If you’re new to the world of online blackjack and are unaware of all the things you could gain from playing it, we’re here to help you out. Chances are, you might be asking one of the following most frequently asked questions about online blackjack. Read on as we answer the burning questions about playing blackjack or click on one of the questions below to get taken directly to the answer.
What’s the Easiest Way to Learn Online Blackjack Strategy?
Once you’ve learned all the rules on how to play online blackjack, you should think about learning proper online blackjack strategy. That will allow you to maximize your winnings. But it could cause some confusion, as you’re likely to see a lot of different strategies competing for your attention.
The easiest way is to find a list of strategic blackjack instructions. They’ll say something like, “double when you have 10 and the dealer is showing six or lower,” or “stand when you reach 17,” for example. If you look hard enough, you can probably find lists with as little as five or so entries that wouldn’t be hard to memorize before your next blackjack game.
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, an online blackjack strategy chart can be the way to go. You’d have a lot more to memorize, since a chart will detail the plays for every possible deal you and the dealer might receive. But many of these plays will be obvious even to a novice player, so you can really just concentrate on the tougher calls.
How Do I Choose the Online Blackjack Game I Want to Play?
This depends on whether you want to play online blackjack for fun or if you’re hoping to play blackjack online for real money. If you’re more about just playing casually and putting a few bucks at stake here and there, you’re better off just choosing whatever online gambling site makes you comfortable and finding the game there.
But if you’re going to be serious about playing the game well and maybe earning money in the long run, you need to choose game based on certain characteristics and restrictions that the games might have. Here are things to look for that actually sway online blackjack slightly in favor of the player:
- Games where the dealer must stand on a soft 17 (where an ace is involved and is valued at 11 and not one)
- Games where the player is allowed to split cards more than once
- Games where the player is allowed to double down on any two-card deal they receive
- Games where surrender is allowed at any point, even before the dealer checks for blackjack
It’s likely that you’ll have a hard time finding all of these rules in place in a single online blackjack variation. But if you can get a few in your favor, it will help raise your expected outcome.
Should I Act on a Hunch About What Cards Are Coming Up?
When you’re dealing with online blackjack, there’s a good chance you’ll be playing with an automatic dealer. That means the cards are reshuffled before every hand. As a result, your chances of receiving certain cards never change from hand to hand.
But trying to guess when you’re going to get one and basing your decisions on the hands that have come before will lead to incorrect decisions.
Your online blackjack strategy, once you decide upon it, shouldn’t change. Playing hunches will damage your overall chances of winning.
What Kind of Bankroll Should I Bring to the Blackjack Table?
You have to judge your opening blackjack bankroll based on a number of different factors.
- How much are you planning on wagering on each hand?
- Will you change up the size of your wager based on much you’re winning?
- How fast can you play?
- How long do you want to play? How much money are you hoping to win?
Try to give honest answers to all of these questions before beginning your online blackjack session. Also, be honest about your overall gambling budget and what you can afford to lose. Once you do that, and through some trial and error, you’ll be able to estimate your online blackjack bankroll accurately for each session.
How Much Should I Bet on Each Hand of Blackjack?
Obviously, this ties into what we talked about above with bankroll. In terms of the size of your wagers, it might be best to adjust it as the bankroll rises and falls.
For example, try to identify different bankroll levels at which you might want to change things up. Let’s imagine that you start off with $500 at $5 per blackjack bet.
You might decide to raise your bet to $6 once you reach $600 (if the online blackjack game you’re playing allows betting in such increments). If you should you find yourself dropping again closer to $500, you might want to drop it back down again.
One thing you should never do is desperately raise bets in an effort to make up for big losses. That can lead to your bankroll disappearing in a hurry.
Is It True That You Should Always Split Eights and Aces?
This depends on how advanced you want your strategy to be. For basic blackjack strategy, splitting aces and eights, which you’ll usually hear as advice from even casual players, is a definite.
The reason is simple math. Splitting aces gives you the chance at possible blackjacks on two hands.
And a pair of eights gives you 16, which is an awful total for the player. Splitting the eights lets you avoid that.
However, if you’re the type to count cards, you might find occasions where it isn’t a good idea to split aces and eights. As you’ll see when we talk about online versus casino blackjack, card counting doesn’t provide much of an edge in an online setting.
In other words, splitting aces and eights will be the right play in the vast majority of situations playing online blackjack. This is one case where the popular advice is correct.
Is There Ever a Time When Insurance Is a Good Idea?
For those who are new to playing blackjack at the online casinos, insurance is a bet you can make to help prevent against taking a loss when a dealer has a chance at blackjack. When the dealer is showing an ace, you can make the bet and receive 2:1 payback if the dealer has blackjack. If they don’t, you lose the insurance bet.
When you do that math of all the possible outcomes and the cost of making the bet, you’re hurting your payback by making the insurance wager.
As is the case with the aces and eights example above, there are times when insurance becomes a good play depending on card counting principles. But that won’t come into play often in online blackjack. Just say no to insurance.
What Is Blackjack Volatility Compared to Other Casino Games?
Many people incorrectly assume that blackjack is an inherently low volatility game. After all, the house edge for the game is relatively low. And you’re usually only winning or losing the size of your bet every time.
But there are problems with this theory. If you play the game with a plain, basic strategy, you’ll be splitting and doubling less than you would with advanced strategy. But basic strategy isn’t as strong as advanced strategy, which means you’re giving more edge to the house, which raises volatility.
If you do play with advanced strategy, you’ll be more aggressive doubling and splitting. That means more chances at bigger winnings. But it also means putting more chips on the line, which also means risks of higher losses.
Overall, blackjack is middle of the pack when compared to other casino games in terms of volatility. It’s definitely higher in volatility than the perception of it suggests.
Is There a Difference Between Counting Cards Online vs in a Casino?
Obviously, you’ll have less distraction playing blackjack online. You also won’t have the excitement of doing well on a crowded blackjack table. Your personality will probably dictate which scenario you prefer.
Strategically, the main difference between the two is that it’s much more likely that you can use card counting when playing in a casino. Online blackjack usually means that the deck Is shuffled every hand, which eliminates any chance at card counting. But in casino blackjack, shuffles are infrequent, which gives you the chance to count cards and adjust your bets accordingly.
By some estimates, a good card counter can add a few percentage points to their expected payback. That could mean the difference between a slight loss and a slight profit.
But card counting is an advanced method that not everyone can pull off. If you’re a beginning player, you won’t miss not having it as part of the game.
What Is the Edge of Having a Live Blackjack Dealer Online?
There are more and more online gambling sites which include live dealers as part of the blackjack experience. You can see the dealer as they deal the cards to you. Then, you signal your plays by clicking icons on the screen.
That gives you the chance to count cards to a certain extent. But you have to keep in mind that most online blackjack live dealers will shuffle much more frequently than casino blackjack dealers will.
In other words, any card counting edge will still be minute compared to casino blackjack. If anything, you might have a little bit more of a comfort level in a live dealer game, especially if you’re used to playing in a casino.
We hope that we’ve answered some of your most pressing, frequently asked questions about blackjack online. Good luck with your next session!