Continuous shuffle machines

  • davidpom

    Continuous shuffle machines

    Hi, what’s your experience been like with continuous shuffling machines on blackjack tables? I prefer hand dealt games but our local casino (non-US) no longer offers anything but the horrible CSM machines. I’ve had some AMAZING nights on these things, and some terrible ones to boot.

    But what’s your experience with them? Good? Bad? do you prefer them to hand dealt, or hate them with a vengeance?

    http://beatthecasinos.blogspot.com/2008/02/card-shuffler-friend-or-enemy.html (<- Archive copy of dead link)

    Let me know your thoughts. Stay lucky!

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Hi, what’s your experience been like with continuous shuffling machines on blackjack tables? I prefer hand dealt games but our local casino (non-US) no longer offers anything but the horrible CSM machines. I’ve had some AMAZING nights on these things, and some terrible ones to boot.

    But what’s your experience with them? Good? Bad? do you prefer them to hand dealt, or hate them with a vengeance?

    How do you gain an advantage with CSM? zg

  • moo321

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    How do you gain an advantage with CSM? zg

    By spamming message boards!

  • EasyRhino

     

    Wow, there’s no heat when counting, and the cocktail service is faster?

    Clearly CSMs are a boon to us all!

  • 21forme

     

    Quote: moo321 said:
    By spamming message boards!

    This guy reminds me of BrainlessBob, or whatever his name was.

  • davidpom

    Thank you

    Thank you all for your comments – not all of them positive, but ok, fair enough, each to their own.

    I’m interested to be compared with “Brainless Bob”. My only brainless thing was not escaping detection in UK casinos as an advantage player, and getting BARRED for life from all UK casinos as a result. I guess its hard to hide sizable winnings from them for too long – especially when black and green chip action encourages close pit boss tracking. My blog is a direct response to those casinos, in the hope that others will learn how to play better and to maximise advantage opportunities (on the games, or via comps / players clubs / promotions etc) and beat the casinos.

    I don’t believe I’m a spammer. I’m a player like everyone else on this board, with an interest in improving my game and the games of others. Sure, I’ve averaged winnings of $10 – $12,000 per year over each of the last 10 years of play, but you can always do better. The very worst mistake ANY player can make is to think that they know it all. I don’t. I believe I’ve got some good and unique information, but I’m not the only source in the world. I actually like reading what OTHERS have to say about the games we love.

    So, thank you again for your posts – I’m happy to hear all feedback. Visit the blog, or not – your call, your decision. The blog is a personal outlet for me – it’s up to you whether or not you want to benefit from the information provided. It is 100% free after all!

    David “Casino Barred”

  • SystemsTrader

     

    I read your article and unless you can find somekind of flaw in the machines shuffle there is just no way to get an edge. Now if the dealer does not insert the discards after each round then there would be the occasional opportunity but it would just be a game with very bad pen. Now if it is a four deck game then there definitely would be a few more opportunities than a six decker, so even if they insert the discards after a deck dealt out of four it still wouldn’t be a worthwhile game unless you employed a massive spread of say $5 to $500. One benefit of the OnetoSix is that there is a little screen on the machine which lists the amount of decks being used. Wouldn’t it be great if the casino one day screwed up and inserted only one deck by mistake with a S17 DAS game, then you would have an edge just playing basic. As for comps I doubt the casino would comp you any better against the machine over a shoe.

  • 21forme

     

    Quote: davidpom said:
    I don’t believe I’m a spammer.

    OK then, my apology. Please do some reading, don’t make multiple posts on the same topic, and don’t blitzkrieg the board with a ton of old posts dredged back up to the top – not all in one day, anyway.

    Welcome.

  • bigbjfan

     

    I’ve done a lot of research on these CSM’s. It is very hard to get an advantage with them. I can track clumps of cards through the CSM’s but it is very difficult to tell exactly where they will appear. Being off by a couple of hands can really be bad. I either have good days or bad days when I play against these things. One interesting observation I’ve made, is that when a new table opens up, and new decks are “shuffled up”, the dealers don’t shuffle those 5 decks very good, and the low and high cards are clumped together for a while. This is bad for the player, or has been bad for me anyway. After a while that CSM will eventually shuffle those cards up but it takes a little while.

