How to Play Online Blackjack
As one of the most popular games out there, Blackjack is a must-have for every online casino. The simplicity of the rules and the fact that participants play against a dealer instead of experienced players are just some of the reasons why Blackjack is so appealing to those who are new to the world of online casinos.
Beginners assume that luck plays the biggest factor in the game. However, the most experienced gambling enthusiasts would disagree. Blackjack consists of logical thinking, smart decisions, and, of course, a lot of strategising. So, if you want to think like an experienced player, you’re in the right place. We’ll teach you how to play online Blackjack like a pro!
The basics of the game
An interesting thing about Blackjack is the fact that the dealer participates in the game with other players, so his hand also counts. Players are dealt two cards each in the beginning, and they’re playing the game individually. The main goal is to collect 21 points from the cards in your hand.
Besides two cards that you’re dealt when the game starts, you can take cards from the table, which are a dealer’s hand. However, you won’t be able to see those cads. So, the game is all about calculating the risk and taking it when necessary.
Every round gives you the option to either hit or stand. Thus, you can stick to the current sum that you have in your hand, or you can take another card from the table.
But, be careful. If the cards you take from the table combined with those in your hand go over 21 points, you lose the game immediately. In case there’s a tie between you and the dealer, you won’t win or lose money on that hand.
Even though the game continues until someone reaches a total of 21 or goes over that sum, the ideal situation is when you’re first dealt a court card or a ten with an ace. That means that you have a Blackjack and that you’ve won the game!
The number of points that each card holds
Cards with numbers from 2 to 10 carry the points equal to the number on the card. For example, two of clubs is worth 2 points, 5 of diamonds is worth 5 points, etc.
Court cards hold 10 points. So, King, Queen, and Jack are worth 10 points each. On the other hand, the Ace is worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on your needs during the game.
Variations of Blackjack
You should always check the rules of every Blackjack variation. There’s a chance that it comes with additional features that will be helpful during the game.
For example, some Blackjack games offer players an option to make a side bet that is worth half of their initial bet called insurance. It’s offered only when the dealer has an Ace as their up card. In case the dealer’s hole card leads to a Blackjack when combined with the first one on the table, the player gets the insurance wager and the initial bet back.
There’s also something called 7 Card Charlie. It’s when you have seven cards with a total of 21. In some Blackjack variations, your hand will be stronger than a straight 21.
Your Blackjack dictionary
Before you start thinking like a pro, you should learn to talk like one. So, here’s a little dictionary that we prepared for all those who want to get to know the main Blackjack terms.
- Hit: taking another card.
- Bust: when the cards in our hand go over a total of 21.
- Stand: that’s when you don’t want to take any more cards and you wish to remain with just those in your hand.
- Double down: a possibility to double your bet in order to be able to get one more card. You’ll have to stand after this move.
- Hard hand: it’s when the Ace in your hand counts as 1 instead of 11, or you don’t have an Ace in your hand at all.
- Soft hand: when you have an Ace in your hand that is worth 11 points. As the Ace is flexible and it can be worth 1 as well, it’s not possible for you to bust.
- Hole card: it’s the second card on the table. It belongs to a dealer and it remains face down until players decide whether they want to take it.
- Up card: it’s a dealer’s card that players can see from the beginning of a hand.
- Push: when a dealer and a player have the same cards.
- Split: in case you hold a pair, some games allow you to split your hand into two, with a bet on both hands.
- Surrender: you can give up on the game and get half of your stake back.
Useful tips for playing Blackjack
Blackjack is one of those games where you can be familiar with all of the rules and still have no idea how to turn the odds in your favour. So, until you start analysing the cards like a true winner, we’ll help you with a couple of useful tips for playing Blackjack.
Avoid surrendering as much as you can
Yes, the option to keep half of your bet is appealing, especially due to the fact that it’s not offered very often. However, we have to warn you that, in most cases, it’s not worth it.
There are a few instances when surrender is a great idea. For example, you have a hard 16, so you don’t have many options after that, and a dealer holds 9, 10, or an Ace. But, in other situations, you should take a chance and continue the game.
Don’t bother counting cards
Unlike land-based casinos, online gaming websites don’t have any regulations regarding card counting. As a result, a lot of online players are drawn to this practise.
However, card counting isn’t possible in virtual casinos due to the inability to observe dealers’ shuffling. What’s more, in Blackjack, the dealer shuffles the deck after every hand, making it difficult to follow.
In addition, a lot of Blackjack variations need to be played with a couple of decks at the same time. Therefore, counting cards in online Blackjack would be a waste of time.
Be careful with the Ace combined with another number
Having the Ace is great because it can change its worth depending on the situation. However, don’t let that trick you into thinking that you can’t lose.
For example, in case you have an Ace and 6, you should definitely decide to hit. That extra card will certainly help you because you can always change the Ace to 1 point.
On the other hand, if you have an Ace and 7, you should think about a stand. There’s a huge chance that your next card will make your hand go over a total of 21. What’s more, having 18 points is not a bad position to be in.
17 is a good total
Unless you have an Ace in your hand, reaching 17 points may be a good time to stand. It’s too risky to draw another card because there’s a huge chance that you’ll go over 21.
Know when to split
There are instances when it’s always better to split because you’ll increase your chances of winning greatly. For example, if you have two Aces, you should definitely choose to split. As we mentioned before, the Ace is flexible, and you’ll increase the odds for having at least one good hand.
The same goes for a pair of eights. Having 16 points is one of the worst situations you can be in. That’s because 16 is too low to win but too high to risk the total with drawing one more card. Thus, whenever you have a pair of eights, you should always choose to split.
Don’t get carried away
Professionals stay focused no matter what! If you see that a dealer is close to going over 21, don’t get carried away!
Blackjack is a game where being in a great position won’t save you from losing a couple of minutes after that. So, you should always act as if the dealer has great cards and stay focused until you actually win the game.
Insurance isn’t as good as it sounds
Something that our time playing Blackjack has taught us is the fact that the insurance option isn’t as good as it sounds. It will increase the dealer’s chances against you, and the payoff won’t be worth the risk. Therefore, you should choose insurance only in special circumstances.
When to double down
The double down option can be the best decision you can make. For example, let’s say that the dealer has a bad hand and you have an Ace. Double down will prevent you from going bust.
But, in a lot of situations, it can have the worst outcome, because you have to stand after taking one more card. So, you should definitely do a lot of research before you choose to double your bet.
There you have it — the ultimate guide on how to play Blackjack. Now, it’s time to put this knowledge to the test and practise. Don’t worry, you’ll get more skilled at it as time goes by.