Online blackjack is an interesting game (though its gameplay is rather simple), but you need to know one thing about it: the house edge. No online casino is going to let you play at a game where the chances for winning are 50-50.
They have a business to run, which needs to generate money, so they have this built-in house edge of 2-3%, in blackjack games, they use to make the whole deal worth their while.
What this means is, that if you were to play blackjack at an online casino ( or a real one for that matter) in the long run you’d end up with 2-3% of your initial bankroll gone. This doesn’t mean you won’t have an occasional winning spree, but provided you play long enough, that’s the end result you’re going to be stuck with.
Before you go all sour and decide the game is not for you, I have some good news: there are ways to reduce that house edge, to completely eliminate it and even overturn it ( in the case of real brick and mortar casinos)
If you walk into a casino and you start playing barely knowing the rules of the game and completely unaware of basic strategy, you’ll end up with the majority of the fish with the 2-3% loss. However, if you decide to drag yourself through the discomfort of learning a few tricks before getting down to playing, you’ll stand a more than fair chance of leveling the playing field.
Basic strategy is about knowing when to take one of the actions blackjack players can take according to the rules of the game and considering what the dealer has.
Don’t be overly optimistic in assuming that all you need to do is hit as close to 21 as you can, and you’ll beat whatever the dealer throws at you. All your actions need to be done as a consequence of what you and the dealer have at any certain stage. An example of basic blackjack strategy is the following:
consider that you have something between 17 and 20. What do you do? Of course you should always Stand on such hands. It’ll be tough for the dealer to beat that and the probability of him busting out trying to beat you justifies such course of action. If you have 13-16, things get a bit more complicated. Check what he has and hit if he has anything from 7 to 11 (A). Stand if he holds anything less than 7.
If you’re stuck with 5-8, deck odds say you should hit no matter what the dealer has. Talking about basic strategy you need to know that soft hands play differently from hard ones. Have I gotten ahead of myself here? A soft hand is one that contains an A. They call it soft because it’s a welcome break for a player to be dealt an A. The A counts either as 1 or as 11, so it will allow for two more cards to be drawn, without risking a bust.
Hitting and standing on soft hands works something like this: if you have an A and a 8-9, you should always stand. An A and 2-3 on the other hand will always call for a hit.
There are strategies like the above examples for doubling down and for splitting, too. ( an A,A should always be split, because this way you’d create the possibility for two strong hands instead of one without taking anything away from your first hand)
A simple card – counting technique is, to assign values for cards from -1 through 0 to +1. Low cards will be worth +1, high cards +1, 8.9 will be 0.
This way you only need to keep a sum in mind while you play.
The bigger this sum is ( in the positive range of course…) the bolder you can be in the decisions you make. Bottom line is, with online blackjack, as with most things in life, a little bit of research can go a long way.