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The classic game of Blackjack has gotten a much-needed facelift thanks to the online casino industry, and the fact that you no longer need to go to a land-based casino or even leave your home has made the game more accessible to everyone. If you are curious about Blackjack and what it takes to play and win, then we have the full scope to get you started.
10 Best Online Blackjack Casinos
If you are like us, then you might be curious about the background of your favourite games? We know that Blackjack is extremely popular throughout Asia and the world, but where did it come from and what’s the story of the game?
Believe it or not, but it is rumoured that Blackjack was originally invented by the Romans, possibly as a result of their alleged love for gambling and playing games, but this remains unconfirmed. Instead, it is common belief that France were the inventors of this beloved card game, and that it first made its appearance at French casinos sometimes in the 1700s.
Blackjack shares similarities with another game called Chemin de Fer, which is known to have been popular at the time when Blackjack can be traced back to. An earlier version of the game was referred to as ‘21’, but the rules and the way it is played has changed since then, and the game was renamed to Blackjack in the 20th century.
How to Play Online Blackjack
Blackjack is a card game played with regular decks of cards (52 cards), and many believe that the only point of the game is to get as close to the number 21 without going over, but you might be surprised to learn that there is more to it. Blackjack is, in many ways, a very simple game, but there are quite a few things to know if you want to be successful.
Considering that the goal is to win, what you really need to focus on is to beat the dealer. With there being so many different versions, you’ll probably have to learn and relearn some things a few times, but we are going to go over the rules of the most popular and common version of Blackjack.
To play Blackjack, you only need one player and a dealer, which means you can play without having to wait for others to join the game. This applies also when gambling at a live casino, meaning Blackjack games are pretty much available 24/7 whenever you feel like getting started. Usually, up to a maximum of 7 players can play at a time.
The game starts when each player is handed two cards each, face up, while the dealer gets two cards where one faces down and the other up. This is one thing that doesn’t change no matter the game type, and it is how every game starts.
To play Blackjack, you need to have a basic idea of what the goal of the game is, and what you need to get to win. There are three different outcomes that would be considered desirable in this game, and where you win. Check out these here below:
How much you win depends on the bet you placed, as the first and third outcome will win you the betted amount. Outcome number two, however, is known as blackjack. You can only get a blackjack with an Ace (worth 11) and one of the cards worth 10 (Ten, Jack, Queen or King), as these make a total of 21. The odds you’ll be paid off in this scenario is 3 to 2.
If the dealer’s cards add up to the exact same amount as your cards when the hand concludes, then you end up with something known as ‘Push’. If you score a Push, you won’t win anything, but you also won’t lose as you get your bet back. The same applies if both the player and the dealer get a blackjack at the same time.
The wager is lost if you are further away from 21 than the dealer when the game ends, and you’ll lose by what is known as a ‘Bust’ if you go over 21 with your card points. As you can see, it is a straight-forward game that you’ll figure out in no time, and you essentially have to beat the dealer without going over 21, or you lose.
Playing a Hand in Blackjack
Alright, so now you are sitting there with your two cards and the dealer with two cards of which you can only see one. The next step is to add the values of your two cards together, and you will make your next move depending on the points. You have some options:
If you think you can get closer to 21 without going over, ask the dealer for another card! The dealer then turns over the card that faces down and it is added to your total score. You can keep hitting as many times as you want and you continue to be dealt new cards, but just keep in mind that you need to stop before you go over 21.
In a scenario where you are already close to 21 or where you feel another card might make you go over 21, you can choose to stay. This action is usually called ‘stick’, ‘stay’ or ‘stand’ and you can opt to stand rather than to be dealt more cards at any time.
One option you might not know is the option to split. You can do this if you’re dealt two identical cards, but you do need to go ahead and double your bet first. This will basically create another hand and it will be almost like playing for two, as each hand will be dealt new cards in the next round.
The dealer getting 21 on the initial two cards is never good, but you can place an insurance bet to prevent this from happening! You do this with up to 50% of your initial wager, and you can expect a 2 to 1 pay off.
There is the option to double the bet on your current hand if you believe you have a good chance to win, but remember that this will also lose a lot more if things don’t go according to plan, and Blackjack can be unpredictable.
If things aren’t going that great, then you can wave the white flag and surrender by giving up half of your original bet and walking away with the other half. It isn’t great, but at least you will only lose 50% and cut your losses.
The Role of the Online Blackjack Dealer
The dealer has an advantage in being the only one who knows what the hidden game card is, and that could potentially be what steals the win of the game away from you as the dealer completes his/her hand last. Hitting is required for the dealer if the cards add up to less than 17, and they are required to stay if the value is 17 or up.
A Blackjack dealer can also bust if going over 21, but the other options, such as doubling and splitting, are only available to the player and not to the dealer. It can sound like a lot to keep track of in the beginning, but luckily, Blackjack is a game that gives the gambler a decent chance to walk away with a win.
Play Blackjack for Free
Not everyone feels comfortable placing a bet right away, and perhaps you are wondering if there is a way to play for free, just to get some practice first? The good news is that yes, you can play Blackjack for free, and most gambling sites out there give their players the chance to play in demo mode. Demo mode essentially gives you free test rounds where you play with pretend bets and win pretend money.
Budgeting and Bankroll Management
Your budget might be the last thing you think about as you hit and win in Blackjack, but the truth is that it is a game that is very easy to get caught up in. You wouldn’t want to lose more than what you can afford to be without. Gamble responsibly by deciding on a daily, weekly or monthly budget for yourself, and make sure you stick to it no matter what.
You can also use the casino’s resources and set up spending limits for yourself, if you worry you won’t be able to stick to your own budget. Budgeting and gambling responsibly is a key stone in becoming a successful Blackjack player, and something worth remembering.
Blackjack is a great game no matter your experience level, and it is easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush that comes with this simple game. The house edge is generally low which benefits the player, and your chances of winning are good if you (literally) play your cards right. It helps to understand the game, which is the purpose of this Blackjack guide.
Remember that most casinos and Blackjack games have a demo mode, where you can play Blackjack for free and without risking any losses. Demo mode allows you to practice and familiarise yourself with the game before you place your first real bets, and it is a method that is often recommended for beginners.
Take a moment to read through the rules to make sure you know your options, as this will help you know when to stay in a game of Blackjack and when to hit. This is one of those games where your knowledge can help lower the risk of losing and it pays off to play smart and with a little bit of thought.
There are many different types of Blackjack games when you gamble online, and the basic types are live Blackjack games with a live dealer and video Blackjack controlled by random number generators. Actual types where rules and setup differ are American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Blackjack Switch and Vegas Strip Blackjack.
Online gambling is legal in some areas, tolerated in others and illegal in some parts of Asia, and the ground rule is that Blackjack is legal where gambling is, so make sure you check the gambling rules in your area.
Almost every online gambling site offers at least a few Blackjack games, and the key to finding the best site is to look at the game selection, and whether the casino is considered reputable and trustworthy. Casino licences are big indicators of a casino’s commitment to their players.
Many people do use the two names interchangeably, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you hear someone use the name 21 for Blackjack. However, the truth is that 21 is technically an older version of the game, and while the two are very similar, there were some significant rule changes that eventually led up to the name change.
Everyone has their own preferences when they play, but many prefer to stop at 17 as this gives you good odds to beat the dealer and win the game without increasing the risk of losing.
An Ace in Blackjack can be worth either 11 or 1, depending on what is the most convenient to you in the game.
The King in Blackjack is worth 10.
Live casinos all over the world feature Blackjack games, where you get the opportunity to play with other (real) players and with a real dealer. You watch the game live via high-definition webcams.