What is a CSM?
A CSM, or “continuous shuffling machine”, is a device that automates the shuffling of a deck of cards. It is used by casinos for card games such as blackjack. Continuous shuffling machines were introduced by gambling establishments for two main reasons; to prevent card counters and cheats from being able to use advantage strategies during games and to speed up card games by eliminating the need for manual shuffling. It also costs casinos less money, due to the fact that a continuous shuffling machine only needs to use four decks of cards in the shoe, rather than six or eight decks, as required when a dealer manually shuffles.
Continuous shuffling machines became popular around 2001, as gambling establishments looked for an effective way to eliminate card counters. Although card counting is not illegal, casinos enforce strict security in order to prevent anyone who might use strategies to improve their chances of winning against the house.
Casinos around the world now use continuous shuffling machines as a method of discouraging and stopping card counters. A continuous shuffling machine works by randomly mixing the cards together with the other decks in the shoe after every round is finished – making it impossible for card counters to use the high and low card number tallying system that advantage players commonly favour.
Continuous shuffling machines also allow gambling establishments to make more profit per hour than manual dealer shuffling. With no breaks required in between shuffles, more games can be dealt per hour – increasing the casino’s hourly profit rate.
Continuous shuffling machines differ from “automatic shufflers” – which have been used in casinos for longer than the newer CSM – as the latter simply shuffles one of the two sets of multiple decks of cards used in games such as blackjack. The purpose of an automatic shuffler is simply to save time, as it prevents the dealer from manually having to shuffle cards.