Are CSMs Fair in Blackjack?

It is a question I hear fairly often: Are CSMs fair to use in blackjack? CSMs by the way are Continuous Shuffle Machines. Most blackjack players hate them. The ones that do not hate them learn to dislike them once they understand what they do. Blackjack players who count cards particularly hate them.

When a CSM is being used at a blackjack table, the dealer will collect all of the cards that were just used in the last round and pop them into the CSM. The CSM then immediately shuffles the just used cards back into the deck. At no point is there a stack of discards at a table that is using a CSM. It is the lack of discards and the constant shuffling that makes blackjack players hate CSMs.

But to answer the question, yes, CSMs are fair to use in blackjack. We may not like them, but there is nothing anywhere that says that they cannot be used. Sucks, right? Right.

Online blackjack players really do not have much to say on the idea of a constantly shuffled deck. But that is because the RNG used in online blackjack games creates an effect similar to a CSM. There are no discards in a game of online blackjack. At the beginning of a new round the RNG will pull at random the two starting cards of the player from all possible two starting cards; and will pull at random the dealer’s up card from all possible up cards for the dealer to have. Each card that is dealt is dealt from all possibilities. This is a similar effect to a CSM since the cards from a previous round are not removed from the possibilities.

Casinos can use that similarity as a means to back up the idea that it is fair for them to use a CSM. But at the end of the day, CSMs are fair game to be used in a casino no matter how much players do not like them.