If you want to avoid losing tons of money at the online casino, here is how NOT to play blackjack online!

Blackjack is easy to play but difficult to master.  It is an online casino game that requires a more considered approach – in terms of the odds, rules, side bets and gaming activity.  Here are 3 errors that can deplete your bankroll in double quick time!

Easy to Play but Tricky to Master

When it comes to key gaming elements, blackjack is a standout option at any online casino.  The rules are simple, gameplay involves limited decision-making and the objective could not be clearer.  That of course is to end up with a hand totalling 21, or as close to 21, without going bust.  Bust simply means exceeding 21, which is an instant loss.

It is the kind of real money game that anyone can play… even greenhorns who have only recently signed up at Springbok Casino.  Throw in an attractive payback rate and appealing odds and who wouldn’t want to include blackjack on their online casino playlist?

In reality, it takes more than loading blackjack onto your desktop or phone and hitting the deal button.  If you want to exploit the edge and benefit materially, here are 3 common mistakes players make – and you should avoid at all costs:

1. Selecting the Wrong Blackjack Game at the Online Casino

What is critically important to bear in mind is that not all online blackjack games are created equal.  Depending on where you choose to play online casino games, you get vastly different options in respect of the:

  • rules
  • odds
  • bet types
  • payback percentage

Then there are the variations of the classic form of the game.  These betting opportunities often feature side bets and extra ways to win.  Blackjack and Perfect Pairs, Match Play 21 and Suit Em Up Blackjack are examples of classic blackjack that has been tweaked to deliver a ‘heightened’ gambling experience.

If you happen to be a newcomer and you’re yet to learn the fine art of gambling, there is one rule of thumb.  That is to avoid the jazzed-up variants and stick to standard old blackjack instead.  Why?  At 99.46%, it offers the best average return to player (RTP).

That said, blackjack is only as good as its odds.  Ideally, you want to play the online casino games that offer 3:2 odds for a natural blackjack.  When you come across a game with 6:5 odds, ‘click to close’ and make for another online gambling platform like Springbok Casino instead!

Here is an interesting fact.  Adjusting the odds from 3:2 to 6:5, it increases the house edge by a whopping 1.45%.  That is not a statistic anyone can easily absorb, whether you are a newbie, an experienced player or a seasoned pro!

Along with the odds, the rules of the game are critical to the long-term payback rate.  Factors like that can have a massive impact on your overall win-to-loss ratio at the online casino include:

  • the number of decks in the virtual shoe,
  • when the double down option is permitted and
  • if the dealer hits or stands on 17.

As a rule, the more decks there are in play, the higher the advantage is to the house.  In an ideal world, you would only play single-deck blackjack.  That said, it is virtually impossible to find that type of blackjack online.  Most online casinos, including Springbok Casino, offer 6-deck games – but we do compensate by paying out the best possible odds.

As for the double down rules, you want to play online casino games that allow open-ended doubling.  In other words, the games where you can double your wager on any hand total – not just 9, 10 or 11.  Similarly, doubling after the split is obviously favourable to players.  So too is re-splitting aces and dealer standing on soft 17.

If you are fortunate enough to find an online blackjack game that offers all these player-positive rules, good for you – they are unicorns!  At the end of the day, when you play strategically, there is always the chance you will win more game rounds than you lose even if all the rules aren’t in your favour.

2. Taking the Insurance Bet

In most online blackjack games, you have the option to take an additional side bet – but only when the dealer shows an ace.  For obvious reasons, this optional wager is known as the insurance bet.  It typically pays out at 2:1 odds.

When you take insurance, you are effectively mitigating your losses… but are you really?  What you have to consider is this… when the insurance bet wins, you automatically lose your original wager.  What is even more significant is the fact that there are only 16 cards out of 52 that can complete a dealer blackjack.

That means there are 36 cards that can’t.  What that tells you is there is a higher probability of the insurance bet losing.  In fact, when you crunch all the numbers, the true odds are 9:4 yet insurance only pays 2:1.  That immediately confirms one thing – the insurance bet is a mug’s bet.  A massive house edge of 7% attests to that!

The lesson learnt here is to never take the insurance bet when playing blackjack at an online casino.  Theoretically, it is simply not profitable… despite all the hype to the contrary!

3. Splitting Incorrectly

The split option in blackjack can be a profitable one.  It allows you to split two cards of equal rank and play separate hands… at an extra cost, of course.  New players tend to automatically split all pairs, regardless of the total.  That is not always the best gambling strategy.  Here is why…

Take 10-10 for instance.  When added together, the hand totals 20.  That is pretty much a winning hand in online blackjack, unless of course, the dealer gets 20 – in which case the round is a push – or if the dealer has 21.  As a result, splitting a pair of tens is not the correct move.  You must keep the cards together and hit the stand button instead.

The same can be said about 5-5.  A total of 10 means there are 20 cards capable of generating what could be a winning hand.  That is in the single-deck online casino game.  Extrapolate that across six decks and there are 120 cards that could win the round on your behalf!

If you are not entirely certain as to which pairs to split, here is a general rule.  Once you have assessed the dealer’s up card and think you can still win the round without splitting your hand, don’t split.  Play as you normally would, according to the cards in your hand.

Learn the Basic Blackjack Strategy & Flip the Odds in Your Favour

Probability theory comes into play in every online casino games you play – but with games such as blackjack, you can skew the probability in your favour.  Unlike games of chance, blackjack offers the opportunity to tip the odds and the best way to improve your blackjack skills is to learn the basic strategy.

Once you have a general idea of which moves to make and when, we suggest you register an account at Springbok Casino.  That way you can practice your tactics in the fun mode until you are ready to take on the edge… and hopefully, bank a few rands on the side!