Popular since the 18th Century, Blackjack is a staple in every casino, whether it is a brick and mortar casino or an online platform. Thanks to modern technology, online casinos have made this game accessible for anyone. With its simple rules, and various betting limits to suit all pockets, everyone can join Blackjack online. In this article, we will go over some basic online Blackjack rules and we will provide you with a list of the best casinos who offer thrilling online Blackjack games.
Online Blackjack Promotions
Since Blackjack is such a popular game, online casinos often include it in their promotions. Thus, let’s take a look at what the best casinos have to offer for online Blackjack players;
Royal Panda Lucky 21
Since Blackjack is known as the game of ‘21’, Royal Panda casino is holding a special promotion on the 21st of every month. Play Live Blackjack or Live Blackjack VIP, and if you get a Blackjack you enter a random draw with the chance to win one of three prizes of £210 each in cash. So, what are you waiting for? Mark it on your calendar for the next 21st of the month.
The Origins of Blackjack
Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes first mentions this game in the 18th Century, where it was known as the game of ’21’. In France, a similar game was popular in the elegant saloons, until it was eventually spread by French colonists throughout North America. In 1931, the Nevada casino came up with a special payout to attract more players to sit at the tables of the game of 21. Anyone, who achieved 21 through an Ace and a Blackjack received ten times their bets, thus giving it the name of Blackjack.
Online Blackjack basics
The preferred choice of many players, online Blackjack offers a modicum of control over chance. The purpose of the game is to get as close as possible to 21, and it affords certain decisions from the players that might change the outcome of the game.
Furthermore, it is very important for each player to keep in mind that playing Blackjack, means playing against the dealer. It doesn’t really matter if there are 6 players at the table, each one is playing solely against the dealer.
The game is carried out with a standard deck of 52 cards being dealt one by one from a shoe that is manned by the dealer. Depending on which variant of online Blackjack you are playing, there could be up to 8 decks in use at once.
The value of the cards will determine your next move in the game thus it is very important to know what they count for:
- Cards 2 to 10 has their face value
- Ace can either have the value of 1 or 11, depends on what benefits the player.
- King, Queen and Joker, hold the value of 10
Playing Blackjack online
Online Blackjack starts by placing the bets, that is why it is important to decide beforehand what your budget is as different Blackjack tables have different wagering limits and can be played for as little as $1 or for as much as $5000 per round.
Once all bets have been placed with chips, the dealer gives each player two cards including himself. While all cards are dealt face up the dealer’s second card remains face down, giving a certain advantage to the house.
The next part of the game depends both on chance and player decision.
Online Blackjack player actions
Getting a natural Blackjack means that you are the undisputed winner of the game. This can only happen if you get an Ace and any card with a value of 10. Any other combination of cards that adds up to 21, can only be the winner if no else has a natural Blackjack.
The decision to stand should be based on what cards you have and what card the dealer has. If you think you might go over 21 then you stand. If you think you have a value closer to 21 then the dealer, you stand. Remember though that the dealer has revealed only one card and the other is still face down.
To hit is to ask for another card in the hope of getting closer to 21. When a player gets over 21 we say he went ‘bust’, because he loses the game and his bet.
When dealt a good hand, where the player is sure he can beat the dealer, he has the possibility to place another bet of the same amount as the original bet. This can be quite profitable if his calculations are correct.
Splitting your cards up is ideal if you’ve been dealt two cards of the same value. This would require you to place an additional bet in order to receive two more cards. Each one of your first cards will be the first card of these two last additions and you’d be playing with two separate sets.
When you surrender, you forfeit the game. A good option if you believe you have the worst hand then the dealer or you have a total of 16 and the dealer’s card has a value of 10 or is an Ace. When you surrender you don’t lose all of your bet, instead you get half of your wager back.
In online Blackjack, the insurance is an additional bet, placed independently from your first bet, on the belief that the dealer has a Blackjack. This kind of bet is usually placed if the dealer’s showing card is an Ace.
Winning and Losing
In Blackjack, you win if your combination is closer to 21 then the dealers’. You lose if your combination is less than the dealers’ or you go Bust by getting a combination higher then 21.
Push is technically a tie between the dealer and the player because they have the same total.
Rules for the Blackjack dealer
To play Blackjack online, it is best to understand the rules of the dealer. The house might have the advantage, however, all dealers have a set of rules that they must follow to the letter.
- If the total is 17 or more, the dealer stands
- If the total is 16 or less, the dealer must hit (take another card)
- If the dealer has an Ace and it would add up to 17, then he stands
Dealer rules are predictable; thus, a good strategist might want to take them into account when choosing his gameplay.
Online Blackjack Strategy
When it comes to playing Blackjack online, it is important to have at least some basic strategy. If you search online, you will find hundreds of websites and strategy charts which you can print and take with you to the casino, however, there are some basic tips that you can follow to increase your chances of beating the dealer. We’ve grouped together some basic strategy tips that you can follow when you play Blackjack online:
Tip 1 – the first thing you have to consider when you’re dealt the first two cards, is whether you should surrender. This should be your first option as it can only be taken after the first two cards have been dealt and are no longer viable if you’ve taken a third card. Surrendering should be your option if you have 16, while the dealer has a 9, 10 or on Ace, or else when you have a 15 and the dealer has a 10.
Tip 2 – if you choose not to surrender, the next step should be to decide whether to split or not. This decision usually depends mainly if you have pairs. You should always split if you have Aces and eights. While if you get a pair of tens you should definitely stand.
Tip 3 – If you do not have pairs and splitting is not an option then your next move should be to determine if the hand you have is good enough to Double Down. If you believe that you can beat the dealer you can double your initial bet, however, if you are not sure then you move on to the next step of your strategy.
Tip 4 – After you’ve considered all of the above strategy tips, the last thing to decide is whether to Hit or to Stand. Some examples of when to Hit and to Stand:
- Hit – on an 8 always Hit.
- Stand – on a 17 always stand.
Online Blackjack Payouts
If you’re looking to play Blackjack online for real money, then the best option is to always find a table that pays 3 to 2. A table that offers a payout of 6 to 5 should always be avoided as this usually adds 1 ½% to the house edge.
Play Blackjack online
As we said at the beginning of this article Blackjack is a staple of casinos, thus it is one of the most in-demand games amongst the online casinos, who have made it their business to come up with variety and options for their players.
Most online casinos offer numerous Blackjack games where the player plays against the computer. A number of varieties are usually also available.
Furthermore, online casinos offer the possibility to play Blackjack online free. This is an excellent way for players to get familiar with the rules and practice some strategy techniques.
This version of online Blackjack is perhaps the most innovative as it consists of live dealers in a real casino set up, streamed live in real-time. A player can place bets, choose which actions to take, chat with the live dealer, all of it in real-time. This type of Live Blackjack delivers a more authentic experience to the comforts of your home. What’s more, you can find many interesting and innovative versions of Blackjack like:
- Vegas Strip Blackjack
- Bet Behind Blackjack
- Blackjack Switch
- Progressive Blackjack
- Common Draw Blackjack
- Free Bet Blackjack
Why play Blackjack online
Blackjack is an interesting game that has occupied the minds of players for generations. It’s believed to be the only game where a player has control with the best chance of beating the house. With today’s technological innovations, Blackjack is now available online and accessible to everyone. The introduction of variants has spiced up the interest in this game and there is always something new to try at the online Blackjack table.