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’s rules. The type of table is called a MindPlay table.
A MindPlay table is a specifically built table with a purpose. That purpose is to track the cards and chips on the table; it is programmed to determine a player’s skill level, track wagers, count the deck and how long a player has played at that table. MindPlay tables use specifically marked decks; they are not marked where a player can see the marks of course, but they are indeed marked.
Play at a MindPlay begins with the dealer removing the decks from the shuffle machine and placing them in a sort of well in the table to the right of the dealer. Once in this well-like space, an optical device then scans the deck, counting the marks, and creating an order of the cards. The cards are then dealt and played in that order.
Once play has begun the MindPlay program counts the cards as they are played, similar to how a blackjack player counts cards. When the MindPlay device’s count reaches a certain number, the dealer is ordered to reinsert the cards into the shuffler and then reinsert them into the well-like space for scanning. This counting and pre-programmed command to reshuffle is in place so that players will not be able to squeeze an advantage out of the decks through card counting.
But the optical device of a MindPlay table does more. It can track how much a player is betting, calculate their average bet and how long a player has been playing at that table. This information can be used by pit bosses when it comes to comps for players. A player can ask the pit boss for a comp, telling him or her that they have wagered this much in this much time at that blackjack table over there; the pit boss can then check the program in the MindPlay table to see if what the player says is true or not. Casinos like this feature because it will allow them better—and tighter—control on comping players.
But comping aside, the scanning and tracking of the order of the deck and the increased odds it gives players is enough to give blackjack players a reason to avoid MindPlay tables. It seems though that casinos are saying that it is not okay for players to count cards, but it is okay for them to count and track the cards.
So, blackjack players, this is one type of blackjack table to avoid. Unfortunately these tables are not labeled with signs or the like; you will not see a ‘MindPlay Blackjack’ sign sitting on the felt. The giveaway is the black well-like device in the table on the dealer’s right—in other words, near the third base position. If you see that well-like device it is highly likely that the blackjack table is a MindPlay table. Avoid it, and encourage other players to avoid it.