# Ways to cheat at competitions

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#1 7 April, 2016 - 10:43
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Joined: 3 years 2 months ago

#### Ways to cheat at competitions

We have to make sure that the hypothetical Mr. Mullen case with two card decks will remain hypothetical. So, those who know the rules write here the rules and together we'll propose ideas how to cheat them. Think of it as a mind strengthening exercise for a hacker who has been asked by Pentagon to test its firewalls.

Example:
Mr. Mullen has two decks of cards ready to go on the table. One shuffled and to memorize, the other unshuffled and to reorder to the order of the first one. I assumed that the unshuffled one is always in the same "straight flush" order to ease reordering stage (is it true?). Now, one could switch the two decks at the moment when the supervisor is not looking, and instead memorise the unshuffled deck, which means he just broke the world record. Then he reorders the shuffled deck to the order of straight flush.
At the time of check the supervisor *sees* two decks in the order of straight flush. He will be suspicious, but can't prove that the shuffled deck just happened to end up in the form of unshuffled deck, although his suspicion will even increase further when he starts thinking why Mr. Mullen took 2 minutes to reorder the unshuffled deck into the order of unshuffled deck (was he joking around?).
Countermeasures: unshuffled deck doesn't count; a deck * very similar* to unshuffled one doesn't count; the unshuffled deck is held out of reach of the competitor until the time has come for the second stage (rearranging)

More ideas: Mr. Mullen switches the shuffled deck with a deck of his own; or switches the two decks on the table and WHILE memorizing the deck he *rearranges* it a bit for it to not look so suspicious.

Next things: written and spoken numbers; names and faces; historic/future dates
Any ideas?

8 April, 2016 - 05:47
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Joined: 4 years 1 week ago

Yes there are some possible other ways you could cheat but I'm not familiar with the rules.

Who shuffles the deck to be memorised?

Is the deck brand known before hand?

can you reorder the 'to be memorised' deck to a prememorised order

Another option would be to have the adjudicator as an accomplice that switches the deck for you or makes sure you get a deck that can be shuffled and is in a prememorised cyclical stack? Once the first card is seen you know the order of the full deck.

11 June, 2016 - 01:34
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Joined: 9 months 4 days ago

Another way of cheating would be to mark the cards such that the peg images are easier to recall. Like having your PAO as images on each card -- okay that's probably a bit blatant -- but I bet one could come up with more subtle ways. As far as I know competitors may bring their own decks of cards so this would be pretty easy to achieve. It also begs the question, at what point is it considered cheating. For example, some decks of cards colour each suit differently instead of just red/black, surely that will make it much easier to not recall the wrong peg (reduce the chance of miss-reading the suit)? Is that cheating since you gain an advantage over someone using a standard deck? Or what if one brings in cards with different designs and depending on the deck design they use a different PAO list (for multiple deck memorisation events).

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