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Topic: Infrared markings in casinos
Message: Posted by: Cliff Rusnick (Mar 18, 2006 06:39PM)
I read that some casinos actually put infrared ink on their cards as a cheating prevention measure so that the eye in the sky can read the top card and make sure that the dealer is not dealing seconds, centers or base, or that no mucks are taking place.. is this true?

I also read that this ink is very expensive, and seems that it would be a waste since casinos only used decks once before they are discarded... also this would mean that when you buy the decks from the gift shop in the casino, that you actually have a marked deck that you could read with infrared glasses or camera.

I highly doubt this is true.. but if it is.. this would be the greatest find in the magic community since fish medicine.
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (Mar 18, 2006 08:16PM)
I wish that was true...if casinos used IR inks on their cards I could win a fortune since the same filtered sunglasses which read luminous will also be able to read most IR inks.

In addition, IR inks are made by disolving crystals in alcohol which brings us back to the problem of alcohol burning the finish on cards.

It is possible to use some IR inks which reflect IR light in the 750+nm frequency range. But, they can be read by the casinos as well as anyone who has an IR camera. And alcohol will still be an issue.

Bottom line: Casinos would be stupid to do this since the marks may be used against them....I don't think costs would be an issue, if the casinos thought it would help their edge or prevent theft/fraud.
Message: Posted by: Chris Stolz (Mar 18, 2006 09:36PM)
I should also point out that while seconds are possible (although not easy!) to deal from a shoe, centers and bottoms are not.

The security personel on the floor does a lot of the dealer and player watching. A lot of the camera work is for entrances, exits, the bar and unusual moves towards a bet etc. You will find that most of the cheating done on the floor is caught by the security officer standing right behind the cheater.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 18, 2006 09:53PM)
Some use it on the face of cards.

http://www.laserlocktech.com/productinfo.html
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (Mar 18, 2006 10:41PM)
If you are going to start with a laser...you might as well bring in a UV light. The problem is that the marks become visable to ANYONE who happens to be looking at the cards when the laser or black light is shining on their respective inks.

In reality, you want to be the only person to see the marks. In addition, using a laser or UV light may be tricky...in my humble opinion.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 18, 2006 11:26PM)
E.M

I am not sure you understand but I am not sure I do either. :)
I assume : The casino mark the casinos cards with a laserlock mark in the same place and that does not tell them the name of the card but only that cards belong to the casinos. This tells them if their cards have been switched for marked cards maybe. Same sort of thing with their dice and chips. A UV mark could easily be replicated but the laserlock is more secure.
I have not read the thing to tell the truth I am just guessing.
Message: Posted by: Cliff Rusnick (Mar 18, 2006 11:46PM)
Is all infrered ink made the same way? I saw some demo video of someone who marked cards using an infrared ink, appearently he got his ink in a powder form which was to be diluted in something else... maybe water?

what kind of crystals are desolved into the alcohol anyway? I'm curious to try this just on... random things such as paper.. a while ago I actually made a pair of infrared glasses and was having fun writing on black material with a marker.. then reading it through the glasses (the only way you could see it)

and yea the filters are almost the same.. the way I made my glasses though was to take 3 red filters and 2 blue filters and layer them up. it looks almost pitch black but whem you put them on so that no light enters the glasses, it's pretty fun to look around with those things.
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (Mar 19, 2006 03:25AM)
The only way to get a marked deck in a casino would have to be a 3 way operation
1) come up with a new marking system
2)come up with a way to view it
3)go to work for the card company

then retire. now here there are 2 options you can retire in 1)jail or the one I prefer aspen.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 19, 2006 01:56PM)
Getting a maked deck into a casino poker game in some casinos might not be as hard you think.
Some I know use KEM cards with no logo and the dealer changes every 30 minutes or so and takes his deck with him and then returns with it. I have been in a dealers rest room and seen their cards just left on a shelf while they are having a coffee the other side of the room. I have even been in a casino and lent a couple of decks before the poker started to sit there with a pal and play Kalooki.
The BlackJack cards are a different story - plenty of security with them. The thing is some casinos do not seem to care about the security at poker because it's not their money at stake.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Mar 19, 2006 05:56PM)
Something in the back of my mind tells me that a casino might use IR to identify the cards as theirs, but never to determine the value of the card.
Message: Posted by: Cliff Rusnick (Mar 20, 2006 01:09PM)
Has anyone ever tried looking for any type of marking anywhere on casino decks?

