Is it possible to count cards in online live dealer blackjack?
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Is it possible to count cards in online live dealer blackjack?

Categories: blackjack, online casinos 31 Jan 2023 170 0

Counting cards is a well-known tactic employed by card players to increase their chances of winning at Blackjack. Edward Thorp, a mathematician, invented it. In fact, blackjack card counting entails keeping a running and true count of the cards dealt as well as the cards remaining in the deck. The card counter can then gamble based on how likely it is that a good card will be dealt.

However, live online blackjack card counting is fairly tough to accomplish, and the dealer can stop the player from counting cards in a variety of methods, just as the player can use a variety of strategies to do the same. Let us investigate more.

Card counting

  1. Learn the basic strategy of blackjack.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the different values of the cards.
  3. Keep a running count of the cards as they are dealt. With Hi-Lo, the most common card counting system, the card values are as follows:
    2-6 = +1
    7-9 = 0
    10-Ace = -1
    As each card is dealt, you will either add 1, subtract 1, or do nothing based on each card’s value.
    If you are +5 that means 5 more 10s and Aces among the remaining 52 cards if you have that running count of 5 with only 1 deck left, giving the player the advantage. The "True Count" is important because of this. To calculate true count dived cout by decks remaining.
  4. Adjust your bets according to the count.
  5. Track the ratio of high cards to low cards.
  6. Use the information to determine when the odds are in your favor.

MIT Blackjack Team - blackjack card counting

Live dealer blackjack card counting

Card counting is feasible when playing live dealer blackjack. However, a few reasons make card counting for live blackjack challenging. There are numerous defense systems in play. The most evident difference is that the game uses numerous decks of cards, which are reshuffled after each round. Even though the frequency of reshuffling is lower than on online blackjack tables, deck penetration in live dealer blackjack is less than 50%. Furthermore, there are further procedures employed to reduce the potential of card counting, such as auto reshuffle devices and 'burning' of the cards.

Aside from using multiple decks, live dealer blackjack games use other tactics to detect players who are attempting to count cards or cheat in other ways. For example, the software that monitors the game maintains track of the shoe.

A player who has an unusually long winning streak will be flagged and reported to the operator.

Of course, no player can be barred for winning, but many card counters' betting habits frequently match the shoe count, which alerts the casino.

Is it possible to count cards in online bj?

To make a blackjack game profitable for a card counter, three essential elements must be present. 

Firstly, the rules of the game must be fair enough to overcome the house edge and beat the game. Secondly, enough cards must be dealt before a shuffle so that it is worth the time and financial investment. Thirdly, enough rounds per hour must be played to make any money at the game.

Before I break down these three elements, I am curious how many people have played online live dealer blackjack. Leave a comment below with information about the rules, deck penetration, and speed of the game.

Deck penetration in blackjack

We found that the rules of a typical shoe game are not great, but they are good enough to play. The deck penetration, which is how far into the six or eight decks they deal before shuffling, is poor in most games that are not shuffled every round. In online casinos, most dealers deal four decks before shuffling and dealing the other four decks, making it an absolute gut punch. I would not play a blackjack game with such poor deck penetration.

What is max online live blackjack hands per hour?

The third element is rounds per hour, or how fast the game is dealt. When Jim Makos(professional card counter) looked into this, he found that he played about 20 rounds per hour. However, we found that it was closer to 50 rounds per hour. Compared to a brick-and-mortar casino, where the expected number of rounds per hour is 100 or maybe 200, 50 rounds per hour means that you make half as much money per hour as another table.

How much can you make counting cards in online live dealer bj?

To summarize, online live dealer blackjack has average rules, poor deck penetration, and a slow game. Here are the results of the best online casino rules we could find: with a bet spread of up to two spots of $500, assuming 100 rounds per hour, which is the average in a real casino, this would be worth about $45 an hour. To keep your risk low, which a card counter usually wants at 1%, you would need a bankroll of $250,000 to play this game. 

When you factor in the rounds per hour, which is not 100 per hour for an online casino but closer to 50 or maybe 25 rounds per hour, that game becomes worth about $10 to $25 per hour with a $250,000 bankroll.

How much can you make counting cards in real casino bj?

On the other hand, in a real casino, an eight-deck game with average rules and deck penetration of one and a half decks cut off would expect to make about $100 an hour of EV and only need a $50,000 bankroll. You can make more money with a larger bankroll, better rules, and better deck penetration. The problem is that you will not find any better conditions at an online casino.

If online live dealer blackjack does not sound good to you, it gets worse. Not only are the games terrible and require a massive bankroll to beat them, but there are stories of people winning significant amounts of money, and the casino refuses to pay them. If the casino believes that you are using some sort of a device, they may not have to pay you out.

Ways for live dealer blackjacks to stop counters

The game's rules and format, which place some limits on the counters, make card counting online, especially in live dealer blackjack, considerably harder. Here are a few of them:

Using several decks

The most obvious reason why card counters find it challenging to use the approach is the need for numerous decks. Due to the shoe changing as soon as 4 decks have been dealt, shoe penetration in live dealer blackjack games is only 50%.

