Posts Tagged ‘counting cards online’

Shuffle Tracking Online

Monday, April 26th, 2010

A lot of blackjack players use shuffle tracking in addition to card counting in order to gain an advantage when playing at a brick and mortar casino. Shuffle trackers look for slugs, which are an unshuffled group of cards, tack them throughout the deck, and alter their bets when the dealer gets to those slugs, since they will know what cards are coming.

However, neither card counting nor shuffle tracking works when playing online blackjack. The reason for that is simple: There is no real deck. Sometimes the online blackjack games will show a deck on screen and other times they won’t and you will only see the cards in play. Even if you see a deck on screen, though, it’s impossible to track cards in the deck because the deck you see is only a representation and not a real deck. Also, the cards that are dealt are randomized by a computer program called a random number generator rather than an actual shuffle.

The random number generator can be set different ways. Sometimes it has the effect of shuffling a deck every few hands and sometimes after every hand. Sometimes the online casinos tell you when the deck is being shuffled while other times they don’t. Whatever the case, counting cards and shuffle tracking are impossible when playing online blackjack.

In fact, no strategy that players have devised to gain an advantage at blackjack will work at an online casino. All of the techniques are thwarted by the technology. Instead, the best you can do is play with perfect basic strategy and lower the house edge to 0.5%.

Blackjack Mistakes: Counting Cards Online

Monday, March 8th, 2010

As time goes on, the technology advances exponentially. Some people adapt to these advances quickly, while others are left behind. I still buy CDs and am happy to do so (for one thing, they sound better), but a lot of the kids download all of their music today. On occasion, they even pay for those songs!

Casino gambling is another thing that has changed over time. It’s most evident in electronic games like the slot machines and video poker. However, even the game of blackjack, which in its standard table version is virtually unchanged from its original version, has adapted over time. Thanks to the internet, many people now play their blackjack online, which is great because it’s convenient and cheaper than visiting a brick and mortar casino. However, you can get into trouble if you are a card counter and try to apply the same techniques online.

It’s common for experienced blackjack players to try to count cards when they first start playing online blackjack. After a while, the smartest players figure out on their own that it isn’t working. To save those players some time and to clue in some players who might not have figured it out, let me tell you a secret. This is so important that the sentence gets its own paragraph:

Counting cards does not work for online blackjack.

Notice that the above is an absolute, definitive statement. There is no “usually,” “sometimes” or “maybe.” It will never work. Why? Because the outcome of drawing a card is not dependent on the shuffling of a deck of cards. It is dependent on a random number generator.

A random number generator (RNG) is a computer program that uses a complex algorithm to select a sequence of numbers hundreds of times every second. Depending on when you hit a button to take a card or when the computerized “dealer” takes a card, the RNG selects what card it will be. Unlike in casino blackjack, the outcome of that card is totally random and completely independent of every other card that is dealt.

Once a card is dealt, the RNG goes back to work and selects the next card. It does not take into account the last card that was dealt or the card before that. Therefore, in essence it’s the same as re-shuffling the deck after each card is dealt. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a Hi Lo Count, a KO Count, shuffle-tracking or whatever. There is no card counting strategy in existence that can predict the outcome in online blackjack. You can never tell when the deck is rich in tens because it is never rich in tens and, strictly speaking, there isn’t really a deck at all.

The good news, however, is that blackjack basic strategy works just as well online as in brick and mortar casinos. So memorize your basic strategy, forget about card counting, and have some fun online.