Blackjack is considered to be a classic casino game and continues to be one of the most popular and well-loved games around, whether at land-based or online casinos. Also referred to as ’21’, Blackjack is among the most famous casino games of all time. Many online casinos will feature a few blackjack variants in its portfolio to appeal to a broad range of players. Other online casinos will dedicate an entire section to blackjack variants from different software providers, including the likes of Microgaming, NetEnt and Evolution Gaming. This guide to online blackjack will show you why this online casino game is among the best and most popular in the world.
The exact history of blackjack is mostly unknown, although there are many theories about its origin. The main and most widely accepted theory is that blackjack was derived from the Spanish game 21. This game was first mentioned in the 1600s in a novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The name blackjack originated from the United States based on a version of 21 at the time. During this game, players had to have an ace of spades or a black jack to win. While this rule was removed from later versions of the game, the name blackjack stuck and is now one of the most popular casino games in the world.
The Rules of Blackjack
One of the biggest benefits to playing blackjack, and a huge driver in its popularity, is the simplicity of the game. In fact, many people would consider blackjack to be one of the easiest table games at online casinos, especially when compared to other classics like baccarat and craps. In addition to having easy rules and gameplay, there are also several strategies and techniques available to improve your chances of winning. This makes blackjack a great option for new and experienced players as it features elements of both luck and skill.
The rules of online blackjack are the same as if you would at a land-based casino. That said, there are different game variations that each feature slightly different rules, so it is worth understanding the rules of the version you are playing to get the best results.
The aim of the game is simple – you must beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over. During gameplay, you will have a number of betting options, actions and techniques to use to enhance your experience and improve your chances of winning. This includes options like hitting, splitting, standing, doubling down and more.
Blackjack is played against the dealer, not other players, so you must beat the dealer in order to win. To do this, you must have a hand as close to 21 as possible without going bust. If your hand is over, you lose the game. If you have 21 or under, you still have a chance of winning if your hand is better than the hand of your dealer.
How to Play Blackjack
While blackjack is essentially a game of chance, there is some skill and strategy involved to get the best outcome. So, the results are based on luck but there are certain actions you can take to enhance your chances of winning. This includes the following:
Hitting allows you to continue receiving new cards if you are not happy with your initial hand.
If you think your hand is good enough to beat the dealer, you stand. This means you will not receive any more cards.
While it may seem like an easy decision to hit or stand, it is actually one of the hardest actions to take as it will affect the outcome of the game. In fact, most blackjack strategies are based on this one decision alone. Always hitting could cause you to go bust sooner or later, so you must understand when to hit and when to stand.
This move allows you to increase your bet two times if you decide to stand after receiving one more card. This is a good action to take if you want to improve your winnings if you think your hand is strong.
Here, you can split two cards of the same value into two hands.
Players can use this option if they feel the dealer is going to win. This results in the player winning or losing only half the bet.
Players can take insurance if the dealer’s card is an ace and before he looks at the other card. This is done as a side bet and pays out 2 for 1. That said, experts advise against this option as it usually results in more spending than winning.
Online Blackjack Variants
As already mentioned, there are many online blackjack variants available at online casinos. These have been developed over the years and may not be available at land-based casinos. That said, online casinos don’t usually feature all variants and will typically have a few based on the software developer they are using. The most popular options are American and European blackjack. While both of these versions use the same basic premise and rules, there are certain differences worth noting.
American blackjack is popular among North American players compared to its European counterparts. In this version, the dealer is dealt two cards at the start of the game. Once the card is facing up and one is facing down. This game is played with 6 – 8 decks of cards and players have the option to double down on any total and after splitting. You can also make the last surrender.
In this version, the dealer is dealt one card at the beginning of the game and another once betting is completed. Two standard decks are used. Players can only double down on values of 9, 10 or 11. Here, splitting can only be done once on a 10 value or face cards. European blackjack does not offer the option to make a last surrender.
Other types of blackjack variations include
Progressive blackjack – Progressive blackjack is very similar to standard versions of the game with the exception of a progressive jackpot attached. The game is played based on the variation’s rules, with the only real difference is the bigger jackpot prize available. That said, in order to play for the jackpot, players must usually make an additional bet, but all other rules remain the same.
Spanish 21 – This version is played with 6-8 decks, although all 10-value cards are removed. This action increases the house edge, so this version is better for a more experienced gambler. Actions like last surrender and insurance are available in this version.
Atlantic City blackjack – Here, 8 decks of cards are used. The dealer can peek at his hole card and stand on soft 17. Other game options include last surrender, insurance and re-splitting.
Vegas Strip blackjack – Again, another popular version among North American players, this game uses 4 decks of cards and allows the dealer to peek his hole card and stand on soft 17. Players have the options to double down, split and re-split up to 3 times.
Super Fun 21 – Here, a single deck of cards is used, which is really the only difference between this game and classic blackjack. It is a popular version of the game as it follows the same basic rules and premise of standard blackjack games.
Live blackjack – Many different variations of blackjack can be turned into a live version of the game. Live blackjack is played live and streamed to your computer from anywhere in the world. The same general rules and gameplay apply. The game features live dealers and real-time action, making it a great option for players looking for a more realistic gaming experience.
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FAQs for blackjack
Most frequent questions and answers
Online players have access to a wide range of blackjack variations depending on the online casino you are playing at. Online players will have a huge choice of games, including opportunities to place side bets and more. Some of the most popular variations include American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Spanish 21, Atlantic City Blackjack and much more. Live Blackjack is also available at many online casinos for a more realistic gaming experience. These games offer live action and are hosted by live dealers, adding a level of authenticity and excited to your favourite online blackjack game.
Yes, as long as you are playing at a safe and secure website, online blackjack is not only safe, but incredibly exciting and rewarding. By choosing the right online blackjack for real money casino, you can rest assured that your experience will be a safe one.
No, card counting is not possible when playing online. The game uses RNG software, which ensures fair and random results at all times. This software is used to prevent any outside influence from affecting the results of the game.