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Table Games Blackjack: Why all the CSM hate?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by ams722, Apr 10, 2014.

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  1. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    I always see people on this board (and other boards) say how they HATE blackjack tables with continuous shuffler machines (CSMs) and how they avoid them at all costs. Lately I’ve seen a lot of people bashing Aria and Bellagio for having mostly (all, in Aria’s case) CSM tables for their low limit games.

    I’ve even seen people say things like “I’ll never play 6:5 blackjack OR sit at a CSM table,” as if the two are even remotely related....

    My question is why?

    The ONE and ONLY advantage a CSM machine gives the house is more hands dealt per hour. Not having to shuffle a shoe saves time. And, obviously, blackjack is a –EV game, so the more hands dealt per hour equals the more money the house takes in per hour.

    First, if you don’t want them dealing more hands per hour, why are you playing blackjack in the first place? I personally HATE slow dealers who take forever to get through one hand. If, for some reason you really don’t like playing that many hands per hour, the solution is simple: don’t. Sit out for a few hands. Grab a drink. Go to the bathroom. Play Pai Gow Poker instead. Etc…

    I can understand why a card counter wouldn’t play at a CSM table, but for the average Joe who just plays basic strategy… CSMs actually improve the odds in your favor!

    http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/10/

    Sure, it’s a very minor reduction in house edge, but still….

    Also, a lot of casinos have 8 decks in their shoe games and only 6 decks in the CSMs. Again, for those of us who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid: 6 deck games have a slightly lower house edge than 8 deck games, so in this case a CSM table is better.

    I’ve had some of my best blackjack sessions at CSM tables and some of my worst at them as well. It’s called gambling!

    Sorry for the mini-rant. I just don't understand people's superstitions about CSMs...
     
  2. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    People's hatred to the CSM breaks down pretty close to:

    40% think it increases the house edge
    5% don't like it because it makes them go through their money faster
    25% hate it because they consider themselves an amateur card counter and its messing with their game
    29% just generally hate change in anything
    1% other and/or general ignorance
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You forgot to add in those who think the machine could rig the game.
     
  4. TwiceTheJava

    TwiceTheJava Low-Roller

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    0.0001% - "Do you want Skynet? Because this is how you get Skynet!"
     
  5. Iceicecool

    Iceicecool Low-Roller

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    CSM's even have one big advantage for players. If every hand dealt is from a freshly shuffled deck, then basic strategy is always correct. When you are playing a 6 deck shoe and half the cards are gone, basic strategy is not as accurate.
     
  6. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    :evillaugh

    I don't like them for a few reasons.

    One, I like the shuffle, as this is a good time to interact with the dealer in a different way than when they are concentrating on dealing.
    Two, I like the cutting ritual with "who cut the last deck" and all the interaction that causes amongst the players
    Three, I don't like to "miss" anything (like there is anything to miss,lol) so a shuffle lets me go to the restroom.
    Four, I am no counter, but sometimes there might be a hand where none of the six people get any tens. I will bump my bet, just for fun, to take advantage of this clumping phenomena. Minimal advantage, I know, but just fun to do.

    So there is some anti-CSM thinking for you.
     
  7. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    It seems like most of the places that are putting in CSMs were not hand shuffleing anyway. They had the shuffler still on the table. In this situation there is almost no difference.

    People think it is rigged I think is a big one as well.



    I have one completely illogical reason why I'm not a fan. My experience has been it is difficult to turn these around. I know it is completely illogical, but there is something about reshuffling the entire deck at once that gives me some comfort that we can go from an unlucky shoe to a lucky shoe.
     
  8. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    Theoretically, this would work just as well (or even better) with a CSM. If there's a couple hands with very few face cards/aces and a lot of small cards, the next hand could be very rich in 10s. And if they don't empty the discard tray after every hand (as most casinos don't), then the next few hands could be very rich in 10s.
     
  9. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    1. The shuffle break is good to refresh / stay fresh, regardless of whether you are counting or not.

