Blackjack has developed a reputation as being a game that can be beat. This is something that started with card counting which actually can be used to give the player an advantage over the house. However the casinos have gone to great lengths to make this is as difficult as possible. As a result new techniques have become necessary to beat the casino. One of those is shuffle tracking.
This is exactly what you would think it would, it is keeping track of where cards end up when they are shuffled. If you are planning to count cards at one of the Casino’s on the Las Vegas Strip, you better know they are not offering the “best” blackjack games in the world, so keeping your eyes on the shuffle is vital if you’re looking to maximize your odds.
Shuffle tracking is the next logical step in the evolution of card counting in blackjack. It is based on the fact that in a multiple deck game the last deck will not get dealt but the cards will be shuffled and you will start over again instead. That means that if you have a high count when they reshuffle the deck then you know that there are a lot of tens and aces in that deck. If you could figure out where those cards ended up when they were shuffled you would have an advantage. The belief is that the cards are not shuffled all that thoroughly so there is a good chance that they will stay relatively close to each other.
Of course being able to figure out where the deck you are interested in ends up when the cards are shuffled is not easy. There are a few ways that you can do this but they are all based on keeping track of large clusters of cards. This obviously takes a long time to learn and you will have to put in a lot of practice before you are ready to start trying it in a casino.
Before you even think about trying shuffle tracking you need to be proficient at counting cards. This is something that few people can do well as it is. Adding shuffle tracking to the equation will just make it more complicated. If you can’t keep the count properly you are not going to be successful no matter how well you are able to track the cards when they are being shuffled. Once you have a good handle on card counting you are going to want to make sure that you learn a system for shuffle tracking and practice it thoroughly.
Shuffle tracking can greatly increase your odds if you do it correctly, far higher than basic card counting. However if you get it wrong you could find yourself with even worse odds than if you weren’t using any system at all. You also need to be careful when you are doing this because casinos are very wary of shuffle tracking. They have gone to great lengths to reduce the advantage of card counters but they haven’t yet figured out a way to take away the advantage of the shuffle trackers. If they suspect that you are doing it you will be asked to leave the casino.
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!