Everything You Need To Know About Online Blackjack
Blackjack, also known as “twenty-one”, is one of the most popular card games played both in brick-and-mortar and online casinos.
The Basics of Online Blackjack
A game of blackjack is played with one or several decks of 52 cards. Each of the face cards counts as 10 points, while the other cards are counted in with the value shown on the card. Aces are worth either 1 or 11.
There are several ways of winning a game of blackjack: by getting an exact 21 as the sum of the initial two dealt cards, by reaching the highest total without going over 21, or by letting the others exceed 21.
At the beginning of each game, once the bets are placed, the dealer distributes two cards to himself and each of the players.
After looking at their cards, the players have to decide whether to hit (take another card), stand (take no more cards), double (draw another card and end their tour), split their cards (if they have two cards of the same value), or surrender (retire from the game and lose half of their bet). Some UK online casinos also offer a side bet called insurance, which can be played when the dealer has an ace in his hand.
Recommended Online Blackjack Sites
These are some of the most recommended Online Blackjack Sites on the market:
If you are new to playing blackjack online, here are some terms you need to master in order to understand what is going on around you:
- To hit means to draw another card
- To stand means ending your turn
- To double means to draw another card, and increase the value of your bet, but commit to stand after the respective round
- To split means separating your same value cards into two hands
- To surrender means to retire from the game
- To take insurance means placing another bet in case the dealer’s upcard is an ace
Different Versions of Blackjack
Blackjack’s enduring popularity means online casinos offer several varieties, with the main two being European Blackjack and American Blackjack. Unlike in the American version, there is no option to surrender in European Blackjack, and those who pick the European version can double down only when they have a combined hand totalling 9, 10 or 11. The rules are also different on the action of the dealer on soft 17. While in European Blackjack, the dealer must hit, in the American version, the dealer must stand on soft 17.
Multi-Hand Blackjack is another relatively popular version of the game, especially at the best blackjack sites, multi-hand blackjack is played with five decks of cards. The game allows players to play up to five hands at once without putting any time limits on their actions. Multi-hand blackjack is very popular with strategic gamblers because it makes it easy for them to place strategic bets and to predict which cards are going to be dealt during the last part of the game.
Live blackjack is the closest online gambling gets to the real casino playing experience. It allows you to play from wherever you are against a dealer who runs the game live from a remote location via video feed.
When gambling, luck plays an important part, but strategy certainly has its role, reducing the house edge to a minimum. Knowing when to hit, when to stand, and knowing when to double is of utmost importance if you want to make the most of your blackjack experience. These decisions must be taken based on odds and probabilities, but you won’t always have the time to make all the necessary calculations. With time, you will most probably develop your own strategy, but to get started you should learn some basic strategic rules by heart:
- You should always stand when you have an Ace + and 8/9 in hand
- You should always hit when you have an eight on a hard hand
- You should always stand when you have a pair of tens, but split when you have a pair of Aces or eights
- You should always double on 11, unless the dealer has an Ace
The Bottom Line
With a bit of time and effort invested in learning a few useful terms and strategic rules, you can play blackjack with confidence from the beginning. After that, you will just have to put your analytical skills to work, and develop your personal blackjack strategy. Good luck!
If you’re ready to start playing blackjack online, check out our list of the Most Recommended blackjack sites above. Just choose which site you want to try and get started today.