I should hit up my local casino and buy a deck to check it out
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (Mar 20, 2006 01:41PM)
They might take them off at least for the ones they sale. just a thought
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Mar 20, 2006 03:49PM)
I have several decks of UV marked cards in my collection that use bar-code style markings to determine suit and value.

The decks are used with the Mindplay system for a variety of reasons.

1: A Mindplay reader can read the marks and nearly instantly determine if a card is missing, or duplicated in a deck of cards. This of course has some pretty serious implications for anyone trying to remove and replace cards secretly.

2. The Mindplay readers can determine the exact order of the deck before the dealer deals. There are numerous implications of this type of information being hooked up to a software package on the casino's side of things. For instance, the casino could use this information to determine an early shuffle point (in Blackjack) if they so desired. It also would allow them to determine if someone's betting patterns were following the approximate distribution of aces (shuffle-tracking). Finally of course, they could combine a system like Mindplay with RFID-embedded chips to precisely gauge a card-counter's effectiveness. If they determined that a person was a counter but was not beating the game, they'd let him play. If they determined that a counter was good enough to make a dent in their profits, they'll bar him.

I've actually seen the Mindplay machines in casino's, and have even been giveng a demonstration of the machine's abilities on the floor of a casino. The GM removed a card from the deck, shuffled, and placed the remainder in the Mindplay reader. The machine almost instantly signaled that a card was missing, and a tiny screen revealed the name of the missing card.

Jason

PS: Incidentally, the cards are bar-coded at the very edge of the face on the short and long ends. The reader bevels the deck and exposes a tiny bit of the face of all 52 cards as it reads. The UV marks are plainly visible if you shine a UV light on them (even a cheap blacklight works).
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 20, 2006 04:19PM)
So it UV not IR Jason or both UV and IR? I have read about IR bar codes but not UV. You can get both in the same ink.
Message: Posted by: iamslow (Mar 21, 2006 11:18PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-18 22:53, tommy wrote:
Some use it on the face of cards.

http://www.laserlocktech.com/productinfo.html
[/quote]
Hi Tommy, I think a lot of casino's use this technology on their chips and dice more than they do with their cards...It would just be too expensive specially if the cards are changed every 8 hours...another disadvantage to using this technology in cards is the Cheater has access to the same markings jsut like when cheaters use juice, it becomes an all access pass... Most importantly, how would you feel if you were a whale and you found out that the casino you love to donate money to knows the identity of the cards before you?? So as common sense dictates, this tecnology is definately possible, but the possibility of it seeing the tables would probably be unlikely... just my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Mar 22, 2006 09:28PM)
Iamslow,

These cards (UV markings on the faces) ARE in use in casinos all around the world. They aren't on every table, or in every casino, but Mindplay is a large company, and their share of the casino market is only going to get larger (or at least, similar technologies' shares will only get larger).

The whales will probably react in the same manner that they've always reacted...with indifference. Afterall, the casinos clean and repair the roulette wheel, provide the dice, repair slot machines and oversee the eprom devices that reside in every one, and have dealers that physically manipulate the cards every single week, 24 hours a day.

The casinos will downplay the potential inside cheating angles associated with knowing the order of the deck, and will sell the public like crazy on the benefits of keeping outside cheaters (muckers and switchers) away from the tables.

End result: the average gambler (and this includes gamblers that are very wealthy but otherwise unremarkable) won't care a bit.

Jason

PS: Tommy, the marks are readable with a UV light. I haven't tried anything in the IR spectrum. Sometimes a digital camera can detect things in the IR spectrum, but might sees nothing on these cards.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 23, 2006 05:22AM)
Thanks.

I did read there is a court case going on about the mindplay thing as in effect the casino are using marked cards.

