Edge-sorting is something that gamblers use to give themselves anadvantage. It’s used on card games where knowing the value of hidden cards is of hugebenefit. So while this generally wouldn’t be used at online casinos, it could be used at a brick and mortar casino. What exactly is edge-sorting, and how can you use it?
Edge-sorting is the act of getting the dealer to rotate cards around so that you can see the edges of the card. Because of how cards are manufactured, you can distinguish the values of some cards by looking at the patterns on the back, when the deck is sorted for cards to face certain ways. The manufacturing process has some slight errors so that the design on the back of the cards isn’t identical for all values.
That allows players skilled in edge-sorting to gain an advantage when playing card games. It means that they can make the right choices every single time because they will be able to see what’s coming next. It means that baccarat, blackjack, and poker players can often walk away with huge wins if they can do this effectively. It does come with some issues, though, as Phil Ivey found out.
Can you use edge sorting?
Phil Ivey was a poker champion, not just a good poker player, but well known worldwide as a top-level player. That was why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Ivey was able to turn his hand to big winnings playing baccarat. He managed to walk away from Borgata with almost $10m and from Crockfords with over $10m. It’s safe to say that he’d had a good few days at the tables.
However, things were about to change for Ivey. When reviewing surveillance footage, the casino found that before the game had started, Ivey had asked for all of the 7s, 8s, and 9s to be rotated in the deck before play. That allowed him to tell which cards were of what value, and he had a highly successful session at the table.
Taking the case to court, the casinos argued that Ivey hadn’t used a legitimate technique. He had, in fact, cheated. Ivey argued the opposite, saying that he had been open and upfront about what he was doing as the dealer agreed to rotate the cards for him. The courts ruled in favor of the casinos, and it meant the winnings were never paid out. Ivey had to cover the costs of the casino.
It should be noted that you couldn’t do this at an NJ online casino due to the software using algorithms to deal the cards, and there is no opportunity to rotate any of the cards.
So it’s illegal?
Basically, with the amount of setting up that edge-sorting requires, you won’t be able to do it without being caught. As the courts have already ruled against one high profile player, it’s evident that casinos don’t allow edge-sorting to happen. Unlike card counting, which is seen as legitimate gamesmanship, edge-sorting is something you won’t be allowed to do at any casino.