Macau Blackjack & Auto card shufflers
What's the oldest casino in Las Vegas? Sit out if there were a lot of high cards last hand. If I remember correctly, Cryptologic casinos do indeed indicate when they are shuffling their eight-deck shoe. It is worth checking it out, only takes a minute: Because of this, you need to:
I certainly haven't seen any signs of "CSM's taking over. Are CSMs taking over? I don't think so. Some places seem to be adding them while others are taking them out. I have been hearing that blackjack is almost dead since I started playing in In my experience every year brings more opportunities so I wouldn't sweat the CSMs. Every year things change. A great game disappears, but a new opportunity arises. CSMs come and go, but there are so many opportunities for EV in this great country and around the globe!
I have more friends making upper 5-figures or 6-figures from card counting than I did 10 years ago, in large part because there are more opportunities for card counting than there were 10 years ago.
Make sure you know everything it takes to beat the game, how every rule and option affects your edge, then start beating blackjack for yourself! Usually, the player will sheepishly remove his two red chips, pick up the rest of his stack of chips, and without saying a word, leave the table embarrassed at what just transpired.
Therefore, rule number 1 is to known the betting limits on the blackjack table before you sit down and play. The number of decks of cards has an effect on the house edge against a basic strategy player. Generally, the house edge increases as the number of decks increases. But you also need to factor in the mix of rules. Usually, the cards in a multi-deck game are dealt from a dealing shoe. This is where the rubber meets the road.
If the game is dealt with a single- or double-deck of cards, the dealer will usually hand shuffle the cards and there is no issue here. There are several different kinds of auto shufflers and the one you want to avoid is the Continuous Shuffling Machine or CSM.
The reason for this is important so stay with me while I explain how each shuffler works. Automatic blackjack shufflers have been around a long time in casinos. Usually a casino will use two sets of multiple decks of cards on a blackjack table. While one set of cards is being used by the dealer on the game, the other set is being shuffled offline by the automatic shuffler. When the cut card appears, the round is completed and then the dealer will swap the cards; meaning, the just-used multi-decks will be placed in the automatic shuffler to be shuffled while the shuffled decks that were in the machine offline are put into play by the dealer for the next rounds.
The purpose of using two automatic shufflers is to eliminate the wasted time involved in having the dealer manually shuffle the cards. The odds against the player in blackjack do not change when an automatic shuffler is used to shuffle the multi-decks. A CSM, on the other hand, is a combination automatic shuffler and dealing shoe. Casinos usually place five decks of cards into the CSM. After a betting round is completed, the dealer will scoop up the just played cards i.
Do you see the difference between a CSM and an automatic shuffler? With the latter most of the cards are played ca. With a CSM, the discards are immediately returned to the shuffler after each round sometimes several rounds and randomly mixed with the unplayed cards.
With a CSM, the action never stops because the dealer continuously deals the cards without pausing for shuffling. Do the odds change against a player when a CSM is used?
The answer is yes, they change very slightly in favor of the player, with the house edge against a basic strategy player reduced by about 0. Now before you rush out and play blackjack on a table that uses a CSM, pay attention to the rest of the story. Even though the house edge decreases slightly with a CSM, this is more than negated by the increased speed of the game. Ditto for games dealt with auto shufflers. The original purpose of CSMs was to eliminate card counting as an effective strategy to gain the edge over the casino.
If you are not using some of the techniques I summarized in Chapter 5 reduce house edge , the casino will have a small edge over you that assumes you are using the basic strategy summarized in Chapter 3 accurately.
Given this fact, you are better off playing at a full table rather than a table with fewer players, or worse, heads up against the dealer. One of the key factors that determine the house edge in blackjack is the playing rules. Some playing rules will decrease the house edge whereas others increase it. H17 and blackjack payoffs vs. Your goal is to be sure that the blackjack game you are about to play offers mostly the good player favorable rules.
There are also websites where you can key in the rules of any game and they will automatically compute the house edge. Here are some examples. All other conditions being equal, the more decks being used, the higher the house edge against the basic strategy player. For example, the following blackjack table shows the effect that the number of decks has on the house edge against a basic strategy player with H17 and DAS.
These are Total-Dependent house edges. Notice that as the number of decks increases, the house edge increases incrementally up to 0.
Notice also how the incremental increase in house edge keeps getting smaller as the number of decks increases. Each of the good player favorable and bad player unfavorable rule affects the basic strategy, some greater than others.