Question for Bojack regarding the Negative NRS
  • Bojack,

    In the casino where I play, when it is time to shuffle, all the cards in the 6-deck shoe are taken out and broken into about 4-5 stacks. The dealer then takes two stacks and shuffles them together into a new pile, but the problem is, the dealer repeats this process shuffling the remaining stacks into that same pile. I suppose this has some kind of dilution effect. After all the stacks have been shuffled into a newly formed 6-deck pile, the dealer breaks the pile into two 3-deck piles and shuffles them together to once again produce a 6-deck pile. This concludes the shuffle, and then the dealer asks for a cut.

    My question is, will the Negative NRS shuffle tracking method you described in this forum work in this type of complicated shuffle? If so, what is the procedure?

    I appreciate any help you can provide.
  • Deviance- The fact that you call this technique by its proper description, negative nrs shuffle, leads me to believe you have either heard of it or practiced it before. Which is good. At any rate with the shuffe you're talking about it is entirely possible to still use this technique. A couple of important points. First I would make sure to only track a strong negative packet, one that would still be effective with dilution. Secondly try to find a negative nrs no more than 1/2 a deck or less to track, the dealers picks are almost always that big no matter what shuffle they use. Lastly practice the exact way your casino shuffles at home to study the characteristics of how to track the cards. What you might want to do is get 6 decks of cards to make the same size shoe the casino uses. Than put together a strong negative packet of cards consisting of no more than 26 cards. Than take a colored marker and mark the edges of the packet on one side so that when you turn the shoe on its side you can clearly see the packet you want to track. Now put the packet anywhere in the shoe, and spin it so you can't see the colored side. Make a mental note where it is and begin the exact shuffle of your casino. When you're done cut the cards accordingly to where you feel you're putting the negative packet in play. Now turn the shoe around to the colored side to see if you were correct. Remember if the negative packet of cards is strong enough even if some of them get cut out during the shuffle process, sometimes they will still be worth playing, you just have to have an idea of what you're working with. I hope this helps, any questions I'll gladly help if I can. Good Luck.
  • Thank you Bojack for the instructive reply. I will be scouting my casino again this week to map out the precise shuffle method employed there, and then will start drilling myself at home using marked packets as you have suggested. I also have access to software that allows me to practice my cuts. I will report my progress here as I continue.

    On a side note, a few people have recommended Snyder's Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook to me. Do you recommend I purchase a copy or do you believe that enough advantage can be obtained through practising the negative nrs without it?
  • I apologize for the double post, but I have scouted my casino again tonight and I have mapped out the precise shuffling procedure:

    i) The letters A, B, C, D, E, F are stacks of approximately 1 deck in size, right before the shuffle it looks something like this:

    Discards
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E

    Remaining in shoe
    F


    ii) The remaining cards in the shoe are split into three and placed into the discards. So F becomes f1, f2, and f3. The composition now looks like this:

    A
    f1
    B
    f2
    C
    f3
    D
    E

    ii) The large stack of cards is now split into four different zones:

    Zone 1
    A
    f1

    Zone 2
    C
    f3

    Zone 3
    B
    f2

    Zone 4
    D
    E

    ii) The riffle-shuffling now begins using these steps:

    1. one third of Zone 1 is riffled with one third of Zone 2 to form a separate pile. Let's call it Zone X.
    2. one third of Zone 3 is riffled into the top portion of Zone X.
    3. one third of Zone 4 is riffled into the top portion of Zone X.
    4. Another third of Zone 1 is riffled into the top portion of Zone X.
    5. Step four is repeated with Zone 2, then Zone 3, then Zone 4.
    6. Steps 4 and 5 are repeated again leaving all cards now in Zone X

    iii) Zone X (now containing all the cards) is divided into two equal stacks. One half-deck from each stack is taken and riffled together into a new pile. This process repeats until all cards are in the new pile.

    iv) Player Cuts. Shuffle is complete.

    I have seen this method employed in another casino in my area. In addition, the dealer doesn't seem to pick the zones randomly; it is in this order everytime.
  • Hey Deviance thats a pretty in depth outline of a shuffle there. To break it down what you've got there is basically a two pass shuffle. On average if you are trying to track 1/2 a deck by the time the shuffle is done the packet you're trying to follow will be located in about two decks of cards. That can still be very good if you started with a strong negative packet to begin with. Say you started with a -12 track. Even diluted into 2 decks you could confidently bet at least 6 or 7 units for those 2 decks. But always remember its more important to realize if the dealer split up the packet than to worry about the dilution. If they stay together than you have a great chance it will be effective. If the dealer splits up the packet too much than let it go and wait for another chance. If you don't you could be betting very bad at that point. Also shuffletracking works best with less people at the table, and is very effective if you can play head to head with the dealer. With a lot of people at the table you'll get fewer of the hands you worked so hard on tracking. There is also a good chance the good cards could fall around you instead of in your hand. Good luck with it, be sure to practice alot before you try it in a csaino, and let me know how you make out with it. As a matter of fact we were just very successful using this in a casino in CT. They have one of the easier shuffles to track, and with games with poor penetration, this more than makes up for it.
  • Thanks Bojack. I've been practising quite a bit lately to try to improve my visual acuity. I have a few questions: what percent of a packet must stay intact for the packet to be playable? In other words, how many cards from (for example) a 12 card packet must stay together after a shuffle to make it worth cutting to and betting?

    My bankroll is currently sufficient for a $5 table limit in terms of ROR. These tables, however, are usually full. I'm thinking if my bankroll could support an advantageous move to a slightly higher limit containing fewer players (usually 4 at most). I suppose I could even "backtrack" a shoe since the pit boss would not understand the logic behind my wonging-in at the shuffle; in fact, I could probably backtrack a packet into the discards, note its position, leave the table and return 30 minutes later when it is time to shuffle. This certainly beats backcounting.
  • Deviance- The percentage of the packet that is acceptable to use varies by the strength of the negative nrs to begin with. If it gets split up basically you need to do the math(which could be found in my more than counting post) to figure out if its still stong enough to use. I personally don't use anything that doesn't call for betting at least 4 units. As for moving to a higher limit table that could be okay as long as you still keep the same size unit, but with the larger bet you are able to play at the higher limit. Like if your unit is $5, with the shuffletrack it calls to bet 8 units, thats $40. Now its okay to play lets say at $25 table because your still playing with your bankroll unit even though the the table limit is higher. But remember when the cards you're tracking are done get up and leave. #1 reason being the count will now be terrible to bet with and #2 you'll now be betting over your unit amount. It sounds like to me you really have a good grasp on the technique, just keep practicing and I think you're going to do fine. Good Luck

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