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Bophendze stopped for a second, wondering if he could get away with it. He decided to give it a shot, and shuffled the deck inverted, looking at the cards as they fanned by.

“Hold it. I said nothing fancy. You can’t shuffle that way. Pass the cards to the next dealer. Your deal’s done,” Sablaroki said.

Bophendze held up his hands in defense. “Sorry. Where I come from that’s normal.” He passed the cards over.

$- Don’t worry. This hand we’ll win big.

The cards were dealt out, then traded around. Bophendze’s hand looked terrible. I’m going to fold this hand.

$- Don’t. Mister overconfident over there is going for a power play. The other two have decent hands, but he’ll weed them out. The hand you have will thump him soundly.

You sure?

$- If I don’t win this hand for you, you can walk away.

Bophendze looked at each of the players. As he did, Smee superimposed cards, as if to tell Bophendze what hand each player was going to play. Bophendze realized the display …

Excerpt from Imbroglio

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