No matter how many tools and software solutions online casinos are using to prevent players from gaining an edge over the house, advanced casino gamblers are constantly developing different strategies to help them get a bigger advantage. One such technique that has been popularised in the last few years is known as edge sorting. It was the pro poker player Phil Ivey that made edge sorting popular among card fans.
While edge sorting is mainly used in baccarat, this technique can also be of help while playing blackjack or poker. The way this strategy works is by carefully monitoring the backs of the cards and gaining an advantage from the small differences in the design of the cards. This technique is pretty hard to develop and in some countries, it is even considered illegal.
If you are wondering whether this method can also be used when playing online at a Live Casino, then the answer is yes. However, it will be even harder to apply this technique when the game is broadcasted on a smaller screen rather than seeing the cards being dealt before you. That said, if you manage to use edge sorting while playing live baccarat, you can gain a great advantage over the house and enjoy multiple fruitful outcomes.
To learn more about edge sorting and how it can make your baccarat experience a lot more fruitful, we suggest you continue reading.
How to Apply the Technique of Edge Sorting?
Edge of sorting is a strategy that allows players to distinguish cards that are being dealt by using some inherent differences in the design of the back of the cards. As some cards may have slight changes in their back design, noticing differences in patterns can help players determine the value of a card without actually seeing its face.
The technique is mainly used in baccarat but there are cases when it can be of help while you bet on blackjack or poker. The way edge sorting works is by paying close attention to the bask design of the cards of the deck. While all cards seem exactly the same to most people, players who are devoted to developing the edge sorting technique can spot even small differences between cards. If you have a strong vision and have been practising edge sorting for enough time, you can have almost no issue spotting even the tiniest differences in every card of the deck.
If you take a deck of cards and carefully inspect the back of every card, you will notice that some cards have been cut in a way that reveals more of the pattern that is seen on the edges. Of course, the difference is ever so slight that untrained players may not spot it at all. However, if you train yourself to use edge sorting for an extensive period and practice the skill, you will be able to tell the cards apart with ease.
As mentioned above, edge sorting was popularised by Phil Ivey who managed to beat the house using this technique. In his case, the cards used by the casino had tiny diamond-shaped patterns on their backs. The difference between the cards in the deck was most noticeable on the edges of the cards as they were cut in a way that would reveal the patterns in a slightly different way. As the diamond shapes on the back of the cards were cut in different places on various cards, Ivey was able to tell cards apart only by looking at the shapes on their backs. By differentiating cards, the professional player was able to recognise which cards had smaller values and which ones had higher values. This is where the name edge sorting came from.
In the case of Ivey, he had also convinced the dealer at the specific casino to participate in his scheme, asking the dealer to rotate high-value cards upside down. Once Ivey played enough rounds to learn the patterns of the cards’ backs and also get the rotated high-value cards back in the shoe, he would start using the information he had collected through edge sorting. After the cards he had studied were yet again in the deck, he would correctly guess the value of the cards and correctly bet on the winning side in baccarat.
Can Edge Sorting Really Give Players Advantage?
Even though edge sorting is a difficult technique to develop, it is worth exploring as it can give players a significant advantage over the house. The said strategy can help players overcome the casino’s advantage by almost 7%, bringing very generous returns to professional edge sorters.
It should be noted that this strategy is most suitable for high-rollers as one must play quite a few rounds before they can inspect the patterns of cards and properly assess the specific back design of cards with different values. What is more, bigger wins require heavier wagers so you should be prepared to gamble a lot to earn generous amounts through edge sorting.
Even though this skill is not easy to learn, we believe it is worth trying to implement edge sorting as it can give you a huge advantage over the house. That being said, we want to remind you that continuous winnings may often alert casinos about something unusual, and continuous wins can also tip off the casino that you may be relying on special skills to beat the house.
Can Edge Sorting Be Used in Live Baccarat?
As mentioned above, in addition to Ivey using the slight differences in the way cards have been manufactured, he also received additional help from the dealer handling the cards. This is why the effectiveness of the method may be questioned, especially if you are playing online at a live baccarat table. Despite having some additional obstacles to overcome, you might be able to gain some advantages while using edge sorting in live baccarat.
When you join a live baccarat table, you can freely look to try and spot the differences in the patterns of the cards, without worrying about looking too suspicious. However, you cannot ask the dealer through the broadcast to rotate the cards upside down. Another thing you should also consider is that despite edge sorting being a fairly new strategy, both offline and online casinos are well aware of it and make sure to take preventative measures to avoid such techniques.
