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Advanced Techniques

To confirm shuffle points and deck quantities, or to discover them on games you think might have penetration, all that is necessary is pen and paper. Jot down all the cards from each deal, 3h, 9s, Kh, and so on. Draw a line separating hands. On subsequent hands, as you write down a card, first scan the entire previous list for duplicates. When you find identical twins, put a box around them. Do this for a while, then sit back and study the results. If it is a single-deck games that is constantly being shuffled, then duplicates will never occur at the same time, but will reappear in the next hand. If there is penetration, you will only see duplicate cards reappear several hands away. If duplicates come up only after three hands, then you know penetration is at least three hands. You will need more data to be sure how much, or if it is random. If it is a multiple-deck games, it will not take long for two identical cards to occur in the same hand. Sometimes there are even three, which immediately tells you the shoe is most likely four or more decks. It is fairly straightforward to get a fix on single-deck, but the more decks in play after that, the more data you must collect and the harder it is to interpret.

One nice thing about counting online is that the hardest multi-parameter counts can be used without getting a stroke. You can consult the index tables right at the desk, and even keep an entirely separate count to make perfect insurance bets.

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