Card Shark: 5 Beginner Tips

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  • Practice Your Sleight of Hand
  • Difficulty Matters
  • Memorize The Basic Card Values
  • Learn To Shuffle Inconspicuously
  • Be Speedy And Don't Get Greedy

Card Shark is a unique indie game all about learning and using a wide variety of devious tricks. As a talented con artist in 18th century France, you'll stack the deck in your favor and profit from various card games. Throughout Card Shark you'll learn a wide variety of methods to overcome the random draw of card games, including techniques for spying on an opponent's hand, false shuffling, and intricate systems for marking cards.

As a game, Card Shark relishes in making these systems almost as complex to pull off as they are in reality. Players will need to manage knowledge of the card game as it's in progress, fast-paced inputs for succeeding at dexterity tricks, and a constantly shifting suspicion meter to ensure the cons go as successfully as planned. Card Shark can be a difficult game to learn, so here's some useful tips to get you started on your journey to becoming an above-average hustler.

Practice Your Sleight of Hand

This first tip, in many ways, applies in two different ways. Firstly, you'll want to practice any new input types as you learn of them when you're being taught new techniques. There are 28 unique 'strategies' in Card Shark, and some of these share common elements — chief among them being well-timed button presses.

Secondly, you'll want to practice your own dexterity and ability to react to these inputs as they appear, as well as your general muscle memory for each individual strategy. As you're first taught them, you'll gain ample opportunity to practice the technique as many times as you like before being required to 'perform' and do them for real. Take this opportunity and practice tricks as many times as you can stand before moving on, because once you mess it up during one of the game's levels, it's going to have a tangible impact on your progress.

Difficulty Matters

There are a few difficulty options available in Card Shark. Adjusting this setting determines important factors such as how quickly your opponent will become suspicious and the windows in which button presses must be made to succeed. If you're struggling with Card Shark's 'hard' mode (known as 'The Con Artist') or 'normal' mode (known as 'The Gambler'), you can lower the difficulty to the game's easy mode, known as 'The Dilettante'.

There's still some challenge in this difficulty mode, but there's no shame in using it if you're having trouble with the game's more challenging elements.

Memorize The Basic Card Values

One of the easiest ways to improve your skill in Card Shark is to understand the real values of playing cards. Learn the order in which to prioritize cards, and which cards are needed to create a good hand. Generally speaking, the game does a good job of explaining these premises, but doing some homework will certainly help you even more.

Aces are universally valuable, then Kings, Queens, and finally Jacks in that order. These are all more important than the numbered cards in each suite. It's crucial to remember this priority order for the tricks that involve constructing a good hand, as you'll need to obtain as many of these valuable cards as you can.

Learn To Shuffle Inconspicuously

Many of the tricks in Card Shark include a shuffling element, and one of the earliest techniques you'll learn will involve the basics of 'dropping' cards, 'injogging', and shuffling cards. For shuffles that require card drops, this will require some thinking that might stall you for a few moments, but you'll need to do this as quickly as possible to avoid increasing the suspicion meter.

In addition, fumbling the shuffle, by placing the marker in the wrong place or dropping the incorrect number of cards, will often ruin the entire trick, so accuracy and speed must be united when shuffling.

Be Speedy And Don't Get Greedy

Simply put, taking too long with a trick to perfect all its elements will result in failure. In accordance with our first and fourth tips, the best way to progress through Card Shark is to make sure you've practised all of the individual elements of the trick adequately so that you can perform it quickly. The second fundamental maxim of succeeding at Card Shark, however, is to not get greedy.

The camp that you will call 'home' in Card Shark will be introduced in the game's early moments. Throughout certain points in your journey, you will be asked to contribute money to the ongoing wellbeing of the game. Without spoiling how this affects the game's trajectory, it's highly recommended to donate a good amount of your money to the camp whilst ensuring you keep enough for the minimum bets.

Furthermore, when betting or raising money using 'three-card monte', it's often better to bet a reserved amount and increase your funds slowly. Success can be taken away very quickly in Card Shark for just a minor slip-up, so to begin with and to protect yourself, it's better to ensure your losses (and gains) are minimal. As you get better at the game, you can certainly get a little riskier in your betting strategy.

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