There are invisible markings that cannot be replicated or even found by forensic people if they were to look at them. However, I am not sure if it has ever been used on cards. It is used for anti counterfeit. A dedicated electronic device as small as a key ring reads it. The stuff is so small that it is smaller than bacteria and once it is put on anything it merges with the normal bacteria of whatever it is put on to and cannot distinguished from normal bacteria that is found on everything. It comes either as a dust like stuff and can be put into ink or whatever. It would be a great for marking cards but you need to run the machine over the stuff to read it or the other way around. Even the people who make it cannot tell it is on the product only the customer with his dedicated machine/s can read it. Another customer can not read another customers mark with his machine. It is literally impossible for any at all to find the mark without your machine. It will be used on everything in future and is probably on something your wearing right now. The people making it will put the machine/reader in anything you want but the smallest thing I seen is a key ring maybe it could be put in a finger ring. It could certainly be put into a dealing shoe. Obviously if they found you with the reader that would be a problem but I am saying categorically that no one can find the marks if they just examined the cards, not the gaming commission or anyone else. It is all quite scary and it is said to be real cheap per item.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Mar 28, 2006 04:05AM)
I would suggest that you gentlemen read the Nevada Gaming Commission Regulations regarding the use of marked cards.

Just a comment.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (Mar 28, 2006 07:51AM)
Somebody has to be wrong here...I am hearing 2 messages:

1) Mindplay marks cards for casino identification ... but, not to determin the card's value.

2) Some people say that Mindplay can determine the order of the cards.

As far as I can tell you can't have it both ways...either the cards are marked in the same place for identification or they are marked in different places so the casino knows the order of the cards.

Am I missing something ?

I have not looked in Mindplay yet...no time :(
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Mar 28, 2006 09:56AM)
Mindplay is working on a cardshoe that reads...check out the patent info:

http://www.freshpatents.com/Apparatus-and-method-for-a-card-dispensing-system-dt20050310ptan20050051965.php
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 28, 2006 10:31AM)
Expert

Yes we are taking of two different things but both using invisible casino marks so we can have it both ways in fact there are more ways than two that casinos mark cards and mind is just one. (a) Mind play does ID each card etc. (b) Other casinos just mark the cards with invisible security ink simply to id them as casino cards. (c) You can buy security cards with the face colors printed in secruty ink And so on. The original question is not about mind play in particular but "Infrared markings in casinos" The link I gave for example is not mind play.

http://www.laserlocktech.com/productinfo.html

Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: Craig Krisulevicz (Apr 1, 2006 09:05AM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-18 22:36, chris_stolz wrote:
I should also point out that while seconds are possible (although not easy!) to deal from a shoe, centers and bottoms are not.
[/quote]

I don't know why I'm chimming in so late and remarking on something off topic, but there is a method to deal the bottom card of a shoe, but not consecutively. But, that's all folks!
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (Apr 1, 2006 02:57PM)
How is that possible?
Message: Posted by: Cliff Rusnick (Apr 1, 2006 05:51PM)
I suppose if you move the bottom card to the side of the deck so that when you put the decks in the shoe it will lay under all the decks, near the front of the shoe. if you wanted to deal that card, you could push the decks back and grab the card that was under the decks (what used to be the bottom card)there for it would be a one time thing. anyway, that's just a stab in the dark, I don't really know for sure.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 1, 2006 06:55PM)
Or put the cards in the shoe face up. :)
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (Apr 1, 2006 08:10PM)
Yeah that's the best way. I deal flawless bottoms like that.
Message: Posted by: thegreatsantani (Apr 1, 2006 10:09PM)
The holder used cards are put in are a colr that allows any marking to be seen, as it would be to the gamblers advantage to know aces and or 10 point cards. If said gambler marks the back of a card with "juice" it would show up in the discard shoe. Saw that on an episode of Behind the scenes or somting of that nature.

TGS
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Apr 2, 2006 10:56AM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-28 08:51, Expertmagician wrote:
Somebody has to be wrong here...

1) Mindplay marks cards for casino identification ... but, not to determin the card's value.

[/quote]


Whoever said that is wrong. The cards are marked in the same spot on each card...by a barcode. The barcode allows the machine to determine the value of each individual card. The beveling action of the Mindplay reader allows all the barcodes to be visible at the same time while the deck sits in the device. After that information is stored, the cards can be removed and placed in a shoe to be dealt, or if Mindplay has finished working on their reader/dealing shoe, then I'm sure they can be dealt straight from the device that read the cards. Not sure how far along the reader/dealing shoe is.

