Blackjack is the most popular of all casino games. It is therefore interesting to note that your optimal strategy is radically different when you play in online casinos as opposed to land-based ones.
Land-based casinos have been around a lot longer, and they frequently provide perks and advantages that online casinos cannot offer because of the virtue of being online.
Many of the perks are not related to your chances of winning – I am talking about free accommodation, food, drinks and live entertainment. These advantages are very relevant for high-flying high-stake punters, but if you happen to be a recreational Blackjack player it is unlikely that you’ll have access to them.
While being wined and dined for free may enhance you overall experience, it does nothing to improve your chances of winning. The main strategy to improve the odds against land-based casinos has been, and is likely to continue to be, card-counting.
However, even when you become proficient and experienced in card counting, you need to take into consideration factors controlled by casinos, which are influencing the house advantage. In addition, many would-be card-counters spending days to learn the skill often forget that it is only a part of the equation: if casinos even suspect you of card counting thay can and will react either by banning you, or more likely by restricting the size of your bets and your ability to double the stakes. Either way, casions actively supress any advantage you may get from card counting, which means that you probably need to take acting classes as well if you’re to thwart the multitude of cameras watching your every move.
What about online casinos – is card counting going to give you any advantages?
The simple answer is NO. Online casinos shuffle cards electronically after every round, making card counting completely useless.
With high-quality software, imagery and sounds, online casinos can provide entertainment, but cannot offer free food or drinks, and card counting is of no use… why would anyone want to play in an online casino?
Well, as it happens, to compete with land-based casinos, the online ones offer some significant advantages:
- Welcome bonus
Try walking into a land-based casino and asking for a welcome bonus of $100 – they’ll laugh in your face. However, most online casinos offer bonuses for new players, with some casinos going to the extreme – like Rushmore, which offers an incredible new-account bonus of $888.
- On-going loyalty bonuses
Good online casinos go an extra mile to satisfy you with their service. For example, Rushmore gives you extra as-you-play bonus points (to be exchanged for chips or gifts), and InterCasino and VIP Casino have monthly cash-backs.
Unlike free food and drinks, these bonuses are directly related to your winning chances, and if you’ve read the article How to win at Blackjack, you know that by taking the bonuses into account you often end up with a mathematical advantage against the casino – provided that you learn the basic strategy.
So, to answer our main question, the online casinos give you MUCH better chances of winning at Blackjack.
Personally, I also appreciate the facts that I can relax at home, free of noise and distractions, enjoy a game of Blackjack AND have a statistical edge over the casino.
For playing Blackjack online I’d go for Rushmore because of its big new-player and on-going bonuses, and if you prefer competing against other players I’d go for Canbet Blackjack tornaments…
…and before you start playing, remember to develop your gambling strategy first.