Burned Cards: Explained

Table games like Blackjack and Poker remain as one of the choicest categories at casinos and when playing them, the player is better positioned when he is well informed about the tricks, techniques and terminologies applied in gaming. Here, you can read on what is meant by burned cards and how they are used by casinos.

Burned Cards: What do they mean?

A term used with reference to cards in certain table games, it describes those cards that the dealer casts off from the top of the deck used when dealing. In most casinos, whether online or traditional ones, you’ll see that the burned cards are placed face down beside the stack of discarded cards. These cards are not revealed to the players and the technique is used to keep players away from possibilities of card making. Card making is known as a form of cheating that can help players to easily predict the cards at hand.

Burned Cards: Explained

How are burned cards used?

In games like Poker, you may notice that a card is burned before every round commences. This diminishes the possibility by which players try to use information collected from the markings they had read on that certain card in the previous round and use it to their advantage. This is strictly done in Poker so that no player can have an advantage over anyone else at the table.

Also, in Poker card burning is used to check second dealing and to give extra cards in an occasion where irregularity of play happens. Many times one of the down cards that would have flashed in the course of a deal is used as a burn card. In such cases, the card is to be immediately placed face up on the shoe once the deal has been completed. Card burning is used in various Poker variants including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em more than once.

In games such as Blackjack, the application of such tactics by casinos has been a debatable issue since players go up against the dealers in the game. Several Blackjack players find the technique disturbing as they feel that card burning by the dealer could lead to the possibility of the dealer discarding an Ace out of the shoe thereby diminishing their chance of hitting a blackjack. However, for most players, including beginner level Blackjack enthusiasts or experienced players, the burned cards make no difference.

While in Poker, burning a card could cause the card marking process for players, in Blackjack it does not interfere with card counting. However, it is still done to restrict drawing cues against the top card. It is considered that if the top card is exposed to the players accidentally when cutting the deck, it could end up being dealt into play. Moreover, if that specific card happens to be an Ace or a card with a value of 10, it could eventually turn out to be favourable for the player by increasing his winning chances. This process is also known as card steering where the player obtains the information on the card which comes through the dealer’s error. To put such possibilities at bay, the casinos continue applying the card burning method so that the dealer can protect the casino against losses made from probable card steering.

Burned cards and card counting

When viewed from the perspective of card counting, a dealer who burns a card is just moving the card up by one. This means that if the card is placed at 75 cards, the burned card will move the cut card up to 76 cards. Thus, in simple words, it equals adding an unknown card in the deck. Thus, in most cases, players or even card counters don’t pay much heed to the burned card in a game of Blackjack.

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