Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. Its popularity has transferred from land-based casinos to online casinos quite easily. One of the main reasons for this is the fact blackjack is one of the rare games where player’s choices and decisions actually matter and can make a difference. Playing an optimum strategy, players can severely diminish the house edge, although the game will still lose you money in the long run.
However, there is a very popular although highly controversial strategy that can turn the tables and actually give players an edge. This strategy is known as card counting, and it’s been the main theme of numerous books and Hollywood movies.
What Is Card Counting?
Card counting is a blackjack strategy used to determine how favorable the shoe is to a player in a particular moment. In a traditional blackjack shoe, there is a certain number of decks (four, six, or eight). This means that there is a limited number of cards, and the more of them are dealt, easier it becomes to determine how favorable the remainder is for the players.
To put it simply, good cards in blackjack are 10s, Aces, and all picture cards. More of them are in the shoe, the better, because it increases the chances of blackjacks, big hands, and the dealer busting when deciding to stay on a low number. Card counters refer to this number as the “count.” As mentioned, fewer the cards there are remaining in the shoe, the more valuable the count becomes.
There are various counting strategies, some rather simple, others quite complex, but we won’t go into details about these strategies here. Instead, we’ll focus on the question from the title, i.e. – is it possible to use any of these card counting strategies to win at online blackjack?
Does Card Counting Work for RNG Online Blackjack?
From the explanation above, it should be clear that the value of card counting comes from the fact there is a limited number of decks in the shoe. As the number of cards decreases, the player becomes more aware if he has better winning chances and ups the bets accordingly.
With online blackjack, however, card counting isn’t possible. You can use online blackjack to practice your card counting skills, but keeping a count will not give you the advantage. The reason for this is there is no actual shoe used in electronic blackjack.
At the start of every hand, cards are generated using a Random Number Generator. This means that the cards dealt in any particular hand are completely independent of the ones used in the previous hands. With every new hand, all cards are back in play, which makes any attempt at card counting completely futile.
Can you count card in Live Dealer Blackjack?
Live Dealer blackjack is actually real casino blackjack. The modern technology allows casinos to stream the game from the floors and gives players a chance to place wagers from their homes. So, in theory, card counting could work for Live Dealer blackjack.
However, the shoe is shuffled very often in these games and the penetration (the number of cards dealt before the shuffle) is usually quite shallow. This makes it almost impossible to get any kind of running count that would actually be useful.
However, if you were to try counting cards at an online casino, it would only make some sense with Live Dealer games. With electronic tables, as explained, this would be an exercise in futility.
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