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Continuous Shuffle Blackjack Machines Beaten

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 12th May 2008 8:56pm
  » filed under Jackpots  comments: 0


Beating Continuous Shuffle Blackjack

I got an email from a friend in casino security for one of the big operators, asking me what I know about beating continuous shuffle blackjack machines.

I've done a great bit of research about card counting (applied), some tools and techniques for cheating casinos, as well as interviewing famed casino cheat Richard Marcus. Nothing I've uncovered ever implied or led me to believe that continuous shuffle machines (CSMs) could be beaten by card counters or shuffle trackers.

According to our source, a group of players seem to have figured out how to beat these machines quite regularly although it's unclear how exactly, it's being done. Which I guess is why they asked me.

My first impression was obvious skepticism, but based on the quality of our source, I can't not believe that this is actually happening. For an advantage player to be able to beat a continuous shuffle machine without help on the inside (via dealers, or predicting the specific behavior of the hardware's algorithm) requires out of the box thinking on how to use and manipulate information gained during play.

One possibility - cracking the shuffling algorithm - is dicey at best, and would probably require investment into two CSM machines to test with, one to hack and one to test theories on. Even if one were to crack a given machine, you would have to know which casinos used a that specific model and whether or not it was using a the latest software update (if they even do software updates on these things.)

A second, slightly more realistic methodology for gaining advantage would be to develop a system of microcounting, wherein a player, or team of players, uses information available - the number and count of cards played in the last hand - to determine the composition of the remainder of the deck set.

Here's a theoretical : if there are seven playing positions (plus dealer) and each position is dealt, say, an average of 3.1 cards per round, then you would know that an average of 29.6 cards are played each hand. 29.6 cards per round equals 9% of a six deck set, 11% of 5 deck, 14% of 4 deck, 18% of 3 deck, 28% of 2 deck, 56% of 1 deck. The less decks used in a game, the more insight the player gets into the composition of the deck set remainder.

To gain further knowledge, it is to the players advantage to increase the number of cards played per hand. It is entirely possible that an adjusted basic strategy chart could mathematically tell players which hands should be sacrificed for the team when the deck set is below a certain advantage threshhold. The higher the number of cards out of the CSM, the more accurate the players insight unto remainder deck set composition will be.

It is a greater advantage to the player to play at tables with a smaller deck set. Six deck = 312 cards, five deck = 260 cards, four deck = 208, three deck = 156, two deck = 104, one deck = 52

Based on the percentage of played cards, and count of those cards, a team of players could construe a betting schema that would take advantage of specific situations.

It is also within the realms of electronic engineering that an electrostatic device could wirelessly adjust a CSMs shuffle algorithm, or trip it altogether as well as defeat fail safes to protect against such measures. Given the right amount of brains, invention and investment, this isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Men created far more complex pieces of technology for much less return on investment.

One thing is sure, as long as there is cheese, there will always be mice trying to steal it. With technology and hacking becoming as much of a sport as it is a profit making venture, it's a given that mathematicians and engineers will attempt to crack the latest advances in casino game protection. While the casinos may take a periodic hit from industrious inventors, it will barely make a dent in the buckets of cash blindly poured onto the tables by players who don't even know basic strategy.



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