SHUFFLE TRACKING 101 – Part 3
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 1 of Shuffle Tracking 101, I introduced the concept of shuffle tracking, and explained that this series of articles will focus on the version that involves tracking clumps of cards through the shuffle
In Part 2, I broke shuffles down into their component parts. These include Riffling, Stripping, Remains, Major split, Minor split(s), and Grabs. (If you are unfamiliar with this terminology, please go back and read Part II of this series, as this article will make no sense to those unfamiliar with the terminology introduced last month.)
Last month’s article ended with the suggestion that you watch several shuffles carefully. If you have done that, you should be able to faithfully reproduce at least one observed casino-shuffle at home.
You’ll need the number of decks in use in the casino you hope to target. (It will likely be 6 or 8 decks.) The decks should be fairly new, as you are going to have to estimate clumps of cards, and cards tend to get a bit frayed and thus "fattened" with use. You want your practice cards to look as much like casino cards as possible. You will also need a digital camera.
One point: you should perform the shuffle from your perspective, not from the perspective of the dealer who performed it. If you are sitting in the middle of the table and the dealer performs a major split to her right, the cards will move to your left.
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