    2. Less hands dealt = less house edge.

    3. Counters / trackers cannot play CSM.

    1 and 2 are applicable for most players. I prefer hand shuffle period, and my BJ play has declined as table / shuffling rules declined over the past two decades. There are a few playable games left, but I spend most of my time w/ FP VP or live poker.
     
  10. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    No one is forcing you to play every hand. Sit out if you want a break.

    Why are you gambling at all then? No hands dealt = 0 house edge!
     
  11. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Well, I'm one of the ones here who is ok with CSMs. As long as the rules are good, I'll play them without a second thought when I can't find a decent two-deck game.
    As you point out, the count is always 'zero'. Sure, there are no positive counts, but there are also no negative ones!
    If I'm too tired or drunk to keep a decent count, playing a CSM is the perfect "basic strategy only" table to play.
     
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  12. Rush

    Rush High-Roller

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    Is the count always zero? Any game I've ever sat down to, the dealer still has a discard tray, and waits until five or six hands are played before placing these cards back in the machine.
     
  13. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Not sure about the practices in general. At the Golden Gate (where I typically play a CSM, if I'm going to), the discard tray is only used for the current hand in-play. After each hand, those cards go back into the machine.
     
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  14. BayouBengal

    BayouBengal VIP Whale

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    At Monte Carlo the dealer only shuffles every few hands.
     
  15. hail2skins

    hail2skins Low-Roller

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    First time I took my wife to Vegas we stayed at Bellagio. She isn't much of a gambler but I thought I'd introduce her to blackjack and craps. I wanted to play at a low-stakes blackjack table and unfortunately it had a CSM......I thought "Well, why not?" We hadn't been there longer than five minutes and the dealer got three blackjacks in a row. I've played a good amount of blackjack in 25 years and have seen good amounts of times when either the dealer or the same player got blackjack on two consecutive hands, but that might have been the only time I ever saw three in a row. That instance alone swore me off of CSMs.
     
  16. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    here goes ,i dont play csm.

    heres why i like a hand shuffle.

    also in dont count but do keep so kind of track if there alot of tens out in the first half or all the aces are gone,or if there are like 6 tens showing it could help me decide what im doing with splitting doubling just common sense thing.

    if there wasnt a house edge to the csm machine the casinos wouldnt use them,thers a resons there not in the hl rooms.
     
  17. fremont4ever

    fremont4ever Tourist

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    I remember the dealer getting three BJs in a row against me at the LV Hilton, back when it was a Hilton. This was a shoe game, but NOT a CSM. So itt does happen.

    Back on topic, I have two reasons for disliking CSMs, one legit and one semi-legit. The first is that speed kills bankrolls. The faster the cards come out, the more the house is against me. And second is the fact that there's no consistent way to beat a CSM. You need inside help to get an edge. With the largest payout 3:2, there's not much hope of hitting it big and getting away.
     
  18. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Just an FYI...over the decades, I've played countless hours at 2-deck games... and I've had 3 blackjacks in a row many times...as have the dealers.
    It is uncommon, to be sure. But it's certainly not so rare as to suspect shenanigans with a CSM.
    As for this, of course there isn't.
    But if a player is not counting, the same can be said about every/any blackjack game.
    The CSM cannot be counted for any advantage. That's its only downside. Number of hands per hour? Player has complete control over that.
    For any basic-strategy player, or casual counter who no longer wishes to count for awhile (me), the CSM is better than a 6 or 8 deck shoe. (No negative counts.)
     
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  19. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    You asked for opinions as to why people refuse to play CSM.

    Some tables do not allow players to return to play into the end of the shoe. Also, some players get upset by people jumping in or out.

    I've also seen dealers "conveniently" skip inserting cards for 1-2 hands when there were many tens/aces.

    No worries, you'll see plenty of CSM for now on because it's good for the house and crappy for players. Enjoy. :peace:
     
  20. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    Other players' feelings are irrelevant. If they don't like how you play, they can leave.

    I've never seen this, but if I did, I'd RUN for the exits.

    All casino games are good for the house, otherwise they wouldn't offer the game. Sure, CSMs are crappy for players, but they are slightly less crappy for players than a typical shoe.
     
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