Blackjack guide for online casino players
Try to ask anyone about the most popular money card game and, in all likelihood, he or she will tell you it is poker. The path of the gambling history and culture is quite funny as the game of poker is probably the first association with casinos of the majority of the society. Actually, poker is extremely common, yet its rules are far more difficult than the rules of another widespread casino game that is known to the publicity as blackjack.
It is very well possible that blackjack is not so advertised as poker, yet, in point of fact, there are certainly more people who can play this card game. And, the main reason for it is certainly the simplicity of its rules.
Assuming you are here to find more about the rules, types, strategies and history of this great game, you will definitely find everything you would like to learn in this article!
As it usually happens in the history of numerous cultural issues, there is no clear answer to the question of the place and origin of blackjack. There are several possible options, although one of the most probable tells us that the game of blackjack started to spread in French casinos under the name of Vingt-et-Un around 1700. If you translate this name into English, you will get twenty-one which is actually a quite popular way of calling this game even nowadays, especially in the eastern part of the Europe. Many researchers assume blackjack is a combination of two other French card games such as French Ferme and Chemin de Fer. These games were extremely popular at the time of the advent of blackjack.
Interestingly, some historians claim that blackjack is far more older than the game created in France. They believe Romans have introduced this game. The Roman blackjack used special wooden blocks each of which had its own numerical value. It might be true, but there is no convincing evidence for this theory.
In the meantime, Spanish gamblers adopted a modified version of Vingt-et-Un that had thirty one cards instead of twenty one. The name of the game was also changed into One and thirty one according to this alteration.
These were also Frenchmen who introduced blackjack to North America. Back to that time, the rules were a bit different from those we know nowadays. You will learn more about the Blackjack rules in the following chapters. For the time being, we will just mention the fact that then the dealer was the only person who was allowed to double. In addition to it, the round for betting was a period between dealing each of the playing cards.
You might be wondering why this game is now called blackjack in English despite its common name of twenty-one? The reason for it is an extra possibility added to the game by a number of American casinos in the first half of the previous century. This modification offered the casinos’ clients a special bet according to which any player who got the Jack of Clubs or the Jack of Spades in addition to the Ace of Spades in the same hand earned ten times more than he or she had betted. Despite the fact this lucrative offer is currently not used in casinos, the name of blackjack stroke the fancy of the casino players and became widely popular.
Another curious fact about blackjack concerns an optional name given to the card of five of clubs. This card is also known to the blackjack players as the Watson’s card and many novices suppose it has something in common with Sherlock Holmes. This is not an accurate assumption since the mysterious Watson was a gambler famous by winning £10,000 with five of clubs.
As far as you can see, the history of the development of the game of blackjack is not so obvious and is still partly unknown to the researchers and devotees. What we know for a fact is that was evolved gradually and today it is one of the major card games.
What do you think about the history of blackjack? Wouldn’t you like to learn what qualities of this game are in particular so attractive to casino players, would you? Then, let’s start with blackjack rules!
Blackjack – the conditions for winning
The first thing a player has to learn before starting a game, especially the one with real stakes, is the object of this game. Although we have already mentioned that blackjack is one of the simplest casino games and, in comparison to other card games, it is probably the least complicated, there is a common misunderstanding of the object.
Large numbers of beginning gamblers believe their aim is to get an overall score of the cards close to 21 and do not go over this number. In spite of the fact that this assumption is sensible, it should be modified. In blackjack, you do not simply collect cards which will give you the greatest number that will still be smaller than twenty one. Your prime goal is to beat the dealer. And, this could be done under the conditions of not going over twenty one and, of course, getting more than the dealer. So, let’s look through the most essential points of playing blackjack while keeping our object in mind.
First of all, you should know that the number of cards used in blackjack can be absolutely different. While it uses a deck of fifty two cards, you can also participate in games with more than one decks. Precisely speaking, it is allowed to have up to eight decks inclusively.
We have told you that you will need to collect the greatest possible amount of money which wouldn’t overcome twenty one. Thus, as far as you can guess, each card has its own value. How should you count your scores than?
Normally, aces give us the greatest amount of points and this amount is equal to eleven points. Furthermore, you can choose another value of an ace that is equal to one depending on the situation. Then face cards and tens come. Each of them will give you ten points. Finally, the value of the rest of the number cards is equal to their numbers. It means that a number two card will give you two points whereas a number ten card will offer you nine points. Considering this information, you can imagine that it is crucial to keep a particular balance in this game, aiming to the greatest amount that is allowed and still being aware of the limit.
