By Henry Tamburin Ph.D

I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you have heard about the basic playing strategy and card counting in blackjack. However, I’ll bet the ranch that this isn’t the case with shuffle tracking. I’m about to change this.

Note: I’m assuming you know the basic playing strategy and a little about card counting because shuffle tracking is an extension of both. I’ll also use the masculine “he” to refer to a card counter or shuffle tracker rather than the awkward “he or she.” (There are, in fact, some very good female counters and trackers.)


A casino dealer cannot achieve a completely random shuffle of four or more decks of cards in a reasonable time. By seeing a lot of tens and aces on the felt in a round of play, shuffle trackers watch where these clumps (or zones) of high cards are placed in the discard tray.

They then watch where they end up after the shuffle, then cut the zone to the top of the shuffled stack of cards and bet big when they dealt.

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