What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a gambling card game that has been attractive for players worldwide for hundreds of years. Though slot machines have overtaken the online gambling trend, Blackjack remains one of the most popular card games, and players can enjoy it in almost all casinos.
It is played with one or more players against a dealer, where the main objective is to beat the dealer. Thus, you are competing against the house rather than the players. The house advantage of blackjack is around 0.5 %, and the Return to the Player is 99.5 %. This makes blackjack a card game with the best odds in comparison with other casino games.
It is played using the traditional decks of cards, which have four different suits. The suits only matter in certain variations of the game. In Blackjack, the score is more important. The score is given based on the ranks of the cards in your hands. If you want to learn how to play blackjack, you need to know these rules:
- The Ace is worth weather 1 or 11 points.
- The jack, king and queen are called face cards or 10-value cards because they are all worth 10 points,
- All the other cards are worth their rank. For instance, the 5 is worth five points.
Blackjack is sometimes also called Blackjack 21 and, in Britain, has also been known as pontoon. Keep on reading to find more details on how to win at blackjack.
Online Blackjack Basics
The rules of online blackjack are identical to the rules of land-based casinos. Blackjack’s primary goal is to get a hand of 21 or closer to that without going over the dealer. Blackjack is played with standard international decks of cards, with the Jokers removed, which means you will be playing with 52 cards. Apart from the needed cards, this card game requires a blackjack table, a discard tray, a cut card, a shoe, and of course, chips.
The game was initially played with a single deck. Still, as protection against card counting, casinos started using multi-deck games, thinking that counting cards would be more complex for the players to track—this led to many Blackjack variants, including single-deck blackjack, double-deck, and other options.
Blackjack is played on a semicircular table, and the most common now will accommodate up to seven players. The dealer stands behind the table across the chip racks and players.
Blackjack Strategy and the Standard Rules of Blackjack
If you are interested in playing this card game, you need to know what are the basic rules of blackjack. Players need to know the card values, the order of playing, the blackjack betting rules and playing options. Thus, when thinking about the basic blackjack strategy for beginners, you have to be aware of the difference between a hard hand and a soft hand.
In Blackjack, the cards are valued in the following way:
- The cards from 2 through 9 are valued as face value, meaning two will count as two and eight will count as 8.
- 10, Jack, Queen and the King are valued at 10
- An Ace can count as 1 or 11, and the player needs to specify which value it will have. It should have the value that makes the best hand. In a “soft hand” game, the Ace can be counted as 1 or 11 without busting 21. The name comes from the fact that the hand can break if you draw an unwanted card. All other hands are called “hard hands.”
- A losing hand, a dead hand or a bust is every hand that scores 22 or higher in total. As soon as you get this hand, you are out of the game.
- Blackjack pays 3 to 2, which means that if you win the dealer’s hand, your initial bet is paid off 3 to 2.
How to Play Online Blackjack?
No matter which online casino you choose to play Blackjack, the software will represent a blackjack table. Before you play, select your blackjack variant because online casinos will offer numerous variations. Before you play, you have to learn the key rules of blackjack and know what the house edge is against a basic strategy player. To make a bet, you will click on the bet size button and then click on the deal button to start the game. After the cards are dealt with, all of the player’s hand options will be shown with buttons. Read below to learn more details on how a round of blackjack looks like
Before the deals start, you need to set your bet; you need to buy chips. When you play blackjack online, the cards are automatically shuffled, and then you can place your bets. Playing online blackjack has several added features, like re-bet, choosing a different bet value, and doubling your bet.
Online casinos have minimum and maximum betting amounts depending on the Blackjack variant you are playing, but blackjack betting rules may also vary depending on the online casino.
2) The dealer deals cards to the players
The dealer will start with one face-up card and one face-down card, which is also called a hole card. Each player has two cards, and both of them face up.
If the dealer has a 10 or an Ace card, the player will be offered the option to place an Insurance bet. If the player chooses the insurance, he will place a side bet equal to half of their original bet. The insurance bet will be paid out at 2:1.
3) Variations in Paying Blackjack
Now that you have your initial cards play your hand add the card values, and get a total from 4 to 21. In case you get a 10-value card and an Ace card, you have won a Blackjack! As long as the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, you will be paid immediately without playing through the round. In case the dealer has a Blackjack, you won’t lose your original wager, but you won’t win anything either. You will now have to decide from five ways to play your hand:
Stand – is used if you want to hold your total card value and stop your turn. You should do this if you believe that your total hand value will not exceed 21.
Hit – If the player wants to take an additional card after the card facing up is dealt. This is the most common option to play a new hand.