However, you should understand that even two hands with the same total amounts of points might not be necessarily regarded as equal. A good illustration of such a case is something called blackjack. Blackjack is a special term used for a hand that has a total of twenty one and this total is acquired by two cards: one of the ten point cards (it might be a ten card or a face card, as we have already mentioned) and an ace. Anyone who gets a blackjack has a hand outranking all other hands even if they also have twenty one points.
A classic game of blackjack starts with betting. When the bets are made, each player receives two cards from the dealer. The dealer also gives two cards to oneself as this person participates in the game as well. Still, the dealer has an obligation to play with one of the cards with its face up. The card that remains with its face down is called the hole card.
It isn’t difficult to guess that the dealer might have a trump card. This is especially true when the dealer gets an ace with its face up right at the very beginning of the game. In such a situation the dealer offers a special extra bet known as an insurance bet. This insurance bet could protect players from losing their money in case the hole card turns up to be any card with a value of ten points. Thus, if you choose an insurance bet, you will be paid twice the amount you have invested for this bet providing the dealer gets twenty one points. This bet is limited and can’t be greater than half the original amount betted at the beginning of the game.
Now, what is if anyone else also has twenty one points? Then, the result is a push. The players who paid for an insurance bet will get it, though.
Undoubtedly, this was quite a specific situation and it doesn’t occur all the time.
Blackjack – check your options
The previous chapter has told you about the game object and the conditions you need to meet with an eye to winning in blackjack. Still, we haven’t discussed the exact moves you can perform in blackjack.
As far as you see, the situation in which the dealer gains twenty one points right at the beginning of the game doesn’t leave you a multiple choice of moves. In point of fact, the only thing you can do is to make an insurance bet, although it is not mandatory. However, the dealer getting twenty one points right from the start isn’t a case that comes as a rule. Usually, you will be able to perform various moves before the end of the game.
Assuming the dealer doesn’t have an ace as a card lying faced up, the first move is done by the player sitting to the dealer’s left. Now, this player has several options to chose from. He or she can draw one or more cards according to one’s preferences. Providing the total of twenty one points is exceeded at that moment, the player immediately loses the game. This act is called busting or breaking and the action of drawing extra cards is called hitting in blackjack.
The player can also increase his bets while drawing a new card. Precisely speaking, at this moment the player can double the amount of an initial bet and is allowed to draw only one additional card. This action is called doubling.
Another possible move is called splitting as it is about dividing your two cards into two individual hands and doubling your bet. If you decide to split, you will get two additional cards from the dealer. Note that in some blackjack games splitting is available exclusively to those players who have initially two cards with the value of ten points each. Furthermore, if you get two aces, you will be able to draw only one card per each hand in case of hitting. Otherwise, you are allowed to draw any amount of cards. There is also an option of doubling or standing right after splitting.
There are some other limitations for splitting. For example, if one of your hands get an ace and a ten, this combination of cards is not considered to be a blackjack. It will be just an ordinary total of twenty one points. Moreover, you may find such blackjack games in which players are permitted to split even into four hands not only to two hands.
We have also mentioned the option called standing. Standing means performing none of the moves we have discussed above. Since all of those actions are not obligatory, you can well resign from taking them.
Finally, there is one more possibility that is not available in all blackjack games. This one is called surrender and allows the player to resign from the participation in the game. Taking this action will make you lose half your initial bet and it is possible exclusively before taking any other actions.
The outcome of the game
When everyone has made his or her choice of acting, the moment comes in which the dealer turns over the card with its face down. The dealer must draw another card under the circumstances of having a total equal or less than sixteen. In case of exceeding the total of twenty one points, the winner is a player with the greatest total not busting twenty one points. Providing the dealer doesn’t boost, his or her total is compared to the greatest total of the players (that also doesn’t bust).Then, the winner is the person with the greatest total of points.
Undoubtedly, there is one more crucial thing left. How much can you earn on blackjack?
The majority of casinos are offering the following rewarding conditions. Supposing you make a bet of $200, you will get back $400 in case of winning. Still, if you not only win, but also get a blackjack combination, you will receive $500. Thus, the average payout for winning is three to two. Collecting a blackjack combination of cards offers you the payout of two to one, though.
Blackjack playing tips
Now, when you have grasped the basic necessary knowledge for playing blackjack, you should check some tips that will help you to make better choices.
Expert’s recommendations on blackjack strategy
The first thing you should consider before starting a game is the payout ratio. We have already mentioned that, in most cases, you will receive an amount of money according to the ratio of three to two. However, it doesn’t come as a rule and you might find other payouts in online casinos.
It must be emphasised that greater numbers in the ratio doesn’t necessarily mean you can earn more on such a game. On the contrary, you will see that, for the most part, the greater numbers mean even less money.
