Playing blackjack online for money isn’t a new thing. A lot of gamblers play seriously to earn a decent income out of this card game. With years of practice and solid strategies on their sleeves, they get to earn thousands of cash. But if you’re a newbie, it’s never wise to chase wins. Slowing your roll is the key when starting.
The good thing about playing online blackjack is the convenience. You can refer to your books anytime and you can play in the comfort of your home. Also, if you’re a beginner, the online platform will be your practicing arena. Never foray into a land-based casino without trying online blackjack gambling first.
Here, we’ve prepared a mini course for you:
Why play blackjack online?
Online gambling has been around since 1995. And if you’re not living under a rock, you’ve probably placed a wager in a game once. The good thing about playing blackjack online is that you no longer have to wait for the players to come. The table is always full and the games happen fast.
It’s also convenient. If you think you’re not mentally prepared to put a wager in an actual house, online gambling will be an excellent resort. Also, online casinos allow you to play head to head with the dealer. With this, you’ll have fewer distractions and you can have better gambling decisions. Also, there’s no tip-whoring in online casinos!
Are online blackjack sites safe?
Most blackjack casinos are located offshore. And like any other things, there can be bad apples in the basket. Back in the infancy of online gambling, collusion and cheating are rampant. But nowadays, gambling sites have installed protection software to secure their systems. Also, many online casinos are licensed and legitimately operating.
Make sure that you check the website first before playing. Inquire if they allow withdrawal of the money or not. This is VERY crucial if you’re planning to play for a living. Also, ask how they process withdrawals.
Every online blackjack gambling site will have their own rules. Safe to say, no single blackjack website has the same parameters in playing the game. Always read the rules first before you proceed. Take note that there are many blackjack variations in the web so make sure that you know what you’re playing for. It could be American Blackjack, Spanish 21, Vegas Strip, Pontoon, and so on.
Each of the variations will have unique rules. For example, in Spanish 21, all the 10 cards are removed from the deck, thus leaving the table with 48 cards per deck. To add, ask how many times you can split and what the rules are when it comes to doubling down.
After establishing the number of cards per deck and the house rules, it’s time to calculate the house edge. Sure, this can be indicated at the felt, but most of the time, it’s nowhere in sight.
Use the Blackjack House Edge Calculator by Wizard of Odds. By entering the rules of splitting, doubling down, where the dealer will stand or hit, and so on, you’ll get an accurate percentage of the house’s edge. The higher it gets the more money you’ll likely lose.
Now that you’re all set, it’s time to play blackjack online for money. Start by placing a bet. Most online casinos will have a wide range of minimum and maximum bets. For example, in a live classic American Blackjack game, you can bet anywhere from $5 to $2,500. There are also tables for high-rollers where you can bet a maximum of ten grand.
For the game proper, a lot of experts say that you should play using the Composition-Dependent (C-D) Basic Playing Strategy.
This technique deals with not just the total of your hand, but the composition of the cards on your hand. Unlike the Total-Dependent strategy, you can gain more accuracy and edge if the composition of the cards is also put into context.
You should start by developing a chart of possible card compositions that can be dealt to you. There’s no need to spend hours jotting down endless pages of combinations. You can make use of these three combos against the dealer’s up card. Take note, though, that these are just a few of the combinations included in the C-D strategy. Master this to become a better online blackjack player:
➕16 against a Dealer 10
The 16 hand is such an ugly hand, except if you got two 8 cards. If the surrender option is available, surrender the two cards and lose just half your bet. If it’s two 8 cards, split it into two hands and play your game from there.
In the case of a 10-6 and 9-7 hand, it’s better to hit than to stand. However, if you have a three-card 16 like in the case of 4-5-7, you should stand automatically. Why? Because your hand already contains one or two low-value cards and only a few will be in play. There’s a low chance you can get a five or anything lower than that. Hitting with a three-hand 16 against a 10 up dealer card will likely end with a bust.
The rule: If the up card is 10 and your 16 hand has 4s and 5s, you should stand. The same goes if a 16 hand is the result of a split during your online blackjack gambling.
➕12 up against a Dealer 4
A 12 hand is a very complicated value. However, there’s a big chance of winning if we take a look at the composition. This applies when the dealer is to stand at soft 17 with an up card of 4. If the 12 hand is two 6s, split it.
If your combination is 10-2, you have the chance of getting a better hand if you hit. However, stand if your 12 hand is the combination of 8-4, 7-5, and 9-3. Again, as the composition of the hand states, lower-value cards are already on the table, it’s a bleak gamble to hit another card.
With a 10-2 combination, there’s a chance that the hit has the right value to tip you close to 21 or anything the dealer has.
