More than counting
  • This is a message to any frustated counters out there--what did you expect? You know who you are. You're the one who talks about counting and how its about the long term goal, and at the same time wonder how some supposed knucklehead can win all that money just by luck. I hear it all the time, I even read it on this forum. Well maybe I'm that knucklehead sitting next to you. Maybe I counted down the same shoe as you, except you thought it was a horrible negative shoe and I used it to my advantage. Thats called shuffle tracking and if used correctly can produce big gains fairly quickly. You still need to know how to count and be able to figure out true counts and betting amounts, but why after accomplishing that do you need to stop learning. The MIT teams of the 90's made people want to count cards, but they didn't win millions by just card counting. That was only the foundation for so many other techniques that they mastered. They won big and they won fast. Any typical card counter will tell you thats not whats happening with them. Counting definitely works, math cannot lie. But math will also tell you it won't be a quick way to make money. And thats okay, all I'm saying is if you're happy with your game, thats great, you're better off than most. If not, don't be lazy, learn more. If you learned to count the rest will easy, just practice.
  • hmm, well how do you shuffle track with an automatic shuffeling machine?
  • I myself do not know anyway to shuffle track with an automatic shuffling machine. I really don't play with those that often, but when I do, its usually with just a straight counting game, and maybe an oppurtunistic cut game once in a while, those can also be great if you get the chance.
  • How does shuffle tracking work? Are you trying to follow a few aces or 10's in a clump? It seems to me you would have to know more than that to make it effective.
  • so were can i leanr how to count card.. plz email me at [email]gotnone05@hotmail.com[/email] if u know how or know were can i get the info im looking for.
  • Tribute said:
    How does shuffle tracking work? Are you trying to follow a few aces or 10's in a clump? It seems to me you would have to know more than that to make it effective.


    Shuffle tracking works by following a section of high cards (or even low cards) and cutting them into play for the next shoe (or out of play if the section is low cards).

    There are quite complicated mathematical calculations but, basically, if you play a 6-deck shoe and end with a running count of, say +10, and the cutoff is 1 deck, then you know that the last deck has a +10 count. If the dealer now shuffles that deck with another deck you know that the 2 decks are comprised of a +10 count deck and a deck you are not sure about. To guestimate the count of the other deck then you say that the other 5 decks have to have a count of -10 overall. (To balance out). So, you assume that the other deck is -10/5 = -2 count.

    So, you play that double-deck portion as though it has a count of +10 mixed in with -2 i.e. a doubledeck game with a +8 count.

    Using this method allows you to bet big off the top and near the beginning of the shoe which adds a certain amount of camouflage to your play.

    Hope this helps.
  • Before anyone gets carried away, I recommend that no one attempt shuffle tracking unless you're already an expert card counter. There's a lot to it.
  • Can anyone recommend any books or websites that go into further detail teach shuffle tracking?
  • Geoff,
    It seems to me your success would also depend upon the dealer's hand shuffling ability (or lack thereof), whether you are on a crowded table or not, and the dealer would have to be willing to always allow YOU to cut the deck. I respect those players who can pull this off! How much added advantage can a good shuffle tracker expect?
  • The system I use for tracking is similar, but does vary slightly. Say your playing a 6 deck shoe. I find the most powerful system is the negative track. So your counting down the shoe, and you come upon a high concentration of negative cards. This can happen anywhere in the shoe. You need to mentally mark the spot in the discard tray where they they were. Three things you must remember when the shoe is done, how many negative cards, in how much of the shoe, and where in the shoe are they. Lets say there was -13 in 1/2 a deck of cards. It can get complicated because it doesn't mean the count had to be -13, it could have been +4 and gone to -9 in that 1/2 a deck. So now when they shuffle watch that packet of 1/2 a deck very closely to see where it goes. After the shuffle that 1/2 deck could now be mixed with another 1/2 deck of random cards. Thats fine. Now you must get the cut card so you can cut that deck to the front. Ask for it, beg for it, promise good luck to all, just get it. If your persistent I promise most people will give up the card, they just want to play and not hear you complain. After that you must find out the count. You need to figure how many extra small cards there are per deck now the you have a high concentration in your packet. Divide 5 1/2 (thats the remaing decks not counted, you already counted 1/2 a deck) into 13. You get roughly 2.5. That tells you there is an extra 2.5 small cards per deck. But since you only added 1/2 deck to your already counted 1/2, you only have 1 1/4 extra small cards. which rounded off would make make your running and true count 12 because this only for one deck. In theory you should now bet 11 units but I find that too aggressive. I would bet at least 8 or 9 though. So start your running count at 12 and bet accordingly. You'll know you you did it right if the count goes down in that deck you placed in front. Thats due to the high concentration of high cards you already know are in there. When the deck is done though,you're done. That count was only accurate for the cards you tracked. After that bet the minimum and try to find another one, or if it worked use the same one next shoe. I hope I explained it okay its easier to visually explain. Just practice a lot before you try it, and be conservative until you know for sure you got it right.
  • Tribute said:
    Geoff,
    It seems to me your success would also depend upon the dealer's hand shuffling ability (or lack thereof), whether you are on a crowded table or not, and the dealer would have to be willing to always allow YOU to cut the deck. I respect those players who can pull this off! How much added advantage can a good shuffle tracker expect?


