The fundamental level of thinking with regards to favorable mobile blackjack rules involves looking for tables that pay 3:2 on natural mobile blackjacks, make dealers stand on a soft 17, and let players split any hand. Sure there are plenty of other rules that people look for when they play blackjack games, but these are the most advantageous ones.
However, one thing that doesn’t cross many people’s minds when they play mobile blackjack is whether the shuffling machine being used is continuous or non-continuous. Interestingly enough, if you play mobile blackjack games where a continuous shuffling machine is present, you’ll actually be dealing with a smaller house edge. We’ll explain the reason why in a little bit, but first, let’s discuss how a blackjack continuous shuffling machine works.
Basics of Continuous Shufflers
It’s no secret that casinos hold a small advantage over the average mobile blackjack player, and this enables them to pull in profits. Seeing as how they have a long-term advantage over non-card counters, casinos make more money when people play mobile blackjack more often. So in order to make games go faster and get visitors playing extra hands, casinos installed automatic shuffling machines a few decades back.
These machines sped up mobile blackjack games because they could shuffle cards faster than the dealer. However, the machines still weren’t able to make games go at the optimal speed, nor did they totally stop card counting. So at the turn of the millennium, continuous shuffling machines were born.
The way a continuous shuffler works is by shuffling cards after every single hand. Following the completion of a hand, cards are put into the machine, and it mixes them up with other cards in the shoe. The advantage of a CSM is that it prevents card counters from getting enough deck penetration when they play mobile blackjack games, and it also makes the action go 20% faster. The latter seems to contradict our overall point about how players can gain an advantage with CSM’s, but we’ll explain more about this.
How Continuous Shufflers lower the House Edge?
Noted gaming expert and mathematical whiz Michael Shackelford once conducted a study involving continuous shuffling machines to find what their effect on the house edge was. After plenty of careful analysis, he discovered that the house edge actually went down slightly because more big cards are dealt when discards are put back into the deck. Going further, more big cards being dealt increases the chance of a natural blackjack, which favors players because of the 3:2 payouts (or 6:5 payouts).
The change in house edge all depends on how many decks are in the shoe, and the following illustrates how much the house edge drops with different shoes:
Single deck = 0.113%
Six decks = 0.02%
Eight decks = 0.014%
Now these house edge decreases aren’t going to automatically turn you into a mobile blackjack winner. But seeing as how blackjack success is predicated on skill rather than luck like when you play scratch cards or keno, you need every little advantage available. And continuous shuffling machines provide a bit better chance to beat the casinos.
Combating the increased Mobile Blacljack Game Speed
As we’ve already mentioned, a CSM speeds up games by around 20%, which works in the casino’s favor. This being said, many opponents of continuous shufflers have argued that CSM’s actually work against those who play blackjack for long periods of time. And if you do the math, those who oppose CSM’s are actually right.
For instance, if you played two hours with a non-continuous shuffling machine and get in 120 total hands, you will play 144 hands with a CSM involved (120 x 0.20). Assuming you kept the house edge at 0.5% and were making £5 bets, you’d theoretically lose £3 in the two hours (120 x 5 x 0.005) with a non-continuous shuffling machine versus £3.60 with a continuous shuffling machine (144 x 5 x 0.005).
Now £0.60 isn’t a huge difference for those who are betting £5; however, it does become a bigger difference as you play mobile blackjack games with higher stakes. So if you’re looking to combat this increase in house edge, the obvious solution is to monitor the amount of hands you’re playing and quit after reaching a certain number.
For example, those who want to keep the amount of hands they play at 120 should cut their session short by around 20 minutes to avoid playing an extra 24 hands. Sure this won’t be desirable to people looking to maximize their time and enjoyment when they play blackjack, but it will help cut down the house edge by a little bit. And for players looking to get the optimal advantage possible, playing with a continuous shuffling machine is certainly a good idea.