Washing the Cards...
  • Recently a friend and I played at an eastern casino for two days. The morning we checked out of our room my friend called my room at approx. 8am and said he was going over to play. I said I would meet him there. He is a red chip BS player and was up $120 gambling the first day. When I arrived at the casino (9:30) he told me he lost the $120 and was down about $50. I asked him what the hell happened so quick. He then tells me that when he arrived most of the tables were just being opened and the crew was opening all new decks (all 8D games) and washing the cards in preparation to start the day. As soon as the tables opened he began to play and immediately lost $150 during the first two shoes. He's a rec. player and I laughed saying that he got "Clumped." If I would have been there I would have told him to have breakfast and wait for an hour or so before he begins play when new cards are introduced to a game.

    I told him this happened to me last year during a trip to Las Vegas at the Casino Royale. Marvin was over seeing the game the some friends and I were playing and all hitting hands like crazy. Marvin came over and stopped the game and instructed the dealer to use new cards. Not knowing much about BJ at the time I continued to play and immediately lost all I had won in the previous two hours. In shourt, I will never again play a game for at least two hours after new cards are introduced because of the clumping. Does this make any aense?

    Thanks, Jim
  • Clumping doesn’t exist. It is only in your mind when you are losing hands. There is no difference between six new decks being introduced into play now or after two hours. There are all at random.
  • CLumping dosen't exist? Are you sure about that Alex?
  • Well, of course clumping exist.....it exist in every shoe game that you
    will ever play and to a lesser extend in short deck games, but not as
    many because you don't have as many cards. Random clumping is all
    a part of randomness. There is clumping in coin toss experiences because
    streaks happen, etc. What Alex was saying is they don't occur as a
    result of any shuffle or anything else that you can predict.
  • There's a controversy brewing in the blackjack world for long time. What's the controversy? It is the idea that systems based on non-random shuffles are a viable approach to beating the game of twenty-one.

    First, let's define a shuffle to be random when the following two conditions occur.
    1. After the shuffle any card is equally likely to be located any place in the deck, no matter where it was located before the shuffle began.
    2. For any particular card in the deck after the shuffle, the probability of any other card succeeding it is equally likely to all the remaining cards in the deck.
    Card clumping after the shuffle means that the cards which were near each other before the shuffle will still be near each other after the shuffle is completed, thus producing a non-random effect.

    All this could happen but it is not predictable as such to take advantage of. We have to assume that after the shuffle any card is equally likely to appear next. If you do not agree with this and try to predict clumping you will be playing this game at the funny farm because you will never be able to have a clear picture where you stand. You will not be able to bring yourself into the light of this 3D environment. You will never know where you are at.

    You will be better of using a valid card counting system and have your bets and play based on the TC. Also, have a huge bankroll like 2000 or more units to absorb standard deviation (flux). Always have your bet setup at quarter Kelly (K/4) or even less. At huge bankrolls we bet K/8 and still manage to make a substantial income per hour with 0.00% ROR
  • I believe that Wong in "Professional Blackjack" did a pretty good job of talking about card clumping. He pretty much says that there are only two ways that clumping occurs:

    1. In a single deck game

    2. In a shoe game with "incomplete" shuffling

    In single deck, he showed that using a riffle-riffle-strip-riffle shuffling pattern, or a pattern like it, you get a little bit of clumping. The biggest thing to do is track aces and the card before it, then there's a 47% change that the ace will show up within 6 cards after it. That's something, but not great. Most casino's do a more complex shuffling pattern, and single deck games are hard to come by.

    In shoe games, as long as the casino breaks them down into half decks, shuffles, and then interleaves, clumping is pretty much non-existent. Pretty much all casino's do this I believe.

    So, clumping happens to a small degree in single, or possibly even two-deck games, but in larger decks becomes statistically insignificant. I really don't believe in it. Neat idea, but most shuffles do a decent job of randomizing things.

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