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SHUFFLE TRACKING 101

by Vinny DeCarlo

 

Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance Ė Insiderís Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, and surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager for two different casinos. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. He also recently appeared on the Getting the Edge radio show from Las Vegas (http://www.bobdancer.com/mp3/gwae081811.mp3). According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.

Is shuffle tracking really possible? Is Ace sequencing a myth? Is a Happy Marriage possible? Why sure they are. It just takes time, practice, and for the latter, money.

I feel there is one person out there that truly knows everything humanly possible about shuffle tracking. He also wrote the best book ever on shuffle tracking, rightfully named, "The Shuffle Trackers Cook Book." Now donít be looking for recipes in this book. In fact, the author (and my esteemed friend) Arnold Snyder warns the buyer of the book that this is no simple task but if you have a good head for math, you shouldnít have a problem. Itís a good book, honestly. (Snyder doesnít pay me to say that. In fact, the truth is he doesnít even like me.)

Ok. Shuffle tracking. Letís peel the layers of complication from this method of advantage play and see what we have. Simply put, shuffle tracking is the art of keeping track of the cards that are played and spent (used), then keeping track of clumps (10 rich sections) of cards (that would favor you) and remembering where they are in the discard rack (used/spent card holder). So far, so simple. Now hold on; the rest gets pretty fall-down easy.

Now, after all the cards have been dealt, you need to pay (not financially) special attention to how the dealer removes the cards from the discard rack, separates the six (five, or even, four) decks into three piles, and commences to build a new stack of cards deck for dealing the next rounds.

The dealer starts the shuffling process by picking about a deckís worth of cards (a grab) from pile one (far left) and a pile (grab) from stack three (pile on the far right) and marry these two grabs by riffling them at least twice, adding a strip (peeling off the top cards of a grab and sending them to the bottom of the grab/stack), then yet another riffle (the act of joining two grabs together, aka shuffle).

They then grab a deckís worth from the middle pile and marry (riffle) it with the new stack. From there itís random grabs and swaps (pulling cards randomly from the full stack of shuffled cards and riffling them (marry) together with added strips.

OK, so tracking is impossible. Or is it? Letís look at what is really going on during a shuffle...

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