  • sagefr0g

     

    Quote: bigbjfan said:
    I’ve done a lot of research on these CSM’s. It is very hard to get an advantage with them. I can track clumps of cards through the CSM’s but it is very difficult to tell exactly where they will appear. Being off by a couple of hands can really be bad. I either have good days or bad days when I play against these things. One interesting observation I’ve made, is that when a new table opens up, and new decks are “shuffled up”, the dealers don’t shuffle those 5 decks very good, and the low and high cards are clumped together for a while. This is bad for the player, or has been bad for me anyway. After a while that CSM will eventually shuffle those cards up but it takes a little while.

    thats an interesting point. i’ve suspected that the CSM doesn’t typically mix the cards much as a normal casino hand shuffle does. to where one might wonder if you got a handle on how the cards were clumped (shudder) it would almost be like knowing a slug from shuffle tracking ?

  • Sonny

     

    Quote: davidpom said:
    I prefer hand dealt games but our local casino (non-US) no longer offers anything but the horrible CSM machines. I’ve had some AMAZING nights on these things, and some terrible ones to boot.

    I don’t understand. If you know that the game is terrible, why do you play it? That doesn’t sound like an AP move to me. And do you really think that a 4-deck CSM game is better than a 6-deck hand-shuffled game for “skilled” players?

    -Sonny-

  • ihate17

    Huge mistake in the blog

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Hi, what’s your experience been like with continuous shuffling machines on blackjack tables? I prefer hand dealt games but our local casino (non-US) no longer offers anything but the horrible CSM machines. I’ve had some AMAZING nights on these things, and some terrible ones to boot.

    But what’s your experience with them? Good? Bad? do you prefer them to hand dealt, or hate them with a vengeance?

    http://beatthecasinos.blogspot.com/2008/02/card-shuffler-friend-or-enemy.html (<- Archive copy of dead link)

    Let me know your thoughts. Stay lucky!

    Besides not being able to gain an advantage over the CSM, in your blog you strongly mention that since there are only 4 decks in the machine it is somehow advantageous to a 6 deck shoe.
    Though the total number of cards do equal 4 decks, the fact that these cards are constantly being shuffled makes it closer to an infinate stack of cards rather than a 4 deck stack. You have just a never ending recycle of cards where in a 6 deck shoe, the shoe is constantly being depleted of cards.

    Now if a CSM was to use just a single deck and there is a hand time delay before used cards are mixed in with those remaining in the machine, information would be there that can be used. Using 208 cards, dealing just 20 or less than 10% of these cards to a crowded table, gives you nothing that is useful.

    This is so obvious, that I seriously question your credentials in being an advantage player. I doubt you have been barred from all UK casinos and was not aware that they cooperated where being barred at one would get you barred at all. In the past, Stanley did not often share this kind of information.

    Perhaps a casino employee who thinks a post on a board like this might get some of us to frequent CSM tables.

    Where we certainly do agree is that these tables are often the empty ones in a casino. Is it your job to fill them?

    ihate17

  • Sonny

     

    Quote: ihate17 said:
    This is so obvious, that I seriously question your credentials in being an advantage player.

    What are you talking about? This guy is totally legit! Let’s look at the facts we’ve learned:

    -He waits until +4 TC to raise his bets
    -He never takes insurance
    -He suggest using stop-loss limits
    -He advocates using small spreads and not Wonging
    -He plays CSMs
    -He gets a fresh drink every 5-10 minutes
    -He plays electronic roulette
    -He’s an expert at slot machine strategy
    -He says that 6:5 BJ (or any game with less than a 2% house edge) is acceptable

    Why would you doubt his credentials? Although, to be fair, he never claimed to be an AP:

    “…it was hinted at that I might be considered a “card counter”. Note: I didn’t say that, the casinos “assumed” it.”

    -Sonny-

  • ihate17

    I stand corrected

    Quote: Sonny said:
    What are you talking about? This guy is totally legit! Let’s look at the facts we’ve learned:

    -He waits until +4 TC to raise his bets
    -He never takes insurance
    -He suggest using stop-loss limits
    -He advocates using small spreads and not Wonging
    -He plays CSMs
    -He gets a fresh drink every 5-10 minutes
    -He plays electronic roulette
    -He’s an expert at slot machine strategy
    -He says that 6:5 BJ (or any game with less than a 2% house edge) is acceptable

    Why would you doubt his credentials? Although, to be fair, he never claimed to be an AP:

    “…it was hinted at that I might be considered a “card counter”. Note: I didn’t say that, the casinos “assumed” it.”

    -Sonny-

    Sorry Sonny, I stand corrected. Sometimes I just shoot from the hip.

    ihate17

  • davidpom

     

    Quote: Sonny said:
    I don’t understand. If you know that the game is terrible, why do you play it? That doesn’t sound like an AP move to me. And do you really think that a 4-deck CSM game is better than a 6-deck hand-shuffled game for “skilled” players?
    -Sonny-

    I play these machines infrequently – but they are the ONLY option in my local casino here in the antipodes… and I’m barred from the VIP area of my local casino which is the only part which has any kind of hand shuffled game (and it’s 6 deck in any case). Yes, this particular casino won’t let me play upstairs in the VIP area anymore (because I can beat that game, and for good amounts – and they know it / and have experienced it) – but they haven’t barred me completely. They’re fine with me playing the shufflers for lower limits and green / black action on the main gaming floor… if that’s what I have to do, then reluctantly I will play them.