Additionally, some tables enable auto shuffling so that a new shoe is available before each hand is dealt. Although uncommon, this is incredibly unfriendly for card counters. In live dealer blackjack, the practice of removing the top or face-down cards from the deck before dealing the hands is known as "burning of the cards."

Even if the player tries to count the cards, this burning strategy increases the likelihood that the count will be inaccurate.

Continuous Shuffling

A continuous shuffling machine (CSM) in online live blackjack enables the use of numerous decks that are reshuffled after each hand. A continuous shuffler effectively guarantees that the various decks of cards are reset and thoroughly reshuffled at each and every hand, rendering card counting essentially worthless.

Why, then, don't all casinos employ a continuous shuffler at each blackjack table? Well, these pricey devices effectively end the hopes of many card counters. Although it may appear beneficial, it also drives away many card counters, and since the majority of counters aren't big-time professionals, their business is appreciated.

Low Hands-per-Hour

When there are sufficient rounds each hour, card counting in blackjack can be performed most efficiently, making the player's time worthwhile. The more hands a player can play in an hour, the more money he can earn.

The situation is very different in a live dealer blackjack game. Because each participant must click a button to communicate their playing choices, these games are incredibly slow. Due to this, counting cards is completely useless.

Even the quickest live dealer blackjack games deal less than 50 rounds per hour, compared to a professional card counter's 100–300 rounds per hour. The limited number of rounds per hour in live dealer games is a severe hurdle for card counters.

Bet Tracking Software

Almost all live dealer blackjack games use software to keep track of both the shoes being dealt and each player's betting habits. If a player is card counting, his wagers will usually line up with the count. So, it is impossible for a card counter to hide while playing online.

The casino will be alerted right away by such a disparity, and the player will be discovered shortly. Card counting is lawful, but if a player is seen using it to consistently win rounds of the game, he or she may be accused of cheating and barred from that casino.

Strategies that work with live dealer blackjacks

Similar to this, you must play one hand at a time while also sitting as far away from the dealer as you can in order to increase your chances of winning the game. It will be simpler to concentrate on the same thing with one hand as opposed to several hands if you are playing with a strategy in mind. On the other hand, sitting far away from the dealer enables the player to carefully watch the cards being played out.
The best course of action when card counting is not an option is to learn and employ the finest blackjack strategy charts. When the dealer has a 10 and a 2 and the player has a 10 and a 4, for example, these charts will tell the player exactly what to do.

Avoid taking insurance when playing blackjack with a live dealer. This is due to the fact that obtaining insurance can be disastrous while playing with many decks and is not recommended if the player can count cards. Finally, if you play live dealer blackjack, you should always pick a table that pays 3:2 to avoid increasing the house edge.

Therefore, while card counting is not impossible in online live dealer blackjack games, it is very challenging for players to implement. But players can increase their chances of winning in a live dealer game by using specific methods.

See more: What is a casino advantage play?, Strategy for Infinite Blackjack | How to play and win


Q: Is it possible to count cards in online live dealer blackjack?

A: Yes, it is possible to count cards in online live dealer blackjack, just like it is possible to do so in a brick-and-mortar casino. However, the effectiveness of card counting can vary depending on the specific online casino and the software used to run the games.

Q: What is card counting?

A: Card counting is a strategy used in blackjack to keep track of which cards have been played, and therefore, what cards are left in the deck. By doing so, players can make better decisions on when to hit, stand, or double down, and can potentially increase their chances of winning.

Q: Is card counting illegal?

A: No, card counting is not illegal, but it is frowned upon by casinos. Casinos have the right to refuse service to anyone they believe is counting cards, and they may also take measures to make card counting more difficult, such as using multiple decks or shuffling more frequently.

Q: How does card counting work in online live dealer blackjack?

A: In online live dealer blackjack, card counting works the same way as it does in a brick-and-mortar casino. Players can use a simple or complex counting system to keep track of the cards that have been dealt. However, some online casinos may use software that shuffles the deck after each hand, making it impossible to count cards.

Q: Is it easy to count cards in online live dealer blackjack?

A: Counting cards in online live dealer blackjack can be more difficult than in a brick-and-mortar casino, as the cards are dealt virtually and there is no physical deck to see. Additionally, some online casinos may use multiple decks or shuffle the deck more frequently, making it harder to keep track of the cards.

Q: Can you get caught counting cards in online live dealer blackjack?

A: While it is possible to get caught counting cards in online live dealer blackjack, it is less likely than in a brick-and-mortar casino. This is because online casinos typically use software to detect suspicious betting patterns, rather than relying on visual cues from a dealer or pit boss.

Q: Is card counting worth it in online live dealer blackjack?

A: The effectiveness of card counting in online live dealer blackjack can vary depending on the specific casino and software used. While it may increase your chances of winning, it is not a guaranteed strategy and can require a significant amount of time and effort to master. Additionally, online casinos may take measures to make card counting more difficult or detect and penalize players who engage in it.

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