Blackjack FAQ

Can the game of blackjack be “beaten?”

Employing basic strategy (see our Blackjack Strategy section from details on basic Blackjack strategy) provides the house with an edge of under 1%. Though many books have purported strategies where the game of blackjack can be beaten soundly, we’ve yet to see these strategies mathematically proven. That’s not to say that you can’t win money playing Blackjack. We’ve seen streaks and entire shoes swing drastically in a player’s favor. However, mathematical simulation tells us that over time, using basic strategy, the house will have a slight edge.

Is card counting legal?

Yes! But of course, many casinos frown upon you doing so. Also, remember, you can’t count cards when playing online. However, playing online is a good opportunity to brush up on your card counting skills, as you’re are able to dictate the pace of play (you can play as slow as you’d like).

Can I be kicked out of a casino for counting cards?

Yes and No. It depends on where you’re playing. Most Las Vegas casinos reserve the right to dismiss you from their property for any reason. Regardless of whether you’re counting cards, if you’ve won a lot of money, and the casino expects you of foul play, you may be getting a visit from the pit boss.

Can a “bad” player sitting at the table affect the outcome of my hand?

No! For example, a player sitting at “third base” that routinely takes a hit on a “17” when the dealer’s showing a “6” will not adversely affect your hand over time. The “bad” player will help your hand as often hurting it.

Is playing blackjack online different than playing at “traditional” casino?

Yes and No. The rules of the game, the strategies employed, and payouts are basically the same. However, the speed of play is determined by you and not the Blackjack dealer. Online play is great for practice and for novice players, as it provides ample time to think about your options. Also, as one might expect, when you play online there are no breaks for shuffling, and no distractions from cocktail waitresses (though we’ve yet to determine if this is a good thing).

How do I know that the cards being dealt in online blackjack are not fixed?

Most online casinos are audited by accounting firms who verify that the random number software is, in fact, producing random outcomes for cards and dice and also verify that claimed payouts are correct. Also, most online casinos use third parties to run simulations of all games in order to verify the randomness of the outcomes. The casinos will usually display their accreditations on their website to give players more comfort in their credibility.