➕15 against a Dealer 10
When it comes to the T-D strategy on blackjack online for money, it tells you to surrender or fold 15 right away if the dealer has a 10 up card. But in case the surrender option isn’t available if you want to increase your winning chance, you can do something else.
Given that the table uses less than 7 decks, you can hit if your hand has an 8-7 combination. The presence of an 8 and a 7 card on your hand means there’s a reduced chance that another 8 or 7 will show up on you.
In the case of 10-5 or 9-6, hitting might be a bleak gamble. It’s better to stand or surrender in this case.
These are just three of the C-D strategies that you can follow. You can start with these three and then explore more combinations as you get used to playing online. According to gaming mathematician Don Schlesinger, employing the C-D strategies on your online blackjack game will reduce house edge by 5.3%. When it comes to the T-D strategy, it’s only a measly 0.19% cut on the house edge.
The Rule of 10
Once the cards are drawn, it’s time to read the dealer’s hand. Some players practice the Rule of 10. It states that you should always consider the face-down card to have a value of 10. Remember, there are 4 actual 10 cards in a deck together with 12 face cards that also possess a value of 10.
However, this may not always a good suit for the C-D strategy. Still, it’s fine to experiment with different strategies until you find one that works for you.
The Charlie rule
Depending on where you’re playing, a few online casinos honor the Charlie rule. It’s when you have 5, 6 or 7 cards on your hand after a few hits without going beyond 21. For some tables, a 5, 6, or 7-card Charlie is an automatic win regardless if the hand value is lower than that of the dealer.
Under the 7-card Charlie rule, the house edge is slashed by 0.01% whereas it’s 0.16% and 1.46% for six-card and five-card Charlie respectively. It’s very rare for online blackjack tables to recognize this rule, much so due to its effect on house edge.
The issue about card counting
Sadly, card counting can be a bit of a pain in online blackjack gambling. Most online tables nowadays shuffle the decks every round. Still, there are still multi-deck tables with a cut card on it. More often than not, online casinos will deal less than half the cards and then reshuffle the whole deck together. Even if you try card counting, you’ll go back to zero after every shuffle.
If the online table happens to deal more than half of the deck, card counting can be possible. Still, this is a rare occurrence in blackjack online for money.
Do you want to know what the pros think about card counting in online casinos? Here’s card counting expert Colin Jones with his mathematical take:
Deposit and withdrawal
It’s important to know that not all online blackjack tables allow withdrawal of your winnings. If you’re playing for money, it’s important to know the deposit and withdrawal terms before playing. The last thing you want is your hard-earned money getting stuck in a gambling platform.
Nevertheless, most legal and legitimate gambling sites will allow together with various withdrawal and deposit options.
However, unlike how it goes in brick-and-mortar casinos, withdrawal isn’t real-time online. You’ll have to wait for your withdrawal initiative to be verified first before it gets wired to your bank account or card. Such a delay is associated with security checks and the processes of clearing houses. You might also be asked to submit a photocopy of several documents to support the withdrawal. This happens mostly in the case of the large sum of money.
Remember that some online casinos have withdrawal limits so it’s important to do your homework first before deciding to become a high-roller.
On the other hand, some casinos hold the withdrawal for one -two days under the “pending” status. Somehow, this is used as a tactic since a pending withdrawal means the player can still use it as a wager. And when the amount is used, the withdrawal will be reversed.
If you fear that this will happen to you, opt for an online casino that supports manual flushing. In this mode of withdrawal, the money skips the pending status and goes straight to processing. There’s no way to reverse the withdrawal even if the player changed his mind.
Bonuses and perks and side bets
Online blackjack gambling is lauded for its lavish bonuses and perks. The most popular one is the ‘signup bonus’. Although it’s sweet to read, some casinos will only give you this if you’re willing to bet the bonus amount first. Each online casino gives bonuses in different fashions but you should practice moderation just the same.
More of these bonuses will surface while you’re playing. Some are worth it and some are not. If you think it’s bordering to a side bet, give the bonus a pass. Most of the bonus bets have a high house edge. Anyway, there is also a cashable bonus in the form of VIP points and the likes. Once you’ve accumulated a certain amount of points, it can be encashed or used as a wager.
When it comes to the perks and bonuses, always practice moderation. Doubting the motive behind the bonus isn’t a bad thing. This keeps you a realistic, cautious, and smart player.
If you’re thinking of using side bets as a means of earning more, proceed at your own risk. These are reeking in house edge, and if you’re not a seasoned blackjack player, you’ll lose more than what you planned for. The same goes for insurance and even-money.
Playing blackjack online for money is possible with the right strategy. Make sure that you master the basics before you aspire to become a big fish.