Can You Count Cards in Macau?

Macau City Seal With a Casino Background

Macau features the biggest baccarat scene in the world. Some casinos in this Asian gambling mecca fill 80% of their floors with baccarat tables.

Of course, blackjack is no slouch in Macau either. This special administrative area of China actually offers the best blackjack odds anywhere in the world!

Even with these great odds, though, you’re still at a slight disadvantage to the house. Your only chance to win consistent profits is through card counting. But is card counting even possible in Macau?

After all, you never hear anybody talking about all the money they’ve won counting cards here. I’ll discuss this matter by covering more on Macau blackjack games and what the counting scene is like.

What Are the Typical Macau Blackjack Rules?

Again, this region boasts outstanding blackjack odds. Unlike most gambling destinations throughout the world, Macau isn’t afraid to offer great rules and a low house edge.

First, I’ll go over the rules for a standard blackjack table:

  • Six decks
  • 3:2 natural blackjack payout
  • Early surrender on dealer’s 10 (but not ace)
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Double down any two cards
  • Double after splitting (DAS)
  • Split up to four hands
  • No re-splitting aces

These rules lead to a 0.16% house edge. I don’t currently know of any game, online or live, that can compare in terms of sheer odds.

Of course, a few blackjack games throughout Macau can differ slightly. Here are rule nuances that you may encounter in some casinos:

  • Five decks (rather than six) – Lowers house edge by 0.1%
  • Re-split aces – Lowers house edge by 0.08%
  • Split up to three hands (split once) – Increases house edge by 0.01%
  • Losing all wagers after splitting if the dealer has a natural blackjack – Increases house edge by 0.11%

None of these rules impact the house greatly one way or another. Nevertheless, you should still keep nuances in mind when playing in different Macau casinos.

Which Macau Casino Has the Best Blackjack?

The Wynn and MGM currently feature the best blackjack odds in Macau. Both of these casinos offer rules that create a 0.09% house edge.

I noted earlier how Macau has the best real money blackjack on the planet. Well, these two casinos are the best of the best.

City of Dreams Macau Table Games

The catch, though, is that both the MGM and Wynn require $50 stakes on most tables. You stand to lose more with these high stakes even with the tiny house advantage factored in.

Assuming you’re perfectly comfortable wagering $50 per hand, though, then you’ll definitely like what these casinos boast regarding the odds.

What Other Macau Casinos Feature Quality Blackjack Scenes?

Besides odds, you should also consider the quantity of tables when choosing a Macau blackjack casino. More tables give you extra options when looking for the perfect stakes.

Nobody offers more blackjack tables than the Venetian Macao. This behemoth of a casino features over 800 table games in all. It also houses some of the best amenities in the city and waterways with gondola rides.

In all, Macau boasts over 30 casinos along with racinos as well. Here are some of the more popular blackjack hotspots:

  • Altira Macau
  • Casino Lisboa
  • Casino Oceanus
  • City of Dreams
  • Galaxy Grand Waldo
  • Galaxy StarWorld
  • Greek Mythology Casino
  • MGM Macau
  • Ponte 16
  • Wynn Macau

Will You Beat Macau Blackjack Through Card Counting?

Card counting is the most famous advantage gambling method in the world. It sees you track cards as they’re dealt and assign them point values.

You bet more money when the count is positive (i.e. more aces and 10s) and wager the table minimum if the count is zero or negative (i.e. more twos through sixes).

The goal is to capitalize on the times where you stand a better chance of getting natural blackjacks. If the count is positive, the dealer also has higher odds of busting when drawing to a hard 17.

You don’t need to pour a lot of time into learning card counting. Instead, you simply need the proper skills and conditions to successfully count cards. Unfortunately, Macau doesn’t have the right conditions in any capacity. Every table in the region features a continuous shuffling machine (CSM).

Macau Casino Slots and Table Games

A CSM keeps shuffling cards as the dealer inserts decks into it. The croupier never has to stop the game to shuffle as a result. More importantly, they don’t need to go deep into the shoe either. This aspect is what makes Macau card counting impossible.

You need good “deck penetration,” which is the amount of decks dealt before the dealer shuffles, to properly count cards. After all, your count is unlikely to mean much after one to two decks of a six- to eight-deck shoe.

Macau tables don’t allow hardly any penetration due to the CSMs. Simply put, you can’t make guaranteed profits here.

Why Is Macau Staunchly Against Counting?

Macau is the only major international gambling destination that features a continuous shuffling machine at every table. But why?

Much of this situation has to do with the excellent rules. Macau games already give you a strong chance to win. Casinos would get absolutely drilled if they let you count cards on top of things.

As a skilled counter, you can gain between a 0.5% and 1.5% advantage over North American casinos. But these tables also feature house edges ranging from 1.0% to 2.0%.

With a Macau game, where you’re doing with a 0.16% house advantage, you might grab a 1.5% to 2.5% edge over casinos. They don’t want any chance of this happening. Therefore, every gambling establishment employs CSMs to ensure that you can’t get the upper hand.

Can You Still Win With Macau Blackjack?

You can’t become a professional blackjack player in Macau. However, you still stand a great chance of winning in any given session thanks to the low house edge.

You’re not going to find a better place to play blackjack as an amateur. Of course, you can’t just walk right up to the tables and expect to do well immediately. These games require a good command of basic strategy just like anywhere else. Macau blackjack strategy differs from the norm due to its unique set of rules.

You can quickly pick up these nuances just by looking up a Macau blackjack strategy chart. You merely need to search for this term and look in the Images area of whatever search engine you’re using.

Macau basic strategy charts are in demand due to the popularity of this gambling destination as a whole. Therefore, you’ll have no trouble finding one.

You should look over this chart for at least a few minutes before heading to the tables. After all, casinos don’t like you slowing down games by looking at your chart too often.

Assuming you play with perfect blackjack strategy, then you can achieve the aforementioned 0.16% house edge. This puts you at a near coinflip situation with the casinos.

Conclusion

Macau is no card counter’s paradise. In fact, it’s the worst place on earth to count cards due to all the CSM.

That said, you should steer clear if you’re an advantage gambler. But if you’re a recreational gambler, then Macau is the perfect place to be!

It offers better rules than any land-based or online casino. You’re looking at a 0.16% house advantage at the average table.

You can go even lower than this at 0.09% in the Wynn and MGM. Do note, though, that both of these casinos require higher minimum bets.