Blackjack is one of the most popular and well-known casino card games available today. Online blackjack, also known as “21”, is a casino card game loved and played by many the world over. Part of the reason for its immense popularity is the fact that blackjack is so easy to learn and play, but difficult to master. This makes it a fan favourite for amateur gamblers and professionals. Playing at land-based casinos can be a little bit intimidating for newer players, as they may get glared at by seasoned veterans. This makes online blackjack an even more appealing prospect for newer players. They get the same game, with the same great odds, and can play it from the comfort of their own home. If you do want to go toe to toe with a few professionals, then take a look at our handy blackjack guide.
HISTORY OF ONLINE BLACKJACK
With so many different variations and types of casino games, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of when some games started. Blackjack has been influenced by many of the older games around, such as Quinze, One-and-Thirty, Trente-et-Quatre, Seven-and-a-half and baccarat. The common goal of each of these games is that the player is required to reach a certain number to win. The most widely believed theory regarding blackjack is that it originated in the 1700’s in France with the game Vingt-Un, which literally translates into 21. The game made its way to America in the late 1800s, with the first recorded game of blackjack in the Indiana gambling hall. Once gambling halls started offering larger payouts for a hand consisting of an Ace and a Jack, blackjacks popularity grew. This lucky hand became known as “blackjack”, which is how the modern game got its name. The game was legalized in the state of Nevada in 1931. Eventually, the modern online version we know today came out in the 1990’s.
ONLINE BLACKJACK RULES
The rules for blackjack are fairly straightforward. The aim is to get a hand valued at 21 or as close as possible. The dealer hands out two cards to each player including the dealer themselves. One of the dealer’s card is facedown and is called the “hole” card. Each player, in turn, will look at their own cards as well as the dealers on face-up card, and can make one of the following decisions:
- STAND – This indicated you are happy with your current hand and do not wish any further cards dealt. It is usually a good idea to stand on any hand that is valued at 16 and above.
- HIT – This means that you request the dealer to give you another card. Players can hit as many times as they like until they either get a hand valued at 21 or they go “bust” by going over 21. It is a good idea to hit on any hand valued at 15 or lower in most cases.
- DOUBLE DOWN – This is when you indicate to the dealer to give you one further card. You also double your initial wager or bet. You are only allowed to draw one card no matter what card is drawn.
- SURRENDER – This action may be taken if you feel you have a poor hand that is likely to lose to the dealer. You forfeit half of your wagered amount but get half back. You may only surrender after the initial two cards are drawn. You may not surrender if you have “hit” before.
- SPLIT – This option is available if both of your initial two cards share the same value. You may split the two cards to create two hands instead of one. You will need to include a fresh bet on the new hand. Each hand is then played independently as two hands instead of one.
ONLINE BLACKJACK WINNING RULES
Learning the card values and blackjack rules are essential to beating the dealer and winning real money online. Try to learn the following simple rules:
- The goal of the game is to get a hand value of 21 or as close as possible using a combination of card values.
- The game is over when the player or dealer busts or surrenders.
- If neither player or dealer busts or surrenders, the winner is whoever has a hand value of 21 or the closest.
- The numbered cards are worth their face value. IE an 8 of hearts is valued at 8.
- The picture cards, or king, queen and jack, are valued at 10 points each.
- The value of the ace can be chosen by the player and is either 1 or 11. An ace is essential in obtaining the perfect hand or “blackjack”.
- A “Blackjack” is a hand comprising an ace and any card valued at 10. This gives a perfect 21. Usually, a player wins more if they have a blackjack.
ONLINE BLACKJACK TIPS AND STRATEGIES
With time and practice, blackjack players can lower the house edge even further by knowing when to hit or stand in certain situations. Statistically this will increase your chance or winning and lower your margins of error. Try stick to these simple tips and you should increase your winnings:
- Set yourself a bankroll limit and stick to it. This is great advice for all online gambling.
- Never play blackjack if you have had too many drinks as this can affect your decision making.
- Always take the dealers face up card into account before making any decisions.
- A general rule of thumb is always to hit on a hard eight or less.
- Always split two aces.
- Always split two 8s. Two 8s make a hand of 16 which is widely regarded as the worst hand value to have.
- Don’t split 10s or 5s.
- Stand on 17 when the dealers face up card shows 7 or less.
- When the dealer has 7 or higher, and your hand shows 12 to 16 you should always hit.
Bust – This occurs when a player or dealer goes over 21. They are then bust and lose the round.
Face up card – This is the one visible card of the dealers that all players can see.
The hole card – This refers to the face-down card of the dealers that players cannot see during their turns.
Push – This occurs when both the player and dealers hand values are the same. If both dealer and player have 21, the player will win.
Insurance – If the dealers face up card is an ace you can take out insurance in your hand. In this way, if the dealer does have a perfect blackjack you will receive 50% of your wager back as insurance. If the dealer does not have blackjack, however, and you opted for insurance then you will lose this amount instead.
Dealer peaks – If the face-up card is an ace, the dealer will peek at their hole card to determine if they have blackjack or not.
FAQS OF ONLINE BLACKJACK
- Can I play online blackjack for free?
- Yes, most of the top online casinos allow you to play blackjack for free. This allows you to get used to the game and practice your strategies.
- What does it mean if I “bust”?
- This happens if the value of your hand exceeds 21. It means you have lost the current round no matter what the dealer has. You will need to wager on the next round.
- Why should you not split tens?
- There is no hard and fast rule to not split tens. It just doesn’t make sense statistically as double tens give you a hand of twenty which is very unlikely to lose to the dealer. This means an almost guaranteed win.
- What is insurance?
- Insurance is a side bet that a player can make if the dealers face up card is an ace. Essentially this will protect you from the dealer making a blackjack. If the dealer has a natural 21 and you took insurance then you will win your money back. If they don’t have a natural 21 you will lose your insurance money. Statistically, taking out insurance is not a good idea.
- Are blackjack games fair?
- Absolutely. The best online casinos are audited to ensure their random number generators are and completely random. This ensures fair play.
- Can I count cards playing online blackjack?
- It is not possible to count cards whilst playing online blackjack as the computer digitally shuffles the deck after each round. Therefore every round is unique and not related to previous rounds making card counting impossible.