Some consider Shuffle Tracking in a real money casino blackjack game to be the most advanced blackjack advantage strategy, we look at the present and forecast the future of shuffle tracking.
Shuffle Tracking at a casino blackjack game is definitely a useful advantage strategy to know and to apply at just the right moment.
There is no point learning shuffle tracking until you’ve mastered a few card counting systems since by comparison, shuffle tracking is much, much easier. I think it is obvious that if a casino uses an automatic card shuffler (like all of Macau), this technique will not work.
As more and more casinos move to automatic card shufflers, this technique will slowly disappear.
The hardest part in shuffle tracking of casino blackjack card games is finding a weak dealer. If you’ve been around the same casino for a while, or have a great skills at reading people, look for the new dealers fresh out of school. You will see their nervous, flushed faces.
The expression ‘deer in headlights’ comes to mind when describing their look during the first month on the job. They will shuffle slowly and methodically, frequently making thousands of mistakes that you must be able to take advantage of.
This is not cheating. It is using information. If you are buying a house, and overhear one secretary in a real estate office whisper to another – ‘you mean someone finally is looking at that house, it’s been five years and we can’t sell it.’
Is using that information to get a much better deal cheating? It’s not as if you broke into the real estate office late at night to rummage through private computers or put a wire tap on the real estate agent’s phone.
Spotting the weak dealer works on the same principle, and that is why it’s called an advantage play. There are many other advantages of playing with a fresh newbie dealer, but that is the subject for another article.
Shuffle tracking is yet another reason why teams have such an advantage over individual players. Each member of the team would be at a different blackjack table and signal the main player (the head) if there is an unbalanced shuffle, or if the count is +15 while the dealer went very deep into the ‘shoe’. If few face cards came out, then during the shuffle you must follow that cluster of cards left within the shoe as it’s the home of many of the face cards.
When you know exactly where in the new shoe that cluster will begin (let’s say after 50 cards you believe), that’s when you bet that table limit. Of course if you were betting $5 per hand and all of a sudden start betting $5000 per hand, you will have every eye in the sky watching your every move.
Practice makes perfect. Go get six decks of cards with a blue background and one deck with a red background. Put 15 red cards into the 6 blue decks towards the very end (take out 15 red cards). Ask your friend to shuffle, and see if you can follow. Video tape someone very proficient at shuffling six decks as the shuffle 50 different times. Shuffle the cards yourself to get an idea how the cards move around the deck.
Card shuffling is a great strategy to use only for those who already can play near-perfect strategy for many hours and can count cards during a live blackjack game even when half asleep. If you are interested, here is a list of black jack strategy books which will put you on the path to becoming a blackjack champ and a master shuffle tracker.