The answer is a doubtful yes. You can make a living by playing blackjack professionally. But it takes commitment, great skill, and a large amount of money.
Self-disciplined blackjack players earn a living from their play. They must be determined and persist in losing streaks. Losing one hand after another can hurt your morale and corrupt your judgment if you’re not too careful.
Can you make a living off blackjack?
Again, you can make a living off of playing blackjack. That means you must dedicate yourself to playing blackjack as a professional. But that’s hardly enough.
Tips and Strategies You Can Use To Make a Living Off of Blackjack
Know the art of counting cards
This foolproof strategy has helped smart players buy houses, and expensive cars and live lavish lives. Note that most casinos, especially in Las Vegas, don’t appreciate card counters. They will kick you out and ban you from their casinos for card counting.
Now that you know that trying to make a living off blackjack is not a wise idea, it is important to know how to count cards. It is one of the few tactics that can actually help you win money most of the time when playing blackjack.
Here is a simple way to count cards and elevate your chances of winning at blackjack:
Begin the count at 0 (zero)
Whenever a card is dealt out by the dealer, do this if the card is as follows:
- Add one (+1) to the running count if the card is anything from 2 through 6
- Add nothing (0) if the card is a 7, 8, or 9
- Deduct one (-1) if the card is anything from ten through ace
Once you have established both the running count and true count, you can use this information to determine the value of the cards remaining in the shoe.
As a general rule of thumb, your odds of winning at blackjack are great if the count is high, so you should increase your bet size.
This must be completed as soon as possible. If a dealer notices you counting, they will most likely speed up the transaction and begin a chat to divert you. Being out of the count means losing a portion of your 0.05% long-term advantage, which might be troublesome.
Watch blackjack tables
You want to target well-paying tables. Professional blackjack players also target specific dealers. If you can find a table with a lower edge, you will make serious money on blackjack tables.
Be willing to risk big money but stay within your budget
Making a living off blackjack means risking $10,000 or more of your hard cash at the tables. You must be willing to lose these large sums of money. You can’t make money if you don’t risk money.
Card counting is not for everyone. If lapses ravage your memory, you will end up losing the count of cards. That’s money down the drain!
Avoid intoxication or playing under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Your brain is your most valuable asset when you’re looking to win at blackjack. If you drink alcohol or use intoxicating drugs, your judgment will become compromised. It can also hurt your memory recall and affect your card-counting skills.
Use the blackjack basic strategy
Most winners use a system. It can be Martingale or something new. You should be ready to follow through with your strategy. Besides, some players use questionable or illegal strategies to win at blackjack. It’s your choice.
However, a smart professional blackjack player uses a basic strategy. It is a quantitative method for the card game that determines the optimum plays to make depending on the cards dealt to you and the dealer’s up-card.
A simple blackjack strategy chart is the easiest method to understand this technique. The strategy sheet shows you whether to double down, surrender, stand, or hit. For instance, the chart will tell you that you should not hit…
- Any player’s hand worth 17 or higher (that is, 17, 18, 19, and 20) – It doesn’t matter what the dealer’s up-card is; you should not hit these numbers. That is because your hand has a higher probability of going over 21. They are high numbers, too, so they have a higher chance of beating or tying with the dealer.
- 12 if the dealer is showing a 4, 5, or 6
- 13 against the dealer’s low cards, 2 through 6
- 14 against the dealer’s low cards, 2 through 6
- 15 against the dealer’s low cards, 2 through 6
- 16 when the dealer’s up-card is low (2 through 6)
- Ace-8, Ace-9, and Ace-10 against any dealer’s up-card
- Ace-7 against the dealer’s 2, 7, or 8
- Ace-6 if the dealer’s up-card is a 2
- A pair of 10s – If you hold any pair of 10s, you should not hit no matter what
- A pair of 9s against the dealer’s Ace, 7, or 10
How much money can you make playing blackjack?
If you use the basic card counting technique, your edge over the casino is between 0.5 and 1.5 percent. That means, if you risk $10,000 playing blackjack, you can technically win between $50 and $150.
That is not a guaranteed amount. Your winnings will fluctuate throughout the game. If you know when to stop, you can even win more than $50,000.
Is online blackjack a bad idea?
Playing online blackjack can be a bad idea. That is because you cannot count cards when playing online blackjack. If you’re playing live blackjack, where the game is video streamed live from a table hosted by a real dealer, then you can still count cards.
There are numerous disadvantages to playing online blackjack …
- Online blackjack games usually have more rules that can reduce your winning chances.
- Random number generators typically decide the outcome of online blackjack. That makes it a game of chance, meaning your strategy won’t work.
- Most online blackjack games have a higher house edge
- Some online blackjack games are said to be rigged
- There is no social factor in the game
- Some online casinos are not reputable. Some may not even pay out your winnings. Others may close your account if you win too frequently.
Who is the best blackjack player in the world?
Don Johnson is regarded as the best blackjack player in the world. He is famous for winning $15m playing blackjack in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Other best blackjack players in the world include …
- Bill Benter
- Kerry Packer
- Alice Walker
- Edward Thorp
- Erica Shoenberg
- Bryce Carlson
- Ken Uston
- James Grosjean
Can you make a living playing blackjack online?
