Can Card Counting Beat a Continuous Shuffle Machine?

Can Card Counting Beat a Continuous Shuffle Machine?


– So what are those crazy shuffle machines
at the Blackjack tables and
can you count cards at them?
That’s what I’m going to
be talking about today
in this video.
(upbeat music)
Hey guys, I’m Colin from
Blackjack Apprenticeship
and I’m gonna talk about
continuous shuffle machines
and if you can count cards at them.
There’s three kinds of
shuffling that you’ll find
at a Blackjack table in a casino.
The first is a hand shuffle
where the dealer shuffles
all the decks of cards together.
And they put it in the
shoe and they deal till the
cut card comes out.
The second is called a random
or automatic shuffle machine.
And it works similarly
where the dealer will put
all the decks of cards into a machine,
they’ll shuffle them all together,
then they’ll pull all
the decks of cards out,
put it in a shoe, and deal
till the cut card comes out.
Now both of those can be
beaten with card counting.
But the third option is called
a continuous shuffle machine.
And a continuous shuffle machine,
the dealer’s gonna deal out of a machine.
And after every round,
they’re gonna put the cards
into the discard tray.
And after every couple of rounds,
the dealer is gonna then take these cards
and put them back into this machine
that is shuffling all the decks together.
Now the bad thing about
continuous shuffle machine
is you only get at most, about
a deck’s worth of information
for counting cards to
try to beat that game.
That’s really bad for us as card counters
and so, we’ve always avoided them.
But recently, someone brought
to my attention an article
by a guy named Steven Howe
from discountgambling.net
where he says you can gain
the advantage counting cards
at a continuous shuffle machine.
So I dug into his math and he’s right
that you can beat that game.
However, here’s the problem.
Because you’re only getting at most,
a deck’s worth of cards,
you’re never getting very high
counts and you’re not getting
high counts very frequently.
So using his formula, the math
that he put in the article
that you can look up,
I put a five to five
hundred dollar bet spread
which for a card counter,
one to one hundred bet spread
is a very, very large bet spread.
But, I thought let’s go crazy.
And using this bet spread,
it gave an expected profit of $2 an hour.
So that would be $2 an hour of EV.
So this is horrible for a card counter.
If you compare that to,
that same bet spread
five to 500 dollars at
a regular six deck game
where they cut off one and a half decks,
where they deal four and a half decks
and then they shuffle,
that same bet spread
of five to 500 dollars would
be worth about $150 an hour.
So, $2 an hour for counting
cards at a CSM game,
or $150 an hour counting cards
at a regular Blackjack game.
Obviously, you can get
a profit with a CSM game
but it’s not really worth your time.
Here’s my conclusion.
If you’re a gambler and
you want to play a CSM game
and you wanna try to
count cards, feel free.
But I don’t know why you wouldn’t play
the regular shoe game.
But please don’t play a CSM game.
Here’s why.
You’re sending the wrong
message to casinos.
What we want to tell casinos,
is don’t offer these CSM games where
they’re just preying on
gamblers and getting even more
of an advantage and
making it so that nobody
can actually beat them.
I’d rather nobody play a CSM game
so the casinos stop offering them.
We don’t want more of
these things, we want less.
All that to say, CSMs
technically can be beat,
but I don’t think it’s worth your time.
If you wanna learn more
about card counting,
we have a free mini course at
blackjackapprenticeship.com.
You can sign up for it.
The link is below in the info section.
You can sign up for
that and start learning
how to count cards and how
to beat casinos for money.

65 thoughts on “Can Card Counting Beat a Continuous Shuffle Machine?”

  1. Fortunately the CSM is not widely popular among players, as the high roller rooms don't have them as much and the green/black/purple chip better or higher is superstitious that the opaque machine is cheating them during losing streaks (we already see plenty of cheating allegations in shoe games, but much more so when technology is in use). Also, with the advent of free bet blackjack, blackjack switch, Spanish 21, 3 card poker side bet blackjack, etc, the concerns about card counters and cheaters are far outweighed by the demands of suckers, many of whom have deluded themselves into thinking they're good blackjack players.