Jason
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 30, 2006 02:07PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-18 22:53, tommy wrote:
Some use it on the face of cards.

http://www.laserlocktech.com/productinfo.html
[/quote]

Where does it say this on that site? I don't see it.
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On 2006-03-23 06:22, tommy wrote:
Thanks.

I did read there is a court case going on about the mindplay thing as in effect the casino are using marked cards.

There are invisible markings that cannot be replicated or even found by forensic people if they were to look at them. However, I am not sure if it has ever been used on cards. It is used for anti counterfeit. A dedicated electronic device as small as a key ring reads it. The stuff is so small that it is smaller than bacteria and once it is put on anything it merges with the normal bacteria of whatever it is put on to and cannot distinguished from normal bacteria that is found on everything. It comes either as a dust like stuff and can be put into ink or whatever. It would be a great for marking cards but you need to run the machine over the stuff to read it or the other way around. Even the people who make it cannot tell it is on the product only the customer with his dedicated machine/s can read it. Another customer can not read another customers mark with his machine. It is literally impossible for any at all to find the mark without your machine. It will be used on everything in future and is probably on something your wearing right now. The people making it will put the machine/reader in anything you want but the smallest thing I seen is a key ring maybe it could be put in a finger ring. It could certainly be put into a dealing shoe. Obviously if they found you with the reader that would be a problem but I am saying categorically that no one can find the marks if they just examined the cards, not the gaming commission or anyone else. It is all quite scary and it is said to be real cheap per item.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do I detect the pungent aroma of excrement of the male bovine, combined with a sense of paranoia here?

If such a marking exists, then within months, the forensic people and the cheaters will have a way of detecting it.

I suggest that you check, as Lee Darrow has suggested, with the Nevada Gaming Commission regulations.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 30, 2006 05:06PM)
I suggest that what I say is perfectly true and suggest you do not bet me it is not.
Message: Posted by: O J (Apr 30, 2006 08:32PM)
Marked cards are difficult to detect.But its still cheating.Some people think cheating is ok, I think its bad.But I'm not sure if its immoral or not, is it? :)
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 1, 2006 05:17AM)
It is immoral, bad and cheating for a magician to use marked cards and not to mention gaffs and stooges, in his act. There should be law that carries the death sentence by burning for any magician caught. :)
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (May 1, 2006 07:37AM)
I always use a marked deck, but in reality rarely use the marks. I use a marked deck because it only costs about $3-4 to mark a deck using luminous or juice and if I come across a pain in the neck or a magician I want to fool badly, I have an extra weapon up my sleeve. (Just handy to have around.)

Also, when I was younger and learning, it gave me a crutch in case I missed a force, etc.

So, in my opinion, a marked deck is not cheating...nor is using a copper/silver coin or a Boston box or any other gimmick which we use to accomplish our miracles :)
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 1, 2006 10:53AM)
And so the end justifies the means and so it is when one is a professional.
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (May 1, 2006 11:42AM)
Idk about you guys but I still use my scotch and soda when I need a nice trick to impress someone.
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (May 1, 2006 05:36PM)
Some of you might've missed the point of the markings on the Mindplay cards.

Remember, these marks are on the FACES, where there are ALREADY marks! The normal ones that we all use to determine the value when the cards are turned over. The only thing the Mindplay system has done is move the marks to the extreme edges of the cards and use a barcode scanner to encode the information. (My guess is that other information besides suit and value is encoded, like perhaps lot number, and perhaps a casino identifier, but that's just speculation on my part.)

You don't get in trouble for having invisible marks on decks on the same surfaces as plainly visible marks. You DO get in trouble for manipulating this information illegally. So, for a casino to employ the Mindplay cards and readers isn't illegal, as long as they don't alter the basic game-selection criteria.

Using the readers to prevent card switching and to "replay" a disputed hand are perfectly legitimate uses of this technology. Using the readers to identify shoes that have taken a turn towards the negative and then reshuffling (called preferential shuffling) may or may not be illegal (depending on the area).

