Shuffle Tracking For Imbeciles - Part 2


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Shuffle Tracking For Imbeciles - Part 2

The Track-Factor

If only there was a way to get the final answer without going through all of the dividing and swapping and slug-number nonsense. Well, there is. Once I saw all the numbers in front of me I saw the shortcut. In this case it was a matter of working backwards from the final answer. Once we know the value of the shuffled slug (our final answer from Part 1), we simply divide it by the value of the original cut-off slug to get a simple conversion factor.

Conversion factor = shuffled slug / cut-off slug (before shuffle)

In the example from part 1, we used 7 - 1.4 = 5.6 as the value for our shuffled slug. We now get 5.6 / 7 = 0.8 as the conversion factor. We can now use this number to MULTIPLY by our original cut-off slug to get our final answer. Instead of fumbling with the "average count density" and adding it to the cut-off slug, we can have our answer with one simple multiplication! This new Track-factor (A.K.A.-the "Sonny is a brilliant imbecile" factor, although I have a feeling the former will probably stick) gives you all the power of shuffle tracking without all the messy "thinking." Now, to us imbeciles at least, multiplying by 0.8 isn't much easier than dividing 7 / 5, but there are more shortcuts to come.

I ran the same calculations for more running counts (-20 to +20) and found that the Track-factor was constant for all. This meant that no matter what the cut-off slug value was I could multiply it by 0.8 and get the value of the slug after the shuffle!

After a moment of euphoria, reality kicked in. This would ONLY work for six-deck games where five decks were dealt. I doubted if many people would find this information helpful, so I ran the numbers for six-decks with 4.5 dealt and again with 4 dealt. I figured that these would encompass most situations. What I found was fantastic!

In the 4.5/6 game, the Track-factor was a constant 0.67 (actually 0.6 repeating, but who multiplies to the 3rd decimal place in their head? Not us imbeciles! We're not giving up much accuracy anyway), and the Track-factor for 4/6 was an even 0.5. This meant that if you were "lucky" enough to find a game that cut-off two full decks (a game where most counters would point and laugh at all the ploppies) you could take HALF the value of the cut-off slug as the value of the shuffled slug. You are now playing in a game where the conversion is EASY and you know the average count of four of the six decks. Imagine cutting the last two decks to the bottom and playing in a four-deck game with a positive running count off the top! Gee, maybe the "brilliant imbecile" title WILL stick. This is a fantastic compromise: The casinos get to keep their lousy games and we get to make a profit on their backs! Yaaaay!

Not quite. There are limitations to this. Although it does become easier to calculate in games with close to four-deck penetration, it is completely useless with anything worse. As Malmuth points out, if only three decks are dealt, they will most likely closely resemble the undealt portion the majority of the time. Also, the reduction in EV due to the poor penetration level, even at the four-deck level, can be somewhat costly. Conversely, the more cards that are dealt, the less cards there are to track. In this case, however, even knowing that a few extra fours and fives are behind the cut card can give you a good starting advantage in most shoe games.

Although I am certainly not encouraging players to seek out tables with two decks cut-off (I'm not a TOTAL imbecile), I am pointing out that if you are stuck playing in a poor game (due to location or bankroll issues) this technique becomes simplified and may help you to get your edge back.

So the next time you see someone playing at a six-deck shoe with lousy penetration, he may not be a ploppy - he may be an imbecile!


P.S.-He may also be an imbecile ploppy.