An Idiots Guide to Edge Sorting in Baccarat

If you’ve been following gambling news over the course of the past few years, there’s a good chance you will remember the stunt Phil Ivey pulled at a couple of baccarat tables. Ivey and his baccarat partner used the age-old trick of edge sorting to be able to tell which cards were coming out of the shoe next, allowing them to bet more effectively so that they can win big bucks.

So, today we’re going to get back to basics with this idiots guide to edge sorting, hopefully giving you the edge over the land-based casino once they open up again.

If you’ve got eagle eyes or your Spidey senses are tingling right now, it means you’ve caught on to the fact we mentioned land-based casinos – so stay tuned for more on that in just a second!

It Doesn’t Work Online

Let’s start by clearing up where and when you can use edge sorting. In theory, you can use edge sorting at any table that has a clear shoe, but it works best in the world of baccarat owing to the simple nature of the game. Due to the positioning of the cameras and the fact that live stream baccarat tables use multiple decks in multiple shoes, it’s impossible to use edge sorting at an online casino. You can try it out, but the camera angles are all too far away from the cards for you to be able to notice a miniscule difference in pattern.

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How Does Edge Sorting Work?

Edge sorting is an artform, a skill that takes years to master, but it is possible. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can make edge sorting work for you. Edge sorting is the practice of looking at the back of the cards and being able to detect sets of cards based on the cut pattern. When casino cards are cut, the patterns on the back aren’t always perfect. This results in ranges of cards having a slightly different pattern. Edge sorting relies on you being able to pick up on this and keep track of which cards have the different pattern.

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Can Everyone Edge Sort?

Edge Sorting is one of the hardest advantage play techniques known to man, simply because there are so many external factors in play. Phil Ivey managed to pull it off thanks to his eagle eyes, the casinos bending backwards to his rather specific requests and the help of his partner. For your average player, the time it takes to master this skill and the influence needed at the casino might mean that you simply cannot pull it off. But, there’s no harm in trying, right?

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How Can I Practice Edge Sorting?

If you want to get good at edge sorting, you’re going to need to practice an awful lot. Our best advice is to use real cards from real casinos, rather than any old pack you can get at home. This gets you used to the patterns and styles on the back of the cards, rather than your snazzy cards you can get for home use. You can pick up a single deck for around €5 on Amazon and eBay. Once you’ve got these cards, lay them all out and try to identify a discrepancy in the pattern. Memorize which card values these are – they tend to be in a range – then start playing baccarat using them. Try to remember which patterns have the specific card values before they come out of the shoe. This is by no means a skill that you can master in a week. It requires months and months of hard work and practice.

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So, unless you’ve got the big bucks to sway the casino into bowing down to some specific demands and the time to practice edge sorting, then it’s probably best you leave this one to the pros. It’s by far the hardest advantage play there is in the casino world.