Winning Blackjack strategy for the online casino
Blackjack is one of the most widely played games in the big online casino sites like skyvegas.com, and this popularity is not hard to understand. The simplicity of the rules makes Blackjack an accessible game, allowing new players to rapidly grasp the fundamentals and join in, whether through the online casino route or in a physical game setting. Perhaps a better descriptor of Blackjack would be deceptively simple, for although it is easy enough to grasp basic play, good Blackjack tactics can take a lot longer to master.
Perhaps the first important point to note is the regimented way in which the dealer plays hands, and this is universal to both the physical and online casino. The house dealer will always take a ‘hit’, a fresh card, if the value of their hand is 16 or less. On reaching a value of 17 of higher, the dealer will stick, keeping either a scoring hand, or alternatively having bust with a hand worth over 21. Players too should play hands according to mathematical rules, and with a quick look online you can find a wealth of strategy sheets that can indicate how to play each possible starting hand at Blackjack.
The dealer always maintains a house edge, a greater chance of winning than the player. This is because a player will always lose when a hand goes bust – and the fact that the dealer may also have bust in that round is immaterial. This of course means that a bust for the dealer is not necessarily a loss, while a bust for the player is always a loss – this is the essence of the house edge.
However, there are methods that the player can employ to decrease or even practically remove the house edge. This is all down to the fact that there are a finite number of cards in play, and so a limit to the number of possibilities when it comes to the cards that can be dealt after the initial pair is provided by the dealer at the start of the each round. The number of possibilities will of course increase with the number of decks in the dealer’s shoe, but the fact remains that the probabilities are finite.
This fundamental limitation allows the application of systems like card counting. Very basically, card counting involves tracking the cards as they are dealt, so that over successive rounds it is possible to understand which cards are left in the shoe, yet to be dealt. While it will not be possible to know exactly which card will be dealt next, it is possible to ascertain the probability of good, high value cards appearing, cards which can form the winning Blackjack.
Unlike the idea made popular by the film ‘Rain Man’, card counting does not involve the superhuman feat of memorising every card dealt – although being able to do this would of course produce a huge advantage for the player. Card counting is instead based on establishing a running total which is used to make betting decisions. Commonly, every high (face or ten) card adds a negative score – you could look at this as one less good card left in the pack/ shoe. Low cards add a positive score, as a poor card has been eliminated from future hands. When the running total gets high enough, players bet bigger, as there is a greater chance of being dealt a good hand.
There are two major downsides to card counting. One is that card counting does not work in the online casino, as the deck is effectively shuffled after each hand. The other is that you are likely to be ejected from the physical casino if you give the impression that you are card counting, as displayed through your betting patterns. Sticking to strategy charts on the other hand will never get you into bother, and can palpably increase your chances of winning, although in the end, you will still require a good dose of luck.