Despite having to put some extra work to utilise edge sorting when playing live baccarat, you can still benefit from this technique when you are wagering your money at a live casino. Thanks to edge sorting, you can learn how card counting is used in baccarat. Unlike blackjack where you are trying to understand which cards are to be dealt next, with baccarat card counting you are simply trying to determine whether the number of high cards will prevail over the low cards or the other way around. Even though knowing whether there are more high-value or low-value cards left in the deck may not guarantee success, it can help you tilt the scales slightly in your favour.
When you are watching the game being broadcasted on a screen will automatically make edge sorting more difficult. Since you may not be able to see the back of the cards upclose, you may have trouble noticing any differences in the patterns of the cards. That said, with live casino software constantly improving the quality of their streams, nowadays, it is common to find live baccarat games streamed in 4K quality. That can help you spot any specifics of the cards used in the game, making edge sorting a bit easier.
Baccarat with squeeze is also a variation of the card games that can be found at several live casinos online. This version often will have the cameras zoom on the cards as the dealer slowly reveals their values. If such games use cards with the right pattern, it may be easier to spot any differences across the edges of the cards and make edge sorting easier to practice while playing online.
Why Edge Sorting Can Be Difficult to Achieve
While successful edge sorting can give players a huge advantage, there are many factors that can prevent players from using this type of strategy. Even Ivy, who made this technique popular among baccarat players, could not use it at any random casino. To be able to spot differences in the backs of cards, they must use patterns that allow players to make up certain cards from the rest of the cards in the shoe.
Diamonds and squares allow easier edge sorting
Cards that usually use patterns of diamonds or squares are the easiest to spot whenever there are differences in the way cards have been cut. This could be one of the reasons why edge sorting is not very easy to practice when playing live baccarat. Most live casinos do not use cards that have such patterns on their backs, making it hard to notice any differences in the back design of the cards.
Patterns should spread across cards’ edges
In addition to diamonds and squares being the most suitable patterns for edge sorting, they should also spread across the edges of the cards. It is the way that the shapes have been cut along the edges that will allow edge sorters to notice differences in the cards’ design. You will notice that some cards have a white edge on all four sides of the back design. This type of card will make your edge sorting a lot harder as there will be no different cuts of shapes across some edges. That said, in some cases, you may notice that the white edges are sightly broader on some cards of the deck, giving you another way to differentiate high cards from low cards.
Can Players Who Use Edge Sorting Get in Trouble?
It should be noted that most casinos treat edge sorting in baccarat just like card counting in blackjack. That means that usually, edge sorting is a practice that many casinos have deemed illegal. That said, many players find that a fair strategy as they simply take advantage of the way cards have been manufactured.
Phil Ivey, who made this type of technique very popular, managed to win $9.6 million at the Borgata casino using edge sorting while playing baccarat. As already mentioned, he also had the dealer Cheung Ying Sun help him to tell cards from one another. In 2014, when the casino found out about Ivey’s strategy to play baccarat, the casino sued both him and his partner for cheating. In 2016, a Federal judge ruled that Ivey and his partner are due to pay $10 million to the casino as a refund.
Despite the verdict of the Federal judges, US District Judge, Noel Hillman, had an entirely different opinion on this case. He ruled that the player did not commit any fraudulent activity but rather went against the no marking of cards rules of the casino. That said, the player and his partner did not interfere in any way with the cards but rather took advantage of their manufactured imperfections.
Ivey was also denied his winnings of $11 million from the UK casino Crockford. He accumulated a massive win in 2012 and decided to sue the casino when he was refused his winnings. However, Ivey lost the case as the UK High Court classified the technique of edge sorting as cheating.
Some speculate that Ivey’s case may have turned out differently had he used simple observations to spot the differences in cards. However, as he also had additional help from his partner, his way of beating the house was considered a fraud.
Conclusion on Edge Sorting in Live Casino Games
If you are considering using edge sorting, especially when you play baccarat online, you should keep in mind several things. This technique is considered cheating by most brick-and-mortar casinos and you may not be allowed to get your winnings if you are caught using edge sorting. Meanwhile, it is difficult for an online casino to determine whether you are using this strategy when you are playing live baccarat. That means that you can be a bit more relaxed when you are practising edge sorting when playing baccarat online.
While the chances of being caught using edge sorting when playing live baccarat are low, most casinos are also not worried about such cases as the strategy is quite difficult to use when playing online. If you are determined to use edge sorting in live baccarat, you will be able to gain quite the advantage over the house but you will have quite a few obstacles to overcome.
If you have trained this skill for long enough and the game you have chosen is using the right cards, you may have pretty good chances to tilt the scales in your favour. We can conclude that live baccarat players can benefit from utilising edge sorting but they will have quite a difficult time implementing this technique when they are placing wagers on live baccarat.