Shuffle masters legitimacy? why are these machines tolerated?

Question by INSIDESTR8 Posted

For the longest time I have been debating with other players about
these so-called random number generators machines that for some reason everyone believes they are legit. These machines cost over $10,000 for each unit not to just to be completely random. There are other features that make these much more valuable.
these machines have the ability to read every card while shuffling and they can be remotely programmed to play different card games. Each machine has 2 different cameras inside!

They claim the reason they use these machines is to get more hands
dealt. Each time a hand is dealt the house gets a few dollars for their
cut.The machines shuffle a deck while game is in play, so when one hand is done the dealer just loads the machine back up with the deck just played, while grabbing the other deck that's been shuffled.
Can anyone answer any of these red flags because i have asked the
dealers the floor man the pit boss and not one have answered any.

1. Why do they have 2 cameras inside, when i spoke with a bally
representative he claimed its to catch cheaters. He had a machine
opened up and showed me the cameras he then took a card out while it was opened and turned it on. the shuffler started shuffling and then stopped. Sure enough, on the screen popped up the 8 of hearts the card that the rep. was holding. IT CAN READ THE CARDS PEOPLE! RED FLAG!
2. I then asked the rep. can this machine only play 1 game? The rep.
WELL........ LETS JUST THROW OUT ONE REMARK THAT THEY MAKE ENOUGH MONEY. HAVE YOU EVER MET ANYONE THAT CLAIMS THEY MAKE ENOUGH MONEY? In my opinion the main reason they dictate the cards is for JACKPOTS! YOU KNOW FOR SURE THESE CASINOS HATE PAYING OUT THE JACKPOTS. WITH THESE MACHINES THEY CAN DECIDE WHEN AND WHAT SEATS HIT AND HAVE THEIR PLAYER OR PLAYERS COLLECT THE PURSE. THAT'S A NO BRAINER! one casino i have played at there is this old man who has hit the jackpot over 30 times while others that have played there just as much never hit it once. Hes just real lucky that's all! Another argument is they cant do that they will get caught by the gaming commission. They monitor all the casinos. How are they going to catch them its impossible to prove.
3. Ive asked the dealer why do they cut the deck every time in half. why cant they cut it differently each shuffle. their response is they cant.WHY CANT THEY! RED FLAG
If anyone has any insight on why this continues in all the casinos, or
any factual rebuttals, i would love to hear from you. As it stands right now for me i don't play with these machines anymore only
hand shuffled games which are only tournaments. being in southern
California there is only one casino that i have come across that has a
hand shuffled cash game and that 2 hours from me.


  1. It would not be in the casinos' best interest to cheat the players. They'd never come back. At my casino we have the older model of shuffler that can't read the deck- only count it. The machines are not bought by the casino- they're leased. For their perpetual lease payments, casinos get free maintenance. That's why the WSOP doesn't use them- it would be prohibitively expensive to equip 500+ tables with autoshufflers for a 7 week tournament series. You're being far too paranoid. But, if you truly believe the shufflers are sentient and screwing the players, you've identified the solution- play at a hand-shuffle-only room. I don't know what else to recommend.

  2. I have definitely been pondering this one for a few reasons. One has to do with an experience in a small poker room using the machines a few years back when the cards just landed too strangely to be real for a whole Friday night. The next day was "normal" again. I didn't think about it too much as I was a beneficiary that night as a "new" player I was welcomed with great hands, pots, and a lot of money that night. After that first night, it was never the same again for me there. I still look back at that night and say to myself, was I really that good at poker that I was able to turn $100 into $2000 in 4 hours? That has never happened before or since.

    Fast forward to today, when I know much more about technology, and card odds.
    I took a random interest in 3 card poker this week, and starting watching it more. It is computer dealt to each player first 3 cards at a time with the dealer last under very strict rules about staying in your seat at all times, waiting for all cards to be dealt before looking, and never hand-shuffled ever. I also had a pro tell me that it is typically good to sit first or last in a full or nearly full game. That sounded bizarre to me, but I tested it, and sure enough, I was hitting bonuses, 3 card straights and flushes, and was even struck by some of the full houses made by neighboring hands, whether it connected to the dealer or not (the full house bonus of your best 5 made from your 3 cards with the house's 3 cards). Sitting in the middle of the table was death for almost everyone.
    Not my favorite game in general, but it did make me think more about those machines.

