The Internet is packed with people telling you that you can employ a card-counting strategy to win in blackjack online.
Not yet convinced? Let’s explain!
One of the things you’ll often hear about casino blackjack is reports of professional card counters. And although some players indeed employ very complex card counting strategies in land-based casinos. Also, it’s true that card counting should be part of the game when playing live dealer blackjack. Without counting cards, you’re giving the house more advantage, and you’ll be playing a game of luck where odds are stacked against you.
Although card counting is reasonable and pretty simple when playing live blackjack, is it possible when playing online? For starters, it might appear like live card counting, and online card counting is the same – but there is a big difference that you need to understand to know exactly how it works.
What Is Blackjack Card Counting?
First, you need to understand precisely what card counting is and how it works and while professional’s players might tell you that it’s highly complex and a preserve of mathematicians, this isn’t the case.
In simpler terms, card counting is a common strategy used by blackjack players where players run a tall of the dealt cards as the croupier progresses to the cards in the deck. This provides players with more accurate information on the cards likely to be dealt next.
Card Counting Strategies
Although we won’t delve much into the card counting strategies, they are just mathematical approaches to the probability involved in this game.
Hi-Lo is the most popular card counting strategy. It’s an approach that signs 1 of 3 scores to every number present in the deck. On the other hand, cards between 2 and 6 are then assigned a 10 through Ace and +a, 7-9 is 0 have a value of -1. Through the addition of numbers as every row is dealt, a player can quickly get an idea of whether he or she needs to stake heavily. It gets more accurate as this game goes on and the player receives more information.
Is Card Counting In Blackjack Legal?
Card counting might be done to varying extents and is legal – although serious card counters might be asked to leave a casino or be refused entry the next time they come.
Technically speaking, every blackjack card counter counts card somehow; if you change the stake after you realize most of the higher cards have already been dealt, then that means you’ve been counting cards.
Card Counting In Casinos
In the live games played in land-based casinos, the dealer shuffles six to eight card decks, puts them in the “shoe,” and places the cut card at the random point on the shuffled cards. This cut card is often placed approximately 80% into the deck.
The dealer then deals the cards from a shoe and will not reshuffle cards until they reach a cut card, meaning that for every card being dealt from the “shoe” until the deck is reshuffled, the player will know there is little chance the card would be dealt again. This is the best thing about card counting.
Your chances of accurately counting cards increase if you play between the cards that are shuffled or just before the next re-shuffling.
Card Counting In Blackjack Online
Before getting into the intricacies of card counting, we want to highlight the difference between live blackjack and online blackjack. Keep in mind that the online variant is an entirely computer-simulated game, while live games features croupiers live video feed.
With blackjack online, there is no dealer and no shoe. Rather, the cards are generated randomly. Random Number Generators (RNG) run the games, which means the cards are often reshuffled between the rounds.
Since there is no order for shuffling the cards and no cut card is placed 80 % off the way via the six to eight shuffled decks. Your efforts to count cards from the previous round will be thrown away and must be started again before the next round. This prevents players from getting a tally of more than one card, which is a very short time to have any real benefit.
So, unfortunately, there is no way you can effectively count cards when playing online, and anyone trying to tell you something else is selling you a scam.
Card Counting In Live Blackjack Online
Today, many trusted online casinos offer live variants of popular casino games. As a result, you can play live games at any of the top-rated online casinos. Here you can play and interact with the dealer. Unlike online blackjack where the cards are dealt by a human dealer, and not the RNGs.
So, can you count cards when playing the live version of this game? Not really.
While cards are dealt from the shoe, the main difference between live blackjack and that played on the land-based casino is where the croupier places a cut card.
When playing in a land-based casino, the cut card is placed just after around 80% of the card. However, with the live blackjack game, the croupier places the cut card behind about 40% of the cards; this means you cant see 60% of the cards before the croupier reshuffles. This drastically lowers the edge you can get from card counting in the game.
The cards you get to see before reshuffling is known as “deck penetration” and significantly affect your advantage. Therefore, your chances of succeeding on card counting in live blackjack online are very low. You should save your card counting skills for the next time you play in a land-based casino.
Can You Win At Blackjack Online?
The house edge of this skill-based game is about 0.5% if you employ the basic strategy. Nevertheless, many players at the casino like playing, hoping that lady luck would smile on them and win, but unfortunately, most of them increase the house edge to 2%.
In almost every land-based casino, the dealers are required to stand exactly on 17. Nonetheless, the house edge rises if the dealer must hit on the soft 17 (6 and Ace) but then stand on the hard 17.
Also, there is a 0.11% upsurge in the edge if the croupier’s hole card isn’t there, as players won’t have any information on the croupier’s cards to make informed decisions.
Overall, while it’s possible to play blackjack online and win, just like it’s possible to play and win any casino game – over time, you’ll lose some money. Playing the basic strategy and counting cards will help lower the house edge.