Cheating; I am usually against it. Some of my friends hate to play golf with me. If there is any kind of bet on the line, I make sure to state the rules of the game in appropriate situations. As a kid, most of my buddies looked to me when an interpretation of rules came up in any sport we were playing. I was, and am, a geek for the rules of the game.
Now, if you want to go out and kick your ball away from a rock or root and we don't have a nickel on the outcome, go ahead. One cheating one's self does not bother me at all. Like Ty Webb, you can always measure yourself against other golfers by height.
I was silent last week though. It had been brought to my attention that one of the players in our game regularly cheats. I sat beside him and watched what he was doing. We play with two decks and shuffle behind the deal. So, when I was dealing, the player behind me was shuffling for the next deal. After my deal, I was to cut the newly shuffled cards and slide them to my left for the next deal. The cut rule was put into place a few weeks ago after not having one for years. I thought it was due to another player that always riffled the cards when it was his deal. there have been no cheating allegations with him as far as I know. The rest of the players just do not like him reshuffling cards he is getting ready to deal.
Now, I knew the real target of the new procedure. His cheating was obvious as soon as I paid attention. He would pick up the deck and slap an edge on the table with the bottom card facing towards him. He deals a criss-cross variant that puts all the cards in play. The way he deals the game allows him to put the bottom card in his hand or on the board. Playing hi-low, he can stick an Ace in his hand or an Eight on the table. It is not a big cheat, but a cheat none the less.
The question is, what to do about it. My inner rule-geek demands I speak out. The banker in me says, 'Shut up, he's a regular depositor. Don't drive him away." A very good player was found cheating in this game a few years ago and was banished immediately. Should a bad player have the same consequence? Not only is he a bad player, he is one that can actually bear the costs of losing in this game if the others' statements are to be believed.
I don't countenance cheating when money is on the line has been the rule of my life. Now, I appear to have changed because money is on the line. In golf, the better players give strokes to the weaker ones. Am I just giving him a couple of strokes here?