• I just started playing BJ a while ago, and i'm not into card counting yet. I came to this site and i read that on tables w/ CSMs we cna't get an advantage? and can anyone please clarify CSM? is it a black machine where there's a placement hole in the top and after a few hands the dealer puts the discards bck there? What if the casino only has CSM tables? and i only use basic stragety? Thanks for the help ahead of time :wink:
  • NC1616:
    - CSM's are "Continuous Shuffle Machines" and your description is accurate.
    - No, you cannot get an advantage over the house with them.

  • so the only way to play is using basic strategy?
  • The Halifax Casino uses ASM (not CSM) and hand shuffle about 50/50 on the main floor.

  • Does anyone know about the casinos in vancouver BC? (only CSMs)?>?????
  • The machines I've seen here only shuffle after the shoe is done. The dealer reloads the old deck and pulls the newly shuffled one. Sometimes the machines break down and I have hit the tables with manual shuffling :D
  • In Vancouver it seems that all the Great Canadian Casinos use CSM's. The only places left with hand shuffling are owned by Gateway Casino.

    This means that to count cards in the Vancouver area you need to go to Burnaby or New Westminster. The rules are 6 deck, Hit soft 17, 75% penetration, Late Surrender, Double after split, No resplit aces.

    Most of the casinos in Washington seem to be hand dealt and many offer two deck games. Athough beware that many of the two deck games have rules that are actually worse that the 6 deck games (no double after split, double only 10 and 11, Hit soft 17).
  • r those rules for CSM talbes or are they the ones for hand shuffle?
  • Hand Shuffle Rules: Royal Towers Casino - New Westminster, Royal City Start Riverboat Casino - New Westminster, and Gateway Casino -Burnaby.
  • Pechanga Casino here in Temecula California uses mostly 4 Deck CSM's,
    and most of the time,
    the Cards come out fairly evenly distributed,
    with the Dealers Busting about 25% of the time/1 out of every 4 Hands = very common Pattern.
  • My new book will tell when it is to your advantage to use CSM's and when not to. It should be out in January 2006..... In the mean time keep playing however you want..... "UncleNorm"
  • Sounds like a _very_ thin book:

    Q: "When is it to your advantage to play CSM games?"

    A: "never"

  • stainless..... did you write a book???/

    I guess if we don't agree with you we are wrong..... it is a pleasure to be able to converse with a perfect person....
  • Sorry unclenorm, but I'm with the rat. You can't argue with math.
  • unclenorm:

    You need to lighten up.

    First, a CSM is a terrible game to play. It can not be beat, by counting or anything else.

    Second, my comment was made in jest, although the point was perfectly serious.

    No idea what you are talking about when you say "I guess if we don't agree with you we are wrong..."

    Do you believe CSM is beatable?

    Please post some actual math to prove it. Counting gives an edge in normal games, and this can be proven (See Griffin's book). CSMs can not be beaten. And I am _not_ the only person that says so.

    So, waiting for some actual "content" to support beating a CSM, rather than just insults...
  • BTW, I should add that my career is in Computer Science. I've been a university faculty member since 1970. I have written several book chapters. I have written dozens of journal articles. I have given dozens of conference paper presentations.

    Not that I see whether I have "written a book or not" has anything to do with the question being asked here...
  • To be fair to unclenorm, he didn't say you could get an advantage in
    CSM games. Actually, whether you play a CSM depends on your skill
    level and/or your objective.

    If you count cards, naturally, you want play CSM's.
    If you are a good basic strategy player and just play for fun and as
    long as you can, you want play CSM's.

    But, If you came to the casino with the objective to lose or win money,
    regardless of time,you will play CSM's. There is nothing wrong with that
    as long as you know the risk.
  • Here is my take.

    A while back, and I am not sure where I followed this, someone on ap.com or someplace discussed the idea that a CSM game is _slightly_ better for a BS player, because of the changes to EoR since the cards just played are re-entered into the "mix" very quickly.

