Blackjack has always been a popular casino game but in recent years it’s become even more favored by gaming enthusiasts who want a game that allows them to combine luck and skill. The luck comes from the cards that you are dealt but what you do with your cards…..that separates the skilled gamers from the casual players who leave everything up to chance.
Winning at blackjack involves understanding how to build a hand that comes as close to 21 points as possible without exceeding that limit and without ending up with fewer points than those in the dealer’s hand.
Unlike poker, which is played quite differently in a real-life situation, casino blackjack is a game that can players can compete in successfully based on their ability to use blackjack strategy regardless of whether they’re playing in an in-person situation or online.
Not only can you use basic blackjack strategy when playing online dealer blackjack, you can even try card-counting which is outlawed at retail casinos but undetected in online play.
Card-Counting in Blackjack
Card counting in blackjack involves keeping a running, mental inventory of which cards have already been played so that you can judge what the percentage is of you receiving the cards that you need to build the hand that you need to win.
Card counters, who have been banned from many casinos, believe that they can overcome the house edge by keeping a running tally of low and high valued cards that have already been dealt so they know which cards are still in the deck.
Of all the different blackjack strategies, card-counting is probably the hardest because, not only do you have to remember which cards have been played, you have to compute which cards are still to be played and then make your decision of how to proceed based on these elements – all of which needs to be done within seconds!
Still, even if you focus on counting only aces and picture cards, you are more likely to move forward with this strategy if you’re playing online than if you play at a land-based casino.
Land-based casinos watch their customers carefully to see who might be counting cards and they do everything that they can to exclude such players. When you play online, there’s no one watching you so it can be a rewarding technique to try.
One of the most successful card-counting operations in history was run by a group of students from Boston-area universities, including MIT, Harvard and Boston University. It started in 1979 and continued into the early years of the 21st century as old card-counting students dropped out and new students joined.
The effort was well-organized and well-financed and the “team” was originally run by a Harvard MBA graduate and then taken on by new managers. To keep the casinos off-balance, the group combined individual play with teamwork that involved both VIP players and counters who worked together to disguise any patterns.
At one point there were as many as 70 individuals involved -- counters, VIP players, or those in various supporting roles. The casinos attempted to identify team members and sometimes did but, in one way or another, the card counters continued to operate for over 30 years.
Card counting is only one blackjack strategy – there are over a dozen blackjack strategies suggested to professional blackjack players for gamers who are focused less on having a good time and more on winning. These strategies are applicable to both online blackjack and retail casino blackjack.
Card counting may be the most difficult blackjack strategy to learn but memorizing all of the different blackjack strategies can be complicated and time-consuming. A lot of blackjack enthusiasts prefer to sidestep the basic strategy because, they say, it takes away from the fun that you have when you play the game.
A few of these blackjack strategies include:
- If you’re playing a variation of blackjack that allows splitting, split pairs of aces and eights. When you play 2 hands, there’s more of a chance that you’ll win at least one of them so, in the long run, you lose less money.
- Pairs of 5s or 10s should never be split.
- If you are playing a single-deck game and have a hard 11, double down.
- Double down on a 10 if the dealer’s upcard is 9 or under.
- If you’re playing a variation where the dealer is obligated to hit on a soft 17, double down on a hard 11.
- If the dealer’s upcard is a 5 or a 6, double down on aces – 7.
- In ALL variations, ignore the insurance bet. It’s never a good idea.
Playing Blackjack Online
Whether you play blackjack with a bit of basic strategy, with some intense card-counting or just for a fun-filled gaming adventure with no intricate techniques involved, you can play at any time and from any location on your PC or mobile device.
The online casino features a wide range of blackjack variations including Caribbean Hold ‘Em Blackjack, Perfect Pairs 21 Blackjack and 21 Face Up Blackjack.
All of the online casino blackjack variations can be played for free in the casino’s Free Mode or for real money prizes in the casino’s Real Mode.