This is my experience so far with playing live Online Blackjack and understanding the math involved in it and why despite counting cards it is still so difficult to succeed in the game. I'm assuming that readers of this post has already read the articles in casino.guru on blackjack so I will not explain all the blackjack terms and phrases to avoid a longer post.
Two things I want to bring up players need to be aware of when playing online.
- Wonging: Wonging is a type of strategy in Blackjack whereby the players only enter the table and bet when the count for the shoe is high. I've seen posts in other blackjack forums and reddit posts some people saying that since live online blackjack allow you to bet behind other players wonging is a very good strategy to follow. My experience is that one of the defenses for online blackjack providers is they will timeout or kick out players if there is no activities from players who have entered the table including those just observing in the back. You'll have to log back into the table and you'll miss some of the cards that are dealt breaking your count. Many online casino's will give you a message that you have been kicked out due to inactivity however that is not the case with other live blackjack providers. I've watched games from behind and when I went to the bathroom and came back and tried to bet behind I find that I was kicked out of the table even though there wasn't any message saying I've been removed due to inactivity.
- Counting cards and betting strategies: One of the difficulties of counting cards and then increasing your bets when the count is high for live online blackjack is deck penetration is low. On average you are looking at 50% to 55% deck penetration with an 8 deck shoe. Blackjack Advantage Players universally consider the low deck penetration very problematic. Most AP(Advantage Players) would only play shoe games with higher deck penetrations like 75% to 85%. At 50% deck penetration the deviation and variance is just too high for them. To give you all an understanding of how high the variation on payment is check out this thread on the blackjack forums. https://www.blackjacktheforum.com/showthread.php?42821-8-Deck-55-Pen-Betspread-Advise-needed/page2 Post #13 as it is calculated by AP in the forum the profits on the game is $270/hr but look at the standard deviation of profits. $4,308! And this is with a maximum bet of $500. What this means is because there is so many cards remaining in the Shoe you’re going to get massive swings where even if the count is super positive. The dealer will keep winning and not bust for several hands while you’re doing maximum bets due to fact that there is so many cards left in the shoe. I’ve seen this happen myself on several occasions with starting a positive count of 4 and maximum bet, I have the dealer win 7 hands in a row despite the count never going below 3.
This does not mean it’s not impossible to count and succeed in playing online blackjack. What it means is you have to be prepared for high variations in your fortunes while you play. Best advice I can give is make sure you have a high bankroll to ride out the massive variations in the game and be prepared to play longer games online than on real life tables. Maybe triple the number of hours you’ll need to grind to achieve the same level of success as tabletop players.