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How to Use Online Casino Games to Win More Live (and Vice Versa)

By Randy Ray in Casino
| May 26, 2017 12:00 am PDT
Casino Wins

In many ways, online casino games are the same as the ones you play in land based casinos.

But some people don’t like to play online.

You can find many reasons not to play at online casinos.

But even if you prefer playing live you can use online play to improve your results.

Most of these tips involve the games that require strategy. In these games if you play a certain way it lowers the house edge and improves your results.

The best thing about playing games at online casinos is you can play for free. You also can play from the comfort of home or on your cell phone, so you don’t need to travel to the casino.

Here’s a list of 7 ways to use online casinos to improve your live results.

1 – Practice Counting Cards

One of the best ways to play with a real chance of beating the casinos is to learn how to count cards while playing blackjack.

But it’s hard to learn to count while playing in a live environment.

This is where online play comes in.

You can practice playing blackjack online without any distractions and go at your own pace. You can’t get an edge counting an online game because the deck is shuffled after each hand, but this doesn’t stop you from practicing.

As you get better at counting and get faster you can play quicker. This is an excellent way to perfect your counting before playing live for real money.

This site has many online casinos listed where you can play free blackjack. You don’t need to worry about the safety of the online casino when you play for free, but all of the casinos listed on this site have been checked out for safety and security.

The first step is deciding which counting system you plan to use and learning how it works. I recommend the hi lo count or the Red 7. Here are the basics for each system. With this information you’ll know enough to start practicing.

Hi Lo

The hi lo counting system is the most popular blackjack system used by card counters. It’s also one of the easiest to learn.

With almost all counting systems, including both the hi lo and the Red 7, you start with a count of zero and add or subtract one based on each card you see. As the count moves in the positive direction it increases your chances to win.

When the count moves in the negative direction the house edge goes up.

As the count goes up you bet more and when the count goes down you bet less. This way you get more money in play when the deck is in your favor and minimize the amount you wager when the odds are against you.

Here’s a secret:

If you’re like many people and don’t like to deal with negative numbers, start your count at 10 instead of zero. This way you don’t have to worry about adding or subtracting from or to a negative number.

You don’t need to learn how to do this when you’re learning how to count, but once you master your count and play live you need to divide the running count by the remaining decks to be dealt to get a true count.

You’ll learn more about converting to the true count when you learn more about the hi lo system. But for now you can use the values below to start practicing how to count by playing free online blackjack.

  • Two + 1
  • Three + 1
  • Four + 1
  • Five + 1
  • Six + 1
  • Seven 0
  • Eight 0
  • Nine 0
  • 10 – 1
  • Jack – 1
  • Queen – 1
  • King – 1
  • Ace – 1

If you want to learn more about the hi lo system a good place to start is the book Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong.

Red 7

The Red 7 was designed by Arnold Snyder and is called an unbalanced count. The best thing about an unbalanced count is you don’t need to convert the running count to a true count by dividing by the remaining number of decks.

Here are the card values for each card in the deck for the Red 7.

  • Two + 1
  • Three + 1
  • Four + 1
  • Five + 1
  • Six + 1
  • Red 7 + 1
  • Black 7 0
  • Eight 0
  • Nine 0
  • 10 – 1
  • Jack – 1
  • Queen – 1
  • King – 1
  • Ace – 1

The Red 7 count takes a little bit to get used to using because you ignore the black sevens and only count the red ones. But the extra practice it takes is worth the effort so you can avoid converting the running count to a true count.

The best place to learn more about the Red 7 counting system is in Arnold Snyder’s books Blackbelt in Blackjack and The Big Book of Blackjack.

Before finishing this section you need to understand that this is just the start. If you want to count cards you need to learn more about the system so you know when to raise your bets and when to stop playing.

The information in this section is enough to get started and learn how to count, but it isn’t enough to turn this new skill into a profitable system by itself.

2 – Practice Basic Blackjack Strategy

Even if you don’t count cards you need to learn how to use basic strategy while playing blackjack. By learning and using the best basic strategy you keep the house edge as low as possible.

Basic strategy has been developed using computer programs and it shows the best play for every possible situation. Each possible hand that you can have has been analyzed against each possible dealer up card for the play that makes the most money or loses the least amount of money.

The easiest way to learn how to use the best basic strategy every time is by practicing. The problem with practicing in a land based casino is you have to bet to play.

But when you play online you can practice for free.

Sign up for one of the casinos listed on this site and you can play free blackjack. The only other thing you need is a basic strategy chart or card. You can find a chart at https://www.gamblingsites.org/casino/blackjack/strategy/ or you can buy a strategy card at a casino gift shop.

Once you have a chart or card and sign up to play for free online all you have to do is check the chart for the best play on every hand.

As you practice you’ll start learning the best strategy for most hands without needing to check your chart. Eventually you can memorize the best plays and won’t need the chart.

But until you have every single play memorized you should use the chart for the ones you don’t remember. When you go to the casino to play live you can take your chart or card with you.

3 – Practice Perfect Video Poker Strategy

Just like blackjack, video poker games have a specific strategy that must be used in order to keep the house edge as low as possible. And just like blackjack you can practice video poker strategy for free online.