    So, there are 2 schools of thought- One is that it just is not good for business if this was really happening, and who would keep pouring money down a fixed system, not to mention liability from the company that makes Shuffle Master.

    Enough people win, that it doesn't look fixed, and it's nearly impossible to prove. Also, we Americans like to think that the gaming commission would prevent such a thing; however, how many times in the last 20 years have we made discoveries as a society about things that should have been caught, noticed, or detected and it took way too long. (9-11 for instance among 1000s) However, it is interesting that one company alone has a monopoly on these machines which have been adopted into most major casinos, and it has all the features you mentioned. Not that Vegas hasn't had a monopoly on other businesses, and made sure that maximum gain was made at the expense of the gambler. We all know it's possible, but would they really give a game a house edge to maximize profit? Certainly. Would people still win? Certainly. Does blackjack seem wonky when played out of one of those machines? Absolutely. Are flops stranger than hell from those machines, yes! Do more players get pocket pairs and A-J, A-Q, A-K then usual from those machines? Yes. I have noticed all of these, but can't really prove it.

    I have been careful not to mention any specifics in this dialogue, but I am very curious if others experiences resemble mine in any way in any or other games. It seems that once you detect the patterns, you can effectively play better, but there will always be random curveballs thrown into the mix. And, we can't forget that Poker especially can be as random as it gets, and anything is truly possible. But, once you've seen enough hands, I think most of us can detect something is strange when too many things happen that are too good to be truly random.

  3. thank you both for your advice. shuffle masters was bought by a company called Bally. I was at the Bicycle casino and was walking through the floor and i came across a fellow who worked for bally not the casino. he was a repair man. he had a shuffler with the top cover removed so you could see the inside. This was a great time i thought to get some answers about the machines that all the casinos use. So i played it cool and asked him can these machines read cards. he said yes they each are equipped with 2 cameras. i then asked can this machine just play 3 card poker or 5 card stud etc... he said oh no these machines can be remotely programmed to play any game. he also stated how expensive they were and how they are rented by casinos like you said. Those 2 facts are a recipe for disaster. This proves that machines are capable of setting up the deck how ever they want. Now are we to be trusting knowing its impossible to prove that these poker rooms are not going to cheat us, im sorry fellas they are for sure. try this next live cash game you play. At all the single deck BJ tables they allow you to cut the deck with a card and some other games when they use a shoe. you are allowed to cut it where ever you choose true? Ask the dealer to cut the deck in a different place then always directly in half. this would throw off the deck and eliminate the cheat. They wont do it. they claim that they are not allowed to. WTF is that all about. I asked them why? they have no reason why just because! now that's another RED FLAG. I am blown away at most players refusal to see the truth and back these machines without even looking at the facts. The casino could also offer at least 1 table that has a hand shuffled live cash game but they are too greedy apparently. This is a big deal when it comes down to it. I would think by having just these few red flags that something could be done to blackball these cheats. The house is already favored without these machines. am i really asking too much?

  4. These are my thoughts based on a poker room only, not pit games....

    1. In the event of cheating, it is always beneficial and faster to know what card is missing so it can be identified and, as a player, ensures me that I am in fact NOT being cheated by someone holding a card. You're focused on being cheated by the casino when it's design is to prevent being cheated by others which helps you.

    2. There is no way the machines are used to "set up the deck" to hit jackpots. I will have to agree with @zzjitterzz that you are being far too paranoid. Additionally, the machine can never know if, after being shuffled, a one or multiple players will ask to be dealt out, get up for a walk etc. which will change the order of the deal. Additionally, there is no way to tell how any player will a specific hand.

    3. Cutting the deck was done historically to prevent stacking the deck. Cutting it in half makes sense. Also, if you can find me a dealer that can cut a deck at the 26th card every single time, I would be impressed. Setting up a deck, then cutting it exactly at card 26 seems like an impossibility. Dealers cut decks around the half way mark but no chance they are exact every time which means the deal is going to be different even if the deck is "set up."

