The Cut Card Effect

FLASH1296

Well-Known Member
#1
I was asked about this in a private message today.
I spent so much time writing my response that I decided to post it here:


Can you tell me the function of the cut card in blackjack.

What is its function and does it affect my play if I'm counting?


I assume that you are referring to the cut card in a hand-held game.
In shoe games it is simply the delimiter that tells the dealer when the last hand has been played.

In a hand-held game (a "pitch" game), where the dealer is
dealing either one or two decks by hand, it has a nefarious purpose.

This is unknown to recreational players. We call it the "Cut Card Effect"

It helps the casinos win more money from card counters and amateurs alike.

This is how it works. Don't blink. The effect is too subtle to be visible to the innumerate public.

The dealer places the cut card into the shuffled cards prior to dealing the first hand.
As a card counter you are VERY concerned with how many hands you get to play.
That we call "penetration" It IS crucial to our success to have deep pen'.

Now there are three scenarios that will evolve.

For purposes of illustration, I will ignore what happens when
the True Count does not vary much from ZERO.
That leaves TWO significant possibilities:

When you are playing and nearing the shuffle point
the True Count may be significantly HIGH or LOW.

IF the cut card comes out the dealer must shuffle.

WHAT actually happens is as follows:

When the True Count is HIGH you have a strong advantage -
it is solely because a lot of low cards have been depleted from the deck.
While that creates a HIGH count it also means
that the players are taking a lot of cards.

The average hand contains 2.7 cards per player (and dealer),
but, IF the count is HIGH it probably nearly 4 cards per hand.

THUS, the cut card is reached QUICKLY when your advantage rises
and very SLOWLY when the True Count is plummeting.

Visualize this. We (and some drunk) are playing BJ and on
the first hand all 4 of us, (dealer included) get face cards.

We took a total of 8 cards and the True Count is now VERY low.
One Half of all the 10 valued cards have been depleted !
We would leave the table of course.]

Now lets look at the opposite situation in extremis.
Now we play at a different table. There are still 4 of us
(dealer included) and somehow ALL of our cards are low ones.
There was a lot of hitting. Many cards were used.

Almost ½ a deck ! The True Count is VERY high.
We each have a profound advantage.

The dealer MAY deal us another round, but only if the cut card has not appeared;
and two more hands is rather implausible.

Note that In the prior case, with the True Count in the cellar,
there were plenty of hands to go and the True Count is so low
that it will never likely recover and "go positive" before the shuffle.

Note that in Current Blackjack News "pitch" games with a cut card carry the "sc" notation.

Note that the use of the cut card is ubiquitous.

Note that using a Cut Card does NOT mean that the casino cannot still use
"preferential shuffling" as a counter-measure anyway.


__________________
 
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chichow

Well-Known Member
#2
What difference is it really?

In a bad game...If the house is telling the dealer to visually deal to 50% of the deck how is that any better or worse than with a cut card at 50%?

Or in a good game, does it really matter whether or not it is a cut card or a visual estimate leading to RO6/7?

:confused:
 

FLASH1296

Well-Known Member
#3
Re-read the above.

I tried hard to make it clear.

Perhaps a concise summary of the above would be:

The cut card effect reduces the number of hands
dealt when the True Count is High and increases the number
of hands dealt when the True Count is decidedly negative.
 
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Deathclutch

Well-Known Member
#4
What difference is it really?

In a bad game...If the house is telling the dealer to visually deal to 50% of the deck how is that any better or worse than with a cut card at 50%?

Or in a good game, does it really matter whether or not it is a cut card or a visual estimate leading to RO6/7?

:confused:
To break it down more simply think of it this way. Witha fixed cut card you'll play fewer rounds if bunches of small cards come out (rising count.) On the other hand you'll play more hands the more 10's come out (lowering count.)

If a dealer dealt a certain number of rounds then this is of no consequence. But if it's cut to where you will be playing 65 cards no matter the number of rounds it becomes important.
 

London Colin

Well-Known Member
#5
Chicow asked about a visual estimate by the dealer of when the required shuffle point has been reached versus using a cut card to indicate it, not versus dealing a specific (or indeed random) number of rounds.

I imagine there would be no difference whatsoever between those two scenarios, as far as the cut-card effect is concerned.

Living in a land where there are only shoe games, I don't know how common such a procedure might be, though. Is the normal practice in fact to deal a fixed number of rounds when a cut card is not being used?
 

chichow

Well-Known Member
#6
For DD

You can have ???

1) Cut Card

2) Visual Estimate

3) RO(#)

Anything else?

Any thoughts on the percentages of these styles?

Any thoughts on where the games are located? For example, in
Vegas, I pretty much think that the cut card dominates on the Strip.
 
#11
Why is that APs think that DD games with 65% penetration is an exploitable game whereas with six or eight deck shoe games, at least 83% penetration with S 17 is exploitable.

I think with pitch games, the number of players sitting and playing on the table will determine how many rounds are dealt as well. This is crucial in a pitch game because the more players playing at the table, the less rounds will be played for an AP. This is nearly equivalent to saying that the more number of players at the table, the less rounds are played and the less exploitable the game is.
 

Jack_Black

Well-Known Member
#12
Why is that APs think that DD games with 65% penetration is an exploitable game whereas with six or eight deck shoe games, at least 83% penetration with S 17 is exploitable.

I think with pitch games, the number of players sitting and playing on the table will determine how many rounds are dealt as well. This is crucial in a pitch game because the more players playing at the table, the less rounds will be played for an AP. This is nearly equivalent to saying that the more number of players at the table, the less rounds are played and the less exploitable the game is.
65% really? 83% really? I usually go by the SCORE to determine if a game is beatable. I've found 54% DD playing hi opt 2 ASC, 1-10 two hand spread should make it just barely decent.

I believe the number of players statement to be true, especially at SD. a full SD table will get one round, then a shuffle. DD has some more leniency maybe 4 max.
 

Jack_Black

Well-Known Member
#13
In hand held games, the dealer places a cut card at the bottom of the deck so the players can not get a peek at the last card in the deck. The other cut card also tells the dealer it's time to shuffle.
Wow. Just wow. this is exactly what I'm talking about. I HAVE TO read more of your crap to get around this board. Here you sound like George Dubya. maybe you are G.W.?:confused:
 
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