I may have to take back my words when it comes to PokerTek
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
Over the last couple of years we have see several states put forth legislation that would allow their slot parlors to expand with table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette; other bills have been for the allowing of new fully fledged brick and mortar casinos. Now Maryland is moving forward in their lawmakers scraping for blackjack tables.
The name of the bill that would give the state blackjack tables, poker tables and other table games is House Bill 331. House Bill 331 would allow the five establishments that already offer casino gambling in the form of slot machines the opportunity to apply for a gambling expansion in the form of table games.
Naturally the reason for the bill is to allow Maryland to generate more revenue and to allow their existing gambling facilities to compete with neighboring states who are now offering gambling establishments with both slot machines and table games. Delegate Frank Turner, who is the head supporter of House Bill 331, said,
Last year I brought to light a United States based gaming table company who specializes in poker. Well, poker tables that is. Automated ones. In November I discussed how PokerTek was expanding their product line with the introduction of automated blackjack tables called BlackjackPro. This would also change their specialization from poker to automated casino game tables in general.
This month with the installation of the first round of several BlackjackPro installations. Two things were revealed by CEO Mark Roberson with the first round of installation of BlackjackPro. 1. PokerTek was looking to expand its offering of automated table games, calling the forth coming tables ProCore, and BlackjackPro would be the first of the ProCore series; and 2. The expanded offerings were to generate more revenue.
At first the expansion openly detailed to increase expansion might raise eyebrows
Remember about a year ago when the subject of adding blackjack and other table games to existing Pennsylvania brick and mortar casinos was being discussed? Also on that topic was the opening of new Pennsylvania brick and mortar casinos. And like any legislation
Part of being a savvy blackjack player is knowing strategy and how to play the game to squeeze the best odds out of a game. But another part of being a savvy blackjack player is knowing where to play and where not to play. I am not talking about specific casinos. I am talking about specific games of specific rules to avoid.
That being said, there is one specific blackjack game that I recently heard of that I feel compelled to tell of. In fact, this is more a type of blackjack table than a blackjack variation
I have been doing some more thinking about those automated blackjack tables that PokerTek has created. My mind keeps coming back to the idea that PokerTek believes that these automated blackjack tables will increase the social interaction between players at the table.
The whole reason for their belief in increased social interaction is because of the main screen. This central, main screen will have players all looking at the same place on the table. Players then use the controls in front of them to choose how to play out their hands, kind of like how you click on the appropriate button in a game of online blackjack.
But here is the thing that keeps tripping my mind. Blackjack is a one-on-one game, just you and the dealer. The other players
PokerTek, a licensed gaming company that specializes in electronic solutions
When I left you this morning you had just stepped onto the casino floor and were faced with the choosing which blackjack table is the best to play at. Yes, real casinos will have more than four blackjack tables, but in this instance there are only four. Think of it as a really, really small casino.
So which blackjack table did you decide was the best to play at?
If you chose table 2 then you chose correctly.
Table 2 had the two guys playing a quiet game through a streak of low cards.
So why this blackjack table and not any of the others? It comes down to the cards.
Well, the guys at table 1 are experiencing a run of high cards. The problem with this table is that jumping in now would mean that you do not get to play through the entire high card streak, causing you to lose out on some profit opportunities.
Table 3 would be the table to join if you were new to the game of blackjack. But if you are an experienced player, the rounds would go very slowly and no doubt wear on your patience. And if only one or two of the ladies is winning in each round, it means that a streak is not happening with which to judge the table with. Table 3 is a table for novices. If you are not a novice, this is not the table for you.
A large pile of chips is not an indicator of how good a blackjack table is. Those players at table 4 could easily have started with larger bankrolls rather than won all those chips. The indicator is that the cards at that table are mixed, indicating that there are no streaks present
Casinos are exciting places to visit. Lights, sounds, just the general atmosphere pulls you in and surrounds you creating a one of a kind feeling. With all the excitement it can be rather hard to choose which blackjack table is best to play at.
Wait, am I saying that there is a way to choose which blackjack table is best to play at?
Why, yes, I am.
We are going to pretend that you just walked out onto the casino floor and are looking to play blackjack. You head to where the balckajck tables are and find that you have a few options. I am going to give a few different types of tables and see if you can guess which table is the best blackjack table to play at.
Table 1: The table has six of its seven seats filled by some rather rowdy guys. They are rowdy because they have been winning fairly often. They are also all friends and have been drinking some as well.
Table 2: This table only has a couple of people at it. They are playing quietly, rarely speaking and communicating their plays to the dealer in hand signals. You notice that they keep getting more low cards than high, and the dealer is winning more. You attribute this to the reason why the two players are being so serious.
Table 3: At the third table the dealer appears to be offering help to a group of ladies who do not seem to really understand the game. The dealer is being very nice about helping them, and at least one or two of the ladies beats him each round.
Table 4: The final table is only half full and each player has a large pile of chips in front them. The cards are mixed, with no real leaning on high or low cards.
Those are your four blackjack tables to choose from. Imagine that you are standing on the casino floor and have to choose one. Which blackjack table is the best to play at.?
Check back this afternoon and I will tell you which blackjack table is the best to play at and why.