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Face
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Face
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March 6th, 2011 at 3:54:00 PM permalink
As stated before, I work in game protection where I'm responsible for a myriad of things, with one of those things being table games. Recently, my place adopted a new shuffle procedure which I imagine is to further decrease the possibility of being shuffle tracked, ace located or false shuffled. This new shuffle, on average, contains a whopping 28 riffles and 56 strips, in addition to deck rotation and feathering.

Throughout my career, I've always been the one to downplay the art of AP. As it pertains to BJ, I fully realize AP is possible and even practice and have had success with a bastardized version myself, however, it is also my belief casino management is way too sensitive on the subject and I suspect they don't really understand what it is all about.

Counting has its pro's and con's and can be effective, but it's definately no guarantee that you will rake in millions. Of the AP, I'd say this one is the most effective but I don't really include it in a shuffle issue as I don't see how they'd be correlated.

Shuffles, to me, deter shuffle tracking, ace locating and false shuffles. It is my arguement that the amount of persons who spent the time and have the mental acuity to effectively perform these types of AP are few and far between. Are they out there? Definately. I myself have met a few in the course of my career and they have scary good abilities. But again, they are a very, very small part of the gaming population and the chances of them making it to my corner of the woods are very small.

I question the forum as to their thoughts on these types of AP. I recently conducted a shuffle audit and found that our current shuffle was more than twice as time consuming as our previous, with over 15 minutes per hour being used for shuffling. If a table was in use for 24 hours a day with the tables' total wagers being $100 per decision, it came out to almost $400,000 lost per year for just that table. As we typically have 5 or so tables open at all times, with occasions where we have more than 10, and patrons often wagering tens of thousands per hand instead of a paltry $100, it is my belief we are costing ourselves well over a million, if not multiple millions of dollars. Is protection from these types of AP worth millions?

Personally I think not. But, as I'm relatively new to gaming, I thought I'd ask some old salts ;). Can any of you, whether an AP'er or casino personnel, justify spending that much money on one or two specific area's of protection? It is my thinking that my place has lessened an already VERY low chance of being taken, but in doing so has GUARANTEED a big loss every single night due to this procedure. What say you?
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FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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March 6th, 2011 at 4:05:00 PM permalink
I can just see someone in your dice pit hurrying up the shooter after he takes two seconds ... but someone over in the blackjack pit is taking fifteen minutes to shuffle... all in the belief that its vital.
You know the answer to your question.

You shuffles have to be adequate but they can't take all day and drive the players elsewhere.

The house edge applies only when the dealer is dealing, it never applies when the dealer is shuffling. Never.
MathExtremist
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March 6th, 2011 at 4:40:00 PM permalink
Quote: Face

Is protection from these types of AP worth millions?

Personally I think not....What say you?



I think it depends on how much your specific casino would lose, based on your specific set of APs. Only you know the answer to that. One question to ask, though: if you did no anti-counter game protection whatsoever, how much would the APs take you for? And a follow-up: if someone in particular started earning more than, say, $100/hour from your game, would you know it? If so, maybe you just watch for the APs who hurt you and let the rest slide as a cost of doing business. It takes an iron gut to acknowledge that someone's beating you and to do nothing about it, but it may very well be best for the bottom line. Certainly better than losing hundreds of dollars/hour on a procedural issue.

If your shuffle procedure costs you $400k/year, that's about $45/hour. Call it $50/hr just to be safe. But that's *all the time*, on every table, 24x7. If you don't have APs taking you for $50/hour/table all the time, you're losing money.

If your TGD is interested in putting a finer point on these numbers and really making an informed decision, PM me. I'd be happy to talk to you and him/her. It's what I do.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
benbakdoff
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March 6th, 2011 at 5:00:29 PM permalink
Face:

For someone relatively new to gaming, you certainly display a great amount of common sense. Unfortunately common sense is not one of the traits of paranoid casino managers. It's all about the bottom line and these time consuming procedures cost money. Advantage players can always be dealt with individually.

Perhaps you could present these facts to the policy makers at your casino. If they're smart they'll listen. If they're really smart , they'll include you in the decision making.
P90
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March 6th, 2011 at 5:17:31 PM permalink
Quote: Face

Counting has its pro's and con's and can be effective, but it's definately no guarantee that you will rake in millions. Of the AP, I'd say this one is the most effective but I don't really include it in a shuffle issue as I don't see how they'd be correlated.


