Counting Edge has put together a list of common questions that we receive along with the answers. This Ultimate Blackjack FAQ is something we will add to on occasion as more questions are received. Use it as a reference to improve your game.

ONLINE BLACKJACK

Is online blackjack the same as live blackjack?

The main difference between online blackjack and live blackjack is that the online version uses a virtual platform. There is no actual dealer, and results of the game are determined randomly with a software program. Other than this, the games are very similar in nature. The same decisions and actions are available.

How can I get free blackjack money from the online casinos?

Online casinos like to give out free money to players. There are different types of casino bonuses. Some may only require you to create and verify your account. Others may ask that you make a deposit that can be matched with bonus funds.

Is online blackjack fair?

Yes, online blackjack is fair at most online casinos. There are actual algorithms that can be examined to show the fairness of the game. Of course, there are rare exceptions. You should stick to online casinos that have been given an unbiased review. We only recommend reputable and fair online blackjack casinos.

Can I count cards online?

You can count cards when playing online blackjack. The effectiveness of counting online is hard to say. Most online casinos shuffle the cards after every deal. They only use a single deck. This means that no deck penetration is available, and that is really what makes card counting viable. If you were to find an online casino that offers a live dealer blackjack game, card counting might be possible.

What is the best blackjack strategy online?

You can use the same blackjack strategy that you use in a live casino when you play the game online. There is no need to adjust because the decision making process is the same. As for the best strategy, that depends on your personal tastes. You will find that most strategy charts are the same with very few differences. Card counting methods can vary.

What are the minimum blackjack bets online?

Playing blackjack online means that you will be able to make lower minimum wagers. In some cases, the minimum could be $1. Compare that with a $5 or $10 minimum when you play live blackjack. This is why some blackjack players decide to learn the game online instead of playing it live.

How many players can play online blackjack?

In the virtual version of the game you will be the only player at the table. If you are playing in a live dealer blackjack game, there could be 9 or more players in a single game.

 

LIVE BLACKJACK

How many players can be seated at a live blackjack table?

In a live blackjack game the maximum number of players is usually 7. It is more common to find an average of 5. During peak hours you may have to wait for a seat at a live blackjack table.

Which is better? First base or third base?

Either of these seats is a good choice for a serious blackjack player. We would suggest that you use them if you have suitable experience at the game. In the first base seat you will be the first to act on your hand. In the third base seat you will be the last, having the advantage of seeing all the cards and how each player has acted on them. A card counter would be happy to sit in the third-base seat.

Which card counting method is best?

There are probably more than a hundred card counting methods that have been introduced over the years. Choosing which one is best really depends upon your personal preference. There are methods which are designed for the beginner, and other methods which are meant for the seasoned pro. Stick with something simple until you have mastered the fundamentals of card counting.

How do I avoid detection as a card counter?

Once you have started to use card counting when playing live blackjack, you will need to avoid casino scrutiny. Getting labeled a card counter or an advantage player by the casino will give you a lot of trouble that you don’t need. It could even lead to you being banned. The best way to avoid detection is to change up your play and betting. Make plays on purpose that will make the casino think you are an amateur.

Do I Have to Tip the Blackjack Dealer?

There is no rule that says you must tip a dealer in a live casino. You may find that dealers are far more pleasant when you tip. That doesn’t mean that you need to tip when you aren’t winning. Only tipping when you are winning is something most casino dealers understand. Try to remember that dealers depend upon the tips they receive to make up a large part of their salary. They are not given large amounts of hourly pay.

 

BLACKJACK STRATEGY

Why is basic blackjack strategy so important?

Over the years professional blackjack players have developed a body of knowledge that is given the designation of basic blackjack strategy. This strategy represents the best play that you can make in any situation at the blackjack table. By using blackjack strategy you will be able to make a serious dent in the house edge. If you attempt to play the game without using proper strategy, the odds against you will be insurmountable. No one wins consistently at live or online blackjack without the understanding of basic strategy.

How should blackjack strategy be used?

The player should practice basic blackjack strategy until it becomes second nature. Players should be able to execute the right move without giving it too much thought. An intuitive approach is best when it comes to playing the game of blackjack.

How can I practice basic strategy?

A good way to practice basic blackjack strategy is to open an account with an online casino. Some online casinos offer free versions of their games for you to play. You can also download apps for your phone or tablet that will let you play blackjack for free. The ideal way to practice is to do so without risking any money. Once you are comfortable you can start playing for real money online.

 

CARD COUNTING

Why does card counting work?

Card counting is a mathematically-proven way to assess how favorable a deck is to the player in a game of blackjack. The rules of blackjack do not change. These rules assign specific values to each card in the deck. When the player knows how many of a certain card are remaining in the deck, the player can use that information to assess advantage.

Do I have to track every card in the deck when card counting?

Card counting does not require a player to keep track of each card in the deck. Instead, it requires a player to track the number of 10-valued cards versus the others cards that are left in a deck. This information is then used to develop a single number that can be used to identify a positive or negative deck. When the deck is positive, the player raises their bet to take advantage of the opportunity.

Is card counting illegal?

There have been many legal challenges that have been made against card counting. In almost every case the courts have ruled that card counting is not illegal. All this means is that you cannot be prosecuted for card counting in most jurisdictions. The casino has other ways of removing card counters.

Can I be banned for card counting?

Live casinos are considered to be private establishments. This means that they can refuse service to anyone at their own discretion. If you are suspected of card counting or or using advantage play, the casino can ask you to leave and not allow you to return. There are probably some players that have been banned who were not actually counting cards.

Does card counting remove the house edge in blackjack?

When card counting is used in tandem with basic blackjack strategy, you can lower the house edge. It may even be possible to swing the odds slightly in your favor. Your understanding and use of card counting and basic strategy must be perfect for you to remove the house edge.

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