How Advantage Players are Giving Online Casinos Significant Losses

A recent study has shown that advantage players are contributing a significant amount of losses for traditional and online casinos. 

According to a study, these skilled players have been making the most of conventional and online card games like blackjack, poker, and video poker. Advantage players comprise about 1% of a Las Vegas locals casino’s player base, and were responsible for a staggering 25.64% loss in carded wins on video poker during the study period.

Furthermore, these players also leverage most of casino promotions and loyalty programs to further increase their winnings, since they are already well-versed at their casino game of choice.

This poses the question: how do advantage players maximize their game knowledge and win as much as they do whenever they play casino games?

What are Advantage Players?

Before we dive into the ways advantage players, it is best to define what an advantage player is in the world of casinos. Advantage players are defined as people who use legal casino strategies and techniques to win at casino games. 

They typically use skill and how well they can read and analyze the board or game state and adjust their playstyle accordingly. This can also be attributed to good risk management, where advantage players treat their bets and hands as risks, and deducting the probability of how much they can win or lose based on their bets. From there, they would look for the most probable outcome where they can win the most amount, or lose the least amount of money.

More seasoned advantage players can also determine the house edge and adjust their gameplay to mitigate their losses and maximize their earnings each time they bet and play their hands.

What Strategies do Advantage Players Use?

Most advantage players frequent brick-and-mortar casinos since these establishments are using conventional setups for their card and table games. As far as strategies, advantage players utilize more than one method or technique, depending on which scenario calls for it.

Card Counting

In blackjack, the most common strategy players use is card counting. This is done by keeping track of what cards have already been played during the course of a session. Keeping tabs of what cards have been dealt allows players to determine which ones are left on the deck; they can then adjust how they would play their hands based on that knowledge.

Edge Sorting

As its name suggests, edge sorting is a strategy where players look for specific patterns or identifiable physical attributes of card backs during the course of a game to help them determine which cards are going to be dealt. This one requires players to pay attention to key details whenever the dealer shuffles and a lot of practice, since dealers and casino operators might notice peculiar player patterns, and edge sorting is a mostly visual strategy.

Edge Sorting is commonly used in baccarat where cards are constantly being dealt and shuffled. The wear and tear of such activities eventually wear out the card backs, especially if the dealer isn’t careful when shuffling and dealing.

Shuffle Tracking

Another advantage player strategy that deals with physical cards is shuffle tracking. Similar to Edge Sorting, players who utilize this tactic involves monitoring how the dealer shuffles the cards and decks following a played hand. Players need to mark specific cards and anticipate where they would end up after the dealer shuffles them.

Among the three card strategies, Shuffle Tracking is the hardest one to pull off since players need to memorize a large volume of cards on top of their prime targets. This strategy is the most volatile as there are a lot of moving factors.

Moreover, while these are the most common strategies advantage players use, such tactics are not fool-proof. It takes a lot of trial and error before players can be adept at applying one or more of these methods during their casino sessions.

Can Advantage Players use their strategies in online casinos?

As mentioned earlier, advantage players utilize an assortment of tactics to get a leg up on casino games. In most cases, applying these strategies on online casino games are a mixed bag. 

For example, playing online blackjack and applying conventional advantage player tactics are difficult to execute. This is due to the fact that online casino card and table games do not use physical cards; they use a program that automates the shuffling and dealing of cards to players, effectively preventing instances of edge sorting and shuffle tracking.

Players can still try using card counting, but they can only track which cards have been dealt, and from there assess whether the succeeding hands will fall the way they anticipate it to be. This is significantly harder to pull off, since online casino operators run various programs that randomly shuffles the cards, and other iterations of card games like blackjack, baccarat, or video poker have systems and protocols put into place to prevent instances of cheating and other security breaches.

As for online slot games, some of the conventional slot game tactics can still be applied, specifically the various betting methods, along with the different promotions the online casino operators offer.

That said, those are the only legal ways advantage players can use to make the most of their bets and playing time. Using applications and programs in online casinos that jeopardize the functionality of the different online casino games are deemed illegal, and players who are caught using such apps are susceptible to being banned from playing in that said online casino.

Advantage players will always be part of the casino industry, it is up to the casino operators how to deal with them. From installing more secure in-game protocols of their famous casino games, to monitoring players who might be doing something that teeters between legal and illegal gambling practices, the ball is on their court to ensure other players and the general casino environment wouldn’t be adversely affected.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

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