That's not necessarily the key AP method. Counting is notable in that it is one of the few white hat AP techniques, staying strictly within game rules, and in that it is relatively versatile. But with the heat counter get the last couple decades, I doubt there is a single serious AP still left that only relies on counting in blackjack. By serious I mean sole occupation, not spreading $10-$100 on occasional Vegas trips. Hole card and shuffle tracking are the norm these days for anyone actually practicing advantage play (as opposed to deluding himself that he is).

However, that also greatly reduced the population of AP relying on blackjack, especially with no-limit poker being so popular these days and so much more profitable to a skilled player. 15 minutes per hour sounds quite far over the top; shuffle tracking is really only employed at the very low end of shuffle complexity, you only need to go a bit further than the very basics to either deter or sufficiently confuse trackers.
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Face
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Face
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March 6th, 2011 at 5:28:32 PM permalink
OK, you all seem to mirror my beliefs on the subject. It seemed obvious that the procedure was detrimental, perhaps TOO obvious. With something that I considered a no-brainer, cut and dry, I figured my inexperience was causing me to miss something. Perhaps there was AP out there that I wasn't aware of, or it was indeed a bigger threat than I perceived it to be. After all, the procedures aren't my specialty. To be perfectly honest, the creation and implementation of procedures aren't even my responsibility, I'm more on the enforcing end of things. It was just something I noticed and thought to investigate on my own (Game protection includes protection from ourselves, IMO). Since it's not truely my area, and those who's job it is have way more experience and make way more money than me, I figured they'd know better than I on what is appropriate. It would appear that I'm not too far off center in my concern.

Thank you for the offer on the chat, ME, but in the grand scheme of things I'm just a grunt, the low-man holding up the rest of the totem pole. I gave the info to my Director who is going to meet with Table Games, but what they do with the info is up to them. Hopefully after seeing my math they will adjust their procedure. Thank you for the $/hr example, that put it nicely into perspective. I seems even worse that I thought, as my $100 example was a severe underestimation. I just used $100 as a nice, round number and for effect. If we lose 'X' using $1,000 as an example, people say "well $1,000 never happens" (even tho it does). Using a measley $100 (gross understatement) and still showing an enormous loss ought to get some attention. Add to the fact that our biggest AP makes nowhere near that amount, and that there hasn't even been one case of SUSPICION of ace locating or shuffle tracking, and I can only hope they change.

You're all pretty much verifying what I already assumed, I was just looking to see if anyone had a reason why something such as this could be justifiable. I just didn't want to look like a fool if the issue gets shelved and I decide to push it way up the chain, which is what I was planning to do. Thank you for your input and compliments =)
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DJTeddyBear
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March 6th, 2011 at 5:30:11 PM permalink
Quote: Face

...with over 15 minutes per hour being used for shuffling.

15 minutes per hour? Holy cow!

I don't play much BJ anymore, but when I did, I'd prefer shoe games that hand-shuffle primarily because I could run to the bathroom for a quick piss, and be back before the deal started.

It sounds like at your casino, I'd be able to take a leisurely dump, and read a magazine too!
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Wizard
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March 6th, 2011 at 6:51:14 PM permalink
I've said this before, but the book Casino-ology by Bill Zender makes a very strong case that most casinos are much too paranoid about advantage play. For example, if they spent less time shuffling, they might attract a few more counters, but would gain much more by getting out more hands per hour.
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Face
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Face
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March 6th, 2011 at 6:59:46 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I've said this before, but the book Casino-ology by Bill Zender makes a very strong case that most casinos are much too paranoid about advantage play. For example, if they spent less time shuffling, they might attract a few more counters, but would gain much more by getting out more hands per hour.



Aye, I just spoke with Bill 2 weeks ago. Meetings with him and those like him are probably why I subscribe to the same beliefs, but like I said, I wanted to dig a little further just to see if anyone had an opposing position. So far, nothing but agreement. Yet the shuffle remains. To be continued....
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robbiehood
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March 6th, 2011 at 7:20:34 PM permalink
Years ago, in Statistics class, card shuffling was discussed in a lecture on randomness. I remember the Professor discussing ongoing work related to card shuffling. He noted that a single deck needed to be shuffled seven times to be considered random; a double deck, nine times to be considered random; and a six deck, twelve times to be considered random. Shuffling these different sized decks more than necessary does not appreciably improve the randomness of the cards.

Personally, I enjoy watching a good dealer riffle and strip a deck. What I don稚 understand is why your casino doesn稚 employ a shuffling machine? Although I am uncomfortable any time cards go out-of-sight, these machines will always provide a random, non-trackable deck ready to be dealt to multitudes of black chip floppies at your tables.
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