How to win at online blackjack for real money
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Increasing the odds of winning at the online casino
As in land-based blackjack, you need to apply basic strategy to reduce the casino’s advantage. Unfortunately, online blackjack does not allow you to count the cards, because each hand you put all the cards back into the deck and shuffle them. So basically each hand is like playing with the whole initial deck or all decks (depending on the BJ variant used by the casino in question).
However, you can take advantage of the lucrative bonuses that web casinos offer to attract new customers. These bonuses can turn the chances of winning that normally exist for the casino upside down and turn them to the player’s advantage. A third component that should not be underestimated is the use of a betting system.
Example: if you always play the same amount and out of 100 hands you lose one and win one, then you will leave the table with 0 euro won. If instead you had adopted a mathematical system to recoup your losses, you would have played with a little more sense.
Now some may wonder if these internet casinos can cheat you and provide you with losing cards rather than random cards. In order to identify the definitely honest casinos you should check the software they use. This is usually software from an external company (I would be wary of proprietary software, i.e. that belongs to the casino itself) and the safest and most reputable are: Playtech, Microgaming, Rtg (Real Time gaming).
If you then see the AAMS mark then you can be on the safe side as it is the only state body that can certify the guarantee of a casino. If you still do not trust just play at a live casino or live as the Americans say. In this case it is as if you were at a land casino.
Increase your chances of winning at a live casino
The live casino is a hybrid between a land-based casino and an online casino. It is in fact a cross between the two with all the benefits and disadvantages that come with it.
- The first advantage, which is perhaps the reason why many prefer streaming to online casinos, is the security of not being cheated: everything happens live before your eyes.
- The second advantage is that you can switch from one live casino to another, also live, very quickly. This is probably not a great advantage for you, but as I will tell you later, you will appreciate this benefit very much.
- Third advantage: you can count cards better than in a traditional casino because you have calculators, software, iPhones and so on at your disposal without the casino inspectors being able to notice.
Now we come to the bad news: although as mentioned above is possible to count the cards is also true that the level of penetration never reaches the minimum threshold to get big advantages, which is 65%, usually in fact in live casinos the penetration of the deck is about 50%. This is still better than the 0% of online games.
Another downside is the slowness of the game. If you’re a quiet and patient person this won’t bother you, you’ll actually benefit from it, as counting cards takes time and precision, but if you’re a bit anxious then this game isn’t for you.
Here, point by point, are our modest suggestions for a better chance of winning at the live casino.
- Live casino games are usually played with 6 or 8 decks, so the best system for counting cards with such a large number of decks is undoubtedly the Hi/Lo system.Study it carefully and apply it correctly while playing. Use our card counting software or any other tool that doesn’t make you make mistakes or lose count: accuracy in card counting is everything. If you use iPhones, do a card counting simulation to check that the true count calculation is correct: trusting is good, not trusting is bad.
- Leave the table if the true count is -1 or less than -1 and move on to another casino. This is a crucial point. You are already starting at a disadvantage to the dealer of about 0.5% or 1%, depending on the rules used. If you play when the true count is -1, then you stand a very good chance of losing and that is not why we are playing. So as soon as the true count goes to -1 leave, but not immediately because the casino might get suspicious: when you know the true count is -1 always start betting the minimum bet until you lose a hand.
- Once you have lost the hand, leave. This is all because no player who wins leaves the table and those who do are highly suspicious of surveillance.The same technique should be applied in land-based casinos, but as you will understand, you will attract attention if you change tables every 5 minutes, whereas in a webcam casino this does not raise the slightest suspicion, because no one will ever know that you are changing tables/casinos suddenly. In conclusion: play with the odds on your side, which only happens when the true count is +1 or +2 (depending on the rules of the blackjack variant).
When to apply the basic strategy
During the game, always apply the basic strategy and only vary it if the true count is very high. If you are lucky enough to reach a true count of +4 or higher, do not increase your bets too much because the casino may notice that you are counting cards and may prevent you from playing again. Always be sparing with your bets.
If you have always bet the minimum bet, you cannot suddenly bet the maximum bet. In other words, what I’m saying is to vary your bets as much as possible by going “gradually and without exaggeration” behind the true count score: don’t always bet the minimum and then attack when the true count increases in your favour.
General tips for successful blackjack at the table
1. Always use the basic strategy. Forget about intuition: BJ is a mathematical game. There is no place for impressions if you want to win. So the best suggestion I can give you is to leave superstition at home and bring mathematics to the table. It may be a bit difficult for us Italians, but believe me there is no better strategy than relying on the calculation of probabilities.
2. Never take insurance. There are very few cases in which it might be worthwhile. One has been suggested: you have done BJ and the banker has a weak ace. In this case by taking insurance you are sure to win (instead of drawing), but if the bank has no blackjack you would win half the stake by taking insurance. If you are counting cards then there are a number of cases where it could be useful. If, for example, you are counting at +5 and have 12, you don’t want to call (which is against basic strategy) because you know you’re likely to bust. If, on the other hand, you don’t count cards then you only make insurance for your machine.
3. Count the 5s. If you have counted the 5s and all the 5s of all the decks have come up, then I advise you to continue playing because you have a 0.6% chance of winning, following the basic strategy, over the dealer.
4. Use simulators. If you are unfamiliar with blackjack, don’t start playing for real money right away. There are many online casinos that offer the possibility to practice with simulators. So first become an expert with the simulator and then start playing for real.
Set a ceiling for your bankroll. Determine in advance the amount you can spend (bankroll) and do not change any more chips if you lose it. That is the amount you can lose on the night, put it on the table and good luck. If you win, you win, if you lose, you don’t go over the amount you set.
5. Always split a pair of aces. Even if the bank places restrictions, with rules, such as the fact that you can only draw one more card per hand after the split, splitting a pair of aces is always worthwhile.
6. Never split a pair of tens or tricks. Keep the score of 20 which is a very good result.
Choose your table carefully. If you’re playing in a land-based casino (i.e. not on the internet) don’t just pick the first table you come across, pick a table where the players are winning (just look at the chips on the table).
When you take your seat you will be greeted nicely, the atmosphere will be more jovial and the dealer will be having bad hands. If you go to a losing table everyone will be sad, dull and above all the dealer is having a good run.