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Thread: Is playing against a short shoe noticable in the short term?

  1. #1


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    Is playing against a short shoe noticable in the short term?

    Firstly, has anyone ever experienced playing against a short shoe and was able to confirm 100% that it was a short shoe (not just suspect it was short because of losing streak)?
    Secondly, how obvious is it, that you are playing against a short shoe or is it simply not noticable in the short term?

  2. #2


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    Just a suggestion for a shot at confirmation if you have suspicions...

    Wait until the shoe ends in a very high count...

    You must play the role of a Ploppy for this to work...

    1. Give the dealer a good tip right before the cut card if possible
    2. After the last round in the shoe, you say "Aww man, all of the Aces must be left in the deck"
    3. Then you ask the dealer "Do you mind turning the rest of the cards over and fanning them out real quick so I can see the Aces?"
    4. You then scan the deck. Obviously the higher the count and the more favorable penetration, the fewer the cards you are scanning.

    Wait for the shoe to end on a double digit running count, most seasoned counters would be able to "Scan" it quickly Since you have the double digit cushion you don't have to be very accurate to know if the shoe is unbalanced.

    This probably wont work the majority of the time, but its worth a shot. The Ploppy role along with the tip play a good part in its success.
    Obviously casino cheating is not really an issue in the states. If they are shorting the deck, its very unlikely the dealer will turn the cards over. On the upside, If they do at least you can get your piece of mind for the cost of a tip.
    Last edited by BankerCA; 04-10-2019 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #3


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    Count down multiple shoes. If just about all of them end in a positive count, you've confirmed it. I've seen this on more than one cruise ship.

  4. #4


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    Here is what I have noticed so far on multiple visits:
    Most shoes end on a positive count, but not extremely positive. The times the cutoffs were extremely positive (TC13 with 1 deck cutoff), I track and cut to the front. Count comes down but by end of shoe it's positive again. (So high cards are there, but the right proportion, I don't know).
    The cards are brought to the table 'pre-shuffled'. This means they never fan the cards out on the table. When I asked them once to do so they replied: 'don't worry, the cards are all there. It's all done on camera'.
    The new shoe of a table opening has a card composition where the Aces are clumped with loads of small cards, and the tens are all clumped in another part. They do a simple shuffle at the start of a new table opening but on the subsequent shoes perform the standard house shuffle which is fairly comprehensive, so I'm reluctant to think they are stacking the shoe as the number of shuffles should eventually bring things to the norm?
    The final thing is the reactions of the staff: The pit bosses and dealers are all nonchalant, the penetration is 85% (6D game) even with spreads of 40-1.
    I don't know if something is actually 'up' or if I'm entering ploppydom territory....

  5. #5


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    The only purpose of assembling a shoe behind closed doors is to short it.

  6. #6


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    I was short-shoed in Mexico once.

    Big Bola Casino in Mexico City, which is the only casino in the area to not enforce the 5% government mandated cash-out tax on winnings...

    Probably because there won't be any.

    I was given 90% penetration. The shuffle was an easy 1 pass R&R. The count's would end ridiculously high. My cut to the remaining cards yielded more small cards. I confirmed this on the low limit tables only.

    If you can track, you can confirm short decks.

  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacblacc911 View Post
    Firstly, has anyone ever experienced playing against a short shoe and was able to confirm 100% that it was a short shoe (not just suspect it was short because of losing streak)?
    Secondly, how obvious is it, that you are playing against a short shoe or is it simply not noticable in the short term?
    I have not (knowingly) played a game with a short deck, no.

    It would obviously depend on how short the shoe is for the confidence to know it's short. Taking it to the extremes, if a 6 deck shoe is missing 50 tens, that's going to be extremely noticeable and shouldn't take too long to figure it out. On the other hand, if it's missing a single ten, then you'll probably never figure it out. Granted, neither of these extremes is likely to happen because the first is way too obvious and the second one doesn't have enough of an impact to change the HE much.

    As far as notice-ability, it'd also depend on what you're using to gauge that. If you're just going by money won vs lost, it's going to be a bit harder, especially if the shoe is shorted by about 1 TC. If you're going by count, then it's going to be a bit easier, since the shoe should tend to end around a positive RC (frequency depends on how shorted it is).

    Of course, you'd also have to be paying attention and it has to be something you're kinda actively looking for or at least be aware of it. I've had plenty of times where I'd sit at a table and count rises. Go to another table, count rises. Another one, same thing. I'd think wow, what a great session, all the tables I sat down on went positive pretty quickly and I didn't have to mess around much with minimum bets, very nice. The idea the casino is cheating didn't really cross my mind because I had a great session and all the tables went positive nicely.
    "Everyone wants to be rich, but nobody wants to work for it." -Ryan Howard [The Office]

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