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Five-Aces Cheater

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Cheating in games is almost as old as games themselves, but if you get caught, you will be instantly kicked out of the competition.

This trope however, is when a character is cheating in an obvious and blatant manner and all the other players and the audience can clearly see that. He may do something seemingly impossible that could be only be done with special equipment or supernatural powers that aren't allowed, or something that the game itself makes impossible. The best example is the name of this trope, named after the very common gag in media of a character playing Poker and having a hand of five aces, when a card deck has only fournote , or something similar like having a hand of six cards, when in Poker you can only get five.


In extreme cases, all the competitors are doing something impossible or that they can't do all at once, such as a card game in which every player has four aces, meaning all of them are cheating.note 

This is pretty much a Paper-Thin Disguise version of cheating and it's almost always Played for Comedy. The more comedic version is when no one notices the obvious cheating and they maybe even think the character is just that good, or someone actually notices but does nothing about it. The less comedic version is when audience and other competitors notice it and complain, but the cheater still gets away, or doesn't. The Played for Drama version is when it's revealed or stated since the beginning that the whole game is rigged, and/or the cheater is such a powerful or dangerous person that nobody will risk standing up to him.


When adding examples involving supernatural powers, avoid cases where use of powers is allowed through Loophole Abuse or because all the characters regard "creative" use of superpowers as part of the fun.

Real-Life examples:

    Video Games 
  • In Online Multiplayer Games, cheaters are usually subtle so other players will not report them, and many cheaters, rather than winning too much, will stop cheating for a while so they don't get caught. But there's always that dumb cheater that does stuff like headshotting invisible players, leveling up too fast, and making high scores that you can't possibly achieve. And there's always games with little moderation where cheaters almost never get banned, and you can find cheaters that make no effort to hide it, like using invincibility hacks, standing still, getting multiple shots, and never dying. Not to mention achievements unlocked at the exact same time when they have no business being able to do so.
  • Todd Rogers used to hold many high-scores in videogames, most of them achieved in the 80s. They didn't have any photo or video proof, but were still accepted by the organization Twin Galaxies, a partner of the Guinness World Records. A lot of these records were either impossible, way higher than the second place, or would take days of constant play to achieve. In 2018 all his records were removed. Here's a list of his suspicious records, with some notable examples below:
    • His most famous example is a downplayed one, finishing the race in Dragster in 5.51 seconds, and that record stayed unbeaten for over 35 years, also giving him a record of longest-standing video-game world record, but he never managed to do it again in front of cameras even with so many people asking, and extensive analysis of the code claims that the minimum possible is 5.57, some players achieved 5.57 legitimately.
    • Centipede (Atari 5200): An exact score of 65,000,000 points, when the second place was 58,078.
    • Barnstorming: 32.04 seconds, even though that time is impossible even if you remove all the obstacles by hacking.
    • Wabbit: 1698 points; not only does the game end when the player gets 1300 points, but the score counter increases in 5 point units.
    • The Legendary Axe: 99,999,990 points, even though the score increases in fifty point units, and the second place was 30,068,300 points.
    • Fathom: A claimed 1,110,500 points while the second place was 142 in 2.5 minutes. Doing the math, he would have taken over 325 hours to achieve it, meaning he should also have a record for most time without sleeping. However, the current record is now 19,566 points in 29 minutes with video proof.
  • The literal version of this trope can be averted with some specialty decks of cards which indeed have five or more suits.

  • In the 2012 Olympics, several Chinese and South Korean badminton teams realized that if they lost in their first-round, they would face easier competition later. However, they tried far too hard in throwing the match, failing to even get the badminton over the net. This got both teams banned.

Fictional examples:

  • Played for Laughs in this commercial, when the other players throw out over-the-top bets to call a wager of a bowl of avocados. The winner (the guy who bet the avocados) hauls in the pot with five aces, one obviously hand-drawn.

