Blackjack Continuous Shuffle Machines

If you’re new to blackjack but know it from TV or from playing a few hands with friends or online, you may think of it as a single-deck game. The truth is, most of the time the game is played with multiple decks. What’s more, the casinos often use continuous shuffling machines to keep the deck randomized, making card counting much more difficult. So are those bad for the player? In short, yes.

The more decks there are at a blackjack table, the more the odds favor the house. This is true even if you’re not counting cards, but if you are a counter, it makes a huge difference. Keep in mind, though, that the single-deck games usually have worse rules, including paying only 6 to 5 for a blackjack instead of 3 to 2. Those rules compensate for the better odds of fewer cards.

As for the continuous shuffling machines, since they randomly shuffle the discards after every around, that makes it more difficult to tell what cards are coming. It also keeps those bad cards coming back time and again. The biggest impact they make on the game, though, is simply the speed of play. If you are playing blackjack at a table using a continuous shuffling machine, on average you will play 20% more hands per hour than at a table where the dealer shuffles by hand. Since there is a house edge, more hands played means more money lost, on average.

For that reason, whenever possible, look for single-deck games where the dealer shuffles by hand. Beware of other rules made worse to compensate, though.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.