Edge sorting isn’t card counting, and in theory isn’t cheating, but it comes close enough to that line to be considered unfair.
And as we all know from the infamous Phil Ivey case, casinos don’t take kindly to players using the technique.
But what is it and how does it work?
Keep reading to understand more about edge sorting and what went down with Phil Ivey.
What Is Edge Sorting?
Edge sorting is an advantage play technique used mostly in baccarat, where players make use of imperfections on the backs of cards to help identify specific ones, giving them an edge over the casino.
Edge sorting requires a defective decks of cards – cards with slightly different patterns or cuts – and some seriously impressive vision.
The playing cards seem perfectly normal at first glance, but the patterns on their backs aren’t symmetrical.
While many decks have a standard image and border on the back, many use a series of circles or diamonds instead.
When the cards are cut, they aren’t 100% symmetrical, with one side of the card showing the full circle or diamond, while the other shows half of the shape.
Just seeing this difference in pattern doesn’t do anything, though, so you need to do the ‘sorting’ part.
When one card is rotated 180 degrees, two cards can be distinguished from one another.
As you can’t be sorting through cards in the casino, this needs to be done with a keen eye or by making use of clever requests and techniques to make it happen.
How Edge Sorting Works
Someone looking to take advantage of this defect firstly needs to find a casino where defective cards are being used.
While most manufacturers try their best to avoid such mistakes, it does happen.
So, once the player knows about the typical make of card decks with this defect and they find a casino using them (or convince the casino to use these decks), they can set their plan in motion.
This technique works very well for punto banco (variation of baccarat), the game where you gain a big advantage if you can identify big (face) cards from regular ones.
During the course of the game, the player will ask the dealer to rotate face cards.
They can do this under a guise of superstition, and if the dealer is unaware of what’s going on, they’ll usually indulge the player, especially if the request comes from a high roller. 슬롯사이트
Once the shoe is out, all cards will be positioned just right. High cards will be rotated one way, and low cards will be rotated the other way.
So, when the deal begins again, the player will be able to distinguish between low (especially 6s through 9s) and high cards and place their bets on the more favorable side.
For this strategy to work, it’s also essential that the casino uses an automatic card shuffler as the machine will not rotate cards during the shuffle.
If this process were done manually by the dealer, the entire setup would be spoiled, and the player would get no advantage.