Best Blackjack Odds — Online Blackjack vs Live Casino Blackjack Strategy
Kia ora Kiwi punters! If you’re looking for advice and tips for online blackjack odds and strategies, you’re in the right place. On this page, we’re going to compare online blackjack with live blackjack, and give you all the information you’ll need to get stuck into online blackjack with some decent strategies.
What’s the difference between Online Blackjack vs Live Blackjack?
For the uninitiated, online blackjack vs live blackjack can be a little bit confusing, but it’s actually pretty simple once explained. First you have online blackjack, which is really just like playing a computer game online. Yes, you are playing blackjack, but you’re basically playing against a computer. There generally aren’t any other real life players playing with you, and the graphics are pretty plain and two dimensional, so everything is pretty straightforward and a bit basic.
Online blackjack is still lots of fun, but not quite as fun as live blackjack, which as the name implies, is live. This means that rather than playing against a computer in a video game-type setting, you actually receive a live high-definition video feed of a real-life dealer in a real-life casino, where you play blackjack against real-life players. You can hear the dealer talk, and you can talk to the dealer and the other players by typing in the chat screen.
While the gameplay is generally pretty much the same, most people would agree that live blackjack is much more immersive — after all, you are being plonked into a real casino with real people, so it feels that much more exciting and real. And to be honest, it is real — being able to talk to real people, playing on a real roulette wheel, is much more engaging than a 2D video game.We’ve made it easy for you to find the top live casino sites if you want to try your hand at live blackjack, so go ahead and try any of the recommended live casinos right here on Gambling.com.
Online Blackjack Pros and Cons
- Basically unlimited tables/games/variety available.
- Much easier to find a budget-friendly game.
- Play without pressure from real-life dealer and players.
- Odds not quite as good as live blackjack.
- Not as immersive as live blackjack.
- There isn’t quite the same excitement as live blackjack.
Live Blackjack Pros and Cons
- Odds are a bit better than online blackjack.
- Incredibly immersive.
- The thrill factor is brilliant.
- Fewer tables/games available.
- Harder to find a budget-friendly game.
- Some might find it a bit more stressful.
Online Blackjack vs Live Blackjack: Which has better odds?
While online blackjack and live blackjack are essentially the same game, there are often subtle differences that can influence the odds in your favour.
When we talk about live blackjack, it is almost always played with a six or eight deck shoe that is shuffled periodically. This is in contrast to online blackjack, which is virtually shuffled every hand. While we wouldn’t recommend trying to count cards (you’ll get kicked out of a live blackjack game just like you would a real casino), it is definitely an advantage to have more tens in the deck, as there is in live blackjack, versus online blackjack where the shoe has the same cards each game.
So while the odds are ever so slightly better in live blackjack compared to online blackjack, it’s really one of those things you’ll get a feel for by practicing. Try both versions of the game, and see which one suits your playing style and risk profile.
Blackjack House Edge and Payout Rates
All forms of blackjack have some of the best odds in the casino biz, but what does that actually mean?
You may have heard of a term called RTP floating around when it comes to online blackjack and live blackjack. RTP is the return to player, or the amount of money that the casino (also known as the “house”) will pay out. So if for example a blackjack game had an RTP of 99.87%, that would mean on average, for every $100 bet, the house would pay out 99.87%, or $99.87.
That margin between $99.87 and $100 is how the casino makes its money, so that’s also known as the house edge. So in this case, if the RTP is 99.87%, the house edge is 0.13%. The lower the house edge, the higher the RTP. The lower the house edge, the longer your bankroll will last.
It’s important to note though, that these aren’t hard and fast numbers. If you chucked down $100 in one bet, don’t expect to get that exact RTP every time. RTP is an average number that is worked out over hundreds or even thousands of blackjack hands, rather than just five minutes of play. In saying that, the house edge and the RTP are great numbers to give you a rough idea of how things usually play out.
Beating Blackjack House Edge
Look, we’re not going to lead you down the garden path and say you can 100% beat the house when playing online or live blackjack. The reality is that the house always wins eventually — they are a business after all, and it would be a pretty rubbish business model if they ended up losing all the time.
In saying that though, there are a few bits and bobs you can do to make things easier for you, and increase your odds of winning, even if it’s only slightly.
Here are a range of factors that can vary how the odds play out, depending on the rules of any particular game of blackjack:
- 8 decks instead of 1 deck — +0.61% house edge
- Dealer can hit on a soft 17 instead of standing — +0.21% house edge
- 6 to 5 payout on a natural instead of 3 to 2 payout — +1.3% house edge
- Not having the option to surrender — +0.08% house edge
- Player can’t double after splitting — +0.14% house edge
- Player can’t double with a total of 10 or 11 — +0.18% house edge
- Player can’t hit split aces — +0.18% house edge
- Player can’t re-split aces — +0.07% house edge
These little rule variations will all add up to increase the house edge by quite a bit, so the trick is to find a game that doesn’t have these rules. It would be hard to find a game of blackjack that doesn’t have all of these rules, but you can definitely hunt around to find a blackjack game with rules that suit you.
Again, it’s all about practicing and finding a game that suits your style of play.
