Blackjack is a well-loved favourite all over the world. The games are never boring and have evolved and developed since the early 18th century and can be enjoyed by a novice out for some fun or a serious player looking to apply Blackjack strategy to have the odds in his favour. The game made a smooth transition moving from ‘bricks and mortar’ buildings to online, acquiring versatility and variety. The game can be played classic table style, video slots, or now with ongoing developing technology; you can play live from your front room or on your mobile phone or laptop. You can play for free or look for the table that offers the wagers you require. Blackjack has a long and intriguing history. It is widely believed it evolved from an 18th-century French game called Vingt-et-Un (twenty-one in French). That game itself is thought to be derived from a game called Chemin-de-fer, so called because the cards were kept in an iron box. In fact, Spain could also claim to have had some influence, from their game ‘One and Thirty’. The name arrived from a Nevada Casino in 1931, the year in which it became legal to gamble in the State of Nevado. If you played a Jack of spades or clubs, with the Ace of spades the house would pay ten to one odds on the bet. Sadly that payout has disappeared, but the name remains.
Want to be a Blackjack player? Then it is best to learn some fundamentals of the game. Take some time to play the free games or try the video slots to get to grips with all aspects of how to play. Then move onto the tables, hopefully with a fledgeling strategy in mind. Blackjack is not about the other players; it is the challenge between dealer and player to see who can play the nearest hand to twenty-one. While online, other players can be seen and even talked with especially if you choose to play in the live games. Their card’s places are visible unless you pick a variation where you are the only player in attendance. Play the free Blackjack for fun; it is a great way of getting a feel for the flow of the game and learning what works for you.
In most online games your screen will reflect the gaming table and will have control buttons in front of you and card box at the top right. In the settings, generally a wrench icon, you can customise a number of options, like sounds and the speed of play. Once you have chosen which casino Blackjack table you are playing at, it is time to place your Blackjack bet. Your chips will be displayed with a number value depending on the table’s maximum and minimum bet range. This amount will be indicated on the table or overlaid on your screen. Choose your wager and place your bet in the betting space in front of you, a table typically holds five betting areas. You then click the ‘Deal’ button. Cards will then be dealt, starting with the player seated to the dealers left, finishing with the ‘Anchorman’, last player to the dealer’s right. A standard game of Blackjack online involves everyone receiving two cards. The player’s cards will be face up, in most variations of the game but only the first card of the dealers.
Once all the cards are dealt, you have to decide what to do next. So you could implement some Blackjack game strategies depending on your cards and the dealer’s face-up card. You have the options to’Stand’ ‘Hit’, ‘Double Down’ or ‘Split’ if you have received a pair. In addition to these options some, but not every table, offers the option for ‘Insurance’ if it does, this is when you can place half your original bet on the chance of the dealer’s cards being a ‘Blackjack’! This outcome does not affect your original bet. To ‘stand’ means taking no extra card. ‘Hit’ means taking an extra card to increase your chance of reaching twenty-one. ‘Doubling down’ is about doubling your bet and taking one last card, not all games have this option. When you ‘split’ the cards, they play out as separate hands, increasing your chances of a win. Once your action is decided, the dealer plays his hand. Depending on the outcome your winnings will be paid, or the bet surrendered. You then can manually choose your next bet or hit the ‘Rebet button’ You can also ‘Bet Max’ which will keep automatically playing you at the maximum bet of the table.
Playing Blackjack is fun, engaging and can bring great rewards but you can also lose your money pretty quick if you do not know the basic Blackjack rules. One of the reasons this game is so popular is that the rules are not complicated or hard to grasp. What is important to know is that some casinos have variations on the rules in the many various offshoot games that can be found. As a player, it is always worth checking the house Blackjack rules. These can typically be found bottom left, under settings on your screen. The winner is the one who gets either twenty-one or the nearest to it without going bust; this can be the dealer or player. A ‘natural 21’ or Blackjack, automatically wins and typically takes a 3-2 payout. But if the dealer also has the same, then it becomes a ‘push’ where just your original bet is returned. Players have to place their bets before the dealer starts the gameplay. Choosing what option to follow requires knowing the card values. Number cards are face value, Kings, Queens and Jacks are valued at ten. Aces, can either be one or eleven. Being aware of these basic rules allows players to organise their strategy.
