Why Card Counting Can’t Work Online and What to Try Instead
I’m going to be straight here, live dealer online casinos have considered card counting, and have built their games in such a way as to make this all but impossible
At best you’ll be able to tell when it is time to quit a session and shave a couple of hundredths of a percent from the house edge.
Getting a positive true count and increasing your bet to get an edge is prevented by a very simple strategy. The live dealer casinos use 8 decks, and reshuffle after 3 or so have been dealt. You can count all the low cards you like – by the time you divide your count by the remaining decks, the chance of your score being good enough to tilt the balance in your favor are slim.
If you see a lot of face cards and 10’s early, you can end up with a high negative count. While the effect is marginal, you could sit out for the rest of the deck here and at least not be playing while the odds are a little more than usual against you. Those playing on the last of the 7 positions will be able to squeeze a 1000th of a percent more by seeing the extra cards of the other players and adding them to the count!
Math v Security in Live Dealer Blackjack Card Counting
In theory there can be a deck so front loaded with small cards that you quickly realize it is time to bet big. With frequent shuffles this will be rare, so you switch from $10 bets to $200 for the remainder of the deck.
Unfortunately, someone already thought about this scenario.
If you do this then the most likely outcome is a review of your hand history, and a confiscation of your winnings. Some real money casinos will even play it safe, giving you the chance to lose that money and only alerting you to the issues when you request a withdrawal.
Alternatives to Card Counting for Live Dealer Blackjack Games
Keeping the house edge to a minimum is actually easier than many players think. The key is the fierce competition between casinos to attract and retain players. In fact, there is no reason that you should be playing a single hand without a bonus or loyalty reward of some kind. With smart bankroll management (no loss chasing and so on!), you can enjoy live dealer blackjack with a small enough house edge to maximize your chance of an upswing / windfall session.
The exact bonuses will depend on your location (US / non-US being the key factor). I recommend this Blackjack Bonuses Compared article (coming soon!) for the full breakdown.
Here are the key bonus types I look out for:
Welcome Bonus: The obvious one, big bonuses to incentivize new players. Ever wondered why you do not take advantage of these more often.
Reloads / Promo Bonuses: Often tied to specific games. Key here is to stop playing at a casino for a while and wait for that great deal to come via e-mail.
Loyalty Rewards / Comp Points: These are more important than many players realize. Some schemes let you exchange points for cash, others for free play / bonuses.
One offs / Free Chips: Many casinos nowadays will incentivize new players to give the live casino (or mobile casino) a try using free chips. Those smaller amounts add up, so make sure you take advantage.
Recommended Live Dealer Blackjack Games
For US Based Players
I am a big fan of the BetOnline Casino. In fact ‘Giant Gambling Portal’ would be a better description than a casino. BetOnline now offers poker, sports betting, racebook, skill games and more all though the same interface. With a huge welcome bonus, regular promos and a Live Dealer Casino room that lets you play up to 3 tables at once, it is hard to beat this site. Check out www.betonline.ag for more.
For non-US Based Players
Unibet has seamlessly integrated the live dealer casino from Evolution Gaming into their multi-device compatible client. Blackjack gives you a huge choice of tables, and you’ll also find 3-Card Poker, Casino Hold'em, Baccarat and Roulette (including the excellent Immersive Roulette) available too. See www.unibet.com to check out the live Dealer Blackjack for yourself.
More Great Articles for Online Casino Fans:
- Casino Deposit Methods (what works and what does not for online casino deposits as we go into 2022)