Using the readers in combination with a shill or house player to "anchor" off bad cards and help improve the dealer's hand would definitely be cheating.

It's all in how you use it.

Jason
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 1, 2006 07:39PM)
“The Mindplay system uses an optical scanning device to read markings embedded in the edge of the cards as they are dealt out. The system can continually calculate the odds of the house winning each hand, and when the odds turn to a predetermined negative expectation, the dealer can be signaled to shuffle the cards.”

Al Rogers


If that's not cheating I'm a banana!
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (May 1, 2006 08:33PM)
Tommy, you may want to prepare to be peeled.

The laws in the US don't require the house to deal a losing game. It is perfectly legal to change the rules of the game on virtually a whim (at least in Nevada, and many other states).

Why is it that restricting doubling to 10 and 11, not allowing the resplitting of aces, not allowing doubling after splitting, paying 6 to 5 on Blackjacks, and hitting soft 17 are all "okay" in your mind (I'm presuming here), but not preferential shuffling?

After all, all of the above things increase the house edge. Although I agree that preferential shuffling is certainly a gray area, I can see the casinos' side of things. In fact, preferential shuffling of a sort is already in every casino in the land. What do you think the stop card is all about? It's an attempt to reduce the likelihood that a shoe will go so far positive that a big edge can be realized by the player. Instead of shuffling when the deck actually goes negative, they just shuffle so often that the effect is that the deck never has the chance to go positive in the first place. I'm overstating the facts a bit here, because shoes with poor penetration occasionally do go positive, but the attempt by the casinos to flatten the fluctuation is clearly there.

Cheating? I could be persuaded that in some (maybe even most) circumstances it is. But I think if you fought this battle and won you might still wind up losing the war, because the casinos are still free to alter the game in dozens of other fashions to make it unbeatable, and now you're back to the fact that the law can't compel them to offer losing games.

I think of preferential shuffling when a human does it as fine. If the players can legally count cards, then certainly the casinos should be allowed the same freedom. Many dealers CAN in fact count, and there's no doubt that some have been instructed to shuffle up when the shoe turns positive. Once you cross the line and allow a machine to do the counting for you, I agree that you're moving closer and closer to the unethical side of the argument, and perhaps all the way to cheating.

But I don't know that the courts will agree.

Jason
Message: Posted by: sodman12 (May 1, 2006 09:42PM)
I think that untill a large number of the casino going crowd get wind of this nothing with stop the casino from doing whatever they please.

the average casino patron I doubt would notice this or care about this although some might find it offensive I doubt it would even make a dent in the profits of a casino much less kill the profit they would be gaining from using this.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 2, 2006 04:23PM)
A person can not use a mechanical device to card count, that is law yet the casino's are doing just that and using a loophole in the law by claiming a casino is not person under the law. It is nothing short of scandalous.
When I am president all these casino owners and their sympathisers will be wearing orange suits and living in Cuba. :)
Message: Posted by: MaGiShN46 (May 2, 2006 11:15PM)
NO THEY DO NOT

I am a dealer in a casino and I take the cards out of the boxes that came straight from the factory.

The casino had no chance to touch em.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 3, 2006 04:11AM)
MaGiShN46

Thank you kindly for giving us all the benefit your expert knowledge. They are looking for guy’s like you in Vegas. :)
Message: Posted by: silverking (May 3, 2006 10:26AM)
There's many more "flats" in the world than there are "sharps"......and that's where the casinos make all their money.

The percentage of folks who will take the time to understand "Mindplay" (and care) is probably somewhat less than 1.

As a very young man, I read all of Scarne's books, and although I love the entire gambling story, I've had a life long dislike for gambling in casinos........all based on Scarne's often repeated statement that you just can't win in the long run (on the square).

This is just another example of the casinos living up to Scarnes words.....now decades old and still as true as ever.

An electronic counter on the player is against the law, and electronic counter for the house is celebrated as good business practice by both the casinos and the State.
When you walk in the door of a casino with money in your pocket that you intend to gamble on any of the table games other than poker.......... you sure start lookin' like the Flat!
Message: Posted by: mook (May 8, 2006 11:42PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-01 21:33, JasonEngland wrote:
Tommy, you may want to prepare to be peeled. ...

