Playing a Betting Progression When Blackjack Games Use a Continuous Shuffler

 Playing a Betting Progression When Blackjack Games Use a Continuous Shuffler

When casinos use continuous shufflers at blackjack tables, they eliminate the possibility of counting cards. You can’t get a handle on the relative proportions of high cards vs. low cards remaining to be played when cards that already have been dealt are shuffled back into play.

That doesn’t affect basic strategy. For non-counters, your best plays for hitting, standing, splitting pairs and doubling down are the same regardless of the method of shuffling.

A blackjack player who varies bets by increasing after wins and decreasing after losses wondered if continuous shufflers made a difference to him.

“OK, I know you can’t count cards against a continuous shuffler,” he wrote. “But what about playing a betting progression? Does that help at all? Is a non-counter any worse off against a continuous shuffler than in other games?”

For starters, raising or lowering your wagers without knowledge of the composition of the deck does not change the house edge. In that respect, betting progressions do not help regardless of whether the shuffle is continuous.

Progressions will yield more big winning sessions than flat bets will. The flip side is that they bring more frequent small losing sessions when small wins are followed by losses at larger bet sizes. On balance, the house edge holds up.

But that’s true regardless of how the cards are shuffled. If you want to play a betting progression, continuous shufflers do not affect the odds against you.

There is one aspect in which a continuous shuffler hurts a progression player: More hands are dealt per hour when there are no shuffle breaks. When you’re spotting the house an edge, a faster game helps them, not you.

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