No other online download or no download game offers the player the opportunity of so many decisions after the initial bet. Remember, online casinos love it when players leave the Blackjack table, for games such as poker or slot machines, where the margins are large. By playing the right strategy and rules set it's possible to win big.
Guide to Blackjack
Synonymous with France, Blackjack or often known as Vingt-et-un, was founded in pre-revolutionary France of the 1700's. Lately, as a gambling game, its popularity is rivalled only by slot machines. All major gambling centres have a large area devoted to Blackjack. If you go back to your childhood, you will probably remember playing a game called 21 - otherwise known as Blackjack. Its simple, easy, and if you follow the rules you can win big at the casino blackjack tables.
Blackjack occurs when 21 is reached with 2 initial cards. This is done by combining an Ace (11) with a picture card (10) or the 10 itself. You will be paid out 1½ times your stake- UNLESS the dealer also draws blackjack, in which case, stand off happens.
The odds in most gambling games are stacked against the player and in the casinos favour. This is known as the "house edge". In Blackjack the house edge is considerably less than other games.
So why is Blackjack different to many other online casino games?
- You are not competing against other players -only against the bank
- You need very few hands to see a positive return unlike poker
- Blackjack can be played with only one player
- The casino blackjack dealer follows very strict and rigid rules and the software developed for online casinos sticks 100% to these rules
- The game of black jack allows you to increase the bets as the odds improve
- In blackjack you can decrease the bets as the odds worsen
Now lets examine the basic rules of blackjack
BASIC RULES OF ONLINE CASINO BLACKJACK
The rules are easier to understand if you keep the objective of the game in mind.
"TO GET A BETTER TOTAL THAN THE DEALER WITHOUT GOING OVER 21"
All numerical cards are counted at face value. The King, Queen and Jack have a value of 10 and the Ace a value of 11 or 1 whichever suits best
- Each player receives a card dealt face up and then one is dealt to the dealer face down (known as the "hole" card)
- Each player receives a second card face up
- The player to the immediate left of the dealer starts. He must simply decide whether to draw further cards
- Once all players have decided whether or not to draw cards the dealer proceeds to draw cards to complete his hand
So what constitutes a win or otherwise?
Your total is higher than the dealers total.
The dealer goes over 21 (known as "busted"), on condition of course that you yourself have not already gone bust.
Known as "stand off" or "push" you keep your money when your total is the same as dealers.
You go over 21.
The dealers total is greater than yours.
So, now we've covered the basics let's look at the main components of the casino version of blackjack. Its these crucial actions or inactions a player can take that, providing certain rules are followed, can increase your odds.
If your original two cards are of equivalent value, you may split these up to make up to three hands. Aces are the exception, which can only be split to make up to 2 hands. You will receive card(s) for each hand. BE AWARE that you will have to place a bet equal to the one originally placed with each split undertaken.
N.BCasinos have varying house rules re splits - check these out.
If the dealer has drawn an ace with his first card, he will call out "insurance". You then have the choice of placing a bet equal to half your original stake, as a hedge against the dealer making a blackjack. If the dealer makes the blackjack your insurance stake is paid out x2. HOWEVER if no blackjack is made you lose your insurance stake.
As with splitting, casinos vary on this so check the house rules carefully. Some apply the rule to a total of 9,10 or 11 with your first 2 cards. Others allow other totals. Some prohibit Aces as they can count as a 1 or 11. Once you have received your first 2 cards, you may double up by placing a bet equal to but not exceeding your original stake. You will then be dealt just the one card.
So now that you know more of the basic rules of blackjack it's time to learn a little about strategy and how to play.
Blackjack Strategy and Play
The most crucial element of the blackjack strategy is the examination of the dealers "up card". This will form the basis of your decisions as to splitting, doubling, insuring or surrendering. Your response to the dealer's card can be scientifically worked out (statistical analysis) to suggest the best move that will give you the highest chance of winning.
Always split 8's and Aces
Never split 4's, 5's, and 10 value cards
Hitting and Standing:
All depends on whether your total is soft or not. Soft totals are made up with Aces and give you flexibility (e.g 6 and an Ace could be 7 or 17). Hard totals do not contain Aces.
With a hard total:
Hit anything below 12.
Stand on anything above 16.
If 12 to 16, hit if dealer has between 7 and Ace and stand if dealer has less than 7.
With a soft total:
Hit if soft total of 17 or less.
Double down if soft total 17 or less and dealer has 4 or 5.
Stand with a soft total of 19 or 20.
Never double if hand total is less than 8
Always double on 11
If you have a total of 10 and dealer 2-9 double down
Learn basic blackjack terms for the game of blackjack in this free how-to video on the basics of playing blackjack.
What is Blackjack Switch
And now, just to shake things up a little there is Blackjack Switch, a variant on normal Blackjack. While it is still relatively unknown some casinos in Las Vegas and Russia are starting to offer this variant. Blackjack Switch allows the player to do what would normally be considered as a classic cheating manoeuvre by trading cards between two hands. The player makes two bets of equal size and is allowed to switch the second card dealt to each hand. Of course nothing comes free; a dealer 22 results in a Push and Blackjacks pay even money. Currently the game is played at Playtech Internet casinos and various casinos in Las Vegas and Russia.
All rules are based on conventional Blackjack unless otherwise marked as house rules.
Eight decks are used. (6 decks normal Blackjack)
Dealer hits a soft 17. (16 with normal Blackjack)
The player makes two equal sized bets.
Cards are dealt face up.
Dealer sneaks a look for Blackjack with an Ace or ten up. If the dealer has a Blackjack, all player hands will lose, except a player Blackjack will push.
The player can switch the 2nd card dealt to each hand. So if for example one hand has 6, 10 and the other has 10, 4 the player may switch the 10 and 6 to give two hands of 10 and 20. The player may also switch cards to create a Blackjack.
Player can double on any 2 cards.
Player can double after a split.
Player may re-split up to four hands.
Winning player Blackjacks pay only even money.
A dealer total of 22 will push against any player total of 21 or less. A player Blackjack still beats a dealer 22.
Some casinos play with slight changes such as six decks instead of 8
Dealer does not sneak a look for Blackjack.
Players may only split once.
It will be interesting to see if this new variant of Blackjack really takes off! We love it and have seen our winnings ratchet up over the past few months. You of course, must make up your own mind. But to get started you'll need to check out our blackjack strategy - part one