Online casino blackjack can be fun and exciting, but there are a few important differences between it and land based casino blackjack. Knowing these differences is important improving your odds of winning, and will also allow you to enjoy the game for longer gaming sessions.
One of the most important aspects of blackjack is the number of decks used, and if they are shuffled or not after a shoe (container of cards) has been played. Typically, most casinos use between 6-8 decks, shuffled, cut, and stored in a shoe. Lately, however, blackjack gaming trends are changing: many land based casinos, in an attempt to better the house edge, now use continuous shuffle blackjack machines. 4-6 decks of cards are automatically shuffled between each hand of blackjack. This means that card counters’ efforts are foiled, because they rely, for the most part, on knowing what cards are remaining in the shoe. With a continuous shuffle machine, it is impossible to know what cards remain. Also, since there is no break for shuffling between shoes with the continuous shuffle machines, the game moves much faster; and the potential to lose more money increases. Many casinos will use shoes of cards at high limit tables, so as to attract high rollers and serious blackjack players. If you can’t afford to play at these tables ( in many cases the minimum bet is greater or equal to $25 ), you’re stuck playing with the shuffle machines, where the odds are not in your favor.
It’s important to bear all this information in mind when you’re playing online. Most all online casinos use Random Number Generation teamed with continuous shuffling to give the house a greater edge. If a true electronic “shoe” is used to deal the cards, many times, you won’t know when the software stops and shuffles. Instead, the game will just continue indefinitely. There are a handful of casinos, however, that will indicate when the decks are being shuffled. An even smaller minority of online casinos offer single deck blackjack, where table limits are low. Players can put the game in their favor with single deck blackjack, but remember, you’ll be hard pressed to find this alternative available at most online casinos.
Since most online casinos don’t indicate their shuffling policies, or don’t offer single deck blackjack, the player needs to remember a few other things in order to make the game worthwhile.
Bankroll Management: If you start with $100, give yourself at least 20 bets before you tap out. This means the maximum you can bet per hand is $5, before any double-downs or splits. Some players will deposit and then bet most of the bankroll right away. This usually doesn’t work, and these players find that their online blackjack session ends prematurely. A good rule of thumb is to divide your bankroll by 20, and use the result as your maximum bet amount.
Game Speed: Online blackjack is fast. Moreover, with automatic “re-bet” buttons and no other players to slow the game down, you’ll quickly see that one can get carried away and start to bleed money right away. Instead, it’s a good idea to establish a set number of hands you’d like to play before taking a break. If you’ve deposited $100, and you have 20 $5 bets, take a rest after 10 hands. This accomplishes a couple important things. First, the game slows and you can refocus yourself if you find that you’re beginning to chase your losses. Second, it allows you to better manage you bankroll and not play with utter abandon.
Know Basic Strategy: It’s a well known fact that players well versed in Blackjack basic strategy can mitigate the house edge in the game. Basic strategy is a set of actions to take given the total number value of the dealer’s up card. Additionally, there are basic strategy rules for splitting pairs, surrendering, and doubling down. We’ve provided a free basic strategy chart below. Learn it and play better blackjack!
Know basic strategy – it is by far the best way to gain an edge in the game. The following is a great chart to use as reference.
H=Hit, S=Stand, SPL=Split, Y=Surrender, D=Double Down