Table of Contents

Advantage Gambling and Shuffle Tracking

Casinos and the House Advantage

Casinos games are not designed to be beaten. The whole idea behind casinos is to get people to gamble their money in games that they will cost them more money than they'll win. That is how casinos make their business.

How do casinos do this? By devising games and setting up rules for them that always give the house (i.e. casino) an advantage over the player. A classic example is roulette. This game has one or two green pockets valued 0 to tilt the odds in the casino's favor. If you bet on just red or black, you are always at a disadvantage due to the extra pocket(s).

You can and will win at times, of course. If no one ever won, no one would play in the casinos for long. But the casinos always make a profit on the whole, especially since most gamblers play just for fun and don't take their playing seriously.

Advantage Gambling

But some gamblers do take these games very seriously. They don't gamble to have fun; they do it to win. And to win they study the casino games and their rules inside and out, looking for flaws that they can exploit to the player's advantage. This practice is known as advantage gambling. Advantage gamblers are like computer hackers and crackers. They look for security holes in the system (in this case, the rules of a casino game) so they can reduce the house edge and even create a positive expectation for the gambler.

An example of advantage gambling is playing progressive slots with such a big jackpot that it assures the gambler a profit when it hits. Another is arbitrage betting, in which a punter bets in two sportsbooks that offer contrasting lines on the same event.

But unlike hacking, advantage gambling is not a crime. Only lawful techniques are used. Nevertheless, casinos will do all they can to keep these people away. If you want to be an advantage gambler, know that it is a secret you must keep. You do not want the casinos to know what you are up to.

Blackjack Strategies

Of all casino games, blackjack is perhaps the one most studied by advantage gamblers. Several techniques have been developed to beat the casino in this game. The most basic is the blackjack strategy charts, a set of moves for all possible situations in the game. It makes the house edge quite small and can make you money if you don't play long enough for the long term odds to apply.

An even more effective technique is card counting. With card counting, it is possible to ascertain when a blackjack game favors the player and when it favors the dealer. A gambler can then modify their strategy accordingly.

shuffle tracking

From card counting, a new blackjack strategy known as shuffle-tracking has emerged. It is an advanced technique for locating portions of a deck or decks. Casino dealers shuffle deck(s) regularly, and it goes without saying that it would help the gambler to know what cards will appear next. This is the goal of shuffle tracking.

Shuffle tracking is an advanced technique for experienced blackjack players. Before you try it, learn the rules of the game first, use basic strategy until you know it by heart, and finally learn to count cards. Only then will you be ready for shuffle tracking.