Blackjack has been a staple in casinos for decades. But with the rise of the internet and mobile devices, playing blackjack online has become increasingly popular in recent years. But just like there are some things that you can only learn by going to a physical casino and sitting at a table, there are also specific considerations to take into account when playing blackjack online.
To help you navigate these waters better, here are five things you might not know about blackjack online.
The Rules of Online Blackjack are Different Depending on Where You Play
Depending on where you play, the rules of the game may differ slightly from what you’re used to in a physical casino. For example, if you’re used to splitting 10s, be aware that sometimes this is not allowed when playing online.
Also, usually no dealer stands on soft 17. Instead, he or she will automatically hit the hand until reaching hard 17 or busting.
You get a Time Limit at Online Casinos
A common rule of thumb for blackjack players is to take as much time as they need, but not any more. This isn’t necessarily the case when playing blackjack online. In fact, some sites will put a limit on how long you can take to decide your next move.
They’re called time banks and they usually range from 10 to 30 seconds. If you exceed the limit, you’ll get a prompt warning or lose points in their loyalty program or lose money due to “time restrictions.” Still, it’s important to remember that every site is different so always read the house rules before playing at a specific site.
The Dealer’s Up Card Plays a Role in Your Strategy
This one is specifically for players playing blackjack online with a live dealer, since it doesn’t apply to other types of blackjack games. In this type of game, it’s important to be aware that the dealer’s up card plays a role in your strategy.
In some cases, it will change your approach completely. For example, if the dealer shows a 10, you’ll often double down on any 9 or lower. But if the dealer’s up card is a face card (i.e., an ace, king, queen or jack), you usually should not double down on a nine or less.
You Can Count Cards at Online Blackjack
Counting cards isn’t as easy as it sounds, but if you’re a skilled card counter you’ll have a good shot at beating the casino.
In order to get an edge on the house, players must know when to increase and decrease their bets based on how many high or low cards have been played from the deck. If more 10s, face cards, and aces have been played than low cards, then this is called a “positive” or “good” sequence, and players should increase their bets. In an online casino, you can use the Autoplay feature to make sure that you don’t have to click a button after every hand.
In contrast, if more low cards have been played from the deck than 10s, face cards, and aces, this is called “negative” or “bad” sequence, and players should decrease the amount they’re betting.
To play blackjack online with an edge, you have to have some knowledge of how to count cards and be at a casino that allows card-counting! Casinos don’t typically advertise the fact that they disallow card-counters, but credible online casinos will never ban a player for counting cards.
A Higher Payback Percentage Doesn’t Necessarily Mean a Better Game
This is another important factor to keep in mind when you’re looking for an online casino to play at. It’s closely related to the previous point, but it’s worth pointing out on its own.
The house edge is an important part of blackjack strategy, so always keep in mind that the payback percentage for any game doesn’t tell the full picture.
If a site offers a 97% payback for blackjack, you might assume that you have better odds at winning overall there than at a site with a 96% payback. While that might be true in some cases, it’s also possible that the 97% game is full pay while the other offers 6:5 or eight decks.
This is why it’s important to look at more than just the payback percentage when choosing where to play online blackjack, and we’ll get into some options for doing that later on.
Online blackjack is a great way to get in some quality time with friends and family while you’re on the road. But, playing online also comes with many new rules that will take getting used to, thus be sure not to forget these five things about playing blackjack online before hitting “play.”