    However, they also did the basic math that concluded:

    1. CSM had a _slightly_ lower house advantage than the same game, same rules, hand shuffled.

    2. Unfortunately, the CSM game goes faster, giving more rounds per hour since there is no down-time for shuffling, and this more than offset the slightly lower house advantage, making this game _worse_ for the pure BS player in a real casino.

    The conclusion was "for a given set of rounds" CSM is preferable to a hand-shuffled game, as the house edge is slightly lower than for hand-shuffling. But that comparison is bogus because it compares N rounds in a CSM game to N rounds in a hand-shuffled game. It did not factor in the additional rounds per hour.

    Now, for my own discussion:

    let's say that we are looking at a 6D shoe with a house advantage of .5%, fairly typical. And lets say that CSM lowers that to .4%. Good or bad? Let's see if we can figure that out.

    I want to compare two values:

    M * .5 * average bet where M is the number of rounds played in the hand-shuffled game

    N * .45 * average bet, where N is the number of rounds played in the CSM game.

    My first contention, based on playing the things, is that N is > M. Now rather than make up numbers, I'll ask for input here. Let's choose a hand-shuffled game with a full table of 6 players including us. How many rounds per hour? with 6 players, or 7 hands per round, that is 7 * 2.6 cards on average, or 18.2 cards per round. Figure 4.5 decks played out of 6 (75% penetration) which is 234 cards. Or 12 rounds per shuffle. Now, someone give me a time for a single round, dealing, playing decisions, payoffs. I'd say 60 seconds but will take whatever is suggested. Next, how long to shuffle? Suppose we try 2 minutes? Seems quick but I've never timed them as I don't play a lot of shoe games myself. So figure four shoes per hour, dealing 48 rounds per player. Feel free to adjust those assumptions if you have better data.

    So a BS player in the hand-shuffled game will lose 48 * .005 * 10 (assuming $10 flat betting) which costs you $2.40 per hour to play based on the house edge of .5%.

    Now on to the CSM game. Those four shuffle breaks won't exist, and we play an extra 8 rounds (again my 2 minutes seems quick to shuffle 8 decks with the usual at least 2-pass stepladder type shuffle plus getting the cards squared, cut, and into the shoe).

    So the CSM player plays 56 rounds, which gives a cost of
    56 * .0045 * 10 = $2.52.

    Based on my numbers above, the CSM game loses 12 cents per hour more than the hand-held game. With several assumptions. First, I doubt the .45 vs .5 house advantage, but I did a quick look and could not find a good number for the lowered house advantage in a CSM game. Perhaps someone here knows. Second, the time to shuffle, cut, etc, seems pretty quick at 2 mins, but I'm not sure.

    Based on the above, CSM is worse assuming those numbers are in the right ballpark. If anything changes, (say the shuffle takes 3 mins rather than 2, and I have played 6D games where a 3 pass shuffle was used, or the house advantage for the CSM is .46 rather than .45 for the hand-shuffled game (that sounds more reasonable but I don't know) then the CSM only gets worse.

  • SSR, I always enjoy yor input here mate...Thanx A Million!!!...
    As for the $0.12c difference, I say BFD!!!...
    IF anyone is "worried" about a $0.12c Loss,
    then they should definitely NOT be Playing Blackjack!!!...
    I always prefer a one-on-one Hand-Shuffled DD game,
    but sometimes the 4 Deck CSM tables are all that's available in my area...
    Most of the time, the Cards are very fairly Distributed.
  • Remember that was based on a $10 average bet. Move up to $100, and it becomes a couple of bucks.

    But _never_ fail to remember one important detail. For a card counter, the edge is _thin_. _very_ thin. A few cents here and there and it might be gone completely.

    However, for me, as a card counter, CSMs are simply out of the realm of my play. I notice 'em, but have not played one in several years. I've occasionally watched family or friends play, but I no more play CSMs than I play 6:5 crapjack or spanish 21.

