Can You Get Better at Online Blackjack?

Imagine if you were so good at blackjack that casinos paid you $50,000 for showing up at their doorsteps. This is the story of Don Johnson, the flamboyant blackjack professional who once won $6M in one night at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City.

Johnson is the textbook definition of a high roller. He wagers up to $100,000 per hand. And he’s got deals with casinos to get 20% of his daily losses back. This strategy helps reduce losses while maximizing profits.

Can you become as good as Johnson in blackjack? Maybe not in the next year. But you can certainly improve your skills with these actionable tips.

1—Learn the Basics of Blackjack

How well do you understand blackjack? Because if you’re a beginner, there’s a lot you need to learn about the game before you spend your money. For starters, learn how the game works.

Blackjack is a straightforward game. You compete against a casino through an employee known as the dealer. Your objective is to beat the dealer in producing a hand close to or equal to 21.

At the start of a game, you place a bet. Next, the dealer deals you two up-cards. The dealer also receives two cards—one facing up and the other facing down. If the total value of your cards is 21, you have a blackjack hand—a win.

If your cards add up to less than 21, you can:

  • Double Down
  • Take Insurance
  • Hit for another card
  • Stand
  • Split Cards

You can double down if you have an ace card (11 points) and you hope the next card will help you win. If you’re right, you get paid 1 to 1. On the other hand, you can take insurance if the dealer’s up-card is an ace card. 

If you take an insurance bet and the dealer produces a blackjack hand (21), you get paid 2 to 1. If the dealer’s second card isn’t a 10-value card, you lose your money.

2—Pick the Right Blackjack Variant

It’s true—the bottom line of blackjack to beat the dealer in a hand of 21. However, the rules of winning, the odds and payouts can vary depending on the blackjack variant you choose:

  • Classic Blackjack
  • Single Deck Blackjack
  • Blackjack Switch
  • Perfect Pairs

Classic 21 is blackjack in its original form. It’s the first type of blackjack you’ll find at many casinos. Single deck blackjack features one deck of cards, making the favorite blackjack variant for card counters.

The single-deck also has an incredibly low house edge at 0.15%. For comparison, many blackjack variants have a house advantage of 1%. The best single deck blackjack casinos also give you bonuses to lower the house advantage even further.

With Blackjack Switch, you receive four cards at the start of a game instead of two. You can switch the two top cards to form a strong hand. There’s a catch, of course. A dealer’s hand of 22 isn’t a bust but a draw (push) against a player’s hand of 21—unless it’s a natural blackjack.

Perfect Pairs is a unique variant. It pays you depending on the color and the numerical value of your cards. There are three ways you can win:

  • A Perfect Pair: Same color, same suit, same face value, and same number.
  • Colored Pair: Same color and same face value or number but the cards could belong to different suits
  • Mixed Pair: Same face value or number, but the suits or colors could be different.

To expound more, you can play most blackjack variants against human opponents at online casinos. But you’ll need quick WiFi and a decent smartphone or laptop.

3—Learn Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack might be a game of luck. But you can stretch your luck through proper strategies:

  • Basic Blackjack
  • Card Counting
  • Martingale System

Basic Blackjack Strategy

Basic blackjack is a legal betting strategy recommended by nearly every expert. The aim of the strategy is to minimize the house edge, and thus, maximize your profits. 

You can print a cheat sheet with guidelines on how to play blackjack in accordance with the basic blackjack strategy. For example, it says you can split aces and 8’s but not 10’s. You can stand on soft 18 but hit if the dealer has a 9, 10, or ace up-card.

Card Counting

Card counting is arguably the most popular blackjack strategy. Popularized by movies like 21, mathematicians, and celebrities, card counting is all about counting cards based on their face values.

Precisely, you can look for the number of cards with values of between 2 and 6, 7 to 9, and 10 to ace. If a dealer, deals with several cards of between 2 and 7, you can increase your bet knowing high-value cards will be dealt next.

Martingale/Reverse Martingale System

The Martingale system suggests you double your bets when you lose and halve your next bet after a win. Its goal is to break even. But is it effective? According to many experts, the Martingale System is unreliable.

The reverse Martingale strategy isn’t better. You double your bet after a win. If you lose, you bet the same amount for the next hand. 

4—Claim and use Blackjack Bonuses

The blackjack expert we mentioned earlier—Don Johnson—doesn’t rely on card counting or basic strategy to win. Instead, his strategy involves claiming bonus promotions at casinos and using them to lower the casino’s house advantage.

For example, he gets paid $50,000 to show up at casinos. In an interview, he once said he uses the show-up amount to win up to $175,000. On the other hand, Johnson claims 20% of his daily losses.

Now, you might not earn gigantic bonuses from casinos. But you can claim good bonuses. If you deposit $20 and receive a $20 bonus, you’ve just doubled your bankroll.

At some casinos, you also receive extra freebies for winning consistently. This is money you can use as your bankroll or cash it out as part of your profits.


Blackjack is a simple, fun-to-play card game. Anyone can become good at it. But you need to master its rules, choose the right variant and use proper strategies.