    Comic Books 
  • Lucky Luke: 5-ace decks are a common sight when visiting the local saloon. In "Black Hills", the bad guy assigned to disrupt the scientific expedition gets them to play poker, then accuses them of cheating when they all have 4 aces.note  The crowd nearly lynches them, until Luke shows up and asks why they were playing with a deck containing 48 aces.
  • Played for laughs in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck with the poker game between Pothole McDuck and Porker Hogg. Porker lays down a full house of three kings and two aces, and Pothole responds with another full house of three aces... and two more aces. It turns out the "ace dispenser" up Porker's sleeve broke. Pothole then tells Scrooge that they were playing by "riverboat captain rules", in which not trying to cheat is an insult to the other players.

    Fan Fiction 
  • During a poker game in This Bites!, both Zoro and Robin have a royal flush in the same suit. Likewise, Boss and Chopper each have a royal flush as well though of different suits.

    Film - Animated 
  • A scene in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks has the human Pinkie Pie and Applejack playing cards. Applejack shows four aces, which Pinkie counters with four Jokersnote .

    Film - Live Action 
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: Billy the Kid enlists Bill and Ted to help win more money in a poker game. (He gets all their winnings as well as his own.) The game goes wrong a few minutes in when Bill reveals that he has three aces, causing the other cowboys to suspect (correctly) that Billy cheated somehow.
  • Space Jam has both teams go haywire with cheating during the Ultimate Game. The Monstars gang-tackle Granny, dogpile on Stan Podolak, incinerate Foghorn Leghorn and beat the stuffing out of the Looney Tunes. The Tune Squad attach explosives to the Monstar goal, shoot out one Monstar's teeth with handguns, partially denude another Monstar with a rod and reel, and bring an angry longhorn bull onto the court.
  • The Dictator: Aladeen hosts his own Olympic Games where he won 14 gold medals, when he is shown at the 100 Meter Race, he starts the race by firing upwards after he starts running, then shoots the other racers, and some people who weren't even part of the race, and the people carrying the finish line ribbon move it near him, and he even shoots more people after he wins, since he is a tyrant, he can do everything without question.

  • Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Planet of Judgment by Joe Haldeman. In order to stop an interstellar invasion, the senior crew of the Enterprise must engage in psychic duels with the invading aliens. Dr. McCoy's test involves a simulated poker game. In order to win a hand, the alien uses a non-standard card: the three of eagles. During the course of the game, McCoy and the alien use three non-legal cards: the king of green eagles, the king of oranges and the king of skulls.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In El Chapulín Colorado, two mobsters "invite" an old man, Dr. Chapatín, to play pocker with them. He was asked to cut the deck and took a pair of scissors to cut one card. One of the mobsters was angry that he cut an ace, which he knew due to a little mark behind it, while the other said that's no problem since he had another one under his sleeve.
    Dr Chapatín: Good thing that we are playing among honest people.
  • Mission: Impossible has what may be the most triumphant example, as Rollin Hands reveals during a game that he has a winning hang. Five pair.

