Casino card games such as baccarat and blackjack
differ significantly from casino games such as craps,
roulette, and slot machines in that they are not indepen-
dent trial processes-that is, the cards that already have
been played do affect the odds on subsequent hands.
Consider for a moment the game of blackjack, where
the cards used on a round are put aside and successive
rounds are dealt from an increasingly depleted pack.
The cards are reshuffled before a round if the remain-
ing unused cards would be insufficient to complete a
round or earlier, usually at the casino's discretion. What
the early research on blackjack (contained in Beat the
Dealer) showed and what has been confirmed repeated-
ly in the intervening 23 years is that the end pack pro-
vides favorable situations often enough to give the
player an overall advantage.
While it is foolish to keep a record of past decisions
at craps in order to determine which numbers are "hot"
or "cold" (the dice have no memory), an ability to keep
track of which cards have been played and knowledge
of their relationship to the player's expectation can be
beneficial, as long as the cards are not reshuffled after
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