    I enjoy the "process" immensely, keeping in mind that there is sometimes very little to enjoy on the losing streaks from hell. But the overall "idea" is one I find attractive. The game is fun. The environment is interesting. You meet all kinds of people. And you make money over the long-haul (not a lot in my case, but enough to keep me playing, and one day when I retire, and the MS coast and NO are back in operation, I might "move up" a bit and try to take little more away. :)
  • SSR, have you read Ian Anderson's book,"Burning The Tables..."???...
    For me,
    it was very refreshing to discover that there are,
    in fact,
    other Successful Blackjack players who "dare" to think "outside the box"...
    Also, for me,
    the FREE Soft Drinks, Fruit Juice, and Bottled Water "Cover" the extra $$$ costs, etc...

    Hey, when I'm Day Trading, each individual Trade costs $9.99,
    and THAT is the LAST thing on my Mind when I Buying or Selling a Stock.
  • Two $10 basic strategy players go to the casino for a 4 hour session.
    One plans to play head to head @ 100 hands per hour. The other will
    play a full table @ 50 hands an hour. After four hours they both had
    losing sessions, but the individual playing head to head lost $200 vs
    the full table players $100( in proportion to the number of hands played).
    Next day they come back for another 4 hour session and this time they
    win. The head to head player won $400 vs $200 for the full table player.
    once again a proportional difference in the number of hands played.

    The above is an idealistic example, but it does show that the idea that
    playing slower as a player positive is bogus. In both cases, the two
    players will lose in the long-term, but the short-term can vary quite a
    bit. This example has the same relationship as comparing a hand
    shuffle game to a CMS game. One is faster than the other....so what.
    Playing faster does not alter the HA or yours.

    Basic strategy players don't play for the long-term. Why should they when the results is already known? Card counters are the players that try to
    play large numbers of hands in the shortest possible times so that the tiny
    edge can have a chance to take hold. B/S players don't worry about this
    type of thing........................
  • I have often "thought outside the box". I've found some interesting things about RFID chips, but not for a public message board. I've also done some shuffle-tracking, and a few other things...

    But for AP concepts, the CSMs are simply no-man's-land except maybe for a very few like "alienated" (a well-known AP that studied CSMs enough to be able to actually beat 'em in a casino). I was simply showing that even though CSMs may slightly reduce the house edge, they probably increase the house hold by providing more rounds per hour.
  • I hate these "scratchpad" mouse replacements on laptops...

    I didn't quite follow your speed discussion. If I am playing a -EV game, then you will never convince me that playing faster is no worse for me than playing a slower game.

    hold = house_advantage * average_bet * number_of_rounds_played

    The HA and bets won't change, but increasing the number of rounds played is going to kill me.

    Your two examples are broken, because based on those two samples, the game is a +EV game and there faster is definitely better, hence why I want to play heads-up myself whenever possible. But the long-term trend for BS is negative. Of course gamblers are gamblers, and they believe in streaks and all the other voodoo concepts that have nothing to do with real BJ games. And, I guess, they are not going to pay attention to the idea that a pure BS player ought to play as slowly as possible to reduce his/her hourly loss...

    The point of my previous post was that in the "hold" formula, if you change two numbers at once, as in reducing the HA but increasing the rounds per hour, one needs to be sure he understands whether the entire product got smaller or larger. Just noticing that someone has posted that playing a CSM slightly lowers the house edge can be misleading and let someone conclude "Hey, I don't count, this is my best chance game..." But it isn't...
  • If you play slow to reduce your hourly loss then you reduce the potential
    to win as well. Why play at all? The only possible reason is that you are
    playing for the "fun" of it and want to reduce your cost.

    Then there are the gamblers who know their odds and know that the
    chance to win is just under 50% and are willing to gamble.

    As for money, there is no advantage in playing slower...period because
    all B/S players are gamblers, like it or not.
  • I don't disagree with your characterization of "gamblers".

    But in giving them advice, I still stick to the idea of "slower is better" because their long-term prognosis is losing. And slower games lose less... And I do know quite a few of these types of players that just enjoy the game. And when I pointed out that if they played at a slower table, they'd get the _same_ level of enjoyment, the _same_ level of comps, while losing less money, most understood that and followed that advice...
  • My only point- If your only chance to win is "good" luck, what possible difference could playing slow have......The ans must be none.