    4. It is faster to clear a jam than it is to replace a machine. Yes they are concerned about getting more drops in - casinos are not non-profit organizations. As a poker player, I would like more hands per hour as well. That should be seen as a win/win. Also, I have seen on many occasions that when a machine malfunctions a couple times, they will replace it and hand shuffle until a different machine is brought over.

    5. WSOP utilizes fold out tables to accommodate the thousands of players in multiple conference rooms, not a normal poker room. It's not weird. It's not fiscally responsible to have hundreds of shuffle machines for a 2 month period. Tournaments held inside poker rooms that I have played in (Vegas included) use the shuffle machines.

  5. @luksuk As far as the jackpots go. it wouldnt matter either way if the player got up or not. first reason is that they still deal his hand as if he were there after the cards are dealt they collect the 2 cards so this woulndt throw of the cheat. second if he is involved with collecting the jackpot he would know not to leave the table.
    when i said DIRECTLY IN HALF i didnt mean directly exactly in half. but i have asked the dealer could you cut the deck differently and they are not allowed to do so. also think about it the deck wouldnt need to be cut exactly in half for the cheat not to work. why, because if the cards being placed were meant for lets say 6th or 7th position the cheat would still be affect. the cards that are arranged are still lined up. try it yourself at home with a deck. hey maybe i am paranoid or just maybe im right on the button. its kind of strange how on the last four times i sat down at oceans eleven in a simple 20$ buy in the very 1st hand i got was AA!!!! four times in a row. on different days totally random i get dealt pocket aces.hmmmmmmmm i guess i was just lucky! my paranoid mind might just help us all down the road. Just do me favor fellow poker friend when you play with the machine next time pay attention to what i have been paranoid about. its really not that complex to stack the deck. especially a mathematical genius like a computer. also did you notice when they swap the machines out when they jam up. pay attention its not only a shuffler Its a mini computer with a computer fan and a switch with a hard drive! its programmable! trust that ! i simply just dont play with them anymore! its a bummer though because where i live there isnt one live cash game that is hand shuffled. morongo was the only won left that was hand shuffled, but guess what last month they shut down their poker room to revamp it and make it bigger they claim. funny thing is its the same exact size it has always been. the only difference is yup they now too only use these shufflers. go figure. now why on earth didnt they post that when they claimed it was to make the room bigger. the room is the same size people! if it was to put in tables for these so called legit shufflers then why didnt they just say that. anyways.... im not blind to see hope this helps.we should ban these stupid machines for good. i know i know keep dreaming there bucko! good luck all

  6. @INSIDESTR8 I could say so very much more on this, but I want to give few quick examples.
    I folded a K3 into a 20 dollar raise at a 1/2 game in Vegas....
    One caller... Flop is AK3.... preflop raiser bets to 50, gets re-raised to 100, calls....
    Turn card is 6... Money goes all in on the turn... and a call....
    River card is another K...
    So the board reads AK36K....
    The preflop raiser flips over AA for a hand of AAAKK full house...
    The other guy flips over KK for a hand of KKKKA quad kings with Ace kicker...
    SICK!!!! Now remember what I folded?
    K3.... So there was 5 kings in the deck...
    I never called floor over quickly to check the muck pile, but I SWEAR this I folded K3.
    The bad beat from the guy having AA is insane enough, but 5 kings? and of course I hit the K3 on the flop... These sorts of hands are FAR MORE COMMON with the auto shuffler...
    The board pairs far more often than it ever should in hand shuffle.
    There are so many full houses it is beyond "normal probability" ...

    More examples: Three different people here in Vegas told me that in the last few days they saw quads get beaten by straight flush. THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
    That is supposed to be extremely rare and likely would never witness it or hear of someone witnessing it, yet here it happens three different times in a few short days of LIVE poker where not that many hands are dealt per hour. (max of maybe 50-60)
    Why would the casino's pay thousands of dollars for these card shufflers and tables?
    Um ACTION and higher rake and higher tips for dealers.
    Read more about how the card shuffler works and you will also find it doesn't even matter about the "cut" the dealer makes.... Research it... The cards can still be setup for action and not care whom gets "favored"... Usually one seat gets hot streak for a bit, then extremely cold... Sometimes you can totally sense the turn and river uncannily give you the runner runner (after you folded)
    Pay more close attention next time you sit where this is an auto shuffler....
    It is not the same as a dealer shuffling. There are less "wow, look at that lucky card" crap...

