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Live Dealer Casinos: The Perfect Way to Practice Card Counting

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Counting cards during a live dealer casino game.

There is a saying among casino players: “Card counting is an easy skill to pick up, but difficult to master.» It is one of the most commonly used advantage play (AP) techniques available that can offer you a real mathematical edge over the house.

However, does it hold up in an online casino with live dealer games? The truth is that it’s practically the same as regular card counting since the game is run by human dealers in real-time.

How Does Card Counting Work? 

The purpose of card counting is to know when the advantage shifts in your favor. The technique assigns point values that roughly correlate to a card’s Effect of Removal (EOR). The EOR estimates the results of removing one card and its effect on a shoe’s composition.

hand taking high value cards from the shoe

In a shoe, there are high-value cards (tens, picture cards, and aces) and low-value cards (two through six). Seven, eight, and nine are essentially neutral. Based on the current count, players change their bets to maximize profits and minimize risks.


  • Significantly reduces the built-in house edge when done right;
  • Doesn’t take advanced mathematical skills;
  • Allows players to bet more with less risk;
  • Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t illegal.


  • Takes practice and dedication to learn;
  • No guaranteed winnings;
  • Requires a high level of concentration.

Why You Should Practice Card Counting at Live Dealer Casinos

If you’re not sure whether card counting is worth the effort, let’s look at the specifics of card counting in the context of live dealer settings:

  • Comfortable environment to practice in. You can sit back and play blackjack via your computer, smartphone, or tablet. There is no fuss of being at a real casino pit with other people distracting you. These are great conditions to focus on counting, especially as a beginner. 
  • Perfectly simulated casino feel. Even though you’re at home (or another place where you enjoy playing), you still get an authentic experience of a casino. The game isn’t robotic, and you can assess how your card counting skills would play out at a brick-and-mortar casino.
  • Players don’t feel as much pressure. Sure, you still need to keep up with a human croupier. But it’s not at all the same as the overwhelming feeling of a regular casino.
  • Minimized risks. Online casinos place much lower requirements for minimum stakes. This means you can start with very little funds while you practice the new skill.

You don’t have to stick to this strategy if it doesn’t suit your style, but you can always try it to understand what it’s like. This technique isn’t for everybody. But you’ll never know if it works for you unless you give it a shot.


Are There Limitations?

Players have to look out for deck penetration, which refers to how many cards have been dealt before the deck is reshuffled. Ideally, you want to have at least 75% deck penetration or better. With 25% of the shoe remaining, your calculations should be more accurate and generate better gains.

In reality, live dealer casinos don’t work like that. The cut card is usually placed at 25%-40% through the shoe. As you can see, there is a big difference with the land-based casinos, which avoid interrupting the game as frequently.  

There is a trade-off. While land casinos are more favorable in terms of deck penetration, they have pit managers who are good at spotting card counters. It’s not punishable by law, but players may end out getting kicked out. As for live dealer casinos, they have worse terms for cut cards, but players don’t risk getting caught.


Live dealer blackjack is one of the easiest ways to hone your skills without leaving the house. But remember that it’s not a fool-proof strategy and you’ll need to put in some time and effort to make it work. But at the end of the day, whether you decide to use card counting or not, you’re guaranteed to have a personalized and enhanced experience at a live dealer casino.

Bob Casino features a massive selection of live dealer gamesroulette, poker, blackjack, baccarat, and a lot more. Go ahead and play at our online casino with the exact same experience as you would in the well-known land casinos.

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