Tips to Winning Online Blackjack

By Ben Hamill - December 11 2016

Blackjack is one of the most cerebral games around. That most people play blackjack at a casino, whether land-based or online, is a reflection on the attraction of placing a bet on a game and then trying to outwit the game itself. There are several strategies that you can adopt when you play at an online casino that you can't use at a land-based casino. So, with no further ado here are some tips to winning online blackjack.

Not as Easy as Counting to Ten

The first strategy is counting cards. Any land-based casino that sees a player counting cards and winning will summarily dismiss said player from the casino. Counting cards in blackjack has proven to be a winning tactic for those players that are truly adept at it. However, when you play online, no one knows that you're counting cards. The biggest obstacle to card counting online is that the "deck" is virtually shuffled after every hand. So, to overcome the disadvantage of not seeing the deck wind down you have two options and if you can find an online casino that offers both together, that's quite possibly the place you should play. These two options are playing a game with only one deck and playing a multi-player game where you are all the players.

Best to Play with Only One Deck

There's another statistically sound reason to play blackjack versions that use only one deck. The house's edge increases as they add decks. The increase is not so great between one deck and two decks but it becomes quite significant when the games use six or eight decks.

Consult the Statistics and Win

The next strategy you can easily use online but which would never be allowed at a land-based casino is using a strategy card. These cards are available for every possible variation of blackjack and are a must for gamers who wish to play at an online casino that offers 40 or more blackjack variations.

Whether you stick to one version of online blackjack or wish to sample dozens of versions, there is a strategy card for all of them. Given that the rules regarding splitting, doubling down, insurance, surrender, and dealer hitting on soft 17 vary from version to version, it's a good idea to have a strategy card to consult. Imagine the brouhaha that would elicit at a land-based casino!

Play For Free as Long as You Need

This is not a strategic tip; it's a tactical one. When you decide to try a different form of blackjack that the one you're comfortable with, play it for free. Any reputable online casino will let you play for free for as long as you need to get the hang of the variation. The casino knows that the many variations present a challenge to blackjack players and magnanimously offer free play.

Understand the Rules Fully

This also refers to the many variations at an online casino. Land-based casinos generally have one or two types of blackjack. The big difference between the blackjack tables at land-based casinos is the minimum bet. Online casinos are not concerned with minimum bets. They have unlimited space so don't have to compel gamers to bet $2, $5, or any sum at all.

Because there are few if any different rules at the different blackjack tables at land-based casinos, it's far easier to know the rules fully when you play at a land-based casino. We cannot stress more the importance of knowing the rules when you play at an online casino. One way a good online casino helps its players know the rules fully is by providing excellent tutorials. Use them! They are offered for your benefit!

Decide Your Position on Soft 17

In some blackjack variations the dealer must stand with soft 17 and in others dealer hits with soft 17. Most statisticians say it's to the house's benefit to have the dealer hit on soft 17. Many gamers feel that such an analysis is counter intuitive. They say that many hands end up at 17, 18, or 19 points and if the dealer hits on soft 17, the player who has one of these hands could end up losing. Whatever your feeling on soft 17 is, I suggest that you play variations that use the option that you feel is best for you.

Never Take Insurance

This is also a statisticians' conclusion but here I agree with them. Insurance is a poor choice even if you've been defeated by blackjack numerous times. If you're still tempted to take insurance, my advice is to play a variation that doesn't offer it!

Protect Your Best Hand

Play a game that guarantees you a win with blackjack. Also make sure that the game pays 3-2 for blackjack. It falls into the category of knowing the rules but it's unique in its own way. The unfairness that obtains in some online blackjack games where it's a push if the dealer also has blackjack or if blackjack pays less than 3-2 makes these games pariahs in my opinion. Having blackjack is the only time a player can win without having to endure the dealer taking cards in competition with his own score. It should be sacrosanct that the players wins automatically and gets paid 3-2.

Accept Blackjack as a Challenge

I never play blackjack for a progressive jackpot although I won't go so far as to say that you shouldn't do so. I play blackjack for the challenge of outwitting the game itself. Hand in hand with this is that I bet only what I can afford to lose and I set a fair budget beforehand. We set entertainment budgets for ourselves all the time: the cost of a hotel room for one night, a flight, a meal in a restaurant, concert tickets, the price of a seat at a ballgame or a hot dog and beer at said ballgame. Yikes! We should do the same when we play blackjack or any game online for that matter.

Find a Casino with Exceptional Graphics

Some online casinos are still mired in the graphics of the long-ago first decade of the 21st century! Graphics have improved so much, especially on mobile screens, that there's really no reason to play blackjack with less than a superb interface and great graphics. The reason this helps you win is that online casino table games are graphics-dependent far more than land-based table games. When the interface is poor, your judgment decreases as well. This leads us inexorably to my final bit of advice….

Stop When You Get Tired

Too many gamers keep going when they're tired. It doesn't really matter when you're playing slots or roulette but it matters greatly when you're playing a decision-rich game like blackjack. Tired? Go to sleep.