    You’re correct – you can’t get an edge in the traditional way on these CSM;s. You can have a reasonable run on basic strategy, but you can’t turn the odds in your favour. Therefore its not an advantage play, even with the comp points gained for playing.

    I play low limit for entertainment value – but I’d never consider high stakes ($500+ per hand) on them like I do when visiting the US (playing single deck, double deck games with good penetration and hand shuffling downtown).

    I’m not a fool, and I do realise that I’m battling odds against me when I play these machines. But equally in the local market I have little choice if I want to play blackjack for cash – this is the ONLY casino for 200 miles or more (and the others far away are owned by the same parent company too). So I do play low limit for recreation, but only occasionally.

    The 4 deck game CSM is better than a 6 deck but only for basic strategy players. For advantage players like ourselves, I’d much rather play a 6 deck hand shuffled game with decent penetration anytime.

  • davidpom

     

    Quote: ihate17 said:
    Sorry Sonny, I stand corrected. Sometimes I just shoot from the hip.

    ihate17

    You’re perfectly entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. Feel what you feel, say what you think – I’ve no issues with it.

    Re the drinks every 5-10 minutes – they’re not alcoholic.

    Re the 2% edge – those are the only games in a casino that anyone should play (for recreational play) – I was simply trying to steer the average joe player away from games like Carribean Stud, Keno and the likes with high house edges attached. Blackjack is a 0.5% game on average for a 6-decker, assuming basic strategy and no counting… that’s acceptable for the average player.

    I do wait until about +4 to increase my bets. That’s my personal choice. It’s given me a safer shot at the casinos bankrolls over time. Maybe I’ve made less than I could have – but I’ve escaped barring at most of the world’s casinos to date too. Bear in mind that when I’m playing FOR SHEER PROFIT, I’m doing so with an average bet of $200 – $300 per hand plus, sometimes for a few hours at a time – I want to be placing those larger bets when the odds are more in my favour. I don’t like “borderline” positions like +2. Sure, if you’re on a $5 table, jump for joy and go from $5 to $20 for the hand. But if I start going from $100 to $600, the pit knows something is up. And I’m also not willing to take that risk if the count is only just “borderline”. Personal choice.

    I do play CSMs if there is NO other choice available to me, as here in my local market. But I play low level recreational play only, and use a combination of basic strategy and bankroll progression against them. I maintain small spreads rather than wonging to escape pit heat and attention. If I p**s off the ONLY casino within 200 miles of my house, I’m blowing a revenue stream.

    I’m not a slot machine expert. I just give a few tips on the blog to help the average player. Bear in mind, that’s who most of the blog is aimed at.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write your comments, I appreciate it. It’s clear you’ve visited the blog in-depth too, again thanks for visiting.

  • davidpom

     

    Quote: ihate17 said:
    This is so obvious, that I seriously question your credentials in being an advantage player. I doubt you have been barred from all UK casinos and was not aware that they cooperated where being barred at one would get you barred at all. In the past, Stanley did not often share this kind of information. Where we certainly do agree is that these tables are often the empty ones in a casino. Is it your job to fill them?
    ihate17

    Doubt as you wish, I’m not concerned. Have you won $10-$12K each year on average (part time) for the last 10 years? Can you back that up with documented proof and win/loss statements? Have you just had your gambling career featured in a Macau publication as I have? If you can say yes to all of these items as I can, then you have the right to judge me.

    I AM barred from all UK casinos. Would you like to see some of the letters from the various groups – from Stanley Leisure, from London Clubs International, from Grosvenor Casinos Group, from Gala Casinos? Believe me, I’d prefer not to be barred, but I am. One by one, I lost 23 London casino memberships (and my others in the UK) in August 2007 over the space of a week and a half – after almost 10 years of history with some of these places. Clearly I got on a list of sorts – maybe Griffin? Maybe some internal casino list only in the UK? Again, the casinos won’t give me a straight answer for the barring so I’m guessing at what has likely happened. All of the letters (which I only got upon requesting) simply say that they can recede membership at any time. All UK casinos are private members clubs. They have that right. I’d fight them legally but there’s nothing to fight – they set the rules, and you agree to them when you join.

