Blackjack is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and popular casino games out there. It can be played online in the form of live dealer blackjack also for those who love online gambling.
However, many people have doubts regarding whether you can make money playing online blackjack. Let's look into the matter in detail.
Earning Online Blackjack Money
If you are considering playing online blackjack for real money, the good news is that you can definitely do so and in the long run, with great practice, even try to earn a living from playing blackjack. Unlike most other casino games, blackjack has favorable rules for the players, which can be turned to their advantage.
That being said, to play blackjack strategically and make profits out of it at a casino, a blackjack player needs to learn the basic and advanced techniques. They can start off by practicing the basic blackjack strategy, applying which reduces the house edge, and gradually moving on to learning card counting and mastering the technique.
Why Do Players Earn More on Blackjack Tables?
All casino games, including blackjack, have a mathematical edge over the players. However, blackjack players are found to be earning more money at blackjack tables than in any other casino game. This has a lot to do with the low house edge of 5% that blackjack has, one of the lowest in the casinos. In fact, this house edge of 5% can be further reduced to less than 2% if the player plays the perfect basic strategy.
Now, what is the significance of this 5% house edge for players? It means that on average, for every $100 you wager, the casino expects to win $5. In the short term, over a single session of the game, a player can very well come out ahead by virtue of the thing called 'variance', which is a way of describing the random nature of the game.
Blackjack, being different from other casino games, has varying conditions based on hands that have played previously. In roulette each spin is independent of another, what was spun in the last round has no impact on the next one. However, in blackjack, once cards have been removed from the shoe they cannot appear again.
As a result, a natural blackjack or a two-card total of 21 pays 3:2, which reduces the house edge to 0.5%. Again, if the deck has a high number of 10-value cards and aces in it, the player can eventually have a mathematical edge over the casino.
Annual Online Blackjack Money Earnings
A blackjack player's annual blackjack money earnings do not remain the same due to swings. Therefore, this money cannot be called a "salary". However, we can estimate an average of the expected value of their play in a year. If a player bets $100 on a hand, he is going to either win or lose that $100. But there's actually an average value of that hand.
In card counting, this expected value is positive if there are high positive counts and negative if there are more negative counts. Knowing what the count is and how much to bet based on the count is how professional blackjack players make their money.
Let's calculate the total overall expected value for a professional blackjack player with an example. Assuming that the betting spread is 1-5 that is $100-$500 and deck penetration is 68%. In this scenario, if the player is playing 180 hands per hour and using the Hi-Opt II counting system with full indices, his expected value would be $390 per hour.
Tips to Play Online Blackjack Profitably
There are a few ways in which blackjack players can gain more profits from playing the game in a casino or online. Some of these tips are:
Study the Basic Blackjack Strategy
The safest way to earn a substantial profit from playing blackjack is to learn and even memorize the basic blackjack strategy. The basic blackjack strategy lists down all the actions the player must take based on their hand and the dealer's hand.
With this strategy chart, the player will be able to decide when to stand, hit, double down, and surrender, and so on in the game. Although casinos allow you to refer to the strategy chart while you are at the blackjack table, it is ideal to learn the basic strategy to be able to take faster and effective playing decisions. Using the basic blackjack strategy is the most assured way of taking down the casino's house edge from 2% to 0.5%. A strategy allows you to consistently win in this game.
Avoid Unnecessary Bets and Systems
Sometimes, blackjack players are tempted to quickly earn more and end up using unnecessary systems and bets. The insurance bet is a good example of this. The payout of an insurance bet seems profitable on the surface but in reality, it is a bet that increases the house edge to almost 6%. The insurance bet is like a new bet with a new betting amount. However, even if the player has a blackjack, he gets only his original bet and when the dealer has a blackjack along with the player then it is just a push that is a no-win no-loss situation.
Similarly, players must avoid using the Martingale system of betting which involves doubling up on losing bets and reducing winning bets by half. This system, though tries to improve the odds of breaking even, actually increases the chances of quick and severe losses.
Set Win and Loss Limits
Professional players always set a limit on their expected wins and losses so that they do not end up exhausting their blackjack bankroll. This is a very important tip when it comes to making money playing blackjack. Players must leave once they have won a certain amount with luck being on their side. If they sit for too long at the blackjack table, they might end up losing their wins.
Similarly, if you are having a losing streak, it is better not to wait for too long to make the odds turn in your favor. Equally essential is to develop the skills of bankroll management even before the player starts playing blackjack in casinos.
Famous Blackjack Influencers
People who are looking for a career in this card game are likely influenced by the following best blackjack players.
Here are some of the notable names in the field of blackjack.
Arnold Snyder, an early member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, was actually the one to popularize the concept of deck penetration in card counting. He advocated the use of simpler card counting systems and his real claim to fame is the Blackjack Forum, now a popular website.
Edward Thorp was a mathematician and the author of the book, 'Beat the Dealer', which proved that players can get an advantage over the casino by counting cards. He worked at MIT in the early 1960s and was also the inventor of the very first wearable computer.
Max Rubin is a known name in blackjack by virtue of his book, 'Comp City', which explains in detail the ways to combine the basic blackjack strategy with the casino's comp system to get an edge. He has been featured on The Ultimate Blackjack Tour and The World Series of Blackjack.
One of the earliest members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, Griffin did extensive research by compiling statistics on the average blackjack player. He authored the book, iThe Theory of Blackjack: The Complete Card Counter's Guide to the Casino Game of 21'.
Bryce Carlson is a widely known and reputed blackjack player. His famous book, "Blackjack for Blood" is a comprehensive guide for players to win at blackjack. The author himself proudly calls the book something that is less about gambling and more about investments.
Yet another famous blackjack player, Ken Uston was a member of The Blackjack Hall of Fame. He is especially known for having made the idea of team play in card counting more popular.
Making money playing online blackjack is very much possible provided that the player is using the right strategies combined with a few advanced techniques like card counting.
This article was published on November 30, 2021, and last updated on October 25, 2022.