Posts Tagged ‘RNG’

Shuffle Tracking Online

Monday, April 26th, 2010

A lot of blackjack players use shuffle tracking in addition to card counting in order to gain an advantage when playing at a brick and mortar casino. Shuffle trackers look for slugs, which are an unshuffled group of cards, tack them throughout the deck, and alter their bets when the dealer gets to those slugs, since they will know what cards are coming.

However, neither card counting nor shuffle tracking works when playing online blackjack. The reason for that is simple: There is no real deck. Sometimes the online blackjack games will show a deck on screen and other times they won’t and you will only see the cards in play. Even if you see a deck on screen, though, it’s impossible to track cards in the deck because the deck you see is only a representation and not a real deck. Also, the cards that are dealt are randomized by a computer program called a random number generator rather than an actual shuffle.

The random number generator can be set different ways. Sometimes it has the effect of shuffling a deck every few hands and sometimes after every hand. Sometimes the online casinos tell you when the deck is being shuffled while other times they don’t. Whatever the case, counting cards and shuffle tracking are impossible when playing online blackjack.

In fact, no strategy that players have devised to gain an advantage at blackjack will work at an online casino. All of the techniques are thwarted by the technology. Instead, the best you can do is play with perfect basic strategy and lower the house edge to 0.5%.

Random Number Generators

Friday, February 12th, 2010

One of the ways in which online blackjack is different from playing at a brick and mortar casino is how the cards are dealt. In a brick and mortar casino, there is a croupier at the table who deals the cards to each player and shuffles the cards by hand, or using a shoe or other shuffling device. That shuffling ensures the randomness of the cards so everyone has an equal chance of winning.

With online casinos, there is no dealer and, technically speaking, there are no cards. There are only digital representations of cards that are given to you and the dealer. Instead of the decks being shuffled, the randomness is guaranteed by a computer program called a random number generator, sometimes called RNG for short.

A random number generator uses a complex algorithm to determine the outcome of which cards you are dealt. Simply put, the RNG produces a set of numbers hundreds of times every second, including when the game isn’t being played. Each set of numbers corresponds to a certain card. When you press the button to take a card determines what card you are dealt. Whatever number is selected by the RNG at that exact microsecond determines your card. The same goes for the dealer. Therefore, you can never accuse someone else of taking your card, because it would not have been your card.

The random number generator makes the card you are dealt impossible to predict, including by counting cards. When blackjack is played using a deck or multiple decks of cards, card counters can determine how likely they are to receive a 10-value card based on how many of those cards have been dealt already. With online blackjack, however, predicting your cards by counting them is impossible, because the RNG essentially acts as if the deck is being shuffled before every card is dealt.

So if you’re trying to count cards online, stop. It does no good. Instead, accept the fact that you can’t predict what card you or the dealer will be dealt (including the dealer’s hole card) and stick to blackjack basic strategy, which can reduce the house edge to 0.5%.