Casinos have become more sophisticated in recent years in their ability to detect advantage blackjack players. These methods become more elaborate as the corporations become more focused on profits and less focused on the player experience.

The blackjack games seen in casinos, especially at low limits have become horrendous over the last several years.

In order to combat these terrible conditions I have come up with a few special tactics to counter the current negative conditions found in casinos

These four tactics are a small subset of several counter measures that can be employed by advantage players to counter all the negative aspects implemented by the casino.

There are many more but most will come apparent to the player as time goes on. Many of these are opportunistic and should only be executed one time per playing sessions.

Remember pigs get fed hogs get slaughtered goes a long way here. These plays are harder to pick up by surveillance and pit bosses if done on a limited basis, while increasing the player’s edge over the casino as explained in the 888 Casino Blog.

The Free Hit

During the course of shoe game (6 or 8 decks) the count can run significantly negative. I define significant as any count yielding a true count of -8.

During these Blackjack games we can sometimes get away with a free hit card. This goes as follows.

Say you have a hard 17 (10 & 7), the dealer has an 8, 9 or 10 up. During this situation you can hit signal a hit, if the card helps you take it. If the card breaks you can say: “Oh my god what was I doing, I wasn’t paying attention.”

If you make a big enough deal out of this the pit boss will be called and evaluate the situation and most of the time will burn the hit card and allow you to stand on the hard 17 total.

This is sold by the complaining that you were not paying attention, and the size of your bet. Because the count is so negative you will have the minimum bet out. I’ve seen this occur on few occasions.

I couldn’t tell if it was a genuine mistake or if it was a calculated. I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than one time per playing session. This play even at one time per session, will increase your overall advantage against the house. And in advantage play every little bit helps.

Hiding the Cut Card

In a six or eight deck shoe game the cut card on a decent game is usually placed just over a deck from the bottom of the deck.

In the multiple deck shoe games the dealer will go into an auto pilot mode, and will just react to payouts and losses. When the cut card comes out they will throw the card at one of the players so they can cut after the shuffle.

When there are few people at the table, teammates or civilians and the cut card is thrown to you, or a teammate a strategy is to hide the cut card. This is best done by taking your wallet out and placing it on the table hiding the cut card.

If the dealer is zoned out they will continue dealing rounds oblivious to the fact they should have shuffled. You may be able to get an additional two or three rounds out of the shoe.

This is a particularly brazen move, and I have only seen it work one time. When it does work it is a valuable tool in the advantage player’s tool box.


The Bottom Card

In shoe games often times the bottom card is not covered by a cut card.

After the dealers shuffles the stack of 6 or 8 cards is placed in front of a player to cut the card. The first base position has an unobstructed view of the back card.

If the card is an Ace the first base position can verbally signal the teammate to cut exactly 52 cards from the back. This takes practice, a lot of practice. The cut should be as close to 52 cards as the cutter can get, and be able accurately estimate how many cards they are off.

When this is done correctly the 52nd card that comes out will be an Ace. This gives the player a 42.6% advantage over the house on this hand.

The player then spreads big bets over 3 hands in effort to catch the Ace. Over the long term the two hands that don’t get the Ace will net zero, and the hand with the Ace will give 42.6% net win.

The Burn Card

The first card in of every shoe is always burned. This means the top card is placed into the discard tray before every any hand is dealt to the players.

In the six and eight deck games you can ask the dealer to show the burn card to the players. They will do this without even asking the pit boss. In the one and two deck games it gets a little more complicated to get the dealer into showing you the burn card.

They are instructed by the pit bosses not to. But occasionally you will get a dealer coming to relieve another dealer, and this dealer will sometimes come from a shoe game where the burn card is allowed.

In these rare cases they will show you the burn card. Other times you have position yourself at a lower angle to try and get a glimpse of the burn card.

In the one and two deck games this gives a player vary valuable information on which to make their playing and betting decisions on.