    Yes, you are quite right, shuffle tracking is far more effective with less complicated shuffles. Furthermore, some casinos split up the discards and place them throughout the remaining decks so this makes it difficult to use the discards as the basis for the tracking. In these cases I would tend to monitor the first deck that has been dealt out of a fresh shoe and look out for extreme +'ve or -'ve counts.

    One casino that I used to play at would shuffle and strip the cards so much because they were paranoid of Ace locators. However, they continuously shuffled the same cards over and over again without really spreading the cards around. It was ideal shuffle tracking conditions and they never had a clue as to what I was doing.

    If you can get the cut card quite often then it means that you are involved in more +'ve counts during your play. Of course, this tends to increase the variance of your results but it will overall produce a much higher profit than regular counting. How much I'm not sure but I would guess that it at least doubles your expected win rate (in the right conditions). If you can cut high cards into play then most players will experience a 'good shoe' and may actually insist that you cut again as you are lucky.

    Finally, one thing that really hurts a card counter is when a clump of high cards are wedged behind the cut card. The count rises but the small cards keep coming out. Effective shuffle tracking should reduce, or even eliminate, these occurences.
  • Ok I'm sold on shuffle tracking. Now I want to learn and practice this method you use.

    I am trying to remember the order of which things work in casino as far as the way things move and the order of which things are done.

    The dealers burn card goes in last right? Player makes the cut first?

    Secondly when the player makes the cut:
    Where ever you make that cut... from that point on back gets shifted to the front right? So you would always want to make your cut infront of the deck you want to move forward? right?

    Sorry, I'm just having a senior moment on recalling the order and movement of all this. I wanna be sure I am practicing it right.
  • Me again with more questions...

    Ok, I am going back and trying to picture everything you are saying in your shuffle tracking steps. I follow everything up to this:

    Bojack1 said:
    But since you only added 1/2 deck to your already counted 1/2, you only have 1 1/4 extra small cards.



    Also, one more thing, just to make sure I am following you right.... the "13" you used in your example is the number of negative cards in that half deck we are watching? It's not necessarily a "card count", but an inventory of the number of negative cards we saw that happend to be clumped together. So that could have ment when the count was +4 there were 13 "advantage" cards that followed after that point. Right?
  • Actually it means there are more than 13 high cards in that 1/2 deck If there were only 13 the other cards in that 1/2 deck would all have to been 7, 8, and 9's to keep it at -13. But when you do the math you're figuring what the count is in the shoe, minus the the 1/2 a deck you already counted. It becomes a + count based on whats remaining in the other decks. You are correct about how to cut the cards,with one exception. If the packet of cards you want is on the top of the shoe, you're going to want to cut off a small amount off the back, about 1 deck.Than just play through that normally, watch the discard tray, when there is about 1 deck in there you know your cards are coming next and start betting according to what you figured for them. Please remember it is very important to know how many cards are in the packet of cards you tracked, because when they're done the large bets are too. At this point you need to add -13(thats for this example, its whatever the negative count was that you tracked) So if you continue betting the same way you would be playing badly. So either sit out the rest of the shoe, or bet the minimum. If you find another one great, if not count the next shoe like normal. Good Luck
  • In a multi deck shoe game, I've seen players cut less then one deck only to have the cut-card rejected. Most of the time, the dealer will only except a cut of more then one deck. In the event the cut of less then one deck is excepted, I hear players say "thin to win." Is there any advantage to the players if the cut is less then one deck?
  • In a shoe game, a player cutting less than one deck will usually have the cut card rejected. The dealer will ask that the player cut more than one deck. if a cut of less than one deck is accepted, other players will say "thin to win". Is there any documented proof that a thin cut is an advantage to the players?
  • "Thin to win" is just a blackjack superstition. If your not shuffle tracking or playing some type of cut game, where you saw a card and are trying to place it in your hand, it makes absolutely no difference where you cut the shoe. The odds are the same before the deal. What does matter is where the dealer cuts the shoe. If the dealer only cuts a small amount off the back, and lets say you get a shoe with 80% penetration, than if you're counting, you have a higher degree of accuracy which in turn gives you a better chance of winning, as long as you bet properly with the count.
  • Bojack The techniuques that I've read posted by you, and your take on the whole cheating issue, reminds me of someone I've heard of. Do you know who I'm talking about? Is he you, or are you just following his style of play? And do you play in Vegas much?
  • Andee, Those are very general questions you are asking. I have no idea who you think I am. But honestly I don't know who you are, so basically I'm just Bojack1. As for my style of play, its really the same as alot of advantage players out there. I didn't invent it I just play it. Please take no offense, but if I wanted to be known I'd have used my real name. If I do know you than you can private message me proof of it. And no I don't get out to Vegas much anymore. I hope I don't sound rude with my answers, but the questions seemed a little offbeat.
  • Post Deleted........Moderator

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