While it is possible to make a living playing blackjack online, it can be very difficult. According to most blackjack veterans and experts, you can’t rely entirely on online blackjack for livable income because wins are usually unpredictable.
You can indeed score big wins and get large amounts of money to get you through a few months, but what about days when you are experiencing a losing streak? Thankfully, there are tips and strategies you can use to increase your likelihood of winning and making a living off blackjack.
Tips for How to Win and Make a Living Off Online Blackjack
Choose and play at a trusted and reputable online casino
The first thing you should do is conduct thorough research to ensure you play at a live casino that is safe, fair, and secure for your protection. The best online casinos offer Provably Fair live blackjack, which means you can personally and manually verify the fairness, integrity, and security of the games, pay-table, and payouts. At the same time, these live casinos welcome independent testing bodies like eCOGRA and TST to audit, verify, and confirm the same.
Other things to look out for in a reputable online blackjack platform include:
- Great bonuses and rewards – They offer lucrative promotions and casino bonuses with clear and favorable wagering terms and conditions
- Highest payouts – Check the RTP and house edge of the live blackjack games on offer. Are these figures variable or tested by a third-party testing lab?
- Licensing – Trustworthy live casinos hold valid gambling licenses from trusted regulators like Malta Gaming Authority and UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- Certificates – The best online live casinos hold various certifications from well-regarded agencies like eCOGRA and UKGC. These certificates guarantee the blackjack games’ fairness and the online casino platform’s safety.
- Safe, secure, & fast banking options – They allow players to deposit and withdraw their funds securely, safely, and speedily.
Pick a live blackjack game with favorable odds
One of the most effective strategies you can use to beat live blackjack is to choose a game with great winning odds. Fortunately for you, there are key pointers that’ll help you pick a good live blackjack game…
- Check the RTP – Live blackjack variants with high RTP provide you with the best chances of winning. They include Evolution Gaming’s Speed Blackjack (99.26%), Playtech’s Quantum Live Blackjack (99.47%), Evolution Gaming’s Infinite Blackjack (99.51%), Playtech’s Unlimited Blackjack (99.54%), and Playtech’s Live Cash–Back Blackjack (99.55%).
- Check the number of decks in the shoe – Most online casinos use six-deck and eight-deck shoes on their live blackjack tables. The goal is to play a blackjack game with the fewest possible number of decks in the shoes. Ideally, you should play single-deck live blackjack, although this type of game is very rare at live casinos.
- Check the house edge – Live blackjack games with a low house edge give you the best odds of winning. Typically, these are high-RTP online casino games.
- Consider the game volatility and variance – High variance blackjack variants are a great choice for high rollers with deep bankrolls. However, if you have a lean blackjack budget, you should opt for a decent game with low to medium volatility.
Consider counting blackjack cards
Although casinos usually frown upon card counting, it is a totally legal blackjack strategy you can use at online casino tables. The good news is that no one is watching you while playing live blackjack, unlike on brick-and-mortar casino gaming floors. You can use blackjack practice or trainer apps to sharpen your card-counting skills, too.
Use Oscar’s Grind betting system for online blackjack
Many blackjack betting systems exist that you can use to beat the live dealer. The most common and widely used blackjack betting systems include:
- Reverse d’Alembert/ Martingale
However, the one most pros have found to work well for live-dealer and online blackjack is the Oscar’s Grind betting system, in which the aim is to win at least 1 chip. Here’s how the betting strategy works:
- Increase your wager by a unit whenever you win a blackjack hand
- Repeat the bet whenever you lose a blackjack hand
- Double your bet every time you win a blackjack hand
- Cash out your winnings once you have made some money and repeat the process
Oscar’s Grind was initially designed for the game of Craps, but players quickly learned that it delivers a good return in blackjack. It’s a positive progressive betting system that allows you to avoid chasing your losses while not risking your bankroll.
Use proved bankroll management tactics
Oscar’s Grind is a good strategy for live blackjack because it helps with bankroll management. It helps you minimize the risk of exposure to your playing money. However, there are various other money management strategies you can use to beat live blackjack dealers…
- Never chase your losses
- Set win and loss limits to know when to stop
- Never bet money you cannot afford to lose on live blackjack
- Set deposit limits using responsible gambling tools
Use blackjack strategy charts
If you seriously want to beat live blackjack, we encourage you to use tried and tested basic blackjack strategy charts. They provide an instruction list of blackjack strategies, such as:
- Always hit a hard 12 when the dealer’s upcard is a two or three
- Always split A and 8 pairs
- Never split a pair of 10s and 5s
- Double down on a hard 11, always!
- Always double down on a ten against a dealer’s upcard worth 9 or less
- Always hit soft 18 (A-7) against a dealer’s A, 9, or 10 upcard
- Always stand on a pair of 9s on a dealer’s 7
- Always double down Ace-2 through Ace-7 against the dealer’s 5 or 6 upcard
- Never stake insurance
The list of proven strategies goes on and on. It pays to have your strategy chart handy when you play blackjack.
Claim online casino blackjack bonuses and promotions
Most online casinos offer great bonus offers and regular promotions you can use to create a decent blackjack bankroll. You can even use some bonus cash to play live blackjack on the house. However, the majority of online casino games either contribute nothing or around 10-15% to meet the wagering requirement, so keep that in mind.