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SHUFFLE TRACKING 101 Part 2

by Mark Billings

Mark Billings is the author of the book "The Ultimate Edge," which tells the little-known story of four men who became instrumental in changing the face of contemporary professional blackjack, winning the admiration of players the world over, and the disdain of casino bosses everywhere (available on amazon.com).

Billings has written for numerous professional gambling publications under a variety of pseudonyms, and is well regarded as an expert in the community of professional gamblers. In addition to "The Ultimate Edge," he is the author of "The Biased Wheel Handbook," widely recognized as a seminal work on the game of roulette. Mr. Billings lives a quiet life with an edge in the Vancouver, B.C. area.

 

In Part I of Shuffle Tracking 101, I introduced the concept of shuffle tracking. There are several methods that can be considered "Shuffle Tracking;" this series of articles will focus on the version that involves tracking clumps of cards through the shuffle

In order to track clumps of cards through the shuffle, you need to locate a shuffle for which at least some "clumps" maintain their integrity through the shuffle. Although this is not particularly easy to explain without visual aids (several decks of cards or, at the very least, some pictures), I will do my best.

First of all, although it is theoretically possible to find a trackable single- or double-deck game, this is highly unlikely. The players about whom I write in my book The Ultimate Edge played at thousands of blackjack tables in hundreds of casinos literally all over the world, and witnessed a total of one (1) trackable single-deck game. And that was an idiosyncrasy of one dealer only. So, the odds are overwhelming that when you find a trackable shuffle, it will be a multiple-deck game consisting of four decks or more.

Second, as mentioned above, there are shuffles that are trackable in ways other than clumping (methods referred to as "key carding" and "interleaving"). However, a detailed description of these methods is left for another time.

Third, shuffle tracking will require a bit of...

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