Can You Count Cards in Online Blackjack Games?

can you count cards in online blackjack

10 minutes

Last Updated: October 2, 2022


Can you count cards in online blackjack? Though there is ambiguity on a winning card-counting strategy at online blackjack games, it is certainly not an easy deal.

Blackjack card counting online needs a lot of strategic implementation and in-depth knowledge about casino rules.

However, counting cards serves as a basic blackjack strategy to improve your winning odds.

A renowned math genius, Edward Thorp, invented this strategy to keep a count of cards that were dealt and assess the remaining ones in the deck.

This allows the card counter to estimate the winning probability at any given time.

Basics of Online Blackjack Card Counting

Have you spotted the mysterious gamblers trying to count cards in blackjack? Despite complicated blackjack card counting strategies, many players try to figure out the house edge and evaluate the winning chances in a given game.

Card counting is a logical way of finding your probabilities in the classic card game, but the scenario in online blackjack games is different from what you may find at live casinos.

Is it that you cannot count the cards in online blackjack? Definitely, you can!

Counting cards in online blackjack is a strategy wherein the players take a tally of cards dealt out till the moment the deck is reshuffled.

This gives them detailed information with precise accuracy on what cards are likely to hit the next.

The real essence of this strategy is to determine the chance of arriving at the natural blackjack magical total of 21. If you are playing in the best games, you can receive a 3:2 payout on the original bet when this happens.

Things to Determine in Blackjack Card Counting Online

First thing to consider for online card count is a system. Players adopt various types of systems that vary as per the complexity and accuracy of the games.

blackjack card counting online

The Hi-Lo system offers medium accuracy along with ease of use. The best thing about Hi-Lo is that you get to assign values for each card coming out. The point values here for every card are:

  • (High Cards) Aces, face cards and 10s = -1
  • (Neutral) 7,8 and 9 = 0
  • (Low Cards) 2,3,4,5 and 6 = +1

The Hi-Lo card counting system also allows you to identify the number of decks left with the shoe using the ‘True Count.’

It is evaluated by dividing the ‘Running count’ with the tentative count of the remaining decks.

Now, let’s look at an example to explain things further.

  • Suppose your running count is +6.
  • You anticipate that two decks are left
  • 6/2 = +3 is the True Count

How to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Before knowing if you can count cards in online blackjack, it is imperative to learn the counting techniques. It is quite easy if you apply logical thinking to it.

The game starts by assigning a specific value for every card category.

The above-stated card value categories of high, low, and neutral cards are important to understand.

For instance, if the first five cards dealt are 5,2,7,8 and A, the final running total would come to +1 (1+1+0+0-1).

Players can now use the running total count to estimate the cards dealt in the next round. However, once the dealer shuffles the deck and fills back the shoe, players must begin the card counting from scratch.

Is it Possible to Count Cards in Blackjack with Multiple Decks?

Let’s explain this with a scenario where there is a dealer and three players on a table. The cards dealt to the dealer, and other players are as follows:

  • You – 10, 8
  • Player Two – 2, 8, Q
  • Player Three – 10, 2, J
  • Dealer – 10, 6, 9

Here, the running count after completion of hand would be -3, which shows the house advantage that the casino has.

Additionally, it enhances your chances of getting dealt the lower cards in the next hand due to the higher number of 10-A cards dealt across the table.

When multiple decks are involved in the game, the specific system is used for online blackjack card counting.

Players need to start by counting the cards and assigning appropriate values to the cards dealt.

Before every new hand is dealt, players must identify the total number of decks left in the shoe.

For Instance, +6 with a deck left holds better odds than the count of +6 with more than three decks remaining.

Resting at the count of +6 with 3 decks left shows the added probability of additional 6 high cards in the pile of 156 cards. The higher count with fewer cards left in the shoe is advantageous for blackjack players.

Can Dealers Stop Blackjack Card Counting Online?

Hopefully, now you have a fair knack for questions like ‘can you count cards in online blackjack, is it legal, and do online dealers allow it.

card counting online blackjack

Yes, you can go for card counting online, but it is tricky due quite a few restrictions put in place.

Few online counters also pose additional restrictions by adhering to the following tactics for the players.

Multiple-Deck Games

Card counters often fail at online blackjack games due to multiple decks used by the dealer.

Many live dealer blackjack games make use of 8 decks and only deal out about half of the shoe before reshuffling.

Many tables also feature auto-shufflers to introduce a new shoe for each new hand or “burn” cards from the top of the deck to make it impossible to keep an accurate count.

