Gamblers have always been fascinated with card counting in Blackjack, a strategy that became popular because of movies like 21. Expert card counters have won millions of dollars by memorising the sequence of high and low cards still in a dealer’s deck. Counting cards is a strategy that may help you win at the casino, but it takes a lot of practice and time to master. With the rise of online gambling, many are curious whether card counting is illegal. And could you do it if you play blackjack online?
What Exactly is Card Counting?
Online blackjack card counting is a strategy that involves keeping a tally of the cards dealt throughout each hand. Knowing how many high cards and low cards are still in the deck might give you an edge if you’re betting strategically. This method strongly affects the game’s RTP (Return-to-Player). If you are not sure what is an RTP, check out our blog about the Definition and Explanation of Return to Player.
Those who master card counting may increase their chances of winning by placing optimal wagers at optimal times. But it’s important to remember that card counting is only a talent that can be acquired and perfected, not the secret to winning (or cheating) in Blackjack.
Is it Legal to Count Cards?
A natural question is whether or not card counting is sanctioned by law. Card counting is not technically illegal, yet it is against the rules of most casinos. This is true only if you’re doing the counting in your brain, rather than with some external aid like a calculator or an app. For this reason, internet casinos may see this as an unfair advantage.
Although card counting is not illegal, you may be asked to leave a casino if you are suspected of engaging in this practice. Online gaming, however, is a whole other ballgame.
Does Card Counting Work in Online Blackjack Games?
While card counting is possible while playing Blackjack online, it may be more difficult than at your preferred land-based business. Card counting is difficult in online live casino games in part because the programme routinely reshuffles the deck after each hand.
In a game with 6 cards, the house edge for a normal card counter who ranges bets correctly is close to 1%. This is an increase from the standard house edge of 0.5%.
A reshuffled deck may make keeping score more difficult, but not impossible. If you count cards by writing them down or saying them aloud when playing at home, you won’t have to worry about getting caught or kicked out of the casino, which is a huge benefit. Online card counting might be challenging, but playing free Blackjack games is a great way to get some practice and see whether it’s for you.
Blackjack Card Counting Strategy
Whether you’re playing Blackjack at home or at a real-life casino table, counting cards is an essential skill. As the dealer deals cards, you’ll begin by giving each one a number. The values of all cards from 2 through 6 are increased by 1. Seven through nine-valued cards have no effect. Finally, a ten or face card is worth one less than its face value (-1), regardless of suit.
Now that you have given each card a score, you must remember how many are still in the deck. Keeping a count of the given cards might be useful. If you’re gambling at a brick-and-mortar establishment, you’ll need to maintain this mental track. In contrast, if you play at an online casino from the comfort of your own home, you may simply record your wagers in a notebook or on your smartphone. Don’t worry if you are afraid of gambling at home, as we found out that gambling at home is legal in Singapore.
*Note: Even if you’re playing at home, it’s best to avoid using applications or software that will automatically count cards for you, since this is often considered to be cheating.
As soon as you feel confident in the way the numbers are leaning in the deck, you may modify your bets accordingly. Raise your stake if the card count you have for the deck’s remaining cards is negative. The reason behind this is that there are still plenty of low-value cards in the pack. The converse is also true. You should reduce your wager if the remainder of the deck is positive (and so consists mostly of high-value cards). However, all this only applies when you play in real money online casinos.
The Counting of Cards Simplified Into 4 Basic Stages
When it comes to learning how to count cards, the most straightforward approach is to begin at the very beginning and work your way up from there. These are the simplest things to keep in mind, and if you do, you will be well on your way to gaining a better understanding of card counting in no time at all.
- Step #1. You should give each card that is dealt a value (plus one, zero, or minus one are the most popular choices).
- Step #2. Maintain a record of the card values as they are distributed to you.
- Step #3. Add up the points on each card to keep track of how many are in play at any one time. You may now determine the value of the remaining cards by using this data.
- Step #4. You should position your bets in accordance with the card count that is still left in the deck. Raise your wager if the card count is going in the wrong direction. In situations when the card count is positive, you should decrease your wager.
Even though they are easy to follow, these steps form the foundation of any card-counting approach that is even somewhat effective. While you are learning the game and getting a better understanding of the card values, you could even come up with your own plan to aid you along the road.
