By: Victor “Vegas Vic” Royer
Shuffling machines. Why are they bad for you, the player? Two reasons.
First, shuffling machines make the game go faster, and since the faster the game plays the more hands you play, this in turn means you are exposed to the house edge on the game more often. That’s bad for you, and good for the casino.
Second, if your game is one that uses the continuous shuffler, this means that after each completed hand the discarded cards are not placed in the discard tray, to wait for the next shuffle, but are instead placed right back in the shuffler. So, theoretically, you can now get the same lousy hand right back again.
Such continuous shufflers make Blackjack more like a slot machine with cards, and one with really bad rules and very bad payback percentage.
If you ever see a Blackjack game that uses a continuous shuffling machine, stay away! Do not – ever – ever, play that game, or on such a table. If you do, you don’t deserve to keep your money. This may be a harsh statement, but these games as SO bad that you’ll get better value out of burning your money instead. At least that way you’ll get some warmth out of it.
Are all Shuffling machines bad? – No, they’re not.
Some shuffling machines simply shuffle the cards and take the place of the human shuffle. These are machines that are not continuous shufflers, but instead just shuffle the deck, or decks, of cards, and then produce the slug – the shuffled decks of cards – ready for use in the shoe, or hand-held by the dealer. These machines do the job almost the same as the dealer would. There are, however differences.
The shuffling machine will do the job faster, so more hands are played, and so this again means that you are exposed to the house edge more often. This can be bad if you’re not a good player, but can be good if you are a good player and can take advantage of favorable situations.
These shufflers shuffle the cards better, and more randomly, than the human shuffle would produce. This tends to eliminate clumping, or false-shuffles. Basically, these shufflers take the human element completely out of the shuffling of the deck. This is good for the casino, because this produces a more random shuffle, and does it faster. It is bad for you, the player, because now you can’t track clumps, or shuffling errors.
If you play Blackjack, or want to play Blackjack on your next casino visit, always look for tables using hand-shuffles done by the dealer, or, if not available, look for tables using only NON-continuous shufflers – only those that produce the shuffled slug.
Never, ever, play a game with a continuous shuffling machine. If you don’t know whether the machine is a continuous shuffler, ask. They must tell you the truth. If they don’t, you can report them to the Gaming Commission of your State, or the State in which you are playing.
Never, ever, play a Blackjack game that pays only 6:5 on Naturals. Ever. Period. Don’t do it. If you do, you’ll be sorry, and, sadly, a sucker. It’s that bad. I’m sorry if the words are harsh, but this is SO bad that only such strong words can be used to make this point as firmly as possible.
If you know only these two tips, you’ll play better, last longer, and have a better chance at winning, and having a great time with this great casino game.
Best of luck!
You can read more about Blackjack in my book: Powerful Profits from Blackjack.