The best two video poker games to learn about are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. If you find the best pay tables you can keep the house edge below a half percent if you always use the proper strategy.

The best strategy can be found on a strategy chart or a strategy card.

You can find a Jacks or Better and a Deuces Wild strategy chart at


Most of the plays are simple so it doesn’t take long to memorize the best strategy if you use a chart and play for free. You can even print out the charts and take them to the casino with you when you play for real money.

These charts and strategies have been developed using computer programs so even if you have a hunch or think you should make a different play you should never deviate from the charts. Every time you do it costs you money in the long run.

4 – Learn How to Play New Games for Free

Casinos launch new games all of the time to help keep gamblers interested and coming back. Each new game has different rules and strategies.

Before you could play online the only way to learn how to play new games was to sit down and start betting. You had to learn as you played. This usually leads to mistakes that cost you money.

But now you can play new games online for free before playing live for real money.

This is even a good idea if you want to play an old game that you haven’t played before. I wanted to try baccarat and craps so I played both of them online before playing live.

You can find the rules to online games in the online casino, usually in the game or linked to from the game page. Once you learn the rules you can look for the best strategies to use online as well.

Remember that every mistake you make playing a casino game costs you money. This is something that casinos count on and use against you when they introduce new games.

New games attract players looking for something exciting to play, and many start playing before they know all of the rules and the proper strategy.

Don’t make this mistake.

Take advantage of the free games online when you see a new one so you can learn the rules and strategy.

5 – Play Poker

Poker is one of the few games you can play in a casino where you can be a long term winner. But to develop the skills needed to win you need to play.

You can play poker for free online, and you can even find special tournaments, called free rolls, where you can win real money without making a deposit.

The biggest problem with playing free poker online is most of the players at the free level are very poor players. If you aren’t careful this can lead to bad habits. But if you can’t learn how to beat the worst players you won’t be able to beat the real money tables in your local casino or poker room.

If you want to start playing online to start improving your poker game I suggest the following plan.

  • Enter free roll tournaments until you win enough money to start playing at the micro limit tables. Many sites have tables that offer blinds as low as .05 / .10 or lower.
  • Play the micro limit tables and build your bankroll until you can move up to the next limit. You can continue playing free rolls as well to build your bankroll faster.
  • Continue playing and building your bankroll until you can move up to and beat the 1 / 2 tables if you’re playing limit or the .50 / 1 tables if you play no limit.
  • Then you can start trying your hand at the lie poker tables in your nearest casino or poker room.

If you can beat the 1 /2 limit or .50 / 1 no limit tables online you should be able to beat the lower buy in table in a live game.

The most popular game online is Texas holdem, but you can also play Omaha, Omaha 8, and Seven Card Stud in many rooms.

6 – Try Systems for Free

Many gamblers come up with their own systems to try to beat the casinos or learn about some of the popular ones that have been used for years. The problem is that none of these systems work in the long run outside of card counting systems.

But that doesn’t mean that thousands of gamblers don’t try them every year.

The problem with trying systems in live casino play is you have to play for real money. But you can test systems online for free.

The important thing to remember is that many systems seem to work in the short term but end up losing in the long run.

One of the most popular systems is called the Martingale. In the Martingale system you double your bets after each loss until you win. Then you drop back to your beginning bet.

When you use the Martingale you can win most of the time. But when you lose you lose a large amount that wipes out all of your profits and more.

The main reason I mention this is so you don’t fall into the trap of testing a system online for a short time period and think it works. You need to use a system for thousands of decisions before you really know if it works.

No one has found a system that actually beats the casinos in the long run expect card counters. Every other system has a flaw. Many systems look like they might work and the people who sell them use fuzzy math to back up their claims, but if their system was so good they’d be using it to make money instead of selling it.

Remember this the next time you see a system that looks too good to be true.

7 – Play Free Slots

You can’t go into your favorite land based casino and play free slots. You have to bet in order to play.

Slot machines have one of the highest house edges in the casino, so they tend to take your money at an alarming pace.

But you can play all of the slots you want online for free. You don’t need to spend a penny and can play for as long as you like.

This can save you thousands over the course of your gaming life.

Some players don’t enjoy playing slots for free as much as they like playing for real money. But even if you fall in this category you can play online for free between your trips to play live or play for pennies online.

Even if you only replace one trip to the casino a month with free online play it can save you a great deal of money.

Here’s an example:

Many slot machines have a payback percentage of around 95%. This means that for every hundred you put in the machine only pays back 95 on average. This is based on long term results so in the short run you can lose more or even win from time to time.

Using this common payback percentage, if you bet one Euro / pound / dollar per spin and play 300 spins per hour you lose on average 15 per hour. If your normal trip is five hours you lose 75 per trip.

Over the course of a year if you stay home and play for free instead of traveling to the casino once a month you save 900. Plus you save the expense of travel and the time it takes to get to the casino and back home.


Use these seven tips and tactics to use online play to improve your live results. They’re all free and have the added benefit of letting you stay home or play on your cell phone.

Once you master the free online games your live play results will improve. This way you can make more money, or at least lose less, on your next trip to the casino.



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