2-Deck(?) Pitch BJ


Well-Known Member
Hi Mayor:

Thanks for your detailed answers to the questions of a low-stakes, conservative, but serious player,(Oct. 14 post). As a retired math teacher, I find blackjack to be a fascinating hobby both for playing and studying. My original goals were entertainment, excitement, and mental excercise. Reaching the point where I expect to win in the long run, and beat the casino for a few hundred per year is a bonus. I doubt that anyone can make significant money playing the game that I am stuck with 95% of the time, an 8-deck game with a $100 table max.
A few days ago however, I played at a casino in central Michigan. Most of the tables were standard 6-deck games with poor penetration,(67%). (Dealers were using the width of the cut card to measure off four decks.) That was bad enough, but the real kicker was that wonging was impossible because if you entered mid-shoe you were only allowed to bet the table minimum for the rest of the shoe.
Then I noticed two tables labeled "Pitch Blackjack". The dealers were dealing from two decks in hand and double down on three cards was allowed. It looked good until I discovered that the cards were shuffled in an auto-shuffler that contained eight decks. It seems to me that this would be equivalent to an 8-deck game with 25% penetration.
I didn't think either of these games was worth playing, but I would appreciate you comments
Niether game is playable, but between the two the 8D handheld is worthless - the poor pene 6D game may have some possibilities - first of all, plan to use a very large spread - secondly, exit neg-counts early - lastly, check to see if you can follow the diluted cutoffs through the shuffle (ie, 'cutoff tracking' is the simplest form of shuffle-tracking, though rare to find a game that lends itself to this '1st-gen' ST technique) - if it does turn out to be a good cutoff tracker the poor pene is actually to your advantage.

Returning to the 8D handheld game - I invented an advantage play for those last january when I walked into a downtown LV club that treated me well - I saw what appeared to be a 2D empty table - as I got close I saw that the backs of the cards spread were the SAME color as the ones sitting for play in the 'random-ejection' shuffler, yet the obligatory "handheld/multideck sign" was NOT on the table - I threw out three max bets and the dealer dealt me three stiffs and himself a 10 - I looked up quizically and asked "when did you guys start dealing 2Ds face-up?" He answered "this isn't 2Ds this is 8Ds, handheld 8Ds" - I fiegned mock surprise "but there's no sign!" - he looked at both ends of the table and called the pitmanager over - "No sign" I reiterated - she called the asstSB over, "can I help you?" - "no sign" I again reiterated in mock anxiety - he scanned up then down the table then said "we are very sorry, whatever I can do" - I said "ok switch my garbage hands for three BJs" - he said he couldn't do that BUT he could call it a dead-hand - he was still apologizing as I scooped my bets and proceeded to the real2D tables. zg
Eureka! (and deja'vu)

Eureka, Ive just realized that the 8D/2D-handheld games may very well be highly beatable - on the theory that they ONLY shuffle 2Ds at a time - 4 segments that maintain their proximate order - similar to the method that I used on the 1st-gen CSMs reposted below. The same method may also work for the 6D/1D handhelds that are less prevalent! zg


CCCafe post# 306
From: zengrifter
Date: Sun Nov 21, 1999 3:50 pm
Subject: Re: beat a continuous shuffler?

I was the first US player (I believe) to soundly
beat a continuous-shuffler-shoe (CSM)! The year was
mid 1986 and two 1st generation CSM prototypes were
installed at the LV Golden Nugget.

When I first saw
the units, I thought to myself "the end is near!" I
wouldn't think of playing against the infernal things, but
I noted that they were quite popular - players who
liked them did so for the same reason that the casino
liked them, no wasted time shuffling. It was clear to
me that the machines were unbeatable.

On subsequent visits to the Nugget, I had several opportunities
to peer inside the machines - they were often open
because they would jam frequently requiring the floor
personnel to prod inside with a fountain pen. Even after
peering inside several times, I did not readily perceive
any weakness or vulnerability.

Early one
morning several weeks later, as I collapsed into bed at
my rented high-rise condominium at the prestigious
Marie Antoinette, after an exceedingly severe losing
streak that previous evening, I thought of the CSMs as I
quickly fell asleep.

And in that 'almost sleeping
alpha brain wave state' the answer suddenly hit me like
a brick and jolted me awake! In an instant I knew
that those machines were the most beatable blackjack
games in town - the 'gestalt' or full perspective of
the CSM's inner workings, in lieu of my blackjack
knowledge, was dramatic and immediate.

The machines
contained only three decks - the only shuffle process
involved about one-third of a deck at a time, a total of
nine segments that, in turn, were not being further
mixed together - nine distinct segments that maintained
distinct count characteristics, changing only slightly and
gradually, as the CSM cycled them around

My first stop was the Nugget's health spa (still the
best in town for my money) and by the time I got out
of the steamed bath I had the whole process clearly
mapped in my cerebrum - it was a simple matter of
identifying the two or three high-plus segments and locating
them as the three decks cycled round and round like a
merry-go-round - simply a matter of counting the number of hands
between key segments.

The pit was relaxed and
un-concerned about advantage play at the CSM tables, clearly
they were all off the mind-set that they could not be
beat by counters. I spread my bets wildly between
segments sometimes only bedding $10 and other times
betting two or three hands of $300-$500. After my first
three hours I was up over $6,000, and I graciously
accepted a comp for three at the gourmet room that evening
as well as lunch in the buffet.

I played the
CSMs four more times in the course of 14 days for a
total of 15 hours and accumulated nearly $12,000. On my
next to last play I began to get some scrutiny and
spotted a pit-critter observing me while semi-hiding
behind a nearby pillar. Eventually he came forward and
introduced himself - he was Asian and coincidentally his
name was Wong, the senior '21 Games Director' at the
Golden Nugget.

Mr. Wong was friendly and told me
that my "betting style" was "unique." I was relaxed
and flattered as I introduced myself as a "mechanical
engineer" from California. I told Wong that I had invented
a new betting system - based on progressions and
rhythms. I also told him that I had run the "so-called
basic strategy" on my personal computer and that I
found serious errors in it - hence, I had created "my
own basic strategy" that I "could prove afforded the
house less then 1.5% advantage." I also explained that
my unique progression/rhythm betting scheme would
"of course not win in the long run," but that "it
will win in the short run." Further, I had elected to
concentrate my play on the new shuffling shoes because "they
allowed me to get into the short run faster and stay in
the short run longer!"

Wong liked my answer,
and I schmoozed another gourmet room comp from him,
this time for four.

After my fourth and final
play, and another $3,000 win, I headed south on Las
Vegas Boulevard and was pulled over by a metro squad
car. The solo sergeant checked my ID, while saying
that I didn't commit any traffic violation, and he did
not cite me - the adolescent in me could not resist
asking him if he knew former Las Vegas police detective
Bob Griffin (now the head of the industry's most
pernicious detective agency). He acknowledged that Griffin
was "a friend" and I told them to "say hello for

I learned years later than a sophisticated team
held back for two years, waiting for the machines to
become more proliferate and management more comfortable,
then hit the Nugget and Mirage hard in 1988-89 for an
"upper six figures amount."

Needless to say, today's CSMs are nothing like those 1st
generation models. ZG
Re: Eureka! (and deja'vu)

Yes ,the so called dd game that uses 8 decks(or maybe more)
is a scam that many casinos try to pull(no signs either).
This is where many bjack websites
should try to stop instead of teaching more about conting-already
enough skilled players.

A good one zen and others is do do that stunt you pulled, but on purpose
which I did recently at pala,in S.CA. Many sorry losers playing huge hands
there and they had no idea that it was 8 deck,or whatever.

over and out...