Can you Count Online Blackjack?

Gambling is a massively popular pass-time. Statistics published by show that around 1.6 billion people worldwide gamble, with 1.4 billion stating they do so at least once per year. The online casino market is booming, with sites such as opening regularly. Not only do these online casinos offer new video and online games, they also feature old classics like slot machines and table games.

Blackjack is a staple of both bricks and mortar casinos and online casinos. It is a table game played with cards. At the start of the game, each player decides how much they want to bet. The amount it costs to bet on the hand varies from casino to casino. The croupier, or machine, then deals each player a hand. They are then given various options such as to stick, hit or double down. The objective is for the total value of your cards to get as close as possible to, but not exceed 21.

Blackjack is a fun game with a low barrier of entry so it can be enjoyed by experienced gamers and new players alike and it is a popular choice at many sites such as As you can win cash by playing, players have looked for ways in which they can improve their chances at winning. One of these methods is by counting cards, which works as follows:

  1. Assign a value to each card;
  2. Keep a running total of the values of each card dealt;
  3. Use this information to work out the value of the actual count of the deck;
  4. Change your bets accordingly by increasing them as the count rises.

While some methods of attempting to implement systems to games in casinos are illegal or barred by the casinos, counting cards is in no way either as it is simply paying attention and attempting to use what is taking place to your advantage. It can take time for players to be able to count cards effectively, but some say it akes the element of luck out of blackjack.

How Does Counting Cards Work?

The first stage of counting cards is to assign a value to each card in the dek. In the most commonly used method, 'Hi-Lo', as each card is dealt the player either adds one, subtracts one or does nothing based on the card's value. The player will then keep a running count of cards dealt and update the value as each card is dealt.

Once the running count is complete, the player will calculate the true count or the true value of per deck. The most important information the player is looking for is the concentration of high compared to low cards and the number of high cards. Finally,teh player will use this information when placing their bets. As the true count rises, the player increases their bets.

Can You Count Cards Playing Online Blackjack?

Card counting is thought to be successful in bricks and mortar casinos and can determine the probability of the next card dealt being high or low. However, online casinos obviously work in a different way. The most important and problematic difference when it comes to card counting is the difference in the way that the cards are dealt and shuffled. This makes card counting difficult to successfully achieve.

In a bricks and mortar casino, a croupier will typically shuffle between six and eight decks together and load them into a dealing shoe. By using the shoe the croupier can deal more games faster and reduce the risk of the decks being tampered with. When the cut card appears it is clear that a new deck will be dealt shortly ending the current game.


Why Is This a Problem For Card Counting?

When card counters are counting the cards they are looking for the indication that the face cards are together. The more high-value cards together the higher the chance of being dealt a high-value hand. This is the objective of card counting, once the player knows the chances of landing high-value cards has increased, they know to increase their bet. Online casinos make this difficult in a series of ways.

  • The player cannot see the cards being dealt.
  • The player cannot tell when the next deck of cards starts.

Online casinos also use 'deck penetration' to prevent card counters. Blackjack players know that in a brick and mortar casino, the deck is cut approximately one deck's worth from the end of the stack. In online casinos, the deck can be cut in half, meaning there is more chance of high-value cards ending up on the wrong side of the cut and out of play.

Is It Worthwhile to Attempt Card Cutting in Online Casinos?

With these measures in place online casinos have effectively neutralised card cutting. While keeping track and counting can still be attempted, it will not work as well in an online casino as it does in a bricks and mortar casino. As technology continues to improve the chances of card cutting effectively are likely to disappear and players attempting it will just be mentally taxing themselves unnecessarily.

Playing blackjack is fun, and even without counting cards winning is still possible. When gambling you should never bet more than you can afford to lose, and accept the amount you are gambling with is the cost of playing. Then, if you win, it is a bonus and a surprise. Luck can still be on your side, and more enjoyment is to be found in just playing the game.