    Video Games 
  • The Curse of Monkey Island one puzzle involves winning a poker game. The solution is to take five tarot cards and switch them for your rigged losing hand. They notice right away.
  • Neopets: In "Brucey B and The Lucky Coin", when Brucey B is playing Cheat with R.S., near the end of the game, R.S. plays a single four. Brucey calls him out on it, but R.S. reveals his card to be the four of diamonds. Brucey ponders how such a thing is possible when he had played four fours not too long ago.
  • Batman: Arkham City: Victor Zsaaz's Start of Darkness was when he lost everything in a poker game with the Penguin. Zsasz had four sixes, but the Penguin had a straight flush that included a fifth six. Played for Drama in that, even years later and having a clear memory of the game, Zsasz never realizes that he's been cheated.
  • In Golden Sun, there's a Tournament Arc where the player is encouraged to help Isaac cheat by having the rest of the party make his progress through an obstacle course easier. While psyenergy can't be seen by the other contestants or the crowd, he does well enough that the other contestants work out that he did something and show up as a boss battle in the sequel.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
    • In "Bart the Murderer", Bart is working for the Springfield mafia, he goes to the card table to serve some drinks and looks at the cards, one of the mobsters has 4 aces, another has 5 aces, another has 6 aces, and the table is shown, with many aces lying on it, with many symbols not used in cards.
    • Happens accidentally on a deleted scene from "$pringfield", as seen on "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular". Homer is the dealer for a James Bond stand-in, who loses because Homer forgot to take the jokers and the "instructions to pinochle" cards out of the deck.
    • Another example involving the Springfield mafia occurs in "Mayored to the Mob", when, during a poker game, Louie declares a hand of six Queens, only to be beaten when Fat Tony declares seven Queens.
  • In an episode of Quick Draw McGraw, the villain is having a Poker game, his opponent shows four aces, but the villain has five aces in his top hat.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: The episode "Swindlin Wind" ends with Eustace playing cards with the tick that Muriel had on her toe throughout the episode (Now on his toe), with the bet being that the tick could move up to his earlobe if he wins. Eustace goes in with five aces, only for the tick to go in with six aces.
  • In one of the Futurama movies, this happens to Bender by accident during a Texas Hold'em Poker tournament. Only Fry and Bender are left in the tournament due to a combination of Fry having the ability to read minds, and Bender having stole a lucky charm. Bender figures out what Fry is doing and opts to play without looking at his own cards. Fry has two aces, and the community cards are three kings and the other two aces (which means Fry would win regardless of what Bender has). Bender casually flips his cards over to find out that he has the fourth king... and a coaster from the bar that looks like a king (The kings of beers!). The judge (Penn Jillette) rules that this counts as five kings, winning Bender the tournament.
  • Looney Tunes
    • In "My Little Duckaroo", Daffy Duck plays poker with outlaw Nasty Canasta. He deals one card to Canasta and takes the rest of the deck for himself, giving him "a royal straight flush full house with four aces high." Canasta only has the three of clubs... and a gun that he aims at Daffy's gullet.
    Daffy: Beats me.
    • Bugs Bunny, dressed as a southern gentleman, is involved in a game of poker with a Col. Cornpone on a riverboat ("Mississippi Hare"). Cornpone shows five aces in his hand. Bugs shows six.
  • On the Disney short Sports Goofy, the Beagle Boys discuss their plan to beat Scrooge McDuck's soccer team while playing cards. Throughout the scene, an ace of spades keeps getting passed around, as each Beagle Boy keeps stealing it from the other. In the end, they all deal their hands and all the cards are the ace of spades.
  • In one episode of the Dilbert cartoon, Dilbert, Dogbert and Dilmom are playing Scrabble. When Dogbert plays "Quizzing" for 188 points, Dilbert comments that he thought the Scrabble set only has one Z. Dogbert brushes this off by saying that that's the kind of thinking that made Dilbert lose 400 games in a row, but the next shot shows him carving his own scrabble tiles under the table.
  • In Summer Camp Island, "Mr. Softball", to avoid doing a chore, Susie challenges all the campers to a game of softball where the loser has to the chore. Hedgehog tells Oscar that Susie will definitely cheat during the game but Oscar, who knows Susie will cheat, accepts it but wants to beat her fair and square. During the game, Susie blatantly cheats by using biases umpires and using her magic, such as freezing the players, slowing the softball to hit it, and reversing time to undo their first point. Oscar finally has enough and decides to cheat, too, after his team keeps telling him they need to cheat to win, and by doing this they're able to score.
  • In a western-themed episode of The Harlem Globetrotters, the main villain cheats at poker in a recycling of the aforementioned Quick Draw McGraw example.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, "Ghost Fight at the O.K. Corral", Peter gets forced into a game of poker with the ghosts of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday. After Peter deals the cards, all the ghosts reveal they have "Aces & Eights. Dead Man's Hand." Peter then shows his hand of four Aces. The ghosts say this means someone at the table is a cheat, causing Peter to dive out the saloon doors.
    Peter: Good thing I didn't show them that fifth Ace.
  • One episode of Fairly Oddparents has Cosmo and Wanda poof in another fairy to help Timmy out of whatever situation he's gotten himself into. Sans context, the fairy pops in with a hand of cards declaring "Yeah, five aces," as a quick shorthand to show that he's not exactly on the up and up.

    Web Animation 

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