu-Gi-Oh! competitive career, and this is one of the basic things you’re going to have to learn to beat if you want to make it far. Getting confrontational with someone you suspect is cheating you is a good thing to do, as it’s the only way to really deal with them. I’m going to go over the most common cheats, and how to beat them. I’m presenting the cheats not for you to use or learn, but because the only way to beat a trick is to know how it works.

Cheating is something that reaches far beyond our community too. It’s something that goes down in classrooms, workplaces, and in people’s lives. We can’t let it become acceptable in our community, because if we don’t stop it here, where does it end? Will it end in the classroom where the kid who learned to cheat at Yu-Gi-Oh! at the age of thirteen gets caught because he never learned that it was wrong, and that only getting caught was wrong? Will it end in the work place for this man once he gets caught using other workers to cover for him? It’s already hard enough to feel like the world isn’t out to get you when you can’t go to a Yu-Gi-Oh! event and not get cheated. Konami does a really good job of cracking down on people for it. I won’t name anyone, but the list is long and has a lot of people on there for that conduct and it’s only going to get longer as time goes on unless we stand up and make the choice to help stop it.

Common Cheats

1. Drawing from the bottom of the deck
Whenever an opponent resolves a card that lets them shuffle cards into the deck and then draw (Moray of Greed, Gladiator Beast Respite, etc…), or if say an opponent used a card that deals with shuffling cards and then flips their Reckless Greed or plays their Upstart Goblin, and is setting their deck down, make sure they don’t draw their card until it’s down. Often you should be cutting the deck anyways, but during the middle of a lot of action and resolutions are when people will try to get away with this the most. Sleight of hand is the most common used term in magic tricks, and they can shuffle their decks till they see a card they want and make sure it ends up on the bottom pretty easily. Don’t let them get that card by placing it there. Tell them to place the deck down before drawing if they flip a card like that, or call judge. Don’t ever let someone draw a card with the deck in their hand. Period.

2. “Soft Core”
They like their cheating like they like their… well, let’s just say that they think they aren’t cheating. This is usually pre-arranging hands in hopes that the opponent will not shuffle their deck very thoroughly. Even while going through the deck after the game starts for a searcher, one might pull cards apart and put them together in hopes of this. Always take the time to pile shuffle throughout the game. The deck only gets smaller. Pile shuffling is how to take away pre-concepted hands and tear them apart. I like to put the deck into piles of 1-2-1-2-1-2 (so a card into pile one, and then a card into pile two), and then take the first pile and make three rows, and then take the second pile and make three rows. This will take any pre-made hands or cards meant to be together and completely shred them. Then I put piles 1-2-3 back together for both piles. If the opponent doesn’t soft core cheat, they shouldn’t worry. If they do, they just got destroyed.

3. Getting Stacked
The only way to get stacked is to have your opponent look through your deck while they shuffle. As much as a person can pretend to look away from a deck, the corner of the eye can catch a lot. Make sure your deck is getting shuffled as face down as possible, and not from the side. Otherwise, your opponent and their final cut may decide the final card going into your hand. If you have a problem with your opponent paying attention to this request, don’t be scared to call judge or place your own hand in their line of sight. I’ve done this plenty V.S. people I heard might cheat. Cheating isn’t the only way to beat a cheater, you just have to level the playing field to make it even.

4. A friend in need, a friend indeed.
It’s always good to give at least a little attention to who is behind you in a match because it just may be your opponent’s friend giving him signals. This is a thing, sadly. Often or not, if your opponent keeps looking up at the game behind you, he’s probably getting a little help and doing more than voicing his frustrations to his friend. You can always have a judge get you space behind you when playing and conceal your hand, even if you can’t control who is behind you.

5. Go, Dice Roll!
When deciding to go first can determine such an advantage in the game, it’s often going to be a huge factor. Who would leave it to a true 50-50 like a dice roll when you can learn to cheat at rolling dice or use loaded ones?

To make it harder to cheat, always use two dice and always try to use the same dice as your opponent. Offer one of yours and one of his own. If he’s adamant about it, it’s kind of fishy, at least to me. A 2-dice cast roll with the same dice makes it hard to cheat the roll and it should be a reasonable request.

6. Draw, Draw, Draw
Well, you lost the dice roll now. What better way to get back advantage other than untraceable cards? Why not just draw it when they aren’t looking? I’ve seen the situation happen so many times where the game gets paused and both players try to backtrack SO many turns to try to see how the number of cards came to what they were. Sometimes it’s unfounded, but others it comes from that extra draw. It also happens a lot under say, Reckless Greed. Just pay attention to the gamestate and cards in hand, and this one is easy to avoid. If you’re truly worried about your opponent drawing extra cards on you, don’t be afraid to use a dice to keep track of how many cards should be in their hand.

7. Uuuh, you were at what, again?
They tell you before the event but very few actually do it. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep both players LP on paper. Even if your opponent isn’t, you should, and mark everything down by deduction so you can backtrack. The player with the paper will always be the one to get the final say with the judges no matter how events are recollected. A clear button on a calculator is easy to hit, and life point discrepancies are not uncommon. It takes some extra work, but it can be a whole lot of extra reward in the future.

So, in review, what is your favorite word to use on a cheater?


Don’t be scared to come on strong with this issue. It’s common place in the community unfortunately, and the only way to deal with it is force. Even if your opponent is innocent, he should understand your on-edge mentality towards possibly being cheated.

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