Many dealers CAN in fact count

[/quote]

Are you ready for your peeling, Mr. England? I defy you to find ONE dealer who can both count and deal Blackjack at the same time. Those who are in the business know exactly what I'm talking about.
Let's run through a very realistic scenario. You might find a dealer's thoughts while attempting to count, using hi-lo, and deal a game (with 4 players) at the same time could very well read like this, "No more bets. 16. Stay. 11. Double down. 18. Stay. Blackjack. Ok 25 pays 37.50. Dealer has 9. 12. 19. Now the count is +4. Oh no! I forgot about the Blackjack I just locked up. It's really +2. Now to pay and take the bets: 18 loses, 20 wins, 16 loses. Time to lock up the cards. New player buying in. Changing $100. Good luck! I wonder if I get the E.O. break today. Oh crap! What was the count again?!"

Like to see anyone pull that off for a few hands, let alone a shoe. And we're not even talking about converting it to a true count, which signifies the player's real advantage.

Floorpersons don't have time to count either. That would mean dedicating all of their attention to only one of the 6 (or more table, in some cases). Some casinos have employees dedicating to identifying and deterring card counters called the "count team." They are often the ones who tell to shuffle early to throw the card counter off. It is NEVER up to the dealer to shuffle when THEY find the count to favor the players.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Z (May 8, 2006 11:56PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-09 00:42, mook wrote:

Are you ready for your peeling, Mr. England? I defy you to find ONE dealer who can both count and deal Blackjack at the same time.
[/quote]

Hello. :)
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (May 9, 2006 07:49AM)
Speaking about card counting....I remember a story when I palyed at Circus Circus many years ago when I jumped into a blackjack games when I saw the count was high....as soon as I bought into the game the pit boss told the dealer to shuffle.

Funny how that does not consitute cheating by the casino ?
Message: Posted by: silverking (May 9, 2006 12:48PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-09 00:42, mook wrote:
I defy you to find ONE dealer who can both count and deal Blackjack at the same time.
[/quote]
I know Blackjack dealers who count.
They tell me that a lot of the time they do it to reduce the boredom of dealing.
I'm not saying that all dealers count, only that I know a few that do.
They would come into the coffee room during their shift and talk about odd or long stretches where there shoe was either positive or negative.
Message: Posted by: mook (May 12, 2006 10:20AM)
Have you tried it yourself? I think your dealer buddies are pulling your chain.
Message: Posted by: mook (May 12, 2006 10:25AM)
Expert, have to agree. It hardly seems fair. They just seemed to find some loophole since they lost the 'card carding is cheating' arguement in court. Find a way to beat them legit., and they find another way to mess you up. Luckily, people are always finding other ways to gain an advantage.
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (May 13, 2006 03:37AM)
Mook,

I'm certainly willing to defer to you on this one. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: I've no experience in the gaming industry and don't pretend to know it all. I'm simply basing my comments on books I've read and discussions I've had with others. Preferential shuffling has been discussed at length in many articles and books on Blackjack. Many of those books imply that the dealer is doing the counting (while dealing), but I certainly agree this would be difficult.

However, before you dismiss it completely, consider these excerpts (emphasis mine):

"Preferential shuffling is when the [i]dealer counts cards[/i], then shuffles when the remaining deck has excess high cards, but continues dealing when the remaining deck contains excess low cards."
- Arnold Snyder, [i][b]The Big Book of Blackjack[/i][/b], p. 291.


"Suppose the [i]dealer is capable of counting cards[/i], or at the very least, can spot a rash of small or large cards when they appear."
- Don Schlesinger, [i][b]Blackjack Attack, 2nd Edition[/i][/b], p. 192.


"It is not difficult for a dealer who knows how to count cards to [i]deal and count[/i] at the same time."
- Bill Zender, [i][b]How to Detect Casino Cheating at Blackjack[/i][/b], p. 136
(Interestingly, Zender has an entire chapter devoted to preferential shuffling (based on the idea that dealers can count and deal, and also discusses what appears to be a prototype of Mindplay, called "Safejack." His book was written in 1990.)


"Preferential shuffling is when a [i]dealer counts cards[/i], then shuffles up if the deck favors the player, but deals when the deck favors the house."
-Arnold Snyder, [b][i]Blackbelt in Blackjack[/i][/b], p. 128.


