Is card counting possible in online blackjack?

One of the most well-known strategies in blackjack is to count cards. Not just your own cards to get as close to 21 as possible, but also the other cards that come up on the table.

This ensures a lower house edge at the casino, and a greater chance for you to win. It is sometimes called the ultimate trick to beating the casino. Although counting cards does not guarantee a win, it does allow you to make a better prediction as to which cards are still “in play. Card counting once began in land-based casinos, but nowadays it may also be possible in online casinos. Or is it? We’ll tell you if there are ways to count cards in online blackjack.

What methods are there for counting cards in online blackjack?

In blackjack you can count cards in various ways. You can choose the Hi-Lo strategy, which simply gives a score of -1, 0 or +1 to low, medium and high cards. This way, after a few cards, you can better predict whether a high or low card will come. Ideally, you should take a seat at the back of the table, as this way you can already see what cards the other players have received. The KO strategy and the Hi-Lo with expansion, i.e. more options to value the low and high cards, is also popular among many players.

Card counting depends on number of decks

A deck equals 52 cards, from 2 to A and then in 4 symbols. Every game in blackjack features at least one deck, but more often than not multiple decks are chosen, usually between 4 and 8. This also makes card counting a little trickier. Anyway, the possibilities are still there, especially in land-based casinos. These casinos do not like it when players are clearly counting cards, as they see this as a form of manipulation in the game, and it naturally results in a lower house edge.

So if you choose to do this in a landbased casino, you run the risk of getting a warning or even being thrown out. In online casinos, no one can see if you are counting cards. The downside is that the value of this strategy in online blackjack is not entirely clear. Much is still unclear.

The number of cards present in a deck are essential in determining whether card counting really makes sense. Consider this: with 4 decks, there are a total of 208 cards in play, and thus four identical editions of each card. In 8 decks, there are even 416 cards. The possibilities of counting cards in such a situation are unfavorable for you as a player.

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Penetration of decks important

In order to properly count cards in blackjack, the penetration of the decks present is important. For players, this penetration should be at least at 50% or higher, meaning that the decks have not been reshuffled before 50% of the number of cards have been played. In online gambling, the casinos cannot see you as a player, and that means that counting cards online should be a lot simpler. The opposite, unfortunately for all players, is true.

Online casinos try to counteract the chance of card counting in the best possible way. One way they do this is by looking at the penetration. Before the level reaches 50%, the decks are normally reshuffled. This minimizes the chance of card counting. Perhaps possible, but a lot less effective for the players who would like to try this. The house edge that exists at casinos thus also remains at a higher level for “the house” online.

Should you want to use the strategy online?

That is a good question. Counting cards is normally a very good strategy, but both online and land-based casinos do everything possible to minimize the chances of this happening. Due to the low penetration of the decks, card counting is no longer a watertight strategy. You can still use it, but at most as a hand to help you choose an additional card, and no longer with the expectation that you will make a good prediction.

Does online blackjack give you information about decks?

That depends entirely on the online casino you play at. Most online casinos will give you information about the number of decks in advance, but not always about the penetration of the cards. This means that you don’t know much yet, because after 2 or 3 decks, the number of decks doesn’t necessarily matter anymore, while the penetration of the cards becomes essential at that point.