Playing is easy, doing it right is harder, winning is the hardest. It’s not just about you and blackjack but software too.
Blackjack, the game for intelligent and analytical players willing to use their skills in a knowledgeable effort to beat the house, is easy to learn and hard to master. The road from novice to expert or even from advanced to professional level can be demanding and rough; the deeper one ventures, the stiffer it gets. The path can be a costly one, the learning experience may be frustrating.
That is where software comes in handy in the two-fold form of natural blackjack to be used both as the training tool and as the selected instrument to confront chances at online casinos.
To all of us living in the digital age, the software comes naturally.
Regardless of the generation — late baby boomers, Gen X, not to mention Millennials and Gen Z — we are all sufficiently versed to embrace its advantages and skilled enough to deal with ensuing challenges.
To omit the use of proper software as a companion on the road of blackjack self-improvement that requires significant levels of cognitive tasks is a self-inflicted wound; like putting slick tires on for the demolition derby.
Then again, to use it properly regardless of final intention — training or playing — is to provide ourselves with a helpful tool to master emotional intelligence requirements of this table game; like using the navigational instrument in the middle of nowhere.
The simple fact is: blackjack software is there to be used like any other tool, free of charge at that.
And just like selecting our favorite coffee machine requires time and eventually the instruction manual, so does any software, particularly the one helping us to win.
Which by default makes it worth knowing.
Of course, before even contemplating improvement we’re to understand what being blackjack player is all about.
To be the initiated one, for starters, means to differentiate between 3:2 and 6:5 blackjack variants. The former is representative of the traditional rules governing the payout of $15 on $10 bet in a multi-deck game; the latter is a new breed, so to speak, stipulating $12 payout on the same bet in a single-deck game.
What appears to be a minor difference is actually a huge one when it comes to the house edge.
The 3:2 blackjack lowers the casino advantage well under 1%, often even to 0.5%, and with proper strategy perfectly executed — to almost a zero. The 6:5 variant restores the house edge on a perfectly-played strategy to 2 percent.
Notwithstanding such fundamental difference, this table game also requires complete knowledge of basic strategy (variations included) and skills needed to implement it without hesitation. The basic math of counting cards is an essential prerequisite. Understanding bet sizing concepts, the ability to identify positive opportunities, and the discipline to act upon and play only those are crucial parts of success.
Once those foundations are set, the perpetual dedication to knowledge and training are what separate aspiring winners from the rest of the pack.
The best blackjack practicing fields are interactive trainers used to relentlessly perfect players’ skills. A number of software providers have various games at disposal, both in HTML and Flash, offering possibilities to improve game approach, strategies, and tactics.
To top it all off, the advanced simulators come with up to eight decks games, errors’ warnings, real-time tracking of correct and wrong moves, and preference on the dealer’s options on soft 17 (stands/hits).
When compounded with first-hand experiences of advantage players — a highly skillful group practicing the art of being in a preferential position against the casino — eager and benevolent enough to provide insights into their fair share of common gaming mistakes, it is easy to realize why…
Blackjack training software is the paramount and indispensable tool for improving gaming skills without actually being financially deployed.
As is the case with every preparation, there comes the time when we are ready to go, to be unleashed.
If we opt to apply our skills in land-based gambling halls, it might be additionally helpful to understand how casinos really operate when it comes to blackjack.
In the case of iGaming, it is important to check a couple of boxes before selecting the software provider.
First off, it’s choosing the online gambling house from reputable jurisdiction and clear understanding of national gambling regulations including legal requirements in players’ country (acceptance and taxation).
Afterward, it’s about conducting due diligence of casinos’ credentials in terms of overall online gambling experiences of others, the fairness of play and RTPs, licensing of games, payments’ processing options, protection of players, and overall customer support.
Assuming all nuts and bolts are satisfactory — which is not always an easy task for advantage online blackjack players — the next choice is in deciding on the gaming software provider.
The most notable differences among them are in the house edge and in the information about the number of decks involved (casinos can choose this setting in the backend), plus in software framework (Flash or HTML).
To illustrate the diversity and just a few preliminary options for further consideration, let’s skim the most common ones.
Amaya Gaming is one of the largest one on the market. They offer eight blackjack variations; version of single deck blackjack offers the lowest house edge of 0.26 percent.
Betsoft Gaming, well known for their outstanding video slots with great graphics, offers six blackjack variations. The 3:2 single deck game has a house edge of 0.38 percent. Their games are mainly Flash-based.
Boss Media is one of the senior providers, based in Sweden. They offer a couple of options; the single deck game with a house edge of 0.11% is the most interesting.
Cryptologic, the provider with an emphasis on Flash, offers seven blackjack variants. The one with the most enticing house edge of 0.21% is their single deck game.
Microgaming holds the distinction of powering the first online casino in the world. As such, they offer myriad of blackjack variations. Vegas single deck blackjack stands out with 0.31% house edge.
NetEnt, with a solid reputation in their care of end-product, provides for five options. The house edge varies from 0.38% (for variation called Pontoon) to 0.44% for standard blackjack game.
Novomatic, deploying HTML5, offers three blackjack variations including one with a Live Dealer option. Depending on the number of decks used, the house edge varies from 0.26% to 0.49%.
Playtech, another heavyweight provider, comes with nine different games. Their Blackjack Switch appears to be a sound choice with a house edge of 0.14 percent (a Live Dealer variant stands on 0.5%).
Realtime Gaming, known for fast games, provides six options. Their standard blackjack variant uses six decks and has 0.54% house edge. More often than not, though, their games lack info on decks number.
Rival Gaming offers two blackjack variants. While it might appear to be far less than the others, two things are worth mentioning. Firstly, it is almost impossible to learn how many decks they use in their games (resulting in lack of precise info on the house edge), and secondly, they are one of a few providers available in the U.S. market.
WagerWorks, a branch of International Game Technology, offers seven blackjack variations. The best house edge is 0.23% (in Power Blackjack), while the highest one is 0.5% (in Multi-Hand Blackjack). Games are Flash-based.
To sum it all up, selecting the right gaming provider comes down to understand what to look for in gaming options as well as to players’ dedication in exercising prudence and responsibility.
Blackjack has come a long way since its inception. Today, it is one of the most prominent online table games. With so many options available to players, personal due diligence of casinos and providers is mandatory, because at the end of the day — the buck stops with players.
We have the final say, like in every blackjack game.
We take the ultimate choice when it comes to casinos selection and gaming providers, just as we do when it comes to training and preparations.
With or without software, it comes down to us. To have such a possibility in the game of skill and luck is, if nothing else, an outstanding fun. The only question, in the true blackjack fashion, is…
What do we choose — to stand or to hit?