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Blackjack Primer
Decks and Shuffling

When the dealer shuffles the cards he or she might be shuffling anywhere from a single up to eight decks together.

After the cards are shuffled, the complete deck is put in front of a player to be cut. The player sitting to the dealerís left is normally the one to cut first and the cutting rotates clockwise amongst the players on subsequent cuts.

The player is given a plastic card to place anywhere he chooses in the deck. The deck is split at that point and the cards that were on the bottom are moved to the top.

If you do not wish to cut the cards you can pass and it will go to the next player. Some players refuse to cut based on superstition.

After the dealer places all the cards together he will remove the first card. This is referred to as burning a card. This card is normally placed in a plastic holder and all subsequent discarded playing cards are placed on top.

The dealer will also place the red card somewhere in the deck and only deal cards until that card has been reached. He or she will continue dealing that particular round, but reshuffle the deck as soon as that round is completed. In other words he will not deal up the whole deck. The placement of this card is very important to card counters and the deeper it is placed, the better it is for card counters. This is referred to as "penetration".

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