How Important is the Strategy Element in Online Blackjack?Casino
Available at many Arabic online casinos, online blackjack is a very popular game believed to combine luck and strategy. While it is not known exactly when blackjack originated, there are reports that similar card games existed in France and Italy as far back as the 18th century. However, the modern look of the game was born in the U.S., when it was brought there by immigrants. For many years, blackjack was virtually forgotten by gamblers, as craps, roulette and poker enjoyed greater popularity in the 19th century. However, in the 1950s, when a number of scientists conducted research on the game and came to the conclusion that there is a mathematically correct set of moves that can significantly improve a player's winning chances. Since then, the game's popularity has grown exponentially. Today, blackjack is available to everyone at VipArabClub in both online and live casino versions. So, sit back and keep reading to find out if blackjack is a game of luck or skill.
Essentials of Blackjack
The point of playing blackjack is to form a card combination higher in value than the dealer, but not to go over 21 points. If you bust, the dealer wins and your bet goes to the online casino. If you get a hand worth 21 points, you'll get a 3:2 payout as this is the 'blackjack' combination in the game. Notably, some versions of blackjack pay 6:5 and are therefore less profitable. In VipArabClub's gaming portfolio, you will find many versions of blackjack that pay 3:2.
To understand how blackjack works, let's find out how much each card is worth. All the cards in the game can be roughly divided into three groups:
- Numerical cards. To determine the value of such a card, simply look at its face value. For example, to value a hand including a six and a seven, simply add up those numbers and you get 13.
- Face cards, i.e. Jack, Queen and King. The value of any of these cards is 10 points. So, having a Queen and Jack gives you a hand worth 20 points.
- Ace. This is a unique card as it can be worth either 1 or 11 points depending on the game situation. Let's say you have a three-card hand of 6, Jack and Ace. Since the sum of all cards - making Ace worth 11 points - exceeds 21, Ace is worth 1 point and you get a hand worth 17 points overall.
To see for yourself that blackjack is a strategic game, just look at how many move variations are available to you:
- Stand. If you decide that any new card may cause you to overcount, you can discard any move by selecting this option. You're basically just passing the turn to the dealer.
- Hit. If you feel you may be one card short of making a hand that will surpass the dealer's, choose this option. You may Hit until you reach 21 points or more.
- Double down. This option is chosen by players with a low-value hand who believe the new card can significantly increase their winning chances. In addition to getting a new card, you double your original bet.
- Split. If you have two cards of equal value, you can take advantage of this opportunity. Essentially, a split is the division of your original hand into two. If both of your hands win, you get double the prize.
- Surrender. If you think Lady Luck has turned her back on you, you can surrender by getting half your bet back.
In addition, the Insurance option is available to you if the dealer has shown an Ace. However, this is an extremely risky and often unreasonable gambling move, so we don't recommend using it often.
Element of Strategy
You can learn the game rules and start enjoying online blackjack in just a few minutes. However, knowing just what a Hit or Double Down is isn't enough to achieve meaningful results. As mentioned above, a number of scientists have researched the game and mathematical modelling has led to a rulebook that prescribes the best player moves depending on what's going at the table. Thus, a basic strategy was deduced, which is now represented by numerous charts on the internet. While this might look complicated at first glance, it's actually a great cheat sheet you can use to reduce the house advantage to a negligible 0.5%. The good news is that - unlike card-counting techniques - the basic strategy works in both RNG-based and live dealer blackjack. And if you want to turn blackjack into a strategic game, you must invest time in your own training.
Element of Luck
While a basic blackjack strategy can be your wand of choice, it doesn't always work. The fact is that when you play blackjack, the cards are dealt from a carefully mixed one or more decks. This means the cards are chosen at random, and you can't guess exactly what the next one will be. So, the element of luck plays a big part in blackjack.
To show how luck works in blackjack, let's take a simple example. Suppose the dealer is dealt a 10 and an Ace, bringing his total to 21. This game situation is called blackjack, and it means that the dealer has won. Because it happened at the start of the game, you have no way to influence the result, even if you have a thorough knowledge of basic blackjack strategy.
Card Counting Techniques
While many people think that the card counting technique is about how to win at blackjack every time, it's really all about how to determine the chances of the player and the dealer winning. Notably, by clearly following the rules of the card counting technique, you can gain an advantage over the casino. Although there are many card counting techniques for online blackjack, let's take a look at Hi-Lo as the easiest to understand:
- Divide all cards into three groups - 2-6, 7-9 and 10-A. Consider that any card from the first group has a value of +1, from the second group a value of 0 and from the third group a value of -1.
- Keep a total score. Suppose a 5 was drawn from the deck. This means that the total score is 1. If the next card drawn from the deck is a Queen, subtract the 1 and the total score becomes 0.
- Keep count until the dealer shuffles the deck. In the days when blackjack was played from a single deck of cards, counting cards was easy. However, today, blackjack is played with multiple decks to make the task of counting cards more difficult.
- Draw your conclusions based on the total score. So, if the total score is a negative number, the advantage is on the player's side. Otherwise, the advantage is on the side of the casino.
Today there are many more advanced card-counting techniques that take into account the fact that blackjack is played with multiple decks. However, they are not too difficult to understand or master. Also, you won't have to do any complicated calculations in your head. You've probably heard about the MIT team that beat the land-based casinos in Las Vegas for several years, right? Well, the story is true, and the card-counting technique developed by the professor really does work. However, many land-based casinos are now more closely monitoring their customers and ejecting those found guilty of blackjack card counting techniques.
As for the VipArabClub online casino, it doesn't forbid the use of blackjack card counting at all. However, be advised that card counting in RNG-based blackjack is a senseless waste of time because you're only interacting with a virtual deck. In fact, it's the RNG that decides which card appears next, so RNG-based blackjack is more a game of luck than strategy. However, as mentioned above, the basic strategy still works. To enjoy the benefits of the card-counting technique, head on over to the live casino section of VipArabClub's website, and you'll find several exciting versions of live dealer blackjack there.
So, live blackjack is one of the many gambling games where you can try your luck and win some good money. However, you can improve your control over what happens in the game by using basic strategy. The other good news is that there are strategies with which you can gain some edge over the house, and we are talking about card counting techniques. Keep in mind that they don't work with RNG-based blackjack. If you're looking to win at blackjack more often, take the time to learn basic blackjack strategy and card counting techniques and try live dealer blackjack available at the VipArabClub online casino.