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The various types of thin strips, quick (thick) strips, partial strips, washes, etc., which casino dealers employ along with riffles, would throw a monkey wrench into Diaconis' and Bayer's data.
"Random" is defined as the probability that a card in the deck prior to the shuffle will have the same likelihood of occupying any position in the deck after the shuffle.I do know blackjack players who exploit non-random shuffles in casinos (in fact, I am one of them).They use various methods of shuffle tracking and card location strategies (based on pre-shuffle sequences).Diaconis is quoted as saying: "There are people who go to casinos and make money on this.I know people who are out there doing that now." This has prompted queries from some of my readers asking if this means that alleged non-random shuffle systems like "TARGET'' and "BIAS Barometer" might actually work. John Gwynn and I presented a paper entitled: "Does Casino Blackjack Differ From Computer-Simulated Blackjack?" On page I of our paper, it says: "Indeed, casino shuffles are not random. Aldous, entitled: "Shuffling Cards and Stopping Times." After the N. Times article came out, I contacted Diaconis to obtain a copy of the latest study.
The most recent work on shuffling indicates that seven riffles are required to randomly arrange a deck of cards." The reader is referred in our bibliography (p. I would like to thank Persi Diaconis for providing me with the paper so promptly, and for permitting Blackjack Forum to quote from it.
The simple overhand shuffle has the same effect as stripping, but many players consider this shuffle amateurish.
By limiting their shuffles to a few riffles, players do preserve sequences of cards, the knowledge of which can be exploited by sophisticated players.
For the sake of Blackjack Forum readers who are confused about the current attention being focused on the non-random shuffle, and especially how it may affect your potential win rate, I would like to review what we know from past studies, as well as describe a few non-random computer simulations I have recently completed myself.
The first important non-random shuffle studies were conducted by Stanford Wong.
Rising sequences record the pack history of a sequence of riffle shuffles, until this information overwhelms the number of cards available to carry it." Simply stated, an observer who knew the sequence of the cards prior to the riffle(s) can be assured that these sequences will be retained (though finely chapped up) following a series of riffles.