Card Counting in Blackjack & Baccarat

There are many questions on card counting in blackjack and baccarat. We take a look at if a casino can reshuffle a deck before it gets to the cut card, and if card counting in baccarat can earn you a better return on your money. Remember that if you have any other questions, comments, or suggestions then you can always shoot us a quick email to learn more.

When you are playing blackjack a dealer will normally insert a cut card anywhere from the halfway mark to three quarters of the way into the deck or decks. Card counters can gain an advantage the deeper the deck runs, so casinos will try to put a stop to the profit potential by putting the cut card in closer to the front of the deck or decks. The profits for counters will dwindle when the card is inserted closer to the front because it’s harder to rack up higher plus and minus counts when there are smaller sets of cards in front of them. In every jurisdiction casinos can also legally shuffle the deck before the cut or burn card if management suspects card counting. Even after a few rounds in a multi-deck game or a single turn in a one deck game you might find a “shuffle-up” occurring.

The problem with all that shuffling though is that the players who aren’t counting cards are not getting as many rounds of play in. The down-time between shuffles gives them a chance to pick up and walk away, and also the players that are on a time-crunch will not have as many hands played, cutting down on the profits the casino would be able to enjoy from these recreational players.

Baccarat is another card game in which the cards are dealt and then placed in a discard rack, not reappearing again until after the shuffle. Knowledge of the remaining cards could be used for a counting system, but it would take a lot of brain power for only a small advantage earned. In this game the house edge is very small anyway, 1.17 percent if playing the bank and 1.36 if playing the player bets. Some of the best minds in the card counting game have held that if you use a perfect system for baccarat you could earn less than ten cents per day, which is simply not worth the effort.

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