  2. In my opinion, blackjack can be beaten every single time without counting cards. Yes, counting cards will give u an advantage but can also go against you since it tells you to bet heavy when there are more picture cards in the shoe…well, there is also a high probality of dealer making a hand in that case…and definately casinos have an advantage over anyone since they have more money to give out than any of us can afford to loose. Now, the point comes , how can you beat the game every single time?? Well, let me put it this way
    1. As you guys have mentioned in your previous videos that always take the money that you can afford to loose mentally n financially….GOLDEN RULE.
    2. I would say have a bankroll of atleast 100 times the minimum bet i.e if table minimum is 15 then have a banroll of 1500 or something close to it ….table minimum of 25- bankroll 2500 or something close to it …so on and so forth.
    3. DONOT DRINK while Playing.
    4. DONOT TIP the dealers.
    5. DONOT SIDEBET ( thats a sucker bet in the long run ).
    6. DONOT always assume that a dealer has a 10 as a down card….if that is the case the well you can never win as they have 10s as the upcard 65 to 70 % of times.
    7. DONOT get into conversations with other players or the dealers…REMEMBER, that place is not to make friends…you are there for money and not to just have fun..there are better places to have fun and make friends ( p.s i donot advice to be an a**hole either ) All i am trying to say is FOCUS.
    8. PLAY IT LIKE A BUSINESS…you will not win every hand and also you will not loose every hand. So use MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS On that table. Meaning, switch your bets . DONOT FLATBET…You CANNOT WIN like that.
    9. DONT BE EMOTIONAL in that place…..cards or that place donot have any emotions.
    10. Bet Big when winning and small when loosing….Just like winning streaks , you will have loosing streaks.
    11. DONOT aim for too big…i can guarantee you that you can always make 50 to 60 % of your banroll sometimes even more or on a really bad day 20 to 30 % of it almost every single time.
    12. DONOT play for a long period of time.. Your mind gets tired …you get frustrated and can start betting crazy. so GET OUT of that place if you feel tired or anything of that sort.
    13. Learn to get up and leave the place with your profit….come back some other day and do the same…but not the same day…
    14. THINK what you can do with that money in the outside world!!
    15. DONOT get addicted to that place…since, this is a kind of addiction…i would say as bad as drugs if not more.
    16. DONOT CHASE your loses…Take it slowly…Remember slow but steady wins the race!! and also not to forget casinos advantage over anyone of us in terms of paying out money!! WE have a limit but they don't.
    17. DONOT complete with them…DONOT play with ego or get too carried away with your winnings since, it jus takes a minute for things to change in that place!!
    18. Also, donot be scared to take a risk!!
    19. DONOT be too extravagant in the outside world with that money….MEANING, Take care of your priorities first rather than starting to be flashy!!
    20. DONOT DEPEND on that money!! IF you are able to resist the temptations and other things mentioned and are able to beat them on a psychological and mental level…then i believe anyone can beat them almost every time!!
    21. BEAT THE HOUSE!! BLACKJACK!! 😉

  3. phil Ivey the guy who took the vegas casino for millions said HE WANTED A SHUFFLE MACHINE TO KEEP THE CARDS IN CERTAIN ORDER.

  4. Another more technical reason why you can't beat a CSM… The fact that your advantage counts will be so infrequent will require a massive bet (such as your change from $5 to $500) when you do actually get an advantageous count. I'd love to see a followup video with Colin explaining how large of a bankroll you'd need to have <1% Risk of Ruin (RoR) with that game/spread. When you bet more than 2x Kelly, it's mathematically inevitable that you will bust from the natural swings of the game.

    Also, technically the CSM's are better for the basic strategy player due to the removal of the cut card effect. However, even your basic strategy player couldn't "notice" a lot of small or big cards and possibly bet accordingly, and I'm all for the fall of CSM's.

    Good to see you guys making videos again =).

  5. Hey Colin,

    BTW, according to Mike Shackleford if you play only basic strategy then a CSM is very slightly better than regular shuffling. He did say it's difficult to mathematically explain.

  6. Hi there I like in the uk , and the dealer only dealts him a second card after all players are finished their hands , does that makes any difference for card counting !??

  7. I wonder how truly random those CSMs actually are. Perhaps there could be a pattern that can be detected which might allow you to predict the cards. If that is the case, maybe it is even more profitable than card counting.

