Ever since the guys in the MIT Blackjack Team won close to $60 million at the casino, counting cards has taken on a certain mystique. Players everywhere were taking running tallies of the cards… but is it a tactic that can be applied to the online casino games at Springbok Casino?
What’s the Point of Counting the Cards in Blackjack?
When you play blackjack online at Springbok Casino the main objective is to get a natural blackjack. What is a natural blackjack? An opening hand consisting of an ace and 10 value card. In theory counting the cards helps you determine when you have the highest probability of getting the perfect hand in blackjack, a hand that pays out at odds of 3:2.
The idea behind the tactic is to match your bet size with the assessed probability. That is a standard mode of action in all online casino games. What it really means is when there are very few high cards left in the shoe, the chances of hitting a blackjack are nominal and your bet size should reflect that fact. However, when most of the cards that have been dealt are low value cards, it’s a good time to increase your stake.
What Factors Influence the Efficacy of Card Counting in Blackjack?
When viewed in the context of land-based casinos and even live dealer casinos, there are two key factors that impact the efficiency of the card counting technique – the number of decks in play and how frequently the shoe is shuffled.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that multiple decks make it a lot more challenging to keep track of which cards have been dealt and which cards still remain in the shoe. What is more, the number of decks that are dealt before the shoe is shuffled is another critical element – and one that is referred to as deck penetration.
A High Deck Penetration Percentage is Best
The maestros of online casino games actually calculate deck penetration as a percentage. What is important is not so much how you calculate deck penetration but the fact that the higher the percentage, the easier it is for the player practicing the card counting strategy to keep track.
In layman’s terms, the ideal environment for effective card counting is when the dealer has dealt lots of rounds prior to shuffling the shoe.
Counting the Cards in Online Casino Games: Yes or No?
That is in the context of counting cards at the likes of Grand West, Montecasino or Emperor’s Palace. How about online casinos like Springbok Casino? Does card counting work in respect of the online casino games arranged under the table games tab – Blackjack, European Blackjack, Suit Em Up Blackjack, Match Play 21 and so on?
Theoretically, the answer is yes but in reality, it is not as simple as that. There are basically two problems and both align to the elements discussed above – the number of decks in play and how often those decks are shuffled.
Multiple Decks Make It Difficult to Track
At Springbok Casino virtually all the online casino games in the blackjack genre are played with six decks of cards. The only exception is Pontoon which has only two decks in play. That fact alone makes it the best proposition for players who do want to try counting the cards but even that can pose a mental challenge.
The Negative Impact of Continuous Shuffling Machines
Now to the shuffling. At land-based casinos, the cards are physically shuffled in front of the players. Online casinos on the other hand are powered by computer software. This software uses randomly generated sequences of numbers to deal the cards and a continuous shuffling machine basically shuffles the decks after each round.
In terms of deck penetration, that is possibly the worst-case scenario and one that would scupper any hope of counting the cards with some semblance of success. What does all this mean in the context of card counting and online casino games?
In reality it is possible to practice card counting at an online casino. However, the question has to be is it profitable? Conventional wisdom says not!
How to Count Cards in Blackjack
The easiest way to count the cards is to allot a simplified value to three categories of cards – low cards of 2 through 6 are valued as +1; medium cards of 7 through 9 count as zero and high cards of 10 through ace carry a value of -1.
That way you can keep a running tally of each card that is dealt using the designated value. If the total count is negative at the end of a game round, it is time to boost your stake. If it is positive, that is a sign that there are more low value cards left in the deck and that of course means the probability of hitting a natural blackjack is next to nothing.
Practice Card Counting for Free at Springbok Casino
Although there is absolutely no guarantee that counting the cards in online casino games will improve the payout rate, there is only one way to find out. At Springbok Casino we feature all our online casino games in the fun and real money modes.
That essentially means you can test the card counting technique by playing any of our online blackjack games for free. You won’t win any real money but you won’t have to spend any real money either. Once you have determined whether tracking the cards is a strategy you can adopt, you can sign up at Springbok Casino and give gambling in ZARyour best shot!