Table of Contents

A Sample Blackjack Shuffle Tracking Strategy

A Four-Deck shuffle tracking Strategy

To see how shuffle tracking actually works, let us use a simple shuffle tracking strategy example. We will assume a four-deck blackjack game is being played.

Let us suppose the cut-off is at about 75% or three-fourths of the shoe. This means three decks are dealt prior to a new shuffle. You keep card counting until it is shuffle time. You keep a separate count for each of the three decks used. Let's give labels to the four decks and see how they are shuffled. For the sake of this sample shuffle tracking strategy, we will make the shuffle simple.

Suppose the decks are named Deck 1, Deck 2, Deck 3 and Deck 4 with the latter being the unused portion. They are piled on top of one another with the unused part at the bottom like this:

Deck 1 Deck 2 Deck 3 Deck 4

The dealer now splits the pile into two smaller piles 1-2 and 3-4. Each pile is shuffled separately and then the former is put on top of the latter. The shoe now looks like this:

Deck 1 + Deck 2 (mixed) Deck 3 + Deck 4 (mixed)

If the counts are:

Deck 1 = -7 Deck 2 = +2 Deck 3 = +6 Deck 4 = -1 (the figure that gives a total of 0)

the newly shuffled shoe will have this figure:

-5 +5

Cutting Cards

Now in blackjack, players are offered to cut the cards during the shuffling process. Card-cutting plays a vital role in a good shuffle tracking strategy. It lets you put the negative count clumps into play and the positive count clumps out of play. Whenever possible, the shuffle tracking expert will take advantage of this opportunity. If a fellow blackjack player is shy about cutting the cards, they may even offer it to you giving you more chances to control the game.

Now let us say you are asked to cut the cards. Using the example shuffle given previously, you should cut as close to the bottom of the stack as possible without looking strange. This keeps the negative count clump as near to the top card as possible.

To use this shuffle tracking strategy, you must adjust your stakes in keeping with the count. There is now a thin clump of positive count cards that are at the top. You know that for the next hand or so (depending on how many players are at the table and how much you cut), this high-count clump will be in use. You will bet small while waiting for the negative count clump to appear.

When you know the -5 count part has come into play, you will bet higher without looking suspicious. When the +5 count portion is up, you will again lower your stakes. Do you see?

Of course these figures are only examples. But a negative count means you should step up your wagers, and a positive count means you should bet low. The more negative the count, the better. The higher the positive count, the more you should bet small. Just remember not to do anything that would arouse suspicion in the dealer or pit boss.

This example shows you how shuffle tracking is used in a live casino.