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How to Keep Track of Deck Counts and the Running Count in Shuffle Tracking

Deck Counts and the Running Count

shuffle tracking challenges a player's mental skills. In this tutorial we will show you how to keep track of the deck count and running count while shuffle tracking. We will also show you how to actually track cards in a shuffle.

How can you keep track of each deck's individual count when you are also tracking the running count?

Before anything, recall you must use playing chips to record your counts. You can use any coding system but you must have a way to put down numbers and negative/positive/neutral counts. Try using chip colors and compass direction. You must also have separate chips for deck counts and the running count.

Now let us say it is a four-deck blackjack game. For the first deck, the running count and the deck count are the same, so you just put that chip down as the Deck A count. Let us say this is -6. For the next deck, keep the running count going until you this second deck is finished. Let us say it is +2. To find out the count of Deck B, we subtract Deck A from it: +2 minus -6 equals +8. So Deck B is +8.

Do the same for Deck C. Each time you are through with a deck, you put its chip on top of the last one. Then you update your running count chip. Try to be discreet in all this. (For details on using playing chips in shuffle tracking, see the other lessons on this site.)

Now let us say the running count after Deck C is +3. How did we get from +2 to +3? Deck C must have a deck count of +1 then. We now have:

Running: +3 Deck C: +1 Deck B: +8 Deck A: -6

What about Deck D? It is the opposite of the running count: -3. And indeed, if we add up the decks now:

-6, +8, +1, -3

we get 0!

Shuffle Tracking with Chips

Assuming the dealer stops at a 75% deck penetration. We now have -6, +8, +1 and -3 stacked on top of one another.

To track the shuffle, watch how the dealer splits the shoe. They will cut the decks into piles and shuffle those piles in some way. As the piles are split and grouped, you must do the same with your chips.

If the dealer takes A and C and shuffles them together, and then takes B and D and shuffles them and puts the former on top of the latter, you get:

A + C = -5 B + D = +5

What does this mean? It means the high cards are now at the top. Cut the decks as near the bottom as you can manage to keep it this way. While you know the -5 is on top, you will wager more money. When the two decks A + C are through, you will bet minimum until the next shuffle. This is how shuffle tracking is used.


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