Card Counting on Black Jack 21- Technology For Detecting Card Counters

Posted: 08/10/2009 |Comments: 0 | Views: 69 |

Several automated systems have been designed to aid detection of card counters. The Mind Play system scans card values for the entire deck after shuffling just prior to play. The Shuffle Master Intelligent Shoe system scans card values individually as cards exit the shoe. Software called Bloodhound and Protec allows voice input of card and bet values, which is used to determine the player edge. A more recent innovation is the use of RFID signatures embedded within the casino chips so that the table can automatically track bet amounts.

Automated card-reading technology has known abuse potential in that it can be used to simplify the practice of preferential shuffling-having the dealer reshuffle the cards whenever the odds favor the players. To avoid liability concerns, some blackjack protection systems have been designed to refrain from sending data over the network until the shoe has ended. Other vendors consider real-time notification to surveillance that a shoe is "hot" to be an important product feature.

With card values, play decisions, and bet decisions conveniently accessible, the casino can analyze bet variation, play accuracy, and play variation.

Bet variation. The simplest way a card-counter makes money is to bet more when he has an edge. While playing back the tapes of a recent session of play, software can generate a scatter plot of the amount bet versus the count at the time the bet was made and find the trendline that best fits the scattered points. If the player is not counting cards, there will be no trend; his bet variation and the count variation will not consistently correlate. If the player is counting and varying bets according to the count, there will be a trend whose slope reflects the player's average edge from this technique.

Play accuracy. Normal players tend to make basic-strategy errors. Card-counters must accurately know exactly when to hit, stand, split, or double down. Software can verify the rate at which the player makes errors and calculate the resulting house edge.

Play variation. When card-counters vary from basic strategy, they do so in response to the count, to gain an additional edge. Software can verify whether there is a pattern to play variation. Of particular interest is whether the player sometimes (when the count is positive) takes insurance and stands on 16 versus a dealer 10, but plays differently when the count is negative.

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