"If the dealer can [i]track cards[/i], he will eliminate any favorable situations for the player."

"After noticing my winnings, the [pit] boss stood there tracking cards with me. Every time the deck was favorable, he would tell the dealer to shuffle up."
-Lance Humble, [i][b]The World's Greatest Blackjack Book[/i][/b], p. 144-45.

One final quote, from casino instructions printed in a sort of dealer's "handbook" and distributed to employees: "Shuffle any time a total of six 4s, 5s and 6s have been placed in the discard rack."

Jason here: Now, this is obviously crude, but it is nonetheless an attempt at a rudimentary count of some type. And, it's codified and being distributed to all the 21 dealers! (The reprint of this particular casino's employee manual was in [i][b]Casino and Sports[/i][/b] magazine, Vol 8 (1979). It was the "counters and countermeasures" issue, and was published by the Gambler's Book Club.


So what am I to make of these comments Mook? I get what you're saying, and perhaps I overstated the case by saying "when the [i]shoe[/i] turns positive." Most of the authors I've cited indicate that preferential shuffling usually takes place in single deck games.

But you seem to be saying it's essentially impossible. [i]Is[/i] that what you're saying? Because these (respected) authors appear to disagree with you.

Jason
Message: Posted by: mook (May 13, 2006 07:02PM)
Those authors are very respected and reputable and offer valuable knowledge and insight to the industry, but they are in your club- "The People Who Have Never Dealt in a Casino." I have a deep respect for all of them and have all of the books you cited. Let's put this in perspective.

Arnold Snyder- a remarkable card player/advantage player with many years of playing under his belt, never a casino dealer. It is easy for me see how he could perceive that a dealer is counting, when I myself have experienced a pit boss, shift manager, or count team member walk by my table and casually tell me to "shuffle up" as he/she walked by. Arnold gives a lot of info in his books that is "right on the money," (pun intended), and devastating to casinos.

Don Schlesinger is a mathematician, again with valuable information written in his books, never a casino dealer. And besides, you quote him as writing "Suppose the dealer is capable..." That hardly states that the dealer IS capable of counting and dealing. The second half of that quote says "spot a rash of small or large cards when they appear." That is the idea of counting, but seeing a large amount of high- or low-value cards dealt in one round is not actually counting, just observing. Still valuable info, but not actually counting. I looked in my copy of this book, which is a third edition, and did not find what you are quoting on p. 192.

Bill Zender- author of many books that are valuable reference books for the industry, as far as I know, he was gaming control agent, in casino management, and a consultant, but not a dealer (at least not within the past two decades). I have to disagree with this statement. This quote is from a section in which he and his friend are performing a Blackjack SIMULATION where a player is playing single deck, heads-up, with a 32-card penetration. In today's single-deck game, Blackjacks are paid 6 to 5, which card counters cannot overcome (they can't gain the advantage they do with 3 to 2), so the point of whether or not a dealer can count in this situation is moot. I still stand on my position anyway.

Lance Humble- why you even put this here is a mystery to me. The question is whether or not a dealer can count cards and deal at the same time, not if a pit boss can count along with a player. This quoted scenario is absolutely feasible.

The supposed dealer manual you quoted is telling the dealers to shuffle arbitrarily. Don't buy that one. Which casino is supposedly giving these to their dealers? The cut card tells the dealers when to shuffle. Any dealer who shuffles at will without the cut card coming out, is breaching procedures and could easily be accused by management of attempting to manipulate the game. They often look at dealers very closely who break procedures. Seeing 4's-6's come out is as much counting cards as the guy playing catch with his son outside a stadium is pitching at a major league game. You could call it what you want, but it's not the same. Card counting is very precise.

Preferential shuffling does exist. I won't argue about that. I will say that the dealer does NOT make this decision. It is management- pit bosses, shift managers, or count team members, whose sole purpose, at the time, is to count along with the players and let the dealer know when it is time to shuffle, in an attempt to prevent players from winning. They are positioned either behind the dealer or behind the player or in the next pit and can tell the dealer to shuffle with a simple nod. Don't ASSume that the dealer is making the decision to shuffle. If you ASSume...