    Why can't we go back to the days when dealers ACTUALLY DEALT and did the shuffle and participated in doing their job fully? We would indeed see a normalization of outcomes of hands. Less 4 card flushes or even 5 cardboard flushes, less full houses and less "action river" that helps both players or many players in the hand miraculously.
    Someone needs to collect full algorithm data on the card shuffle machines using video cameras or some kind of method of recalling every single hand detail and seeing if indeed it is very far off what probability % it should be at.

  7. I've tried to ignore this thread, as conspiracy theorists cannot be argued with, but: I'm not familiar with the internal workings of auto shufflers, but the real problem with this theory, is that stacking the deck is stupid, unless you have a specific person to stack it for. In other words, dealing quads to a random person is pointless. That means you have to have a player who is "in on it". And if this is a commonplace happening, that means LOTS of people who are "in on it". Where are the dozens of people who are saying, "I used to be that guy!"? I know your reply will be, "Anyone that squeals is quickly buried in the desert". In which case the initial "squeal" would still be out there, followed by the disappearance of the squealer. Secondly, that would mean you have just escalated a theoretical auto shuffler scam into theoretical mass murder!

  8. @SecretSapient I see your point but why on earth would anyone squeal? Think about it put yourself in their shoes.
    1. They are making money not losing money playing a game they enjoy.
    2. they are gods at the table. their ego is soaring and dominating with no chance of losing or being beat
    3. no more bad beats, you thought you had them beat but that darn river,
    4. other cocky opponents get theirs too at the hands of you, the super pro, who no matter what in the end will take your stack.
    also on the other side of the coin here is another way they can go about without a inside player. The players come and go through out the day. The money never leaves the table regardless. the players leave but the money doesn't. It either goes from one stack to another. when you are on a good run how many players on average get up from the table while on a good winning streak. I bet you its next to nothing. your winning at the table you want to keep going. So what if they lose a few on the account of the player taking the money and running out the door on their first win which very rarely happens. regardless If you are dominating the table, you will not leave with that stack. at any given time a new player comes in and low behold takes you out when you turn a straight and he pairs the board for a full house. Its not that hard to complete this cheat people. THE STRANGEST PART OF THIS ALL IS THESE CASINOS HAVE YOU ALL WRAPPED AROUND THEIR FINGERS. WE ALL KNOW THEY ARE THE BIGGEST CHEATERS WHEN IT COMES TO THE SLOT MACHINES BUT NOT AT THE TABLE GAMES. THEY ARE COMPLETELY HONEST. THEY DONT NEED THESE SHUFFLERS, WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW THIS POSSIBILITY, WHATS STUPID IS ITS ANOTHER "WHAT IF " THAT WE MUST CONSIDER. DONT WE HAVE ENOUGH OTHER POSSIBILITY'S TO WORRY ABOUT. WHY CANT THEY LET US PLAY THIS GAME FAIR AND SQUARE. WE PLAY THIS GAME BECAUSE WE ALL ENJOY IT. MAKES ME SICK TO THINK ITS ALL A TRICK PLAYED ON US. WHAT A JOKE.

  9. @INSIDESTR8 i agree with you 100% i've seen so many crazy stuffs going on in live games, one time i was playing no limit holden i saw three people at my table hit quads in 15 mins. What are the odds of hitting quads three times in 15 mins? What are the odds of hitting runner runner quads? Unbelievable. Ever since they have high hand thing everybody hits quads and straight flushes like crazy. I am convinced that shuffle machines are rigged. But favor who? That is the answer we all need to find out...
    It would be helpful if you post this on TWOPLUSTWO forum

