In Card Counting, What Is the Term “Deck Penetration?”.

In order to successfully count cards, You must perfect a system to the point where you don’t have to think when counting. Many would-be card counters know they must learn a system and practice it. However, some of the same players are unaware of deck penetration. If you’re into card counting but not familiar with deck penetration, you should learn more about it. This tutorial will explain this notion and its importance.

Deck Penetration 101

To shuffle the shoe, dealers must go inside it to a certain depth. One casino may need to shuffle after dealing five out of eight decks. Another may tell dealers to shuffle after six decks.

Deck penetration is the depth of a dealer’s shoe. Here are some examples of determining penetration:

Ex. 1

An eight-deck game

The dealer shuffles after four decks.

4/6 = 66.67% penetration

Ex. 2

A game has 4 decks.

The dealer shuffles after three decks.

3/4 Indicates 75% penetration

Ex. 3

A game has 8 decks.

The dealer shuffles after five decks.

5/8 = 62.5 % penetration

Casinos don’t put deck penetration signs on tables. Instead, you must watch a game to estimate. You can also look up a casino’s average deck penetration online. In the absence of this data, you must estimate penetration.

How Does This Help Card Counters?

Card counting entails counting the cards as they are dealt from the shoe. You gain the most when the shoe contains more high-value cards (aces to tens). Aces and tens increase your chances of getting a natural blackjack. They also boost the dealer’s chances of busting to 17. When the count goes in your favour, you want to increase your bets. These higher bets pay off when put deeper into the shoe.

This is illustrated by the following:

Ex. 1

A game has 8 decks.

Before shuffling, the dealer uses 5.5 decks.

5/8 = 68.8% penetration

Ex. 2

A game has 8 decks.

The dealer shuffles after six decks.

6/8 = 75% penetration


This greater penetration boosts your count confidence. A positive count increases your chances of winning. But you’re not just counting cards to increase your chances of winning. You want profit! So don’t accept a positive count after 10%-20% of the shoe. You want more penetration to increase your confidence in positive tallies.

What Deck Penetration Is Required?

You want to play in games that enable at least 75% penetration. This value promises long-term profitability as a proficient card counter. So if the dealer goes through six out of eight decks, that is 75% deck penetration. Of course, not all casinos are alike in this regard. Some enable up to 60% deck penetration, while others allow up to 80% or more. So, think carefully about where you’ll count cards. No way is a casino that only allows 60% penetration.

The Blackjack Rules Also Matter

Deck penetration isn’t the only factor. You must also consider the rules. The regulations differ from game to game. That’s why you want better rules. Avoid any table that pays only 6:5 for a natural. Compared to 3:2, 6:5 payouts boost the house edge 1.39 percent. Less decks will also help. Compared to six decks, a single deck reduces the house advantage by 0.47 percent.

Other factors to consider when choosing a blackjack game:

  • The house edge is reduced by 0.25 percent.
  • Dealer stands on soft 17 – 0.20 % house advantage.
  • (DAS) – Reduces house edge by 0.17 percent.
  • Re-split aces – 0.08 percent house advantage.
  • Late surrender – 0.07 % house edge reduction.
How Much Penetration Is Allowed in Blackjack?

The quantity of deck penetration varies depending on the blackjack kind. Here’s how land-based, internet, and live dealer casinos often penetrate the market.

Gambling Halls

Deck penetration varies the greatest in brick-and-mortar casinos. Their penetration ranges from 60% to 75%. Much depends on the rules of a real-life casino. Bad rules establishments are more tolerant of card counting. Meanwhile, low-stakes casinos tighten up. They act faster when they perceive a potential counter since they already have a good game.

Card Counting

No one should count cards online. Most gaming websites do not allow penetration. They programe blackjack games to reshuffle after each hand. Counting in an online blackjack game will get you nowhere.

Live Blackjack

Casino Live LIVE DEALERS ARE A MULTIPLE OF ONLINE AND LIVE So they enable some deck penetration. The average live dealer blackjack game has a penetration of 35% to 50%. When counting at live dealer tables, seek for the later range.

Find Beatable Online Games

Deck penetration is critical for counting cards. When looking for beatable tables, keep in mind the following points.