I appreciate you taking the time to quote all these books in an attempt to prove me wrong, but it was truly overkill. Why don't you just SIMULATE a Blackjack game with players buying in, hits, splits, Blackjacks, paying winners, taking losers, etc., while keeping a steady game pace and counting the cards all at once? What incentive is there for a dealer to count cards anyway? They gain a majority of their paychecks from tokes (tips), while the casino pays them just above minimum wage. Why would they want to bite the hand that feeds them? And like I said before, "It is NEVER up to the dealer to shuffle when THEY find the count to favor the players."

If it makes you feel better, I will concede that a dealer could possibly count cards and deal at the same time IF he is dealing a single deck game with 7 players. In that case, only one hand would be dealt before the shuffle, so it wouldn't really matter anyway. But if it makes you feel better, under THOSE circumstances, it could be possible for a dealer to count cards and deal at the same time.
Message: Posted by: silverking (May 13, 2006 08:42PM)
The list of cited references in this thread which support the statement that dealers can count when dealing is substantial.

You're asking that we accept your statement that they can't count when dealing simply because you're offering it.

Do you have any references you can cite which support your statement that dealers can't count when dealing?
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (May 13, 2006 10:42PM)
Silverking,

Mook doesn't need to do that. After rereading his posts, and especially his second post, I actually agree with him on virtually all counts (no pun intended).

I wasn't refuting his claim per se with my list of quotes, I was simply showing him how a person could make a reasonable mistake and conclude that some dealers have the ability to count down a deck (or shoe) merely by being conversant with widely regarded blackjack literature.

If Mook is correct, as I suspect he is, that virtually no dealers count and deal [i]at the same time[/i], then I stand corrected. I just didn't want him (or anyone else for that matter) to believe that I simply "made up" the claim that those dealers exist. I was repeating what I thought was accurate information published by respected authors. Nothing more.

Mook,

You brought up the fact that floorpersons "don't have time to count." That is the sole reason behind my quoting Humble. Obviously his experience differed from your claim. (I'm not saying you aren't right 99% of the time on this incidentally.)

Also,

You're a good writer, and would be well-served to drop the "if it makes you feel betters" and the "ASSumes." I can admit when I'm wrong or have overstated the case, and don't need those devices to have the point brought home.

One last thing...thanks for correcting me (seriously). It's the only way I'll ever learn to separate the myth from reality in the world of gaming.

Jason

PS: My edition of [i][b]Blackjack Attack[/i][/b] is the second, paperback edition. I haven't bought the larger, hardback 3rd yet.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 15, 2006 12:14PM)
Anyway it ain't fair! To be fair the imformation that the midplay thing gets should also be seen by the players not just the casino. If it is no advantage to the casino then it will not be an advantage to the players. So why do they keep that info secret? It's obvious they do get an advantage from it.
Message: Posted by: The Dowser (May 15, 2006 01:05PM)
If you feel this is not fair then I wonder how you feel about casino gambling in general...
I think it was Scarne who made the distinction between a cheat and a hustler : the hustler being one who offers incorrect odds to his / her own advantage . This is exactly what all casino games do openly . Because they are open about it , it is not considered cheating / illegal . I suspect that similar mentality applies in jurisdictions where shuffle-up techniques are allowed as countermeasures to skilled play . Is house advantage an unfair advantage ?
If the answer is no , then why should mindplay be any different ? Are the casinos not just trying to protect their Known Advantage ? Certainly this would be the casino's arguement .
The true reason behind these new technologies is to better target skilled players so they can be more efficiently abused or made unwelcome . This is called games protection . If preferential shuffling is an ethical technique for preserving the house advantage against skilled players that threaten the bottom line , then why couldn't the preservation of the house advantage be assured by simply increasing it whether the players at the table are skilled or not ? What casino ever had to prove that the player against which they have implemented counter measures was actually skilled ? What casino is required to give any explanation for excluding a player from blackjack ,or shuffling-up (in jurisdictions where this is allowed) ?
If you ask me , casinos would be even less ethical than they are now if it weren't for the efforts of guys like Kenny Uston who had the b@ll$ to call them on their bull$#!t
Dowser