  10. @Tjc112 These casinos are banking on these shufflers. I even had a floor rep. i wont name names but he runs this hand shuffled sit n gos only for 3 hrs a day Monday thru Friday. So I asked him why don't they run these all the time. He said that they claim that we are in the way of the bigger tournaments. When there are probably 50 tables that are never used completely empty? I said why cant we use those? He said its strange they wont even let him advertise for it. Then he says well really they don't like these sit n gos because its not profitable. They want to get you busted out as quick as possible so that you go and play the live cash games which are all played with the shufflers! wtf! There are so many red flags to this idea its ridiculous the majority of players are clueless or think im paranoid. Why on earth do these machines cost 15,000$? Not just to be completely random. These are mini computers with a hard drive and a cooling fan which is remotely programmed. They are so greedy too. Why not have both hand shuffled and auto shuffled live cash games if they were legit. I love this one i see all the time. the player asks the dealer if they would hand shuffle this round. So the dealer shuffles a few times by hand and the dealers should then cut the deck and deal the cards. NOPE they put the shuffled deck into the shuffler. WTF! I can go on and on and yes these rooms have these promos for high hands every hour players with the highest hands are rewarded. one player get quad aces, the next hand i get a low straight flush, then the very next hand another player flops a royal flush. Cmon people its not that far fetched.

  11. @INSIDESTR8 My friends and I are currently dealing with the same situation and I can understand exactly how you feel. I have been playing live poker game at major rooms East Coast for many years, playing hundred thousands of hands and I can tell you based on my personal observation that something is wrong. I am not sure about other games but it seems like NL Holdem and PLO games are rigged. Many will ask this question why would poker rooms want to rig the game when they already make profits by collecting rates and times from the players? Why would they want to take those risks and why would they care who win and lose? I think there must be reasons behind. Let's me start pointing out these specific following reasons for you to understand 1) the game could be rigged in favor of W ppl 2) the game could be rigged in favor of biggest baccarat habits 3) there are house players involved 4) They can chose bad beat jackpot and high hand winner. It seems to me reason number 1 likely to be the case because the poker room where I play all I see is the same group of guys who keep winning day after day, they are not even that good in poker, often they get dealt with good starting hand and consistently smash the flop, turn or river when all your money goes in and they suck the crap out of you. My observation is that vast majority of those people are W. Next time when you head to a casino, pay attention who winning and you know exactly what i am talking about. Also, when we play poker tournament some casinos allow handed shuffle from the beginning but when it plays down to certain tables and that's when real money is in play they start using machine which is shady I guess they want to chose winner and loser. I stop playing poker tournaments because of this. It sucks to be minority poker players knowing the game is likely rigged against us. What can we do about it? Nothing. Just don't play until they ofter handed shuffle. Can't beat white machines.

  12. It's obvious to me, since in Northern California they have a no cut the deck policy in play.
    Why can't the dealer cut the deck??

  13. I have nothing against these machines,but they need to be made 100% mechanical and eliminate any rng chip that flips the cards as it does,otherwise it's just video poker with real cards. If the future shuffle master 2 has card recontion software and can shuffle and reshuffle in numerical order what it wants and knows minus the players chimed in say 8 player minus 16 cards then the burn cards don't matter because it can calculate that to. This also can create scenarios for complete casino control which as players we cant trust!l They do this to move more chips around and create rebuys in low limit games. This means it can spit out qq vs kk vs 10-j suited knowing very well the flop will be 8-9-2 with 2 spades as the 2 and the 9,following k spaded and blank river especially in lower limit games to create action and spew chips they dont care who wins they want rebuys and lots of pots. If it was just floating cards doing what they do in a mechanical shuffle that flipped them around for 40 seconds say 8 shuffles then that would reduce fatigue for the dealer and makes a perfect normal shuffle for the players unaltered or controlled.

  14. It is supposedly a rng chip that chooses slots on a basis and moves cards around one by one. It's not that far fetched to think the machine has set programs with this theoretical card reader technology. Knowing this we can assume a machine could have straight flops to promote chasing more often,flush flops to also promote calling and occasionally big time flops to mix it up for player amusement. This is the entertainment business folks. The machine of course has no clue about the players chip count,but could possibly spew out hold cards as it wants along with a pre determined flop to keep winning hands in a pre determined seat ratio so the game keeps up with action rebuys,mostly rebuys again the casino doesn't care who wins al long as everyone keeps rebuying and is winning while losing then there ok with that.