Blackjack is a classic on-casino card game that combines skill, strategy, and a touch of luck. While players often focus on mastering the rules and basic strategies, it’s equally important to understand the concept of variance, particularly in online blackjack. Variance plays a significant role in determining the outcome of your blackjack sessions and can greatly affect your experience as a player. In this article, we’ll delve into variance and how it influences your results when playing online blackjack.

What is Variance in Blackjack?

Variance, often called volatility or risk, is a statistical measure of the distribution of outcomes over a set period. In blackjack, variance reflects the fluctuations in your results, including winning and losing streaks. Understanding variance is crucial because it helps you manage your expectations and make informed decisions about your internet casino gameplay.

Types of Variance in Blackjack

In blackjack, there are two primary types of variance:

  1. Short-Term Variance: This type of variance refers to the fluctuations that occur during a single gaming session or over a relatively small number of hands. Short-term variance can lead to winning streaks, losing streaks, or a mix of both. These variations are normal in any gambling game.
  2. Long-Term Variance: Long-term variance considers the outcomes over a more extensive period, typically thousands or millions of hands. In the long run, the house edge in blackjack will determine the overall results, but there can still be considerable fluctuations along the way.

How Variance Affects Your Blackjack Experience

Understanding variance is essential because it can influence your emotional and financial experience when playing online blackjack. Here’s how variance impacts your gameplay:

  • Emotional Rollercoaster: Variance leads to alternating periods of success and frustration. Winning streaks can be exhilarating while losing streaks can be discouraging. It’s essential to maintain composure and not let emotions dictate your decisions.
  • Bankroll Management: Variance plays a crucial role in managing your bankroll. During losing streaks, it’s important not to chase losses by increasing your bets substantially. On the other hand, winning streaks can provide opportunities to increase your wagers selectively.
  • Game Selection: Variance can also influence the choice of blackjack games you play. Some variants, such as single-deck blackjack, tend to have higher variance due to the potential for more significant swings. Others, like multi-deck games, may offer a more stable experience.
  • Risk Tolerance: Your personal risk tolerance will determine how you handle variance. Some players are more comfortable with the ups and downs of high-variance games, while others prefer lower-variance options that provide a steadier, albeit smaller, return.

Strategies for Dealing with Variance

To effectively manage variance in online blackjack, consider the following strategies:

  1. Set a Bankroll Limit: Determine a budget for your blackjack play and stick to it. Stay within your bankroll during losing streaks.
  2. Use Proper Bet Sizing: Adjust your bet sizes based on your bankroll and the level of variance in the game you’re playing. Avoid making excessively large bets to chase losses or capitalize on winning streaks.
  3. Embrace a Long-Term Perspective: Focus on the bigger picture and recognize that individual sessions or hands are part of a larger journey. Short-term results do not necessarily reflect your overall skill or success.
  4. Practice Discipline: Maintain discipline by following the basic blackjack strategy. Avoid making impulsive decisions, especially during emotional swings caused by variance.
  5. Stay Informed: Continuously educate yourself about the game, including different blackjack variants and strategies. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with variance effectively.


Variance is an inherent part of online blackjack, and understanding its role is vital for a positive and successful gaming experience. By managing your bankroll wisely, maintaining discipline, and keeping a long-term perspective, you can navigate the ups and downs of variance while enjoying the thrill of this classic card game. Whether you’re a casual player or a seasoned blackjack enthusiast, variance is a concept that, when embraced and managed appropriately, can enhance your enjoyment of online blackjack.