This is a
huge factor in obtaining an edge for the card counter.
The term "deck penetration" defines how
far the deck is dealt out before the shuffle occurs.
As we progress into the 21st century, deck penetration
seems to be growing worse and worse. With a six
deck shoe, it's become pretty typical to cut off
the last 13/4 decks -- plus or minus 1/4 deck. Eight
deck shoes usually cut off the last two decks.
Now, a 11/2 deck cutoff in a six deck game is quite
a bit better than a 2 deck chop. It's pretty important
to go where they deal out more cards -- all else
being equal. Even within the same casino, you can
often find dealers who give a more favorable cutoff
than others. On rare occasion in a few choice places,
they might even cut off only the last deck! That
would be a dream situation. Conversely, anything
worse than a 2 deck chop in a six deck game is a
"gouge", and not worthy of your action.
With eight decks you might be able to tolerate a
21/a deck chop -- max.