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Blackjack in Macau is a popular game. The locals, as well as tourists from all nations, flock to the Macau casinos for a chance to win thousands at blackjack, people who come to Macau tend to favor the high limit games. Card counters, however, will find Macau blackjack to be an almost insurmountable challenge.

In the early days of blackjack casino gambling in Macau, the rules of blackjack varied from casino to casino. This has begun to change as standardized rules are now found in almost every gaming establishment in Macau. The basic rules of Macau blackjack are as follows:

  • Six decks are used in the game.
  • The dealer stands on ALL 17’s (hard and soft)
  • Player may double on any first two cards, and may double after splitting.
  • Player may split to up to four hands except for aces which may only be split once.
  • Player may take early surrender, except when the dealer shows an ace (worth 0.24%).

As you look at these rules you might be thinking that they aren’t really different from the rules of blackjack used in America or other places around the globe. That’s true. There is one rule, however, we didn’t mention in the above list. Each blackjack game in Macau is dealt with an automatic shuffler.

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How Macau Changed Blackjack

By becoming the first locale to use the automatic, or continuous, shuffler throughout all of its casinos, Macau has changed the face of live blackjack. No other development or rule change has ever had as much impact on blackjack as the automatic shuffler.

The automatic shuffler does just what its name implies. Instead of the cards being shuffled after multiple rounds of play, the cards are shuffled after each and every hand by a machine which guarantees a full mix of the deck. Players are faced with a brand new deck at the beginning of each round of play.

In some casinos a very few cards may be allowed to build up before being placed in the automatic shuffler. The number is never more than 52, an entire deck of cards.

For years casinos used a single deck to deal blackjack. This was the way the game was played in the 1800’s. The double deck came next, followed by 4, 6, or even 8 decks in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. These multiple deck games are still shuffled by hand in the United States and other areas, so why would Macau decide to use an automatic shuffler at its blackjack tables?

Stopping Card Counters In Macau

There is one reason why Macau casinos have chosen to use an automatic shuffler in their casino games. The machine is used to prevent players from counting cards.

Whenever a new rule is made in blackjack, the new rule always benefits the casino. The rules of blackjack are changed from time to time in order to reduce the edge enjoyed by card counters. The last major rule change in blackjack can be traced to Atlantic City where casinos required their dealers to hit a soft 17. This rule was introduced because card counters such as Ken Uston had taken the Atlantic City casinos for millions. When they were caught and banned from the casino, these players successfully challenged the gambling laws in Atlantic City by taking their case to the Supreme Court in that state. The casinos were prohibited from kicking the card counters out, so they retaliated by making the soft 17 rule in order to cut the edge of the card counter.

Macau makes the dealer stand on all 17’s, but they are not too concerned about it. The fact is, Macau has found a way to effectively stop card counting once and for all with the automatic shuffler. Because the deck is fresh after each hand of play, a card counter does not get the penetration of the deck required to make a count effective. The first 52 cards of a six-deck shoe do not accurately portray the count. In Macau, the deck is never penetrated deeper than 52 cards, making card counting impossible.

Macau Blackjack And Blackjack Online

One can immediately see the similarity between online blackjack and blackjack in Macau. Both of them start each hand with a brand new deck.

If you have played blackjack online then you have a pretty good idea of how the game is played in Macau. The only difference is that in online blackjack you will be the only player at the blackjack table. In Macau you will have plenty of company.

Despite the use of automatic shufflers in Macau, the game of blackjack remains very popular. The main reason for this may be because most of the players who visit the Macau casinos are tourists and not professionals. A professional blackjack player will always choose an easier setup than Macau because of the automatic shufflers.

Beating Macau Blackjack

Even though card counting is not effective in Macau, it is still possible to beat the game of blackjack and leave the table with a profit. The key to doing this is by becoming very familiar with basic blackjack strategy.

Basic blackjack strategy does not depend upon card counting to work. It can be used with card counting to improve the accuracy of a betting system, but one does not have to know how to count cards to use basic strategy. Of these two elements, basic strategy is by far the most important.

When playing blackjack in Macau, always stick to the basic strategy and do not deviate from it. If you do this, the house edge will be greatly reduced and you will have a chance to win despite the use of an automatic shuffler. Many times players are tempted to go with a “hunch” and the blackjack table and disregard what they have been taught in numerous blackjack books. This is a mistake that will leave the player broke and discouraged.

Oh well, if this happens to you don’t be too upset. You can still see all the wonderful sights that Macau has to offer those who visit.

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