You can also reach us by email:

Edge Sorting Strategy: A Closer Look

May 20, 2023

Welcome to the King Billy Kingdom, where we're about to journey into the mysterious world of edge sorting. This is not your average card game trick. It's a high-stakes gamble that takes extraordinary skill, precision, and intuition to master. So, we'll dive deep into this intriguing technique, its inner workings, and its practical application in popular casino games like baccarat and blackjack. We’ll also explore the ethical and legal implications of edge sorting in gambling.

what is edge sorting

Understanding Edge Sorting in Gambling

What is edge sorting? In gambling, skilled players employ a crafty technique to gain an advantage over the house. It involves identifying subtle differences in the patterns on the backs of playing cards, which can be used to predict the face value of those cards. This can be particularly beneficial in games where knowing the value of certain cards can significantly impact a player's strategy and decision-making process.

For instance, in baccarat, knowing the value of a face-down card can help players decide whether to hit or stand. Meanwhile, in blackjack, this technique allows skilled players to know when they should double down on their bets.

As you may imagine, the technique requires a keen eye and patience to identify these subtle differences in the backs of playing cards. It’s not a simple trick that anyone can master; it requires exceptional attention to detail, careful observation, and quick thinking.

Note that this strategy cannot be applied online, as most online casinos use random number generators (RNGs) to shuffle their cards, meaning the pattern in which they’re shuffled cannot be predicted.

How the Edge Sorting Technique Works

The technique works by identifying small imperfections on the backs of cards, such as asymmetrical patterns or subtle color variations. These differences are not visible to the naked eye, but a trained observer can easily spot them. A skilled edge sorter will then use these differences to identify specific groups of cards they know are valuable to their strategy.

Once they have identified these cards, the edge sorter will ask the dealer to rotate certain cards in a particular direction. The direction of the rotation depends on which card values they have identified as valuable. By doing this, cards with these particular markings will be recognized by their orientation, giving the player an edge in knowing when to hit or stand.

In most casinos, this technique is considered cheating, and any player caught using it can face severe consequences. For example, a popular poker player, Phil Ivey, was recently sued by London and Atlantic City casinos after using edge sorting to win millions of dollars. While he argued that it wasn't cheating since he didn't mark the cards by himself, judges still ruled against him.

The technique only works under special circumstances:

  • The dealer must accommodate the player’s requests to rotate the cards in a certain way. The edge sorting technique won't work if the dealer shuffles or handles cards in a difficult way.
  • The cards themselves must have subtle variations that the player can identify. You cannot have an advantage if all the cards look identical.
  • The player must have a trained eye for identifying the differences in card backs and quick thinking to strategize based on their observations.
  • Decks of cards cannot be changed during the game; otherwise, it'll start all over again.

So, the success of the strategy depends on many factors. The technique works best when playing with specific decks with identifiable markings or patterns and a skilled dealer willing to assist in rotating cards.

Edge Sorting in Baccarat Explained

To understand edge sorting in baccarat, we first need a basic knowledge of the game. It's played between two hands: player and banker. The game aims for one hand to get as close to 9 points as possible. Gamblers place bets on which hand will win or if there will be a tie.

The cards in baccarat are dealt face down, and the player only sees their hand. This is where edge sorting comes into play. A skilled observer can identify valuable card groups by identifying imperfections on the backs of playing cards – such as asymmetries or differing sizes.

edge sorting cards

During gameplay, if they know which card is coming next (because of its markings), this gives them increased control over which bets to make - giving them an advantage over the house. When you play baccarat, you want cards with a value of 7, 8, or 9, as these have the highest point values. Knowing when one of those cards is about to be played provides an enormous advantage. The technique can provide an edge of around 6%, which is significant in the gambling world.

How Does Edge Sorting Work in Blackjack?

Although the strategy is primarily used in baccarat, it could be used in blackjack in some ways. The technique would also involve identifying small imperfections on the backs of playing cards to determine their value.

One to apply it in blackjack would be to identify which cards are tens or aces. This is valuable information because these cards give the player an advantage over the house. The skilled observer can then use this knowledge to adjust their gameplay and bets accordingly. For instance, if an edge sorter knows that the next card in the deck is a ten or an ace, they may increase their wager because these cards would improve their hand's value.

edge sorting technique

Another way to use the tactic in blackjack is to gain insight into the dealer's hole card, dealt face-down. If an edge sorter can identify specific markings on the back of a particular card and knows that this specific card will be used as a hole card, they could potentially know what value it holds before placing their bets.

This information would enable them to make better-informed decisions about how aggressively or conservatively they should play their hand. For instance, if a player believes the dealer has drawn a weak hand as a hole card, they may choose to take risks and hit their hand. On the other hand, if an edge sorter knows that the dealer has a strong hand as their hole card, they may decide to stand.

However, edge sorting in blackjack requires players to have more control over the deck than they typically do at a casino table game. Therefore, if any casinos suspect that someone is using such tricks for personal gain, they will likely take action against them, as cheating at casinos comes with severe consequences.

Final Thoughts: Weighing the Risks of Edge Sorting

So that you know the answer to the question: “What is edge sorting?”, you might wonder: “Is it worth the effort?” For some highly skilled players, gaining an advantage over the house may be a viable strategy. However, it's important to remember that it is controversial and can be deemed cheating in some casinos. Additionally, success depends on the player's ability to spot subtle differences in card designs and exploit them, which can be pretty challenging.

While the technique might seem attractive for some players looking to gain a competitive advantage, it’s essential to weigh the risks carefully. Casinos have gone to great lengths to detect and deter various forms of advantage play. Players caught using this technique could face the consequences, such as being banned from casinos or prosecuted criminally.

Ultimately, His Majesty King Billy, Guardian of the Players, reminds you to gamble responsibly and enjoy the excitement and thrill of the games in his kingdom, regardless of the strategy you choose to employ.


Does Edge Sorting Count as Cheating?

It falls into a gray area when it comes to cheating. While it doesn't involve manipulating cards or using prohibited devices, it still gives the player an unfair advantage over the house and other players. Some casinos may consider it as cheating, while others may view it as a clever, albeit controversial, strategy. If caught edge sorting, a player might face penalties or be banned from the casino.

The Legality of Edge Sorting in Casinos

The legality varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific casino. While it is not explicitly illegal in most places, casinos can take measures to prevent edge sorting or ban players suspected of using the technique. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the rules and policies of the casino you're playing in to avoid potential legal issues.

< Back to the blog

We use cookies to improve your experience. By using our website you are accepting our Cookie Policy Cookie Policy