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Shuffle Tracking: How it can benefit

Developed around the 1990ís, shuffle tracking has become a popular new expansion to card counting. It includes all the techniques as mentioned in card counting 101 and advanced Blackjack strategies, with the addition of keeping track of the deck of cards. Shuffle tracking involves factors such as clumps of cards, both good and bad, where particular cards fall in the deck, how many hands have been won, and how many have been lost within a certain amount of game play. By knowing these factors a player has the potential to take their card counting to the next level. There are better odds in knowing where key cards are, and by knowing the cuts you will have a better picture on when to wager high and low.

To understand Shuffle Tracking lets take a look at a Blackjack game starting with the first round of a shuffle. The cards are broken into 4-8 piles, (depending on the number of decks,) the individual piles are shuffled then placed together. In this example the first half of the game many cards with a ten value are played, leaving many low value cards in the second half of the deck. When the dealer reshuffles, the clump of low valued cards end up in the top half of the deck and remain roughly together. If the dealer asks you to cut the deck, you will know the low value cards are near the top, in which case you would want to cut the deck near the centre to place those cards at the bottom of the stack. Now you will have a higher probability knowing the lower clump is buried deeper in the card stack giving you a higher probability of a better hand. Although it is more difficult for dealers to point out players who are shuffle tracking, it is also harder for a Blackjack player to become proficient at shuffle tracking.

As difficult as it is to pick up the shuffle tracking techniques, it will offer you 2 main benefits in the game of Blackjack. It will allow you to track low valued cards and take them out of play. This will give you better probabilities in receiving the cards you want. The other benefit is that it allows the player to track additional information on different regions of play. With this information at your disposal you can have a rough idea of hot spots and bad spots within the deck. Before entering a land casino and attempting shuffle tracking it is recommended to practice as much as possible. As with all Blackjack strategies, the greatest key to mastering this technique and being proficient with it is to practice as much as possible. The more exposure you have to shuffle tracking, the easier it will become for you to read a Blackjack deck and give you the information you are looking for. Knowing good parts and bad parts of the deck may not increase your probability dramatically but it can still increase the probability in your favor if mastered and done efficiently.

Here are some other Blackjack strategies:

Basic Blackjack strategy: The basics of Blackjack you need to know

Advanced Blackjack strategy: An example of more advanced Blackjack strategy including card counting.

Card counting: Learning effective ways to keep track of cards.

 
 
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