    It’s not my job to fill CSM tables in casinos. Average joe beginners will do that. I just want to ensure that when they sit down to play they’ve at least got SOME information that might help them to improve their game, or the overall playing conditions (including comps, promos etc).

    Thanks for the comments, I’m happy to entertain further submissions.

  • Sonny

     

    Quote: davidpom said:
    They’re fine with me playing the shufflers for lower limits and green / black action on the main gaming floor… if that’s what I have to do, then reluctantly I will play them.

    Nobody is forcing you to play the CSMs. If you can’t get an advantage, why would you play? Most Advantage Players that I know don’t think that throwing money away (especially to a casino!) is recreational. If the CSM games are the only game in town then you should be saving your money for a plane ticket, not giving it away to your local casinos. The attitude that “The CSMs are the only game in town so I’ll have to play them” is the kind of mentality that plagues typical gamblers, not APs. If you want to play for fun then that’s fine, but in your blog you say that “skilled” players will prefer the CSM game. That’s simply not true. Skilled players only play when they have an advantage and they don’t play otherwise. Certainly you understand why we might be somewhat doubtful of your credentials based on your blog.

    Quote: davidpom said:
    I play low limit for entertainment value – but I’d never consider high stakes ($500+ per hand) on them like I do when visiting the US (playing single deck, double deck games with good penetration and hand shuffling downtown).

    Which casinos do you play in Downtown Vegas? There are only 2-3 with decent SD and DD games for card counters. I’m curious about which ones you bet $500 per hand at. And why do you prefer them to the DD games on the strip?

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Have you just had your gambling career featured in a Macau publication as I have?

    Of course not. That would be career suicide for a serious player.

    -Sonny-

  • tedloc

    Csm

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Hi, what’s your experience been like with continuous shuffling machines on blackjack tables? I prefer hand dealt games but our local casino (non-US) no longer offers anything but the horrible CSM machines. I’ve had some AMAZING nights on these things, and some terrible ones to boot.

    But what’s your experience with them? Good? Bad? do you prefer them to hand dealt, or hate them with a vengeance?

    http://beatthecasinos.blogspot.com/2008/02/card-shuffler-friend-or-enemy.html (<- Archive copy of dead link)

    Let me know your thoughts. Stay lucky!

    This question comes up all the time. I always give the same answer. If you count cards STAY AWAY from this game. If you don’t count and play basic strategy, maybe. According to Fred Renzy, a fresh deck gives the odds to the house 101/100. This is a close to an even bet as a NON counter, can expect to get. So if the machine is continuing to give you a fresh deck, the odds don’t get worse.

  • Sonny

     

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Bear in mind that when I’m playing FOR SHEER PROFIT, I’m doing so with an average bet of $200 – $300 per hand plus, sometimes for a few hours at a time – I want to be placing those larger bets when the odds are more in my favour. I don’t like “borderline” positions like +2.

    But that’s where most of your profit comes from! You won’t see a +4 TC very often so you’ll be giving away your minimum bets most of the time. Your big bets will have to be very big in order to overcome all the losses from negative and neutral counts. That forces you to use a large, sudden bet spread. You are also giving up a decent advantage between +2 and +4, which are much more frequent that +4 and above.

    So this style of play is costing you money, increasing your risk and blowing your cover. I think you would be better off using a more conventional betting style like most books and websites recommend.

    -Sonny-

  • ihate17

    Document all but Macau

    Since I have filed U.S. income tax returns since the early 80’s as a pro gambler because of an audit, I can prove that as a part time player I have averaged more than 3 times your winnings over the past 26 years, so I am not impressed at all.
    I am also smart enough to be able to keep the doors of most (I have also been barred) casinos open to me. Being good does you absolutely no good when no one will let you play. Being stupid will get you featured in a publication so everyone knows who you are and will not let you play, unless you have othe outlets such as books, lessons or tournaments on TV to make money on blackjack.

    Furthermore, in your answer to me to choose to ignore the subject of my post about a CSM with 4 decks not being comparable to a 4 deck shoe since the constanst shuffling makes it near an infinate shoe. In case you are also not smart enough to figure this one out, an infinite shoe should be larger than a 6 deck shoe.

    Being listed in Griffin is not a big deal with most U.S. casinos unless you are listed as a cheat and not a counter. Most casinos might check Griffin but then make their own determination to barr or not based on their evaluation.

    I have been doing this for over 30 years and know other players who have done this for as long or longer and somehow we still can find plenty of casinos to play in. Perhaps you just need to get off the island for a bit.

    ihate17

    Quote: davidpom said:
    Doubt as you wish, I’m not concerned. Have you won $10-$12K each year on average (part time) for the last 10 years? Can you back that up with documented proof and win/loss statements? Have you just had your gambling career featured in a Macau publication as I have? If you can say yes to all of these items as I can, then you have the right to judge me.