How to Calculate Blackjack Odds
Okay, stick with us here, we're going to delve into a little bit of maths (yes, your third form maths teacher was right, you will need maths later in life!). An odds is the number of events that are required as a probability to win the bet. In general, the more unlikely an event is, the higher the odds for it happening on that particular bet. When calculating specific odds, you first convert the probability into odds and then use that number as what you need to win on your bet.
For example, you are betting on a coin toss. You have even odds for receiving the money if it is tails and receiving the money if it is heads. The probability of winning with tails is 50%, which means that you will receive $1 for every $1 bet. It's the same odds and payout if you bet on heads.
Another example would be if you were betting on rolling a 3 on a 6 sided die. There are 6 numbers on a dice, so to land on one of those numbers would be a 1 in 6 chance, or a probability of 1/6. Because there are five ways you could lose and only one way to win, the odds would be 5/1. That means if you bet $1 and win, you would win $5.
Still following? Okay, so with those two examples, the odds are fixed, because the coin only has two sides, and the die only has six sides. Therefore, those odds don't change. However, when you are playing blackjack, cards are being removed from the deck all the time. This means that the odds and probabilities change as the game progresses. So let's put that into practice with a game of blackjack.
Let's say you are playing a game of blackjack with just one deck in play. Four hands have been dealt to players, and none of those hands had an ace or 10 in them. 24 cards have left the deck to be dealt out.
Because there are now only 28 cards left in the deck (52 card deck minus 24 cards dealt=28 cards):
- The probability of getting an ace is now 4/28 or 1/7.
- The probability of getting a 10 is now 16/27.
- The probability of getting an ace then a 10 is 1/7 multiplied but 16/27, which equals 16/189.
- Because you can win with an ace then a ten or a ten then an ace, you double that figure, so 16/189 plus 16/189 equals 32/189.
- 32 divided by 189 is 16.9%, which is your odds of winning.
Obviously you can change those numbers depending on what cards have been dealt, but that is the essence of how card counting works, even if it is just with one deck. Again, that will likely get you kicked out of a blackjack game, but it does explain how the probabilities and odds of blackjack work. At the end of the day, it’s all just maths, and it gives you an idea of how each hand is going to play out.
Winning against Live Blackjack Dealers
Odds of Winning Blackjack With Basic Strategy
While some might see blackjack as a game of luck, playing without a strategy is like playing darts blindfolded. Before you get serious about playing blackjack, you should memorise some basic strategy for blackjack:
- Always split from Aces to 6.
- Hit if your hand is from 12-16 and the dealer has from 7-ace.
- Stand if your hand is from 12-16 and the dealer has from 2-6.
- Hit or double from Aces-6.
- Double 11 to the dealer’s 2-10.
Once you’ve mastered those things, there are few other things you can do to boost your chances of winning even more.
- Pay attention to the dealer’s up/showing card — this will dictate how you play according to the basic strategy listed above.
- Sit last at the table — if you are last to receive your cards, you have more time to think and strategise.
- Start low and slow — start with small bets to get a feel for the table and game.
- Don’t play insurance bets — this gives the house a six percent advantage over you.
- Forget about what the other players are doing — you are only playing against the dealer, so don’t let the other player’s decisions get in your head.
For the more daring players, blackjack can be made even more thrilling by doubling your wager after receiving your original two cards, and getting one extra card in return. Doubling down can be a risky move, but if you’re successful, you end up lowering the house edge and winning more.
Are Live Blackjack Odds Better With More Players?
No. That is a very short answer, but it’s the truth. Unless you are counting cards and are trying to keep track of what has been dealt versus what’s still in the deck, the number of other players does not affect your odds of winning. And as we all know, counting cards is a big no-no, so don’t worry about how many players are at your table. If anything, more players means you have more time to decide on your strategy (that is assuming you are one of the last players in the table).
What Is the Probability of Consistently Winning at Blackjack?
The term “consistently winning” is a bit of a curly one here, but let’s say that means winning seven hands in a row, playing six deck blackjack using basic strategy. The probability of an overall win in blackjack is 42.22%, a tie is 8.48%, and a loss is 49.10%. If we skip ties, that means that the chances of winning are 46.36%.
Most winning streaks only last two or three hands. Obviously the longer the winning streak, the less likely that winning streak will continue:
|Length of Winning Streak||Chances of Winning Streak|
Advanced Blackjack Odds
Odds of winning 3 blackjack hands in a row
The odds of winning 3 blackjack hands in a row is 10.6%.
Odds of winning a single blackjack hand
Assuming you skip ties, the odds of winning a single blackjack hand are 46.36%.
Odds of getting a ten in blackjack
The odds of getting a ten-value as your first card is 16/52 or 30.7%.
Best Blackjack Odds Online in New Zealand - Our Verdict
You made it! We covered the basics of blackjack odds and strategy, and we even delved into some pretty heavy maths for the super keen blackjack nerds. If we had any advice for Kiwis looking to start out with blackjack, we’d recommend playing a low stakes game of online blackjack (not live blackjack, as that can be a bit hectic for newbies), and follow our basic blackjack strategy mentioned above. If you’re a high-roller and an experienced blackjack player, go ahead and take a look at what we’ve found on the highest limits for online blackjack.
After a while, you will get more comfortable, increase your bets, and move on to some live blackjack. After that, you can go on to conquer blackjack tables at real bricks and mortar casinos! The key as always, is practice, practice, practice.
If you’d like to know where to start right now, check out our top blackjack sites. Enjoy!
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