Joined: Feb 26, 2012
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April 13th, 2012 at 10:29:54 PM permalink
Is it normal for Three Card Poker tables to not shuffle the deck before putting the cards in the machine? Does it make a difference one way or the other, and if not, why would a casino do it? Every other poker variant I've played uses one "riff" (I think that's the correct term) of the deck before the cards are put in.
Joined: Feb 3, 2012
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April 13th, 2012 at 10:56:49 PM permalink
it makes no difference. though it is the norm for the dealer to riff the cards.
in many casinos it is actually codified in the rules of how the game is dealt.
honestly i think it is just a combination of customers liking to see a little hand shuffle
and the casino wanting one additional level of randomization.
superstition on the part of both.
the shufflemaster is perfectly capable of thorough randomization.
In a bet, there is a fool and a thief. - Proverb.
Joined: Mar 25, 2010
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April 14th, 2012 at 12:26:00 AM permalink
I'm not sure if any of the proprietary information regarding the automatic card shufflers has eve been released. I think, at least with some of the older machines, that it was fairly clear that they were not performing a "proper" shuffle.

As anecdotal evidence, I was at a casino where no shuffle was taking place at a 3-card poker game. The girl I was dating at the time was playing at the table, and when I came over to see how she was doing, she told me about how one particular woman at the table was getting a ridiculous number of bonus hands. The table was full, so I watched for a while. I noticed two things, nothing necessarily backed up by any "scientific" evidence.

The first is that the woman in question did seem to receive a large number of bonus paying hands. In the hour that I watched, she received about a dozen flushes, and half as many straights. She had quite a large stack of chips in front of her, and one of the other ladies at the table indicated that the lucky woman had received two three of a kinds since sitting down. I don't know how many flushes and straights the woman should have been statistically dealt in an hour, nor am I sure of how many hands were dealt. It didn't seem like very many, as every time she got a bonus, the floor was calling it out and getting verification on payout from the pit boss. It could have been an extreme run of luck, of course. The table was definitely getting noticed by the pit bosses, as 3 of them were watching the game. I presume to see if there was some kind of cheating going on.

The second was the repeating of some cards. There were, of course, two decks in play. I started trying to watch things, but it was hard to keep my attention focused on things. With the blue deck, I noticed that the queen of clubs and the three of hearts were present in every deal, in other words in someone's hand or the dealer's hand. It wasn't always to make sure of this, as not every player was playing every hand. But my viewpoint as an observer behind my girlfriend's chair simplified things. With the red deck, I noticed that the six of hearts was present in every deal. Those three cards I was certain of. I was pretty sure that other cards were showing up nearly, if not every, time, but I couldn't confirm them as easily.

As for the dealing, what I noticed was that no shuffle was being done by the dealer. After cards were dealt to the players and the dealer, the remainder of the deck was placed on the discard stack. As hands were folded or paid off, those cards were stacked on top. The entire stack was neither shuffled, riffled, nor cut in any way. The discard stack was place directly back into the machine.

I had come up with a theory on how the shuffle machine worked, and why it would produce results such as this, when no shuffling was taking place.

Even if the shuffling machine wasn't working the way it should, that would not necessarily account for the woman's extraordinary luck. But I think it would help.

When we returned to the casino a couple of weeks later, I noticed that all the 3 card poker table dealers were shuffling and cutting the deck prior to putting the discard deck back into the machine.
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
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April 14th, 2012 at 3:28:55 AM permalink
They made us stop shuffling to speed up the game...If the game is going bad for the players I will try to discreetly strip the deck before putting it into the iDeal

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