Continuous Shuffling

Another obstacle in counting cards in online blackjack is the continuous shuffling machine (CSM) that uses several decks that are constantly shuffled.

With continuous shufflers, the casinos ensure that cards are reshuffled after every hand, making all the efforts of card counting useless.

Do all casinos have the CSM machines installed? No, these machines are pretty expensive and they completely deter card counters.

The simple truth is that very few card counters are good enough to be winning players, so the casinos don’t necessarily want to get rid of all of them.

Fewer Hands per Hour

Card counting in online blackjack is possible to do effectively if there are enough rounds every hour. This makes the efforts of the players worth it.

The higher the number of hands you play every hour, the better are the chances to hit the winning total.

The online blackjack live dealer games are very slow, and players have to hit the buttons to communicate their playing actions every time. Thus, the time involved makes all your card counting efforts a complete waste.

counting cards online blackjack

A professional card counter maintains the pace of 100-300 rounds/hour, while the best online blackjack games allow just 50 rounds/ hour. Low per-hour number of rounds is the main obstacle the card counters in such games.

Bet Tracking Software

The final way of obstructing the blackjack card counting online is by using software to track the cards dealt and the betting patterns of various players on the table.

When any player is counting cards, his actions will be reflective of that fact. Online players cannot hide the pattern, and the casino will immediately get an alert of this discrepancy after being spotted out.

Does this mean that card counting is illegal? No, it is not illegal, but if any player is recognized as a successful counter, the casino will eventually ban them.

What Strategies Can Work with Online Live Dealer Blackjack Games?

Blackjack card counting is certainly not a favorable strategy that can take you a long way in online blackjack games. So, what’s the other way out?

There are different techniques to beat the house edge of various casinos. Let’s delve into them in detail.

The easiest strategy to follow while playing online live blackjack games is to avoid tables that require you to risk more than 5% of your total bankroll on a single bet.

The next technique to hit the winning streak in blackjack is to play one hand at a time and position yourself as far away from the dealer as possible. This will give you plenty of time to make the best decisions.

If blackjack card counting online seems hardly possible, try to memorize and make use of optimal blackjack strategy charts. They enable the players to figure out the exact action to take with every single hand.

If you are still unsure of can you count cards in online blackjack or not, the answer is yes. But executing it is a big challenge. Players can still work on improving their odds with the application of other tactics and strategies.

What Does ‘More Deck Penetration’ Mean?

To learn further about online blackjack card counting, understanding this feature is also crucial.

Various online casinos provide live dealer blackjack with human dealers and real cards. This type of table operates similar to land-based casinos, with the only difference being the virtual streaming of games.

If the casino conditions are feasible, counting cards in online blackjack is possible. Players can easily sit in the comfort of their homes, count the cards, and estimate the winning probabilities.

online blackjack card counting

However, none of the online casinos are so naïve as not to recognize the suspect players who tend to come out ahead with card counting. 

In such cases, the dealer shuffles frequently, ensuring the deck penetration remains low. In some games, casinos allow almost 50% deck penetration before the reshuffling of cards, and in these situations, you can get some advantages from counting cards.

Browse through various Blackjack live casinos online to identify the ones offering higher deck penetration and better scope of card counting in the game.

Is Blackjack Card Counting Illegal?

Many players believe online blackjack card counting is illegal, but this is false! It is just a precise strategy to determine the odds and use skills to gain an advantage over the house.

However, players getting caught card counting might also get banned very quickly. To avoid this, there are certain tips and strategies you should follow.

How to Optimize Blackjack Card Counting Online?

Card counting online in blackjack games seems like a tricky thing. Getting the exact notch on running count is difficult unless you use additional tactics to maximize your winning scope.

A good way to play online blackjack with a card counting system is to play on new tables and casinos quite often.

Search for new casinos that are still working on the technical upgrade of their system. Tracing the house edge is also a great way of estimating if card counting can prove helpful to you or not. 

Another way to do it online is to go subtle with your bet placement. Never aggressively place bets, as this is one of the biggest signs of card counting.

Winding Up

If you want to count cards online, you’ll need to apply some précises and complicated strategies.

Casinos allowing a higher deck penetration might boost your profit levels by almost 50%. However, you cannot count on this, as these casinos are rare.

A few fortunate players might earn a few dollars in a few hours but chasing very big earnings might make you fall into a trap.

Consider counting cards online in blackjack as a fun hobby to analyze the virtual systems and identify the loopholes.

Online counters are technically advanced, and counting cards there is not nearly as feasible as in brick-and-mortar establishments.

The best approach is to use some money to test the blackjack card counting online through live dealer sites and apps online, and see how it goes!


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