Card counting is a popular and common technique used by blackjack players to tilt the advantage of the house to their favor. However, blackjack players are still not aware of the existence of a less popular blackjack method known as shuffle tracking.
The Internet defines casino shuffle tracking as a method of predicting which area of the deck will offer some benefit to the player as determined by the positions of favorable areas of the previous stack and upon analysis of the methods used in shuffling the cards. The player monitors the dealer in order to predict what cards are located on various sectors of the pile. By doing so the shuffle tracker will be able to tell what card will come out of the shoe next. Knowledge of the cards will have an impact on what kind of bet the player will make.
Casino shuffle tracking requires not only the skill of the player but also on the way the dealer shuffled the cards. For most shuffle trackers, a good shuffle is one that has a well-mixed group of cards. On the other hand, a bad shuffle is one which has clumps of cards together.
The Unbalanced Shuffle which divides the deck into two uneven piles is an example of a bad shuffle. The reason for this is that the larger stack contains non-random stacks of cards. Since this method of shuffling favors the house, casinos train their dealers to use the Unbalanced Shuffle, hence it is likewise called the House Shuffle. This is not surprising at all since casinos are aware of shuffle trackers and have measures in place to counter casino shuffle tracking.
In order to counter the different strategies used by dealers as well as to make better decisions, shuffle trackers should be aware of the various shuffling strategies of dealers. In order to succeed against shuffle trackers, the casino requires the dealer to utilize different methods of shuffling depending on which one will benefit the casino. Zone Shuffle, Strip Shuffle, and Stutter Shuffle are some of the most common examples of dealer shuffling methods.
While casino shuffle tracking is not as popular as card counting, its concept is quite easy to understand. However, just like any gambling system one would need further research and constant practice to become a good shuffle tracker. If you are a not a team player, the best alternative for you is shuffle tracking.