Do Blackjack Strategies Work at Online Casinos?

Some of the best blackjack players of all time succeeded through strategies. Edward O. Thorp, the father of blackjack, made a breakthrough by inventing card counting.

Bryce Carlson became a legend through team play, whereas Don Johnson made $15 million in six months by splitting cards and doubling down at the right moments.

Although not always famous, many online blackjack players win consistently by using a series of strategies. We’ll highlight five of these systems below, explain how they work and when to use them.

Let’s dive right in.

Basic Strategy—A Must Know

When Don Johnson won $15 million at three Atlantic City casinos in 2011, he relied on nothing more than basic strategy. It’s a straightforward system you can master in a couple of hours. And it’s a useful guide many experts believe every blackjack player should know.

So, how does the basic blackjack strategy work?

First off, you shouldn’t take insurance. Usually, players take an insurance/side bet when the dealer’s open card is an ace. You take the bet hoping to win 2/1 if the dealer’s down card is a ten. The problem, though, is that most people lose money when they take insurance bets.

With that in mind, basic blackjack strategy also includes these rules about splitting, doubling down, hitting and standing:

  • Always split 8s and aces.
  • Never split 5s and 10s
  • Double hard 9 vs. dealer 3-6
  • Double hard 11 except against a dealer A
  • Always hit soft 17 or less
  • Always stand on soft 19 or more
  • Double 11 vs. a dealer’s ace
  • Surrender hard 16, although not a pair of 8s

The basic strategy has more rules you should know. You also need to practice these rules before you assess its effectiveness. But first, find the best blackjack sites on the Exeter Daily. Then sign up an account and choose what strategy to use to play Classic 21.

The Martingale Blackjack Strategy

This strategy is best used by people with a reasonably large bankroll. Otherwise, you can burn down your stake faster than some slot machines do. That’s because the Martingale strategy works through doubling your bets after every loss.

It sounds counterintuitive but give it a chance. Let’s use an example to illustrate how it works. Imagine you bet $2 and lose. You bet $4 on your next game and lose. Then on your third game, you wager $8 and win. You’ll come out with a $2 profit.

In all fairness, you can also lose your entire bankroll if you keep chasing your losses. To avoid that, the Martingale strategy advises that you limit your gameplay to roughly one hour and strive to quit playing once you make a profit.

In many cases, you can be assured of winning at least once per hour. And that one win could be all you need to beat the house.

The 1-3-2-6 Strategy

This strategy is based on the assumption that many blackjack wins come in streaks. That sometimes you can win four times in a row or lose thrice. However, the system concentrates on victories.

When you win, the 1-3-2-6 system says you should triple, then double before betting six times your wager. For example, let’s say you bet $10 and win. Next, you should bet $30, then $20 and $60 before you restart the formula again.

Crucially, this system also dictates you should abort the formula immediately your winning streak is cut short. That means if you bet $10, $30, and then you lose, you should get back to your initial $10 wager.

Does it work? During a winning streak, the 1-3-2-6 system can win you plenty of money. It also helps reduce your losses since you don’t use it during losses. So, yes, the system works, but you need to use it multiple times before deciding if it’s right for you.

The Oscar’s Blackjack System

This system is based on progressive betting, albeit with a difference. You only double your wager when you win. Otherwise, you replicate your last bet. Let’s use an example to illustrate this system.

You visit your favourite online casino and bet $5 on Classic 21. You’re lucky and win. Based on Oscar’s system, your second wager should be $10. If you win again, your third bet should be $20.

What happens when you lose? You don’t bet $40. Instead, you repeat your last wager of $20. You can make multiple $20 bets until you win, at which point you double your bet.

When you think about it, Oscar’s system works much better than the traditional progressive betting method. That’s because it cushions you from losing unnecessarily during your losing streaks.

Card Counting

Nearly every successful blackjack player claims to have used card counting at some point. It’s the most effective strategy for most people. That’s why so many casinos frown upon and discourage the system. Case in point: Don Johnson and the famous MIT blackjack team got banned when they were caught counting cards.

Does counting cards work online? In many cases, it’s a resounding No. Many online casinos tend to use software to reshuffle cards, making it challenging to count them.

Sometimes, though, human dealers count the cards, so some think it is possible to count the cards. This mostly happens at live casino games—a format that allows players to use web cameras to play blackjack in a live setting.

Because many online casinos use software to shuffle counts, card counting isn’t recommended to online players. You have better luck using the basic strategy or any alternative system.


You can use blackjack strategies online. But not each system will work for you. To discover what works best, use a variety of these systems. The basic strategy is recommended for both beginners and experts. So, start by learning how it works.

If you’re a conservative player, Oscar’s system should be your next strategy. The 1-3-2-6 method also helps cushion players with minimal bets. But if you’re more aggressive, feel free to use the Martingale system.