by Norm Wattenberger

Peeking at Burn Cards

What is the gain from peeking
at burn cards?

The more cards that we see, the more information we have about the remaining cards. Dealers "burn" one to six cards after a shuffle. In most casinos you do not see these cards. At times, you can get away with asking to see them. Is the gain worth the suspicion gained from the request? In this chart, the first column provides SCOREs at single-deck for seeing zero, one or two burn cards. The difference is substantial as there are so few cards in single-deck Blackjack. The right column displays SCOREs for one and five seen burn cards at six decks. Forget the concept with six decks.

Again we see the large impact on single-deck of seemingly minor differences.

Sim details

  • Six decks, 4.81/6 penetration, S17, DAS, LS, 4 players, Hi-Lo Full indexes, trunc, half-deck
  • Single-deck, 3 players, 3 rounds, H17, Hi-Lo Full indexes, trunc, quarter-deck
  • Various number of burn cards seen
  • Five billion rounds each


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