Casino blackjack is one of the most popular casino table games and playing Blackjack online is no different. Top online casino sites offer multiple variants of the game, including American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Pirate 21 Blackjack, Pontoon Blackjack, Super 7 Blackjack and if your lucky, Single Hand Blackjack.
INTRODUCTION TO BLACKJACK
The name, Blackjack is derived from a player holding a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards to which the player is awarded extra pay. The black suit, Spades added to the winning Jack brought about the name we use today, Blackjack. Playing online Blackjack is no different than playing the game at a brick and mortar casino.
Blackjack has been played in the U.S. since the 1800’s and is a favorite among gamblers world wide. It originated in French casinos in the early 1700’s, where it was called “vingt-et-un” (“twenty-one”).
The rules of the game are actually quite simple and easy to learn. There are however, numerous strategies a player can learn to increase their odds. The standard set of 52 playing cards is used and players do not compete against each other, they compete against the dealer.
ONLINE BLACKJACK PAYOUT PERCENTAGE
The casino game payout percentages or Return to Player (RTP’s) for online blackjack are usually above 98.5% and can reach up to 99.5%. A casino game payout percentage is a term used that relates the percentage of money on average that is payed out per online bet made. So for example if you were to bet $100 on an online blackjack game that had an average 98.5% payout percentage, you would expect to win $98.5 back on each bet. The remaining 1.5% is the known as the house edge and would be the money taken by the online casino site.
The online blackjack payout percentages of course are averages. This is why it is extremely important for US online blackjack player to understand the rules and stick to them. If you sway from the general blackjack rules, your payout percentage is likely to be less than the average.
Online blackjack ‘hands down’ one of the favorite online casino games because of the high payout percentage and the fine line between tipping the scale and winning money playing this game. Online blackjack versus regular casino blackjack also has it’s advantages of slightly higher payout percentages. This is what many online casino ads refer to when they say “Better than Vegas odds”. The reason is simple economics. The online casino sites do not have the same operational costs to cover such as dealer salaries.
BLACKJACK : THE GAME
The game of blackjack consists of a casino dealer and 1-7 players. Online blackjack follows the same format only instead of a dealer, the online casino site uses casino game software and a Random Number Generator to deal the cards.
Each player at the table is playing against the dealer similar to most casino table games. The basic strategy for this casino game is for a player to get the cards in his hand to add up to 21 without going over 21. In order to win a hand against the online blackjack dealer, the player needs to have a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. Any hand value that goes over 21 is considered a “bust” and a lost bet.
BLACKJACK CARD VALUES
When playing online blackjack, the player’s or dealer’s hand value is the sum of the face value of the cards in the hand. Card values are their face value unless they are a face card such as a Jack, Queen, King which all have a value of 10.
An ace in online blackjack has a value of either 1 or 11. If the player plays an ace with a value of 11, it is referred to as “soft”. If the player plays the ace as a value of 1, then it is known as “hard”. The difference between the two values is that if that a soft had will bust if a face card is drawn, where as playing the ace as a “hard” could lead to a potential “bust” if a face card is drawn.
HOW TO PLAY AN BLACKJACK HAND
To kick off a game of Blackjack, all players start by placing a bet. The casino dealer then deals two cards that can be face down or face up.
Starting to the dealers left, each player is then given an option to draw another card. The draw is referred to as a “hit”. You may have heard the blackjack expression “hit me”. Players can continue to hit with the purpose of improving a hand closer to a face card sum or 21.
If a player decides not “hit”, then it means they have chosen to “stay”. In online blackjack, this is usually the case when a player has a hand face value that will beat the dealers hand.
The dealer however, must continue to draw cards until they reach a hard 16. Once the dealer has 17 or more, then they must “stay” or “stand pat” as it is commonly referred to in online blackjack.
ONLINE BLACKJACK GOAL : GETTING 21
The Blackjack casino game gets its name from a hand that is a “natural” 21 hand. A natural “blackjack” occurs when a player is deal a face card value of 21 in the first two cards. For example an player is dealt an ace along with a 10 or face card. Statistically, this happens about 1 in 20 hands. A player who is dealt a “natural” blackjack is paid out 3:2 on their bet. The normal payout for an online blackjack winning hand is 1:1.
If the player and dealer are both dealt a natural blackjack, then the bet stays on the table and the tie hand is referred to as a “push”.
SPLITTING PAIRS IN ONLINE BLACKJACK
During the first round of 2 dealt cards the player can choose to “split” the cards if they are a pair. This is where some online blackjack strategy comes into play. The option of splitting the pair means that the single hand now becomes a two hands that will be played separately.
The new hand created does require the player to place a matching bet on it. Rules for splitting cards can vary from online casino sites, so make sure you check their casino game rules. Once the first hand has been split, the hands are played out like regular hands.
DOUBLING DOWN IN ONLINE BLACKJACK
If the casino offers a rule of doubling down in online blackjack, it means that a player can double their bet on the first two cards. When this doubling down rule is played, a player can only draw one more card.
In online blackjack strategy it is only recommended you double down when you have a hand that can not be busted or the dealer is looking like their hand will bust.
THE SURRENDER RULE
The surrender rule in online blackjack is when you have the option to lay down your hand before drawing. When you surrender, you are giving up half your bet, but if your hand is not looking so good then its better than losing the whole bet. The surrender rule is not recognized by many online casinos, so make sure you check their rules.
BUYING INSURANCE IN ONLINE BLACKJACK
Buying insurance in online blackjack is what it says. An option to surrender only happens when the dealer is dealt an Ace that is face up. Obviously this means the odds are in the dealers favor to get 21.
If an online casino player chooses to take insurance, they need to buy it for 1/2 their bet value. If the dealer does actually get blackjack, the payout is 2:1. Many online casino sites offer the surrender rule, but it is not considered a good bet to make. So if you are given an option for insurance, good online blackjack strategy frowns on buying.
ONLINE BLACKJACK VARIATIONS
Blackjack as a casino game has been around for a long while. During its long history, many variations have risen up and become popular. With online gambling taking casino games online, the software groups now offer a huge variety of different online blackjack variants.
It is also a good idea to take note of the number of decks used. Most casino sites offer variations with 6 or more decks, however there are some online casinos that offer 1 or 2 deck online blackjack variations.
Online players should make note of what variation of online blackjack you are playing so you know the rules that apply. If you know the rules, you will be able to maximize your casino game payout percentage.
LIVE DEALER BLACKJACK
With technology expanding everyday, so does the development behind online casino games. Playing Blackjack online can now be done at live dealer casinos, bringing a real casino dealer right to your home.
The Strategy :
Below are three charts that show you basic strategy, based on the two cards that you have been dealt and the dealer’s single card that is face-up.
|H = HIT||D = DOUBLE||S = STAND||P = SPLIT|
If double after splitting is not allowed P* = HIT
Hard Totals Strategy
Soft Totals Strategy