  8. Not considering the ability to count cards, does a CSM actually change the odds of the game? I've only played it on a cruise ship where it was the only option (and they shuffled after EVERY hand), but I sat down for three separate sessions that lasted about 5 minutes each, that's how bad it was. I lost almost every hand. I know the sample size is so small as to be statistically meaningless, but it was just so incredibly unlucky that it made me wonder. 
    I did play in (actually finished second) in the blackjack tournament on the ship, and that was hand shuffled, and there I did just fine.

  9. This is what I do against shuffling machines to register cards numerically : first ,I assign usability numeric labels to cards as follows vs initial dealer cards :
    Vs 3-6=+1 stand,double,split
    Vs 7-9=-2 hit,stand,split,surrender
    Vs 10-K=-1 surrender,hit,stand
    Vs 2,A=-2 hit,insurance,stand,surrender
    Use blackjack tendency to tie and loose consecutively to recoup and keep initial bankroll.
    Each running count is unique per hand and true count is included .
    Unavoidably use variation of bets from minimun to maximum allowed per hand lost consecutively but use theoretical delay :
    Hands lost in positive counts
    Hands won in negative counts
    Hands tied after losing hands consecutively
    *Forget about spreads because everything depends of the assingment by casino of min-max bets per hand according to initial bankroll : spreads are use useless when is assigned short range between min-max of wager : you better don't play : a shuffling machine? It s the best that could happen to you : because the making design of blackjack is based statistically by criminal casinos on:player 2 initials vs dealer 1 initial cards : even a cut card could be worse than a disgrace even if distributed 80% of available cards : sake misinforming people : inovator and blackjack apprenticeship academy: guvernamental self casinos promoters :

  10. How to perform against shuffling machines to register cards numerically : first ,I assign usability numeric labels to cards as follows vs initial dealer cards :
    Vs 3-6=+1 stand,double,split
    Vs 7-9=-2 hit,stand,split,surrender
    Vs 10-K=-1 surrender,hit,stand
    Vs 2,A=-2 hit,insurance,stand,surrender
    Use blackjack tendency to tie and loose consecutively to recoup and keep initial bankroll.
    Each running count is unique per hand and true count is included .
    Unavoidably use variation of bets from minimun to maximum allowed per hand lost consecutively but use theoretical delay :
    Hands lost in positive counts
    Hands won in negative counts
    Hands tied after losing hands consecutively
    *Forget about spreads because everything depends of the assingment by casino of min-max bets per hand according to initial bankroll : spreads are use useless when is assigned short range between min-max of wager : you better don't play : a shuffling machine? It s the best that could happen to you : because the making design of blackjack is based statistically by criminal casinos on:player 2 initials vs dealer 1 initial cards : even a cut card could be worse than a disgrace even if distributed 80% of available cards

  11. How to perform against shuffling machines to register cards numerically : first ,I assign usability numeric labels to cards as follows vs initial dealer cards :
    Vs 3-6=+1 stand,double,split
    Vs 7-9=-2 hit,stand,split,surrender
    Vs 10-K=-1 surrender,hit,stand
    Vs 2,A=-2 hit,insurance,stand,surrender
    Use blackjack tendency to tie and loose consecutively to recoup and keep initial bankroll.
    Each running count is unique per hand and true count is included .
    Unavoidably use variation of bets from minimun to maximum allowed per hand lost consecutively but use theoretical delay :
    Hands lost in positive counts
    Hands won in negative counts
    Hands tied after losing hands consecutively
    *Forget about spreads because everything depends of the assingment by casino of min-max bets per hand according to initial bankroll : spreads are use useless when is assigned short range between min-max of wager : you better don't play : a shuffling machine? It s the best that could happen to you : because the making design of blackjack is based statistically by criminal casinos on:player 2 initials vs dealer 1 initial cards : even a cut card could be worse than a disgrace even if distributed 80% of available cards

  12. Hey i've been learning how to count cards for 6 months and i can count a whole deck in 31 seconds but the only problem over here in the UK is that every casino has CSM's and they deal one hand out and return the cards back into the machine. Any tips? i'd of hated to waste all this time learning for nothing but i think i have. Thanks

  13. I live in Brisbane, Australia and there is one casino which doesn't use tables without a csm…… A new one is being built so fingers crossed

  14. ive seen it where they place the cards back in the machine after each hand. i will not play csm tables. even if the min bet is low, i will not play. note to casino: get rid of these freaking machines.

