Shuffle Scouting for Imbeciles

Discussion in 'Skilled Play - Card Counting, Advanced Strategies' started by Sonny, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Sonny

    Sonny Well-Known Member

    In my last articles I described a method to simplify the formulas involved in shuffle tracking. My method reduced the process to a single calculation. But what good is knowing the formula if you don’t know where to find the trackable shuffles? How do we find these trackable shuffles? How do we determine if a given shuffle is trackable or not? Well, it will involve a lot of walking, a lot of watching, and a lot of homework.

    The first step is to watch the dealer shuffle a few times. Try to follow a segment from the discards through the shuffle. Since we’ve already discussed tracking the cutoffs, let’s start with that. Watch where the dealer puts the cutoffs when he pulls them out of the shoe. Does he drop them on top if the discards? Does he plug them into the middle somewhere? Does he break them in half and plug them in different places? In this case, the simpler the better. It is easiest to track the cutoffs when they are dropped on top of the discards. You can still track them if they are plugged into the middle, but you will need to be very accurate with your deck estimation. If they are split up then you will need to pay very close attention and be very accurate with the rest of your tracking. This will also leave more room for error if the dealer does not make accurate grabs when he is shuffling so it is always best to find the simplest shuffle you can.

    Next, watch how the dealer separates the discards into several piles. Which pile has the cutoffs at the top? Which other segments does it get mixed with? How many segments does it get mixed with? Where do the mixed segments end up after the shuffle? Again, the simpler the better. If the cutoffs only get mixed with one other section then our job is easy. Probably the dealer will mix part of the cutoffs with one segment and the other part with another segment. Dealers usually grab half-deck or three-quarter-deck segments to shuffle together so a 1.5 deck cutoff slug will get broken into two or three pieces when it gets shuffled. The pieces may not end up near each other after the shuffle, but that is fine.

    Continue to observe as many dealers as you can. The house will usually have a specific shuffle procedure that the dealers must follow, but the shuffle will often vary somewhat from dealer to dealer. One dealer might grab a three-quarter segment from pile A and shuffle it with a segment from pile C first, then shuffle a segment from pile B with a segment from pile D and put it on top of the A+C segment. Maybe the dealer at the next table grabs half-deck segments from pile B and D first then puts the A+C pile on top of that. Different dealers may have different grab sizes and may shuffle the piles in a different order. It is vital that you observe every possible variation. Some dealers may be much more vulnerable than others because of the order in which they shuffle the piles. Others will be completely untrackable because they take random grab sizes or do not follow a consistent shuffle pattern. You want to find a reliable dealer that shuffles the same way every time.

    After you have observed every shuffle at the casino, take notes in a notebook or computer. Make sure that your notes are as specific as possible. You will need them to be completely accurate and legible when you’re doing your “homework” later. Bring those notes home with you and guard them with your life. If you lose them, you will have to go back to the casino and waste another several hours watching every dealer and taking notes all over again. It will suck!

    The next step will be to make a shuffle map for each dealer. There are several ways to do this. The easiest, and most accurate, way is to draw the discard tray on a piece of paper and label each segment (either half-decks or three-quarter-decks depending on the dealer). Then make a drawing of how the dealer breaks up the discards into piles. Label each segment in the pile so that it matches the previous label in the discard tray. Then, make a drawing of the order in which the piles are shuffled. By adding the piles together in that order you will have a map of the final shuffled stack after the dealer has finished shuffling. It should look something like the picture below.

    Alternatively, you could set up a video camera and record yourself performing the shuffles on your kitchen table. You could then review the tape, in slow motion if necessary, and watch where each segment ends up in the final stack. You could then write down the final shuffle map on a piece of paper.

    Looking at your final shuffle map will give you an idea of where each segment ends up after the shuffle. The picture below is a six-deck shoe labeled with half-deck segments. The two-deck cutoffs are placed on top of the discards (A,B,C,D).The discards are broken up into four piles and segments are alternatively shuffled from the same two piles. The end result is shown in the final stack at the right. You can see that half of the first three decks are made up of the cards from the cutoffs. Just knowing half of the cards in those segments will give you a good idea of where to cut the cards.

    We can now use the formulas described in the previous articles to find the best place to cut the cards. Even if you only track one segment you can have a good idea of where to cut. If the segment is high cards, cut it to the front and play with an advantage. If the segment is low cards, cut it to the back and adjust your RC and TC conversion as though they have already come out (adjust your RC by the count of the slug and subtract the size of the slug from your TC conversion).

    Notice that if you can also count the first half deck of the shoe (segment L) then you will be able to estimate the value of the C+L deck since the C segment came from the discards. Also notice that if the dealer had shuffled the G+D segments first, we would have a completely different shuffle map and final stack. Also, if the cutoffs were plugged inthe middle of the discards (E,F,G,H) then the map would be the same but the tracked segments would be completely different. That is why it is very important to pay attention to every dealer. If they use a different variation of the shuffle then your map will not work. Also, you may find that the dealers that shuffle the G+D segments together first create a final stack that is even more trackable (why not try to map it and see?).


    Attached Files:

  2. ScottH

    ScottH Well-Known Member

    For some reason I have to scroll left and right to read the whole thing, which is REALLY annoying.
  3. zengrifter

    zengrifter Banned

    Then just download the image. BUT the main thing is look for house shuffles where the cut-offs are simply dropped onto the discards intact. zg
  4. E-town-guy

    E-town-guy Well-Known Member

    maybe adjust your monitor's resolution.
  5. shadroch

    shadroch Well-Known Member

    This thread is too wide for my moniter as well. Only thread on this forum that is like that. Is it posted differently?
  6. Sonny

    Sonny Well-Known Member

    Probably the picture that I attached was too wide so it stretched out the whole message. I'll try to break it up.

  7. ScottH

    ScottH Well-Known Member

    Just shrink the image so that it fits in the normal window.
  8. zengrifter

    zengrifter Banned

    Fits fine in Opera. zg
  9. ScottH

    ScottH Well-Known Member

    It's about 25% wider than a normal post for Windows. So you have to scroll over to see the last few words in the sentece every line. I didn't even finish reading it for that reason. Maybe I can just copy and paste it in a word document...
  10. zengrifter

    zengrifter Banned

    Right-click and download, then view in image viewer. zg
  11. E-town-guy

    E-town-guy Well-Known Member

    My resolution on my laptop is 1280x800 and it fits perfectly.
  12. Mackhack

    Mackhack Well-Known Member

    Same here... fits perfect!
  13. ScottH

    ScottH Well-Known Member

    Maybe I will increase my screen resolution. I have it set so everything is as big as it can get.
  14. Mackhack

    Mackhack Well-Known Member

    Good idea, the smaller the res. the bigger the icons, the higher the res. the smaller the icons the more on the screen visible ;-)

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