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.