Good Blackjack Rules
The game of blackjack has evolved in many ways over the last 100 years. Today’s casinos offer so many variants of the game it’s hard to know which games offer good odds and which increase the house edge against you. Live casinos try to offer the variants that give them the biggest house edge because the game loses a percentage of profit to card counters. To make up for these losses new rules have been introduced that make more money for the casino. Online, card counters can’t beat the game because the decks are re-shuffled after every game, so you’re likely to find more favorable blackjack odds playing in an online casino.
The best rules to look for when deciding which online blackjack game to play usually involves how much freedom you have with your hand. Look for games that allow you to split pairs, especially if you’re permitted to split and re-split your aces. Most live games look to limit the amount of possibilities where you can split pairs, and some even won’t allow pair splitting at all. The same thing goes for doubling down. If you can find a game that allows you to double down after splitting a pair you’ll get back a big percentage of the house edge you’ll be giving up.
The area of the game of blackjack where the rules will vary is what the dealer is forced to play. What play the dealer has to make when dealt a soft 17 can have a big effect on the house edge as well. You want to play in games that make the dealer stand on all the 17’s that are dealt to him. If he can hit on a soft 17 the house edge is increased against you.
Finally, try to play in games that allow you to surrender half your bet after getting dealt your first two cards. Properly played, the surrender option can lower the house edge against you and increase your chances of winning some cash. You need to learn which hands to surrender, based on what the dealer is showing, but it’s not difficult to learn. Take advantage of this rule if you find it, it’s not a common option in casinos any more.
Playing Heads Up Blackjack Live vs. Online
When playing blackjack most experts will tell you that the best situation you can be in is to be taking on the dealer heads-up. In a live casino blackjack game the addition of other players can create numerous distractions that can throw you off your game, or cause you to miss valuable information. Both live and online, playing alone with the dealer gives the player a couple of advantages that can’t be enjoyed with a table full of other players.
In a live casino the addition of other players can make the game far more difficult to beat. If you’re trying to count cards, extra players will mean you have to watch across the table to keep a count, and you’ll often be forced to interact with the other players, further making it difficult to maintain that count. If you’re playing heads-up with the dealer you’ll always see the cards in play and will be able to maintain the count, without having to display that that’s what you’re trying to do. You’ll also be able to control the rate of play and will be able to play far more hands in the same amount of time than you would play sitting at a full table.
You will get the advantage of controlling the rate of play and will be able to play more hands in a shorter period of time playing online blackjack games, but like we mentioned before, you won’t be able to count cards. Online decks are reshuffled after every deal, creating a zero count after every hand you play. Counters can’t get a favorable count, and therefore can’t beat the game by betting more when the count is in their favor. So playing at tables online with other players won’t interfere with trying to keep a count because counting is impossible.
The big difference between live casino and online heads-up action is that it’s always available online, but can be difficult to find in a live casino. One can always choose to play a blackjack game alone online, but in a regular casino this situation will be rare to find, and even harder to maintain.