Strategy for Online Blackjack: Rate of Play

When it comes to playing online blackjack, there are some differences between blackjack that is played online and blackjack that is played in a brick and mortar casino. Those differences can have an impact on your blackjack strategy.

One of the biggest differences comes down to players. When you are playing blackjack in a brick and mortar casino, you could be playing with up to six other players. But when you are playing blackjack online it is a one on one game between you and the dealer. While this does not seem like a big deal, it actually is.

The more players there are in a round of blackjack the longer it takes to play out. If you are playing at a full table, the average number of hands per hour is around 55. But if you are playing one on one with the dealer you will go through about 220 hands in a single hour.

Granted, that is a big difference, but what does that have to do with strategy for online blackjack?

Well, blackjack strategy is about making the most of advantageous situations and minimizing your losses in disadvantageous ones. Since the house will almost always have an edge, you will lose money over the course of that hour.

We are going to say that you are a basic strategy player who plays $25 per hand. With basic strategy you have lowered the house edge to 0.5%, meaning that you will lose around $0.12 per hand.

If you were playing at a full table you would only lose on average $7 per hour. But if you were playing one on one, like you would be playing in online blackjack, you would lose around $28 per hour. That is quite the difference.

Unfortunately there is no way to add more players to your game when playing online blackjack. So you need to find something to your strategy to slow your rate of play, or how many hands you play per hour.

There is no magic strategy tool for this. This is a player controlled strategy, meaning you are in control of how many rounds are played per hour. Give yourself a time limit—play for 15 minutes and then take a break for a set number of minutes. Or give yourself a set number of rounds to play in an hour; when you have played that many, stop until the next hour arrives.

Or you could be like me and donate blood. It takes a few days to recover, for your body to restore the missing blood, so you run a little bit slower. Donating blood has the benefit of saving someone’s life and helping your online blackjack strategy at little bit.

But I would still play for a set number of rounds, or for a set amount of time before taking a break. After all you can only donate so much blood so often.

Time is Money, Friend

I am sure we have all heard this phrase before, and generally its source is one of two places: the business world or a movie. Actually I have also heard that goblins in massive multiplayer online games say the phrase too. But this actually relates to blackjack—not the goblins but the idea of time being money.

In any casino game time is your enemy when playing as long as the house has the edge. Here is how it works when you are playing blackjack.

When the edge is stacked up against you every hand of blackjack that you play has more potential to cost you money than to gain you money.

As an example let’s say that you lose six of every ten hands played and you are wagering $10 per hand. If you only play ten hands in one hour, out of the $100 you had wagered you would have only lost $60. But if you had played at a faster pace and played twenty hands in one hour, it means that of the $200 you had wagered you would have lost $120.

Keep going with the math and you can see how the faster you play the more money you stand to lose. This is why casinos dislike card counting blackjack players—the players can turn the edge to favor themselves which means the casino has the potential to lose more per hour than the player does.

If you are not a skilled card counter or if you are playing online blackjack where card counting is useless what can you do to overcome the time is money principle in a casino?

If you are playing blackjack in a brick and mortar casino play at full tables. The more players there are at a table the slower the rate of play is. It will take longer to play through a round if seven players have to decide how to play than if only two players have to choose how to play.

Also look for hand shuffled blackjack tables as it takes longer to shuffle by hand than if shuffle machine is being used.

If you are playing online blackjack you are playing one-on-one with the dealer. Shuffling is automatic in online blackjack. But the round depends on you meaning you set the pace. The longer you take to play out a round the less rounds of online blackjack there are per hour. Slow yourself down!

Time very much is money in blackjack. Understanding that and working that principle into your blackjack strategy can help you to exert a little more influence on your own blackjack odds. Remember odds are about your potential to make money. And if you can slow the game down so that the house has fewer opportunities per hour to take your money you will have successful put a little bit of a change in your odds.

It is like time and money in business. The more control you can exert the better your own odds. And forget the goblins. There are no goblins in blackjack unless you have a really nasty dealer.