    Regarding CSM's....don't play the damn things..If for no other reason than
    saying NO to the casino business.
  • You are not thinking "statistically".

    Which would you rather do if your goal is to "win big" at blackjack, using pure BS?

    (1) bet your entire bank on the first hand, with a winning probability of something like 47%?

    (2) bet the table min until you win big or bust out?

    (2) is a guaranteed way to lose it all. (1) has an almost coin-toss chance of doubling your bank in one round. Playing more hands is simply bad, it makes sure that the house gets closer to the "long run" which is going to drain your bankroll..
  • Stainless..... amazing we have backgrounds that are very much the same..... I to have a California Teachers Credentials for Computer Science and have taught both High School and College in the Los Angeles/Orange country areas.... And my son is the head of the math department for a major mid-west college. So see myself and my family are no dummies either...... now I'll quit bragging...... and go play at Pauma with the CSM table..... (only kidding)
  • I'd like to throw this hat in the ring.

    Up here in the NE corner of the US, the two CT Casinos use a 4-deck CSM as opposed to a 6 or 8 deck shoe. My experiences with it are posted here. These CSM's are unusual, in that usually CSM's are 5 or 6 decks.

    My observations here are that theres about 32 rounds per hour at a shoe and 48 per hour CSM at full tables of 7+Dealer.

    EV * Rounds for the shoe game is 32 * -.0033 or -.0106
    EV * Rounds for the 4d CSM is 48 * -.0028 or -.0134 a 26% increase
  • Nickels- I assume that you may play CSM's at times and if so, how do
    you play them?
  • unclenorm, maybe you could post a hint here on what method you are using to beat CSM's and it would give us an idea. If you have the background that you say, you have to know that CSM's foul-up card counters and any progressive betting system isn't going to get you an edge. Granted you don't want to give away your book, but give us at least the category of the method that you propose in beating CSM's -- is it a counting method? progression? card tracking? You'll never convince anyone here that your method is valid without some more details given the inherent implausibility of it.
  • I believe in percentage playing...... see surftec's post back a month or so and you will be very close to how I play..... Read Cline's book on blackjack and you will all so see something close to how I play..... If I were to write a program to play blackjack I would use the computer clock as part of my random suffle........ You have to know the percentage of winning/busting your own hand verses the percentage of the dealers hand winning/busting..... then use common sense as to what to do and develope your own chart if you need to. Just don't try to tell this to most players at a table because they bought the little card for $1.50 and by God that is the only way to play and if you vary from that or don't take the advice from Mr/Ms dealer (the $7.50 per hour guy) you are costing them money.
    The one thing I won't do is ask Mr. $7.50 for advice on what to do with my hard earned money even though I look at blackjack as entertainment more than a money maker.
  • the thing is, if you do _not_ count, you don't have to ask Mr. (Dr. actually) $7.50 what to do. What to do is _well_ known. It is called basic strategy, and any deviation only increases your loss rate, nothing more...
  • The Greatest thing about CSM's is that you get 100% Penetration!!!...LOL
  • Ray:

    on the occasions that I play them I use A5 as a quit indicator. When the score reaches -4, I do not play. This sounds rather odd, but its due to the CSM being set to 3/4 deck before calling for cards. There is an actual penetration of 20%. On slower weekdays, you can sometimes get 3-4 hands in b/4 a shuffle. At a full table... only 2 hands. Nonetheless, I find myself sitting out about 1 in 4 hands. Wierd. I figure I'm reducing the HA a little bit... maybe 0.23% instead of 0.28%.

    I can use a progression, or play Basic. Usually table min. is $10 or $15, when the shoe games are $25.

    At a shoe, I use an A5 quit point of -6 (no play -6 or less), and knock off a substantial chunk of the HA form 0.33% to 0.13%.