    I AM barred from all UK casinos. Would you like to see some of the letters from the various groups – from Stanley Leisure, from London Clubs International, from Grosvenor Casinos Group, from Gala Casinos? Believe me, I’d prefer not to be barred, but I am. One by one, I lost 23 London casino memberships (and my others in the UK) in August 2007 over the space of a week and a half – after almost 10 years of history with some of these places. Clearly I got on a list of sorts – maybe Griffin? Maybe some internal casino list only in the UK? Again, the casinos won’t give me a straight answer for the barring so I’m guessing at what has likely happened. All of the letters (which I only got upon requesting) simply say that they can recede membership at any time. All UK casinos are private members clubs. They have that right. I’d fight them legally but there’s nothing to fight – they set the rules, and you agree to them when you join.

    It’s not my job to fill CSM tables in casinos. Average joe beginners will do that. I just want to ensure that when they sit down to play they’ve at least got SOME information that might help them to improve their game, or the overall playing conditions (including comps, promos etc).

    Thanks for the comments, I’m happy to entertain further submissions.

  • davidpom

     

    Congrats on your wins! That’s fantastic. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re winning too – and much more than I am. It seems also that you’ve cottoned on to some magic formula to escape being barred – that’s good news also. That’s why I’m here: I want to learn more from clear gambling “gods” like yourself who can show the rest of us mere peasants how to bring the gambling palaces of chance to their knees. I look forward to reading your future posts, as they are sure to be enlightening to the rest of us clearly wallowing in the darkness of misinformation.

    Re my winnings, I don’t need you to be impressed. One) Personal winnings are personal winnings. Two) I’m happy with my results for what is a part-time sideline for me, and that’s what matters to me.

    Worrying about what others think is something I’ve never done. I used to be chronically overweight and dealt with “fat jokes” and similar crap from idiots all day long. I addressed that issue, and no longer get that abuse because society accepts me as normal sized now. Do I think that people had the right to give me abuse? No, but I understand why they did it. They were narrow minded, figured that they were somehow superior, and felt they had the right to make others feel smaller in the hope that they would somehow magically themselves appear greater. I hope they found some form of happiness in their wallow of depravity. Good on them. Whatever. I respect their rights to their views. Woohoo.

    For the record I didn’t ignore your post about a 4 deck shoe being equivalent to an infinite shoe. I just didn’t respond because your enlightened analysis is simply not mathematically correct. The cards may be dealt infinitely, but there are still only 4 decks in play at any time. Only 16 2’s. Only 16 5’s. Only 16 6’s. That is an indisputible fact. The ability for the dealer to pull cards without busting is dependent upon those cards and the number of them that can be potentially pulled at any time. So, rather than start a flaming war in the forum (which is completely pointless) I chose not to respond to the post and cause you obvious embarrassment. Personal choice. Please forgive me.

    Heck, we’re all here to HELP each other. So let’s do that shall we? Or are you intent on filling an adult forum with schoolyard politics and bullying?

  • davidpom

     

    Quote: Sonny said:
    But that’s where most of your profit comes from! You won’t see a +4 TC very often so you’ll be giving away your minimum bets most of the time. Your big bets will have to be very big in order to overcome all the losses from negative and neutral counts. That forces you to use a large, sudden bet spread. You are also giving up a decent advantage between +2 and +4, which are much more frequent that +4 and above.

    So this style of play is costing you money, increasing your risk and blowing your cover. I think you would be better off using a more conventional betting style like most books and websites recommend.-Sonny-

    Hi Sonny, I appreciate that input, and will consider trialling it in future. I’m here to help improve my game (as stated in my earlier posts), and I don’t have a closed mind to suggestions – so thank you for the helpful information.

  • taipafan

     

    Hi David, where can I find your writing about Macau?

  • Kasi

     

    Quote: ihate17 said:
    my post about a CSM with 4 decks not being comparable to a 4 deck shoe since the constanst shuffling makes it near an infinate shoe. In case you are also not smart enough to figure this one out, an infinite shoe should be larger than a 6 deck shoe.ihate17

    No big deal but a 4-deck CSM would be the same as a 4 deck game to a BS player.

    Well, if you ignore the cut-card effect in a 4-deck shoe.

    If you don’t ignore it, the CSM would actually have a lower HA for a BS player.

    For an infinite deck, all you would really need is 1 deck of cards, deal one card, put it back, and re-shuffle lol.

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