The first Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) was introduced in 2000 for the game of Blackjack. The main purpose of these machines was to help casino operators foil card counters. In fact, the ads for CSM by Shuffle Masters proclaimed, “The King continuous shuffler is the card counters worst nightmare.”
For years casinos have been trying to thwart players who gain an advantage at Blackjack by using card counting. While card counting isn’t illegal, many casinos don’t like it. So, they’ve started using card shuffling machines to combat card counters.
Casino games love CSMs, some players don’t care much about these machines, and others absolutely hate them. Read on to know why many players are against CSMs.
What is a continuous shuffling machine?
Card shuffling is an integral part of Blackjack and other card games at a land-based gambling venue. In gambling, this technique affects both the players and the house.
Regardless of how many decks are used in the game, the dealer shuffles the shoe at a certain point. In most cases, the dealer shuffles after anywhere from 60% to 75% of the shoe have been dealt. They typically don’t go beyond this, because more deck penetration can give a bigger edge to card counters.
By using CSM, the dealer just needs to place decks into the top of the machine. After this, the CSM randomly shoots cards into different slots located inside it.
Once all of the cards have been spitted into slots, the card shuffling machine pushes the deck up to the top. This process lets the dealer keep games running without ever needing to stop the action.
With online Blackjack UK on the rise, CSMs are designed to make games increasingly fair for players where the machines will do the shuffling instead of the dealer.
Why do casinos use continuous shuffling machines?
Here are the main reasons why casino operators love machine-shuffled games so much.
Speed up the action
A Blackjack table can see anywhere from 50 to 100 hands dealt per hour. The number of hands varies based on the dealer’s speed and the number of players at the table.
More than 100 hands will easily be dealt at a table with a fast dealer and 1-2 players, while tables with a slow dealer and 6-7 players will only feature 50 hands.
Card shuffling machines don’t dramatically alter the numbers of hands being dealt at the table, but they do tend to increase the number somewhat. These machines eliminate the downtime required by the dealer to shuffle the cards.
Reduce dealer mistakes
Just like the best online Blackjack games make use of the RNG software to offer fair gameplay, most dealers at land-based gambling venues are well-trained and rarely make mistakes. However, even the best dealers make occasional mistakes here or there.
Shuffling makes the croupier more vulnerable to errors. A dealer could fumble cards and require longer to shuffle.
Although such mistakes are quite rare, a CSM ensures they don’t happen.
Thwarts card counters
Deck penetration refers to how much of the shoe is dealt before the dealer shuffles. If four out of eight decks are dealt before the shuffle, for instance, then the table is getting 50% penetration.
CSMs prevents card counters from getting the deck penetration they require to make consistent profits. As a result, managers and pit bosses don’t have to waste time watching for potential card counters.
Reasons why gamblers don’t like CSMs
Below are the reasons why most players hate playing at tables with CSMs.
They miss the breaks
Without a doubt, Blackjack players enjoy their time at the table. However, most of them also appreciate a break every hour or so.
Gamblers who play Blackjack online can relax mentally and chat with other players at the table. Friends who play together find this bonding time very important.
However, when gambling at a land-based casino, the card shuffling machine takes away these breaks. The croupier only needs small breaks to load decks into CSM.
Takes away the traditional feeling
Many players play Blackjack because of the traditional feel it has to offer. When playing Blackjack at a land-based gambling venue, they want the dealer in formal wear hand shuffling the machines.
CSMs move Blackjack tables one step closer to an automated environment. Many players don’t like the thought of technology completely taking over the game.
The worry that CSMs rig games
Another popular misconception about CSMs is that they allow casinos to rig Blackjack. This belief also stems from how these machines speed up play and cause more losses on average.
When they experience continuous losing streaks, though, they look for someone or something to blame.