A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 17, 2013
“Cut thin to win” (card-cutter’s axiom)

The card-cutting expression “cut thin to win” was popularized by the 1965 book of that name by A. A. Fair (Erie Stanley Gardner). The saying means to cut only a few cards at the top of the deck.


Wikipedia: Euchre
Cut thin to win: Passing the deck after shuffling to the previous dealer to allow them to cut the deck in an attempt to prevent any stacking of the deck.

OCLC WorldCat record
Au petit poil. ["Cut thin to win”. Traduction de Maurice-Bernard Endrèbe.].
Author: A A Fair
Publisher: Paris : Presses de la Cité, [s.d.?]
Series: Collection un Mystère, 753
Edition/Format: Book : French

OCLC WorldCat record
Cut thin to win
Author: A A Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner)
Publisher: New York : W. Morrow, 1965.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English

Sports Illustrated
February 14, 1983
The Thinner Was The Winner
A slim Rosalynn Sumners edged out a zaftig Elaine Zayak in the nationals

E.M. Swift
(...)
In the end the card-cutter’s axiom in poker—thin to win—was embraced by the champion and runner-up alike, leaving observers with the feeling that the only real loser at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh was the American Dairy Association.

Google Books
The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle
By Stewart Wolpin
New York, NY: New Chapter Press
1990
You cut only a few cards from the top of the deck:
“Cut thin to win.”

Pojo.com Forums
Lord of Spirits
04-28-2005, 10:08 AM
Cut Thin to Win
My family used to play the card game rook, and every time someone would cut the deck before dealing the cards my father would say, “Cut thin to win.” Who knew that my father would offer some good advice for Duelist years before Yu-Gi-Oh! was created? Thin to win is an important deck concept that can help your deck become faster and more deadly, and with the new ban/restricted list deck thinning got a boost and took a hit at the same time, and I want to look at this concept in the post-ban era.

Deck thinning is making your deck smaller, thus raising your chances to draw certain cards you need. The reason people run 40 card decks is because, that is as thin as it gets before a duel starts, and a 40 card deck gives you the best odds of drawing your best cards. Pulling cards from your deck besides in your draw phase is deck thinning during the duel. Having some deck thinning elements in your deck is a must for a competitive deck.

Deck thinning is an advanced technique, which I see very little of among beginning duelists. Deck thinning often separates the winner and loser in a duel. The winning duelist tends to be the one who gets his or her best cards first. Deck thinning raises your odds of getting your best cards, and thus, raises your odds of winning.

Silver Creek Forums
by Dust In The Wind » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:28 pm
LOL, sorry there is an old myth that says “Cut thin to win, cut thick to lay a brick” anyways cut deck in any game that uses are 52 cards (spades, hearts, NOT euchre, etc.) can be sum’ed up as follows: ...

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, March 17, 2013 • Permalink