    So even then the shoe game is better, but sometimes I'd rather play for $10 instead of $25.
  • SSR asked, "Do you believe CSM is beatable?"...Absolutely :

    "Stanford Wong was one of the first to beat the Continuous Shuffle Machines (CSM's).
    When the first generation of Continuous Shufflers were introduced at the Mirage,
    two teams of professional card-counters,
    one led by Stanford Wong, beat the casinos,
    making off with tens of thousands of dollars before the casino removed the machines.
    Needless to say refinements have been made to the Continuous Shuffle Machines since then.
    Many believe they are still beatable, however, if you learn their shuffle patterns"...
    quote from The History of Blackjack website at :

    For me, the Delayed & Limited Progression/Regression
    has proven to be the most consistently effective CSM Strategy so far :
    Example : 5, 5, 5, 25, 50, 100, 200.
  • I know of a couple that can beat a CSM. "Alienated" (posts on several web sites) has apparently studied the patents, and then an actual CSM machine, to learn / discover flaws in how its shuffle is not completely random. But if you don't know how to do that, these machines are _not_ beatable. A progression has absolutely no chance of beating any BJ game, much less a CSM game. Counting in any form is no good either...
  • Lately, at the Indian Casinos here in Southern California (Pala, Pauma, Pechanga, and Harrah's Rincon),
    I have been having a great time playing the 4 and 5 Deck CSM's
    which are very common now...

    Most of the time, the Cards are definitely fairly "Balanced",
    with a very consistent and exploitable W/L Trend "Pattern"
    of 2 to 3 Wins, then 2 to 3 Losses, etc...

    CSM = very easy to beat with a Delayed and Limited Progression.
  • I've been reading Surfteq's posts for some months now and have come to the conclusion that he works for the casino or owns stock in them.

    I feel rather sorry for any new person joining the board taking his posts very seriously.

    Case in point: "CSM = very easy to beat with a Delayed and Limited Progression."

    You will beat the CSM some days but in the long run you will lose.
  • I'm beginning to agree with Ray's comment. We are beginning to see a lot of voodoo, witchcraft and superstition building up here. There is no possible money management scheme that can win at 21 by itself. The famous Martengale will work, except that the house has a max table limit that cuts it off. Unless you can find a no-table-limit game, and you have a bankroll that can stand starting at $1 and losing a large number of consecutive hands (32 straight losses will see you betting $4,000,000,000.00 for your next bet) then money-management is not the answer. Progressions are the question. "no" is the answer.

    I hope we don't have to waste a whole lot of time discussing this business about "streaks happen and a progression can be used to win them" and other such voodoo...
  • Hey Skunk...I do NOT work for any Casino,
    nor do I own any stock in any Casino...
    I am a Day-Trader (not "Investor") and a Casino Bettor,
    and the info that I post is what works best for me,
    even if it doesn't "work" for anyone else.

    The "Acid Test" of the Validity of any Strategy,
    is whether or not it WORKS in a Real Casino,
    with Real Cards, Real People, and Real Money.
  • No the acid test is whether the result can be proven, or duplicated by others, or what-ever. "feeling like you are winning more than you are losing" is not the same thing as _actually_ winning more than you are losing.

    I personally know just how hard it is to win at this game. It is not a trivial task, the bankroll swings are gigantic, and sometimes losing streaks last for weeks or months. But I trust the math, and keep playing exactly the same way round after round, and the probability/statistics eventually "comes around" and the win rate reaches expectation.

    If someone talks about winning 19 of 20 sessions, I _know_ they are not a serious 21 player. If needed, it is not hard to compute the probability of winning 19 of 20 sessions, given that a session starts at zero, with an EV of -.005 per round, and the session ends when it reaches +100 or -500. But I can tell you that is way out in the +N*sigma range of probability theory where N is greater than 2 or 3 most likely, meaning that while it could happen, it is _very_ unlikely for it to happen. And certainly not likely to happen often...
  • First I must say that I do not mean to attack anyone and that I am always interested in alternate points of view but SSR hits the nail on the head in the previous post. Proof does not consisit of one persons' short term data. A theorm is varified only if the results can be replicated by others.
  • I have been reading about cms but not yet understand how it works. Steve Forte talks about those machines and card counting in Casino Game Protection. I haven' t the book. Someone knows how works One2six? Does works card counting with this machine? If is like that, how can use it? Thank you.

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