  15. I've trying to find answers to this question. The reshuffle tower machine or what ever it's called, Not CSM. I'm talking about the machine that the dealer puts their discarded deck in and then a new fresh deck comes up and is already ready.

    I've heard that the auto re-shuffler has been programed to set the deck in a certain pattern to keep the deck count as neutral as possible. Non of my local casinos hand shuffle unless that machine goes down. Could you shed some answers on that please?

  16. All casinos are going to CSM by 2020. Sorry but card counting is dieing and will be dead soon.

  17. I am interested in learning something new. .. I thank you for giving me my first tool to use… Please do not play at a CONTINUOUS CARD SHUFFLE MACHINE TABLE. remember why do you want to send the wrong message… The casinos want to take your money.
    Thank you . .. .

  18. for ShuffleMaster One2Six mashine, one method is used, it's counting last 16 cards dealt. In BJ, It's not very powerful, one reason is because, in BJ EoR (effect of removal) of one card is very small. but in some country, One2Six is used for other games too. at least one game is fairly profitable when the game is evaluated by SCORE.
    i don't say details.

  19. just got home from some blackjack. memorised basic strategy just before i left. i’m in australia with 1 casino in my city and 1 an hour drive, most casinos in australia use CSMs.

    went with the intent to just practice basic strategy (im a gambler) but the first 2 dealers dealt quite slow.

    first dealer dealt at least 4 or 5 rounds and let the discard get to around 35 or 40 cards. second dealer was putting the discards in the machine after every round so no point counting but i did for practice. i asked him and he said they are not supposed to let the discard get over 40 cards high. he said if he was dealing to only 1 player he would go a few rounds.

    3rd dealer was really fast so couldn’t keep up but he “shuffled” after every second round anyway. he also said he would go more rounds if it was 1 player.

    everyone left at the next dealer change so i asked her how many rounds would she deal before shuffling, she reckoned she would go at least a deck. so i kept going but liar bitch dealt 3 at the most. luckily i won on a double and left up.

    oh and the 2nd dealer said some funny bullshit, he reckoned the reason they don’t let the discard sleep stack up is so that people don’t steal the cards! HAAA!!! i’m not dumb buddy.

    also i was sitting out a lot of rounds and only jumping in when i felt like it, like if the dealer got 21 twice in a row. only once with the first dealer when i could actually count did i jump in because of the count. it was at 6 running at the end of the round. didn’t ask how many decks though so i assumed 6 = true 1 however i’m not sure what the standard number of decks is for CMSs.

  20. unfortunately most casinos in australia use CSMs. there also aren’t very many casinos. i’m a gambler anyway so I will try my luck but only really go off the count if there is a dealer who lets the discards pile up. some dealers clear the discards every 1-2 rounds making counting impossible. but what if we sit out rounds when the count is low or negative and only bet 1 set amount when the count is good? if i use a large bet spread i’m definitely getting backed off. so little casinos here, they’re all big and fancy and would catch on quick

  21. im just wondering at my casino i noticed its all CSM only. is it normal that CSM games where i play dont have dealer 2nd card face down on the table. they get the dealers 2nd card after everybody else played there hands

  22. I donated $1500 to one of those stupid machines before. The way the cards were coming out it's like they're made to make you bust. The only time I made some money back is when I played backwards staying on everything, and dealer started busting haha

  23. Hey Collin , in the city i live which Is Bogotá – Colombia, i have been playing over this machines all the Time, AND muy conclusión Is that Is a total ruin for the players, those machines literally make the casino win all the Time… In the city i live there are only 5 casinos each one with a vip Blackjack shoe table, one of those Is with 6 deck but the cut card Is placed in the middle… The other casino has 8 decks shoe AND there Is the only place that the cut card Is being placed 1deck AND a half of penetración. Which Is better to invest?

  24. damn i just wanna learn how to double or triple my measly 100 bucks when i go to play.. id do it 2 or 3 times a week so the casino doesnt hate me and make a solid side income.

