What Is Shuffle Tracking?
Shuffle tracking is a variation of a card counting strategy in blackjack. Shuffle tracking is best used when playing casino blackjack because cards are dealt from a shoe of six to eight decks. Card counters use card counting to determine if the next hand is likely to give an advantage to the dealer or the player.
The goal of shuffle tracking is predicting the occurrence of high cards and low cards. High cards are paint cards or Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10. Low cards are 1 thru 9. The goal is attained by observing the cards dealt and counting them. As each hand from a shoe progresses, the count improves the trackers ability to predict the next clump. This makes the risk taking of betting less risky for the player.
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How Does Shuffle Tracking Work?
Shuffle tracking works best with casino blackjack because of the simple shuffle of the shoe-dealt blackjack games. The player keeps track of the count by counting the high cards versus low cards dealt from one or more subsections.
The subsections are also called clumps, slugs or tracking zones. Shuffle tracking is also known as clump tracking. The player must be able to follow the tracking zones to know the final location of high cards or low cards by evaluating the shuffle.
When the shuffle tracker cuts the zone, it changes the composition of the shoe. Winning depends on the altered composition, creating less risk to the card counter and greater risk to the house for losses.
Why Does Shuffle Tracking Work?
Casino dealers are taught to minimally shuffle the cards. This type of shuffle is called a simple shuffle. Simple shuffles result in clumps of high and low cards which can be predicted and played accordingly by a shuffle tracker.
Shuffle tracking works because the six to eight decks in a shoe are not shuffled as thorough as they could be. The casinos think time spent shuffling is time spent not taking bets from players which then results in a loss of profits by the casino. This gives the shuffle tracker the advantage to accomplish their goal.
Shuffle Tracking 101
As a game is played, the player determines when there are more high or low cards by card counting. Low cards are given a positive value and high cards a negative value.
When the total count gets high theoretically there are more high cards remaining in the shoe. If the total count is low, more low cards remain in the shoe. This type of card counting is called the Hi/Lo System.
Example Shuffle Tracking and Card Counting
Shuffle comes when count is -5.
Player knows the cards left at cutoff total +5.
Low cards dealt were predominantly low cards, so high cards are still in shoe.
Cards simple shuffled and cut again for next game.
Track the clump during shuffling and cut
If count is +5 the clump of low cards is near and odds favor the dealer- bet less.
If the count is -5 the clump of high cards is near and odds favor the player-bet more.
Adjust betting strategy as needed while shuffle tracking and watch your winnings grow.