Summary of Card-Counting Methods
If you believe you have mastered the Hi-Lo technique, or are well on your way to doing so, you should also familiarise yourself with more sophisticated card-counting tactics. These methods may be more time-consuming or complex than the traditional Hi-Lo method, but they may be more suited to your playing style. Blackjack is one of the best online casino games for beginners, so you would not expect any difficulty when trying out the card-counting method.
The term “balanced system” is often used to describe this situation. Various sets of cards are given different values, all starting at 0. Cards 2, 3, and 7 all have values of 1, for example. Cards 4, 5, and 6 each have a value of 2. Number the 9s at -1, the 10s and all face cards at -2, the 8s and Aces at 0, and everything else at 0. It may be difficult to keep track of this method. The concept was created by Bryce Carlson, who wrote a book on the subject.
Teams of players have been known to successfully count cards in traditional casinos by working together to increase their odds of winning. Each member of the team will take turns counting cards and will communicate with the others to determine when it is time to gamble.
The plot of movie 21, which is based on the true tale of a group of MIT students who counted cards, revolves around this same idea.
This approach, developed by Stanford Wong, is considered cutting-edge because of the interesting weights given to certain playing cards. You’ll need to be a math wizard to keep track of the running total as some of the figures supplied are fractions. Sometimes called a “balanced system,” the starting point for this tactic is 0.
The resulting value after dealing with the whole deck of cards should be zero. In Wong Halves, cards 3, 4, and 6 each have a value of 1. The 2 and 7 are worth half as much. The value of a hand with a 5 is 1.5. Zero is added to the total whenever an 8 is dealt. A value of -0.5 is assigned to a 9 card. Finally, the 10, ace, and face cards each have a -1 value.
The students in 21 worked together to accomplish their aims and earn millions using the Multiple Decks approach. Numerous decks are used in casinos to discourage card counting or, at the absolute least, to ensure that it is impossible for players to win by using this strategy.
The Hi-Lo technique is the greatest way to get around utilising several decks, but it requires keeping a mental tally and dividing that sum by the number of decks left. There has to be a perfect, constantly updated tally, called the “real count,” to function properly.
A larger discrepancy between your count and the actual number of decks will result from dividing by the number of decks left.
The Best Online Live Blackjack Games
There are lots of online blackjack games available for you to play at. Below we will list a few of the best blackjack online games provided by world-class casino software providers.
Live Blackjack – by Evolution Gaming
Professional gamblers almost never lack any prior familiarity with Blackjack. Bettors from all over the world now have the opportunity to play poker from the convenience of their own homes, thanks to Evolution Gaming. Blackjack provides an engaging gaming experience where you may double and divide your hands. Also, you get to play with seven other dealers, which makes the entire gambling experience more interesting. You may play any of Evolution Gaming’s blackjack games, such as Speed Blackjack, Power Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, etc.
Blackjack Online Table Game – by Microgaming
The Blackjack table from Microgaming has enough for seven players and uses eight standard decks of cards and a manual shoe. The dealer always stands on a soft 17. You may double down on a 9, 10, or 11, split pairs and aces, and bet behind if you’re seated. In the latter case, knowing which players are currently on fire might be helpful. If the dealer shows an Ace, insurance will pay out two to one. The game’s realism is enhanced by the fact that you can see through to the tables behind your own. You may switch between many tables, play in full-screen mode, and play at multiple tables simultaneously. When there are a lot of people at the table, the action doesn’t slow down since players only have 15 seconds to place their bets.
Live Blackjack – by Pragmatic Play
The live blackjack tables at Pragmatic Play now have some new bells and whistles. Enjoy the exhilarating in-game atmosphere with the Bet Behind tool and Extra Side Bets. Multiplayer and multiple-seat options are available inside.
Live Blackjack Table – by Gameplay Interactive
Gameplay Interactive has delivered another first-rate option for online gambling. The software maker offers many exciting live dealer blackjack games. Gameplay Interactive is the sole provider of a multi-table platform. So, you may play three simultaneous real-time games and increase your earnings significantly.
If you aren’t sure which tactic is ideal for you, try out a few different ones to see which works best with your playing style. Play Blackjack for free on the internet before you risk any money.