Counting cards and adjusting the bet size at an online casino South Africa – bonus or baloney?

The reason we all play games at an online casino South Africa is to win lots and lots of money.  That’s not to say we’re not blown away by the super cool animations, creatively crafted gaming interfaces and 3D paraphernalia synonymous with the Springbok gaming brand.  We are!

However, when we place those real money bets on slots, video poker, blackjack or roulette we’re striving for one thing and one thing only… and that’s to beat the house edge.

Calculating Probabilities to Improve the Win Rate

Our sentiments are not new or even remarkable.  Through the centuries ordinary folk have entered casinos, gaming salons or bingo halls with the firm belief that today’s the day they’ll beat the dealer or get the numbers required for a bingo.

Some have spent weeks, months or years calculating the probabilities of hitting winning poker hands, the perfect roll of the dice or a natural blackjack.  

Others rely more on their ‘intuition’ and the unwavering belief that losing streaks are always followed by hot streaks… and vice versa.  The big question is do gambling strategies actually work?

Let’s take a look at two popular strategies that have given the casino operators in Vegas, Macau and Monte Carlo more than their fair share of grey hair - the Martingale System and counting cards.  Can they work their magic at our top-rated online casino South Africa?

The Martingale System in Online Roulette - Yes or No?

The Martingale System is a simple roulette gambling strategy that’s premised on betting more every time you lose.  That may sound counterintuitive but when you understand the rationale behind the system, you’ll see the value of implementing the Martingale at the roulette tables.

The first step is to open the betting session with the lowest available wager and to bet on one of the outside bets - odd or ever, high or low or red or black.  These bets pay even money.  At just over 47% they also have one of the best returns to players (RTP).  What that means is even money bets have the lowest house edge and the highest odds of winning.

Right, back to the system.  If you win the first bet, carry on with exactly the same strategy and you’ll be able to consistently accumulate a small profit.

It’s when you lose a bet that your strategy changes.  When that happens, double the size of the original wager and place it on one of the outside bets as before.  If you win that bet, you’ll recoup your losses on the first bet and register a profit equal in value to the original wager.

Thereafter it’s simply a matter of carrying on as before, and doubling the value of your stake when you lose two consecutive bets, three consecutive bets, four consecutive bets and so on.

A High Risk and Low Reward Strategy

The only problem with this strategy is that by doubling the bet size, you can rapidly deplete your bankroll. Moreover, when you do make a profit it’s usually a relatively meagre one given the time and effort you’ve spent at the tables.

Having said that, the Martingale System is all about the slow and steady accumulation of winnings and that my friends is what wise people do when they play cash games at our online casino South Africa.

Can the Martingale system work on a remote gambling platform?  Probably… but it’s worth mentioning that some online casinos don’t accept wagers on all outside bets in roulette - and that immediately skews the edge in the house’s favour.

Counting Cards in Blackjack Online - Ingenious or a Bust?

A second strategy that’s been employed at B&M casinos over the years is counting cards.  This strategy is predominantly applied to blackjack, a comparing card game where the hand closest or equal to 21 wins.  The logic here is that by counting the cards as they are dealt, you’ll have a good idea as to which cards are still in the pack.

Here’s how it works.  A standard deck of 52 cards consists of four aces with a value of 11; 16 cards with a value of 10 - the royal cards and the 10s - and 32 cards with their usual face values.  If most of the cards dealt are among the 32 low value cards, the odds of getting 10 and 11 value cards are that much higher.

In that scenario, you’d obviously bet more on the probability of forming a winning hand… or better still a blackjack.  Conversely, when most of the high value cards have already been dealt, it’s time to batten the hatches and downscale the bet size.

Is counting cards the way to go when playing blackjack at our green and gold online casino South Africa?  Unfortunately, not.  In fact, there’s no ways you can use this technique to improve your win rate - either online or at a land-based casino.

The Impact of Decks, Shuffling Machines and Random Number Generators  

Casino operators have long smartened up.  These days you’ll rarely, if ever, find a blackjack game that’s played with one deck of cards - there are usually six or more in-play at any one time.  That immediately negates the value of counting cards.

You’ll also find most casinos use shuffling machines.  That means the cards that have already been discarded are put back into the pack in time for the next deal.  The gap, as they say, has been well and truly plugged.

In the online casino scenario, counting cards in blackjack was never an option.  We all know random number generator software is used to determine which cards are dealt and when.  No-one, even the most brilliant mathematician, can predict the outcome of computer-generated actions. 

Next time you open an RTG blackjack game in your browser, ensure you have the basic blackjack strategy table close at hand.  You can maximise your chances of winning ZAR simply by hitting, standing or splitting according to the strategy table and based on the cards in your hand!