The Truth About Continuous Shuffle Machines & Card Counting

Continuous Shuffling Machines & Card Counting

I get asked fairly often about continuous shuffle machines (CSM’s) and their effect on the game of blackjack. With CSM’s, no discard tray is needed because the dealer continuously places the played cards into the shuffle machine (for example, after a player busts a hand). This provides a constant randomization of the cards which negates the benefit of card counting. Fortunately, at the vast of majority of blackjack tables you will not find CSM’s. The casinos that do employ CSM’s, use them only at a select number of tables – usually low minimum tables. What saves card counters from the prospect of casinos using CSM’s at all their blackjack tables is the superstitious and unknowledgeable nature of gamblers. Many blackjack players refuse to play at tables with CSM’s, especially the bigger bettors. They don’t trust CSM’s because they believe that CSM’s rig the game or increase the casinos’ advantage. The reality is that the average blackjack player does have cause to worry about CSM’s but not for the reason they believe. CSM’s do not increase the house edge. In fact, if you play perfect basic strategy CSM’s actually lower the house advantage by a tiny bit. Where CSM’s really hurt the average gambler is that they allow the house to deal more hands per hour because there is less downtime. Since the dealer never has to shuffle the cards, more hands are dealt per hour which means blackjack players bet more often and of course lose more money. Ironically it is the typical blackjack player who lacks the knowledge & skill to beat the house who is unknowingly helping card counters by preventing the spread of CSM’s.

Comments

  1. Greetings Mike!
    First of all I have to thank you for being helping us to play better and sharing your vast knowledge as one of the past members of the legendary team 🙂
    Second, I just read your post about the CMS machines… I live in Portugal, and usually play on “Casino Estoril” where they use the “One2Six – The flexible shuffler” with 6 decks. One card is burned out at the beginning of the shoe, and when someone loses, their cards are put together in the same place of the first burned out card, and in the end of the shoe they are all placed on the shuffler. By your explanation, I’m almost sure about your answer on this, but when using this shuffler this way, is there any way that we can count cards, or is possible to do it but just in the current shoe, leaving our chances to win almost equal? Also, what’s the “perfect basic strategy CSM’s” that you are talking? Are you referring about those charts saying when you should split, double or hit? And if it is, can you show me the most accurate one?
    Other thing that is not related to this, as I saw in the casinos of Portugal that I visited, all of them use a shuffler, so I’m thinking about trying to play other thing else… Have you ever studied Poker? Did you end with some good strategies or tweaks that can help you? I would ask you to share any place where I can get good knowledge about it, because I’m considering to study it and try to win at that 🙂
    Sorry my bad English, and hope I’m not bothering you!
    Thank you!

  2. Jozef Pendorf says:

    Just wondering if a 6 deck casino blackjack game with a GSM can be beat thanks…

  3. Conclusion: CSM does not affect card counting. Am I right?

  4. I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW CSM WORKS IF CASINOS USE IT TO SHUFFLE CONTINUOUSLY DOESNT IT MEAN
    CARDCOUNTING IS NOT POSSIBLE AT ALL?

  5. He didn’t say the csm gives the card counter the advantage he said the people that stay away from the csm tables (thinking their rigged) give the card counter an advantage because it keeps the CSMs from spreading. He said at the csm tables basic strategy is what reduces the house edge not card counting.

  6. Mike I have been playing for 20 years. Just got my ass spanked by one of these machines…..could be variance, but for a skilled player how can you say this. !st off every card out of the shoe is a small piece of information which helps you play the next hand. So when they put the cards back in the machine it totally screws your count and information. You can’t vary your bets. I personally don’t think they should be legally able to call it black jack. These machines should be banned. I will tolerate a 6 deck shuffling machine as long as the cards get played out.

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