My wife and I were on vacation in Sydney back in February. I checked out the Star Casino, with the idea that I might play a little blackjack. However, as soon as I saw that they use continuous shuffling machines, I walked out without placing a single bet. I am not a card counter, but I know enough to know that, when a lot of small cards fall during a particular hand, the player’s odds of getting a better hand are slightly improved on the next deal. Conversely, when a lot of 10s fall during one hand, the player’s chances are not as good on the next deal. This bit of information, coupled with knowledge of basic strategy, means that I am playing close to even with the casino when I play blackjack—at least when they follow Las Vegas rules and perform manual shuffling. Casinos use continuous shufflers to ensure that this tiny advantage is taken away and that the player will have no fighting chance against the house. In the case of continuous shufflers, there is no way to know how often the shuffling takes place. It could be done continuously, casino denials notwithstanding. The numerous oddball blackjack rules invented recently by certain casinos only obfuscate the game and do nothing to improve the player’s chances of winning. If you want to play blackjack, avoid this casino. Note: This review is the same as my review of the Sky City Casino in Auckland.
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