Double down – is an option when you want an additional face-up card to make your hand increase in value. The additional card increases your bet size and the winning possibilities by 100% when you use this option.
Splitting – If your starting hand consists of two matching cards, you can split them into different hands and make an additional wager. This is called pair splitting, and in this way, you can win on each of the two cards. Some casinos will limit the numbers you can double after splitting the pairs, except if you are playing Blackjack Multihand.
Mind you that you cannot play on two aces if you hold them in separate hands. Some casinos allow you to split and even re-split a pair of aces. When splitting aces, the standard rule is that only one card is dealt with each ace.
Surrender – This is an available option after you have received your starting hand. When you surrender, you are giving up half your bet, which is a good betting strategy if you don’t want to lose all of your money. At some online casinos, players can surrender their initial hand only after the dealer has checked his cards and made sure that he doesn’t have a blackjack. This is known as late surrender, which is less favourable for the player than early surrender.
4) Basic Blackjack Strategy
With so many options, you might be unsure of what option is the best for you. Your decision will be based on the dealer’s face-up card and what you have in your hands. Then, you can choose according to the basic strategy. The basic strategy tells you the optimal way to play for every combination of your cards and the dealer’s card. If you follow this computer-based strategy, you will quickly determine the option to go for. To generate the generic basic strategy, you can use tools like blackjack simulators and blackjack house edge calculators.
Payouts in Blackjack
The payouts may vary depending on the type of blackjack and the casino. However, the standard payout rules are:
- When the player wins a blackjack and beats the dealer, the ratio of the payoff is 3:2. That means that if your initial wager is €10, you will enjoy a payout of €15.
- The payoff will be even, that is, 1:1 if you beat the dealer’s hand without scoring a blackjack.
- If you and the dealer have the same card value, there will be no payoff. This is called a push.
- If the dealer has a better hand than you, he will take your bet, and you will place another wager.
Best Casinos to Play Blackjack Online
Blackjack is a hugely popular card game that you can play at numerous online casinos. At some of them, you can even find free online blackjack games. At EkstraPoint, we offer the best online casinos that offer free online blackjack and blackjack for real money.
Some top sites to play online blackjack are :
These are only some of the online blackjack venues that we have. For more, check our offers page and enjoy the fun.
Top Blackjack Tips and Tricks
To win online blackjack, you need to understand the basic blackjack strategy. Among the other winning strategy for blackjack, tracking cards and using the Oscar system are the best.
Card counting is not allowed but keeping track of the cards is a great way to anticipate the odds of receiving a good or a bad card. The fewer the cards, the easier the card counting will be. This is, however, why some online casinos offer online blackjack games that are played with more than 6 decks of cards.
The Oscar system is the most basic blackjack strategy, which doesn’t involve card counting, but it simply makes you adjust your betting strategy depending on whether you win or lose a hand. It is as simple as this:
- If the player loses a hand, he should bet the same amount
- If the players win, he should add a chip/increase the betting amount
- Players should never increase their bet by more than one chip
The blackjack strategy chart enables players to get a chance of winning in blackjack. The chart calculates three elements: the dealer’s face-up card, the player’s hand and the variation of action he should take.
Also, we present you with some blackjack strategy tips that will help you out if you are not sure what your next move should be.
- In a situation where you have a hard 11 or less, it is the best option
- You should stand if you have a hard 12, and the dealer has 4-6
- You should also stand on a hard 17 or higher
- In a situation when you have a soft 17 or higher, you should hit
- You should also stand when you have a soft 18 unless the dealer has an 8, 10 value card or an Ace
- Always stand on soft 19 or higher
- Never split 4s, 5s or 10s.
- Never stand if you have a total value of 12-16
How to play Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack tables at Live Casinos are very exciting if you appreciate the atmosphere of land-based casinos. It involves actual decks of cards shuffled and dealt with by real professional dealers. It brings the life element to the table, is very convenient, you can get additional bonuses, and on top of that, you can interact with your life dealer.
The objective is the same as other online blackjack games, and the strategy that can help you will reduce the house edge.
The blackjack casino rules when playing live are:
- Blackjack pays 3 to 2
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- You can’t split Aces
- There is no surrender
- You can double any card
- The total of decks of cards is 8
Blackjack is one of the best games to play at online casinos, even if you are an online blackjack beginner. It is straightforward to play once you learn the basic blackjack strategy. You can even learn how to get an edge over the house edge of the casino if you are dedicated to learning advanced tricks like card counting. We recommend that you try online blackjack at some of our casinos to get the most out of the game. Learn how to play at slots