  25. If you have a large income, you may be safe for now, but even in that case the machines are bad for counters. They can free up more pit bosses to watch the high limit shoe games. In my casino they could care less if a superstitious player doesn't want to use their player's card on the crm machine, but you must use it on the shoe games. And low limit (under 100 dollar) players are forced to use them, there simply aren't shoe games for $25 or even $50 players. I suspect that maybe on a very slow night you could convince them to open up a $50 minimum shoe game, but again you'd definitely be watched. Someone with a large bankroll and the freedom to travel probably can still cardcount, but who knows how long it will last? Millennials with low or average incomes will only come into the casinos knowing that it's dealt by machine, so they will never think to ask for a shoe game if that is even a possibility. If the casinos insist on bad rules as well with the machines, we might even see blackjack mostly disappear in 10 or 20 years. Blackjack is such a fast game, that the average gambler who doesn't even know basic strategy will lose less on roulette or three card poker, since these games move much more slowly.

  26. I just wanted to say thanks for the great content things have been rough. I took 100 bucks in 10 dollar chips here in Kansas city where card counters are protected by law. Did very well made mistakes but did good ate, tipped well, spent 80 on roulette and still left with 900 in cash. They were a bit rude at the end but most importantly I learned I'm not ready. I wanna be great you guys give me true hope. My life can be better than been.

  27. Hi Colin, is there a card counting system that takes into account the infinite amount of decks bcz of CSMs?

  28. Do you think it's important to have the exact count of cards, because whenever I go to a casino I keep a track on what has been thrown out on the table. I see a lot of numbers coming out I bet a bit higher next round even more numbers again bet higher. Next round see the same amount of hi and low stand on the same bet, next round see a lot of hi cards decrease the bet.

  29. One of the most important questions that I have is – do card counters follow basic strategy? For example if a counter knows that there are a lot of hi cards and he has a 16 against a 10 would he still hit? Or if he had an 8/8 against a dealers hand would he split under the same conditions?

  30. You're naive. If NO ONE played the CSM games, the casinos would conclude that virtually everyone that shows up to play blackjack is there to count cards, and their action would be to stop offering blackjack at all. Because why would that make a difference to anyone but an advantage player? It doesn't. That would be sending a clear message to the casinos of "we're all advantage players, that's the only reason we play blackjack".

  31. 99% of the casino in Macau use CSM. However, the rules are like this: 6 decks, S17, DAS, Early Surrender, No Peek. I checked on some Basic Strategy Engine and said the Estimated casino edge for these rules: -0.08 %.
    Negative Casion edge?!! is it really possible? For more information, these tables also offer Pairs and Under/Over 13 side bet.

  32. Here in Australia i have yet to go into a casino without a CSM machine there. Not only that, the discard tray limits at two decks, making the true count almost useless. Unless you have a ridiculous running count theres a low chance youre going to be profiting

  33. I know of a team that reverse engineered a csm and found that by listening to the csm shuffle they can sometimes gain information about the deck. However he wouldn't tell me how it works. Does anyone know anything about this? They've made a lot of money with this information as far as I know, but this was a long time ago.

  34. The shuffle machine can be bet , I already bit them for more than 20k , at late night the dealer will be very tired to remove all the cards and put it again in shuffle machine I notice that most of the time they play until 3 decks when it’s late night and there is a lot of players on the table , yesterday I bit them by 3k , the true count was +5 in three decks which has been delt so I spread 7 bets on the table with 200$ each bet , I received three blackjack and two 8s which I split and double it down as the dealer have 6 , I win all of them and the dealer bust , so counting cards work also in shuffle machine if the dealer is lazy to put again the cards in the machine , my advice play always the minimum when you loose and increase the bets when the count in your favorite don’t scare to loose the money especially when you play perfect basic strategy and perfect betting

  35. In my city, the CSM is widely used in the European blackjack and before anyone plays, they “burn” the first 5 cards upside down soooo yeah I am pretty fucked up.

  36. One thing to point out – when a casino installs CSM’s for the first time, it’s common to find significant penetration though dealer errors.

  37. Guess what..I looked this up after I lost money just now. Was like wtf is that I feel like I'm losing too much and here you have it.

  38. This sucks for Australian card counters. Australia has a shitty law that only allows one casino per state so they can make any change they want and we have to suck it up or not gamble.

  39. CSM machines are programed so the casino has a 88% win rate no matter how the gambler draw out the cards, the dealer will allways get from 17-21

  40. I have research and study about CSM. If you are keen to increase the chances of winning against CSM drop your email below and you will receive a few real tips on how to beat CSM. The lesson was being experimented with $XXXXXxx figures.

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