Blackjack is not just a game of chance it is also about the strategies that players implement in their gameplay. Blackjack strategy has been debated over the years, with books available and a very popular cheat card; this indicates which option to choose by considering your total against the dealer’s upcard, and it is a highly useful tool especially for a novice player. Your Blackjack strategy should include what you will do when you have a hard or soft hand. A ‘soft hand’ is where your two cards have a total of under seventeen and cannot be ‘busted’ by taking one ‘hit’. A ‘hard’ card is when one of your cards has a value of ten. If your cards are low, keep ‘hitting’ until you get a hard hand of seventeen, especially if the dealer’s upcard is a nine or more; then ‘stand’. It is a recommended strategy to ‘stand’ with a hard hand, a better risk than going bust.
Noticing when the dealer has a soft hand is important as he potentially will opt to hit to increase his chance of ’21’, often going bust! They weakest hand for the dealer is when they have four and six as their upcard. As a player, you can afford to stand on a hard twelve, if you have aces to four or better then consider doubling down. When to ‘double down’ is something else you can plan for; this is a good option when your total is between nine and eleven, and the dealer’s upcard is nine or lower. You can choose to ‘split’ any card value but always split aces and eights. Deciding your own Blackjack strategy is part of the fun of playing, and there are numerous tutorials available to help with that. A good strategy is known to reduce the house edge increasing your wins.
Blackjack is very popular, therefore attracting the attention of the developers to bring us better, more challenging versions. Live tables are now available for playing in real time online. Due to increased technology, improvement in graphics and low latency, you can now play in HD format while chatting with other players and croupiers. You can choose your table, dealer and customise the setting to suit yourself. A modern version is ‘Blackjack 5 Hand’ where you play with five hands instead of one, quite a challenge. Another choice is ‘Blackjack Surrender’ playing this allows you to surrender your first two cards if the hand is particularly bad. Want a bit more of a challenge then try ‘Caribbean 21 Blackjack’ in this, the Aces are ‘hard’, so their only value is as eleven. Pontoon is also a challenge to the players as both the dealer’s cards are played face down, making it difficult to choose your strategy.
Learning the Blackjack rules and trying out the strategies are essential for novice players, especially if playing for money or considering playing at the live tables. Don’t get too focused on your own cards, always check out the dealer’s upcard, it’s value will influence your option choices as seen in the various strategies. Why reinvent the wheel? Get yourself a strategy card. Set your betting limit and stick to it. If you can, choose your position away from the first base to allow slightly more time to review yours and the dealer’s cards. Don’t play insurance; this is just a side chance bet and most of the time the house has a 6% advantage over the player.
Yes, it is an excellent way to find your way into the game. You can try out some strategies without losing money and get in some inexpensive practice to improve your Blackjack skills. It can also be fun, but the extra rush that comes from playing with your money is missing.
Blackjack strategy would say not splitting an eight eight with the dealer at a 7; you could also add hitting on a total of 19 or 20 to that. The worst play is not making yourself aware of the game rules, which can vary slightly depending on the game you choose to play.
Card counting and Blackjack seem to go hand in hand, but while it is theoretically feasible in land casinos, despite all their precautions, it is not possible to get that necessary information online. The software handles the virtual deck shuffling, and as this is done every hand, the deck penetration information needed for card counting is not available.
Online casinos have exploded on the scene bringing with them, well-known games and newer variations of them. As with any rapidly evolving environment, it creates numerous questions and queries. Want to play Blackjack? Which game? Which casino offers the best bonuses? Is it better to play one hand or five? Can you play any game live? All of these questions and more can be answered at casinoguides.ca. This Canadian based platform offers reliable, honest and up to date information on casinos and what is happening in this busy and ever changing scene. Check it out for yourselves.