Rules and Gameplay
Most games available at online casinos are based on luck. It simply means that the outcome of the game does not depend on the moves the player makes. On the other hand, there are a few casino games where your decisions matter and one of them is Blackjack. So, Blackjack is a card game that requires certain skills. It is good and bad news at the same time. On the one hand, your moves can lower the house edge. On the other hand, if you want to benefit from this fact, you will have to learn the optimal strategy that can help you beat the game of Blackjack.
Also known as 21, Blackjack has a simple objective – the player needs to beat the dealer with a hand totaling 21 or getting as close as possible to this value without exceeding it. Most Blackjack variants you can play online use six card decks with no jokers included. At online casinos, you can find a wide range of Blackjack games, but their basics, like the value of cards, are always the same. An Ace is worth 1 or 11 and hands completed with this card are cold “soft”. All face cards are worth 10 while the value of cards 2 through 10 is always their pip value.
When the initial two cards of the player or dealer are worth 21, it is called a natural or blackjack. Such a hand wins automatically. Otherwise, the hand with a higher total wins, unless it exceeds 21. After the initial two cards are dealt, the player can choose from several options: hit, stand, double down, split or insurance. Some games also offer the surrender option.
A blackjack or natural will earn you a 2:1 payout in most Blackjack variants. Other winning hands will secure you 1:1, meaning that you will get your original wager back plus the same amount. