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This Blackjack Forum article covers the recent explosion of phony blackjack systems based on non-random shuffles. While there are legitimate professional gambling techniques based on non-random shuffles, such as blackjack shuffle tracking and blackjack ace location or sequencing, numerous illegitimate non-random shuffle blackjack systems are also being peddled.
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Non-Random Shuffle Blackjack Systems: Shuffle Bored, Anyone?

 
 
phony gambling systems and winners
 
SCAMS, CONS, AND PHONY SYSTEMS : CONTENTS
phony gambling system and winners One Million Roulette Experts: A Swami
    Pastrami Parable on Winners'
    Testimonials
    By Arnold Snyder
phony ace prediction gambling system Comic Book Blackjack Systems
    By Arnold Snyder
phony gambling system and winners Non-Random Shuffle Systems
    By Arnold Snyder
phony ace prediction gambling system Gambling Systems 'Big Secrets'
    By Arnold Snyder
phony gambling system and winners Psychic Gambling Systems
    By Arnold Snyder
Articles about David McDowell's
Blackjack Ace Prediction:
phony ace prediction gambling system McDowell's Folly: Serious Mistakes in
    Blackjack Math and Methodology in
    David McDowell's Blackjack Ace
    Prediction
    By Arnold Snyder
ace location gambling scam Convexing Calculations for McDowell's
    Blackjack Ace Prediction Book, or--I'm
    Sorry
    By ETFan
phony professional gambling system Errata in McDowell's Errata: Problems
    with Fundamental Blackjack Math in
    Blackjack Ace Prediction
    By Arnold Snyder

Blackjack Ace Prediction by David McDowell presents a phony 'professional' gambling system Post Regarding Snyder's Comments
    on Blackjack Ace Prediction
    By ETFan

phony gambling system disguised as professional gambling system David McDowell's Blackjack Ace Prediction: A False Key to Ace Sequencing
    By Radar O'Reilly
Ace location method full of errors Mistakes in False Key Probability in
    David McDowell's Blackjack Ace
    Prediction and Corrections of
    McDowell's Win Rate Estimate
    By Radar O'Reilly
Blackjack Ace Prediction by David McDowell full of blackjack math errors Further Corrections of Ace Prediction
    Math
    By S. Yama
Blackjack Ace Prediction an incompetent work on non random shuffles and ace sequencing Player Alert: More Problems with the
    False Key Probability in McDowell’s
    Blackjack Ace Prediction
    By Arnold Snyder
Steve Forte comments on phony gambling system presented in Blackjack Ace Prediction by David McDowell Letter from Steve Forte about
    Blackjack Ace Prediction
Bill Zender comments on Blackjack Ace Prediction by David McDowell Letter from Bill Zender about
    Blackjack Ace Prediction
Other Gambling Cons and Scams
Gambling scams and cons Reach Out and Fleece Someone
    By Arnold Snyder
Gambling scams and cons Flipped
    By Dunbar
NBJ Blackjack System by E. Clifton Davis, phony gambling system New Blackjack, Same Old Baloney:
    Review of E. Clifton Davis' NBJ System
    By Arnold Snyder with commentary by
    Boardwalker
Articles about Jerry Patterson and the TARGET System
Jerry Patterson and TARGET blackjack system Patterson Bars Snyder from TARGET
    By Arnold Snyder (Coming soon)
TARGET gambling system and Jerry Patterson Off Target
    By Arnold Snyder
phony blackjack system and Jerry Patterson I Saw It With My Own Eyes
    By Arnold Snyder
<i>Break the Dealer</i> by Jerry Patterson Review of Break the Dealer, by Jerry L.
    Patterson and Eddie Olsen
    By Arnold Snyder
phony blackjack system by Jerry Patterson Response to Arnold Snyder's Review
    of Break the Dealer
    By Jerry Patterson
phony gambling system, Break the Dealer by Jerry Patterson Snyder's Response to Patterson's
    Response to Snyder's Review of
    Break the Dealer
    By Arnold Snyder
Articles about Leonard Benson and the Power Numbers Blackjack System
Power Numbers Blackjack by Leonard Benson John Leib Challenges
    Leonard Benson
    By Arnold Snyder and John Leib
Power Numbers Blackjack by Leonard Benson Leonard Benson Takes the Challenge
    By John Leib
Power Numbers Blackjack by Leonard Benson 22 Hours of Leonard Benson's
    Power Numbers Blackjack System

    By John Leib
 
COMPUTER POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!
FROM ET FAN:

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  Shuffle Bored, Anyone?
By Arnold Snyder
(From Card Player, March 1993)
© Arnold Snyder1993


The non-random shuffle gurus are making the rounds again. Or, at least, there are some new nonrandom shuffle gurus making the rounds. Every few years for the past decade, some self-proclaimed genius starts hustling a blackjack system based on the fact that casino shuffles do not distribute the cards randomly. For a few hundred bucks, one of these brilliant system developers will sell you the inside scoop on how to play blackjack by following the “trends,” “clumps,” and “biases.”

This all started ten years ago with the TARGET system, an invention of Eddie Olson, later hawked by Jerry Patterson. Many variations have arisen since then, but the theory and playing methodology never really changes much.

Here’s how Swami Nonrandami’s logic goes:

First, it’s necessary to acknowledge that casino-style shuffles are less than perfect, and that the cards are not randomly distributed by these shuffles. No problem, since anyone who has played any length of time at casino blackjack tables can see that sloppy shuffles are easy to find. When new decks are brought in, it’s not unusual to see occasional cards being dealt in consecutive new-deck order. So we know the shuffles are imperfect.

Next, you must accept the fact that these nonrandom shuffles are affecting the decisions on the hands dealt. No problem again. If you happen to see a dealer hit his fourteen with a six of spades, right after you doubled down on your eleven vs. his four up — you having caught the spade five — then you will be a believer. Yes! Yes! Those nonrandom clumps are killing me!

Now, what if you had a system designed to play those clumpy games? A system that made rational assumptions about hitting and standing based on the severity of the clumps? Yes! Yes!

Finally, a blackjack system that takes into account the kinds of weird stuff we actually see in the casinos. It’s not a system based on some mathematician’s analysis of some computer programmer’s simulated billion hands of play. This is a reality-based system, and that’s the only kind of system that works in the real world.

Card counters are out there talking about advantages of 1%, and they don’t even realize that the casinos sometimes have a 10% advantage over them, based on the nonrandom shuffles. What’s worse is that the same counters don’t realize that they can get a 10% advantage over the casinos, courtesy of the same lousy shuffles.

Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. . . .

A lot of players buy this baloney, and to be honest, it sounds very legit. There’s only one thing I don’t like about Swami Nonrandomi’s “logic,” and that is that it cannot be demonstrated by computer simulation.

John Imming’s Real World Casino (RWC) software allows programmable, nonrandom, casino-style shuffles. The deck(s) begin in regulation new deck order, and the shuffle routines simulate actual riffles, strips, cuts and washes, as fine or as clumpy as you decide, even utilizing casino-style breaks into multiple shuffling segments if you so desire.

Here’s what I’ve found with the RWC software so far:

The biggest effect on the player’s expectation I could find comes from no shuffling whatsoever. Ironically, this is a player advantage, not a house advantage. I’ve tried Imming’s software with 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 deck games, with both lay & pay, and pick & pay, dealing styles, and the player advantage rises by .70%-.75% if playing one-on-one with the dealer, regardless of the number of decks in play or the pick up style. Somehow, the play of the hands puts the cards into an order that favors the player.

Both Stanford Wong and John Gwynn had independently discovered this years earlier. Wong, in fact, ran a computer analysis to determine in what way the play of the hands ordered the discards differently from random, and he discovered that in the discard pile high cards do tend to clump with high cards, and low cards with low cards. We don’t know why this favors the player, but it does.

As multiple players are added to the table, this no-shuffle player advantage diminishes. For some reason, the first base side of the table retains the advantage, but the third base side loses it and then some.

Once you start adding any type of shuffle at all to the game, the (dis)advantages diminish, until the real world shuffle results are indistinguishable from random-number-generated shuffle results. The biggest effect I could find in a simulated casino game, utilizing what I figured to be the sloppiest shuffle you might realistically expect to find, was a couple tenths of a percent more or less than the normal basic strategy expectation.

My attempts at creating a sloppy shuffle which would have a greater effect than this were unsuccessful, even though the RWC software allows unlimited variations on lousy, inadequate shuffles.

So, where is this monstrous effect that Swami Nonrandami is crying about? I just don’t buy the explanation that it happens in a casino, but not in a computer. Why not? New deck order is new deck order, and nonrandom sloppiness is nonrandom sloppiness. There’s nothing magical about a lousy, lopsided riffle that a computer can’t simulate.

But there is one factor all the nonrandom shuffle gurus have in common. They all say: “Oh, by the way, you can’t simulate this effect on a computer.” Yet they spout all kinds of precise percentages, based on their “personal studies.”

I say, “Baloney.” Computers may not be able simulate everything under the sun, but card games are one of the things computers are very good at simulating, especially if what you’re looking for is the player’s expectation vs. a fixed house strategy. So take a hike, Swami. I don’t believe in gambling systems based on faith. If you can’t do the math, hit the path.

If you want information on legitimate professional gambling techniques for exploiting non-random shuffles in blackjack, see my book Blackbelt in Blackjack to get started. If after reading that, you decide you're up to the challenge of actually learning to win with shuffle tracking, see The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook: How Players Win (And Why They Lose) with Shuffle Tracking.

Send items of faith, hope and especially charity, to the Bishop.  ♠

For more information on real and phony systems for exploiting casino non-random shuffles, see the Blackjack Forum Professional Gambling Library, plus Arnold Snyder's books Blackjack in Blackjack and The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook: How Players Win (And Why They Lose) With Shuffle Tracking.

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