An Advanced Guide to Shuffle Tracking – Blackjack for Advanced Players

Welcome to this how-to video. Today, we’ll be providing you with our Advanced
guide to Shuffle Tracking. Shuffle tracking is something used by some
players to try and track how the cards are put into the discard tray and shuffled so
they can predict the next cards to be dealt after a shuffle. At a very basic level, shuffle tracking works
like this… If you open a new pack of cards, remove the
joker cards, split it perfectly in half for two stacks of 26 cards, and shuffle it perfectly,
you can determine the order of the cards. Even in that sort of perfect scenario, you’d
need to know which half of the deck started the stack, but seeing the first few cards
come off the top after the new shuffle would tell you that. Being able to do this while playing blackjack
would be like playing with all of the cards face-up… you’d know what the dealer has
and know what’s coming next. Shuffle tracking is one of the hardest skills
to master for advantage players, and many who attempt it end up losing money instead
of making it. Obviously, this would be a skill most used
in single-deck, hand-shuffled games. Very few players even attempt to use it in
games with an automatic shuffling machine, and for good reason. A few players HAVE claimed to be able to acquire
an automatic shuffling machine and learn how it works well enough to track a shuffle through
it, but that’s just conjecture. We cannot verify if that’s true, but a mechanical
machine has to operate in a set way over and over again, so there might be at least a grain
of possibility to it. That said, if you want to explore this type
of advantage play, we’d suggest mastering hand-shuffled games before attempting to transfer
your skills to an automated machine. Before we get into the how for shuffle tracking,
let’s answer a very important question… Is shuffle tracking profitable? If you learn how to do it well and are able
to time adjusting the size of your bets when a group or “slug” of high cards is coming,
then yes. If you midjudge the timing and raise your
bets at the wrong time, it could have the opposite effect. Long-term profit comes with a real price on
this strategy. It can, however, be helpful to know where
a group of tens might be in the deck if the dealer has an Ace showing and offers insurance. We’ve said it’s a sucker’s bet before,
but if you know that you’re in the middle of a group of face cards… it can be a profitable
move. So… can you do it? Could you pull it off? Shuffle tracking is one of the most difficult
advantage play methods used by casino players and is definitely harder than counting cards. Few people ever actually master this method. But the only way you can find out is if you
try. Even if you can’t do it to the extent of
the masters, you might still be able to use the basics to gain a quick advantage from
time to time. Let’s say you’re playing a single or double
deck, hand-shuffled blackjack game and one round of cards has three Aces, seven face
cards and only two low cards. You should watch how they are picked up and
placed in the discard tray. Let’s say one of those cards is the Ace
of Diamonds, and you see it gets placed on the top of the discard stack with the other
11 cards we just described directly below it. Unless the dealer does a truly thorough job
of shuffling, you can expect that group of face cards to come out of the deck shortly
after the Ace of Diamonds. Simply knowing that more high cards are coming
than low ones gives you an edge on the house and you can raise your bets accordingly. As you get better spotting these types of
situations, you’ll be able to start tracking two or three cards at a time. For instance, going back to that last example,
you might notice that the top three cards in the discard pile are the Ace of Diamonds,
then the King of Spades, and then the Jack of Hearts. Now you’d have even more information to
work with! You could even try and track a slug of cards
like the group just described through the shuffle. If you know roughly where it’s located,
you can cut the cards so they end up right at the top of the deck. That would allow you to bet big off the top
and back off as soon as the slug is gone. Even if learning to be a full-fledged shuffle
tracker is too hard for most players, just paying attention and being on the lookout
for an advantage can allow all blackjack players to use these techniques to gain an edge from
time to time. … We have plenty of additional videos and
articles for you to make sure you are the best blackjack player you can be… including
more within the “Advanced Blackjack” section… so make sure to check out
for even more on the game.

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