Let’s consider an example of two other possible payouts, although they are far less widespread than the traditional three to two. The first one is six to five whereas the second one is two to one. Which one will give you more money? The right answer is the second ratio. Furthermore, two to one is actually greater than three to two. Assuming you can’t recall the rules of arithmetic, we have done it for you. Six to five equals to 120%, three to two equals to 150% and two to one is 200%. The difference is obvious, isn’t it?
Thus, betting $100 on the game with the payout ratio of six to five will offer you only $20 of income, whereas the game with the ratio of two to one gives you additional $100. As far as you can see, the income in the second case is five times greater than in the first one.
Now, let’s delve into particular points concerning the strategy of playing blackjack.
Firstly, you should be careful with your cards and do not hit anymore just because you feel you are so close to the total of twenty one. Quite the opposite is true. The closer you are to the total of twenty one points, the less eager to draw more cards you should be. For instance, having to initial cards with the total of seven definitely means you should draw more. Yet, when the following cards give you a total of nineteen, you’d better stop hitting. The possibility of winning with the score is far stronger than the possibility of drawing the card of two.
Secondly, you should understand in which situations it is particularly profitable to split your cards. On the one hand you might feel it is a bit risky, on the other hand, it seems to be advantageous. Anyhow, there is one particular situation in which it is strongly advised to split cards. That is the case when you get two cards of eight. Two eights is the worst possible scenario for a blackjack player, as their total of sixteen is too small for winning, yet it is already too risky for drawing more cads. Splitting to eights into separate card combinations will help you to retrieve your chances for winning.
Thirdly, you need to know when it is better to surrender (providing there is such a possibility). Surrender is a good option for players with especially inauspicious combinations such as the total of sixteen which we have just discussed. Still, it is not the sole condition for surrendering – you should also pay your attention to the card of the dealer. We will particularly recommend you to surrender, if the dealer has a ten or an ace. Still, be careful with this option as it is just about losing your money, albeit not an entire sum.
One more comment should be done on the insurance option. This one allows you to even out the money you have betted and will inevitably lose in case of the dealer’s blackjack. Despite its advantage, you shouldn’t overestimate the odds of the dealer having blackjack. According to the statistics, this combination of cards happens in less than one third of all situations, in which the dealer shows you an ace at the beginning of the game. It just means that there is no guarantee the dealer gets blackjack and the card with an ace shouldn’t frighten you so much.
Finally, you should always remember that blackjack is the game against the dealer hence the dealer is your rival, not the other players. This is especially crucial when you are playing a live game with other real players online. Do not ponder over their actions too much; you are here to bit the dealer.
The advantages of playing blackjack on the Internet
The huge popularity of blackjack has been spreading on the gambling websites ever since the advent of online casinos. Nowadays, it is one of the major card games available on gambling websites and you will hardly find an online casino without at least a classic version of this game.
Nowadays, when you have a choice between playing blackjack in land-based casinos and playing this game online, it is useful to understand the advantages given by new technology.
In point of fact, there is a long list of positive sides of playing blackjack online. To put it in nutshell, we will mention some of the most crucial issues.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the greatest advantage of online casinos is the possibility of playing blackjack whenever and wherever you wish. Not only can you relish your favourite game at home, but you can also enjoy playing while travelling to work, sitting at the beach or eating at a restaurant. There are absolutely no boundaries for the game to be played especially after the successful introduction of the game versions for mobile phones.
The next appealing thing about playing blackjack online is the opportunity of receiving an alluring prize. There is a gazillion of bonus programmes available on the Internet that offer free money for becoming a new client, making your first deposit or inviting a friend for joining the casino. There are also numerous other options for receiving extra money that can be used for playing blackjack.
Online casinos also provide their clients with an opportunity for playing free blackjack. A demonstrative mode is available on the majority of gambling websites. You can check the rules and interface of particular kinds of jackpot games and practice your playing skills and strategies absolutely free of charge.
Even if you value a real game of blackjack more than any of the attractive features characterising playing experience in an online casino, you should know there is actually an option of live blackjack. Playing live blackjack means participation in a real game with other players and a professional croupier who is dealing the game in a special studio. The entire process is transmitted online.
As far as you can see, online casinos have brought a traditional game of blackjack up to a totally new level. This made blackjack even more rewarding and pleasurable.
How can you play blackjack online?
Now, when you know the history, rules and advantages of online blackjack in particular, you certainly would like to give this game a shot as never before.
In fact, you can play blackjack practically everywhere on the Internet. It would be more difficult to find a gambling website offering no blackjack than the one with blackjack on its list of card games. Choose one of the top online casinos, take part in the best bonus programme and choose the game of blackjack with the most profitable ratio.
We wish you good luck in your gambling experience!