5 Tips for Online Blackjack
Now that individual states have the right to decide whether they allow online gambling, Americans around the nation have gone online to game from home and win big.
As an all-time casino favorite with simple rules and a low house edge, blackjack remains one of the top-played online games.
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You can improve your blackjack gameplay by implementing a few simple tips and strategies.
By betting more effectively, you’ll boost your winnings and walk away having enjoyed the experience more.
The trick is to deeply understand the game’s mechanics and be smart about managing your bankroll.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can bet more effectively and start winning at online blackjack.
We’ll explain house edge, betting systems, how to use your hand, and a few other tips and tricks along the way. If you’re ready to start winning, let’s dive in!
What is House Edge?
Essentially, house edge shows how much more likely the house is to win against someone who isn’t using a strategy.
For instance, if the house has a 3% edge, they will, overall, win 3% more than their customers. This ensures that the house always wins a profit.
By using certain strategies, though, you can improve your gameplay and lower the house edge
While the games are never rigged against you, they are set up in a way that the house is guaranteed to make a profit.
After all, casinos are a business. They manage this because casinos—both online and physical—set their own odds.
You play against their edge and therefore are fighting against their odds, no matter how fair and random the games are.
You can track the house edge by knowing how many decks are in play at any given time.
The more decks a casino uses, the less likely you are to get consistent high cards. Therefore, your odds are lower and the house has a higher edge.
5 Ways for Beating Online Blackjack
Implement these strategies to lower the house edge and start winning!
#1 Learn to Count Cards
The beauty of online gaming is that you can play with a different set of rules.
Land casinos almost always look down on card counting but it’s actually a widely accepted and popular betting strategy in online blackjack.
Counting cards does require some mental maths skills but it’s a quick way to judge your odds versus the dealer. From there, knowing your odds will help you better decide whether you should hit or stay.
There are a few different ways to count cards but the most common and widely used method is called the “High-Low” strategy.
Essentially, you keep a tally of three different card groups in your head:
- Whenever you see a high card (anything 10 or above), subtract 1 from your tally
- Whenever you see a low card (2 to 6), add 1 to your tally
- If the dealer deals a middle card (7 to 9), ignore it.
Start at 0 anytime the deck is reshuffled and go from there.
If the tally dips into the negatives, the odds are in the dealer’s favor.
If they raise positive, the odds are in your favor and you should consider either betting or hitting.
#2 Use a Blackjack Betting Chart
Blackjack betting charts are essentially a quick guide to betting on blackjack.
They show a complete breakdown of the dealer’s possible first card as well as your hand.
The chart shows what moves you should make depending on the dealer’s hand. However, you will need to know a few terms:
- Stand: Choose to not receive any more cards from the dealer
- Hit: Receive another card from the dealer
- Double: Double your bet but you can only receive one more hit
- Split: Double your bet and split your hand into two so you have more hands to play
- Face up: The first card the dealer draws
- Soft: A hand with an Ace, equal to 11
Depending on what cards you have and what card the dealer draws, you can read the color-coded chart to find whether the odds are in your favor or not.
While betting charts are not 100% perfect, they can greatly help your game and are entirely legal additions to your strategy.
#3 Use a Progressive Betting Strategy
Rather than placing the same flat bets on all your hands, consider mixing things up from one hand to another.
This is known as progressive betting.
Progressive blackjack betting strategies work in a few different ways but, at heart, they all revolve around the idea of either increasing or decreasing your bets from one hand to another.
It all depends on whether you just won or lost the last hand:
- Win progressions – If you have just won a hand, win progression strategies push you to increase your bet. There are several styles to this but the most widely used strategy is called the 1-2-3-4-5 progression. After each win, increase your bets by the multiples shown in the name—x1, x2, x3, etc. This way, even if you start to lose, you’ll still win more over 5 consecutive wins than 5 consecutive losses.
- Loss progressions – Some progression strategies encourage you to increase your bets while you are down. One of the most famous is the Martingale strategy. Be wary of these, though, as they are quite risky and can cost you a lot of money if they don’t work out.
- Hybrid progressions – These progression strategies are a bit tamer than the previously listed examples. Hybrid progressions encourage you to increase your bets after a win, but only up to a certain point. At some point, you should lock in your bets to avoid catastrophic losses.
Before you start using progression strategies, though, know that they won’t affect the house edge.
These are just strategies to win more profit while also minimizing your losses.
This keeps you in the game longer so you can implement other strategies that will reduce the house edge.
#4 Play According to Your Bankroll
Just because you are playing online blackjack doesn’t mean you aren’t using real money.
Therefore, be responsible and manage your bankroll closely. The best advice we can give is to play based on your bankroll:
- Start with a set maximum amount of money you’re comfortable playing with.
- Set your maximum in stone and don’t move it!
- If you lose your maximum, walk away.
- If you win more than your maximum, use the profits to continue playing.
As you begin winning more money, you’ll have more wiggle room to make larger bets and play using various strategies.
However, avoid making large single bets as there’s no such thing as a 100% surefire win.
#5 Avoid Insurance Side Bets
In blackjack, insurance is a type of side bet that the dealer will offer if they draw an ace on their up-card.
It essentially ‘insures’ the player in case the dealer plays a ‘blackjack’.
Typically, insurance pays out at 2/1 odds with a maximum equal to half the player’s original bet.
Although insurance gives the player an opportunity to come out unscathed if the dealer draws a blackjack, insurance side bets aren’t recommended for casual online players.
This requires some skill at counting cards.
If you’re sure that the dealer will pull a 10 or higher, take the insurance. If not, leave it be.
Will You Ever Have Advantage Over the House?
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again—there’s no such thing as a surefire 100% outcome in blackjack.
Even by counting cards, playing strategies, and using a blackjack chart, you’ll never be able to perfectly predict the outcome of a game.
It is still based on random luck.
That being said, you can use these strategies and techniques to boost your odds and lower the house edge.
If you can perfect your mental maths skills and learn to count cards, you can significantly boost your odds over the house.
However, counting cards online is not as easy as it is in real life.
Depending on the online casino and their software, they’ve likely thought through how players may count cards and taken steps to prevent it.
For example, they may reshuffle the deck after every draw. After all, the casinos still want to make their money.
If you’re worried about losing money to the house's advantage, you can also try playing similar online blackjack-style games with lower edges.
This way, you can learn the basic strategies and perfect your technique before you start playing with high stakes.
Start Studying and Put Our Strategies to the Test!
Now that you have a basic understanding of house edge, how to play with a strategy and a few different betting systems, it’s time to get to work and study the game.
The more experience you gain, the more efficiently you’ll be able to bet online blackjack and rake in winnings.
Give our online blackjack strategies a go and good luck!
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