Is Online Blackjack a Game of Luck or Skills - Features of the Popular Card GameCasino
All online casino games can be roughly divided into two categories - chance games and skill-based gambling options. Online slots and live roulette with their simple gameplay definitely belong to the first category of games. However, what about online blackjack? If you've never played blackjack before, you'll be impressed at how much of a factor knowing how to think strategically can influence your success. When you play online slots at an Arabic online casino, all you have to do is set the bet amount and start spinning the reels. Once the spinning stops, you simply check to see if there is a combination of three or more matching symbols or not. If successful, you pick up winnings equal to the product of your bet and the respective multiplier. If you lose, just try again. As for online blackjack, it works a little differently.
The main goal of blackjack is to build up a hand with a value higher than that of the dealer. However, the limit is 21 points. If you outscore the points, you lose. And blackjack rules allow you to manipulate the cards, such as taking another one or splitting them into two hands. In doing so, you have to consider the value of your current cards in order to score as many points as possible close to 21, but not to go over. So, since you can make decisions and thus influence the gameplay directly, blackjack isn't a pure chance game. But what part does strategy play in blackjack and is luck still important? We will try to answer these questions later in this post.
Essentials of Online Blackjack
Blackjack is unique in that you can choose between multiple options each time you play a hand. First, you have to bet, with the betting range varying from version to version. The dealer then deals the cards to himself and the player. Blackjack is played with a 52-card deck and suits of cards don't matter. Lately, in order to combat card counting, online casinos have been using multiple 52-card decks. While this makes life difficult for those using the card-counting technique, the gameplay is essentially the same. So, here's how the standard blackjack gameplay goes:
- If you play live blackjack, the dealer deals the cards to each player at the table clockwise. In RNG-based blackjack, the cards are dealt by a computerized dealer. In the end, each player receives 2 cards face up. The dealer deals himself with 2 cards, one of them face down.
- Now that everyone has received their cards, you must decide how you will play. First, you need to evaluate your starting hand. Here's how cards are valued in blackjack: 2-10 are worth their face value, J-Q is worth 10 points and an Ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points depending on the game situation. Calculate how many points you have considering how the cards are valued.
- If you have 10 and an Ace, it's blackjack, and you're awarded a payout of 3:2. That's the end of the game round for you. If the dealer also has blackjack, you'll get your bet back. Otherwise, you'll have to choose one of five possible options. If you have a reasonable hand, choose Stand to keep your hand. If you want to increase the value of your starting hand, choose the Hit option and you'll get an extra card. If you think you can win more with an extra card, choose the Double Down option (double your bet and get another card). If you have a pair (two cards of the same value), choose the Split option to split your current hand into two. If you want to quit, choose the Surrender option. This will result in you receiving half of your bet.
- Finally, when the hands are played, the round ends with payouts. If the dealer wins more points, your bet goes to the casino. If you get more points, you get a 1:1 payout. If you score the same number of points, it's Push, and you simply get your bet back.
So, as you can see, blackjack is a game with a strategy element, as you can choose any of the 5 available options over your hand. That is, by making the best decisions, in theory, you should win every time. But why isn't this happening? We explain below.
The Element of Luck in Blackjack
You've probably noticed that some blackjack players win quite often, others less often, but no blackjack player wins every hand. This is where the element of chance comes into play. While you can make decisions - and thereby influence the gameplay - there's no one-size-fits-all strategy that will win you money all the time. So, here are a few factors that ensure randomness in blackjack:
- Before each game round all decks are carefully shuffled. If this is not done, you could theoretically remember the sequence of cards and make even better game decisions for you.
- Blackjack versions played with several packs of cards are even more random. What's more, they make some variations of card-counting techniques inapplicable.
- One dealer's card is reversed, so you don't have a full idea of the value of his hand.
Even if you use the base strategy correctly, the casino has a 0.5% advantage. This means that in the long run, you will lose at least 0.5% of the money bet. However, don't attach so much importance to parameters such as house advantage, as they do work when you play an almost infinite number of hands.
Tips on Reducing the Effect of Luck on Gambling Results
So, it comes out that blackjack is a game of skill and luck. If you're new to blackjack, the element of luck will prevail. In fact, if you play blackjack without any basic strategy, it becomes something akin to online slots where change takes precedence. However, there is a basic strategy derived from the computer simulation of blackjack gameplay. And our first advice is to study the basic strategy and use it correctly. As mentioned above, this way you will reduce the house advantage to a negligible 0.5%. We also have a few more tips on how to minimize the element of luck in blackjack - check them out below:
- Choose versions of the game with rules that are acceptable to you. For example, in classic blackjack, you'll get a payout of 3:2 when you score 21 points (the blackjack combination). However, some online Arabic casinos are promoting a less lucrative 6:5 payout version. Since this payout is lower than in classic blackjack, the house advantage increases by almost 1.4%.
- Play only single deck blackjack to achieve an RTP of 99.5% (0.5% house advantage). What's more, here you can use a card counting technique with which - theoretically - you can gain an advantage over the house.
- Choose your betting size wisely. The batting range in blackjack is pretty wide. You can start at $5 or its equivalent in KWD and go up the bet multiple times (up to 100 times the minimum). While high-stakes blackjack adds to the thrill of the game, your bankroll may be melting right before your eyes. That's why you should start small, especially if you're new to blackjack.
Finally, don't neglect the online casino bonuses. There are plenty of Arab iGaming platforms offering cash bonuses that you can use on blackjack. Firstly, you can activate the welcome package as soon as you register and make a deposit. Usually, the welcome pack contains a cash bonus applicable to blackjack as well. Then there are plenty of loyalty promotions waiting for you if you decide to stay with a particular online casino. With a good bonus, you'll get a solid boost to your bankroll. The more betting money you have, the better your chances of winning something significant.
Contrary to all preconceptions, blackjack is a gambling option where the element of chance plays a large part. Even with the right base strategy and card-counting technique, you'll lose from time to time. However, blackjack is unique in that it has a house advantage of negligible 0.5%, and it works as a kind of insurance against big losses. But, bear in mind that such a low house advantage can only be achieved in a single deck version of the game with a 3:2 payout on the blackjack combination. Ultimately, blackjack offers you some control over what happens on the gaming table, and this is highly appreciated by many experienced players.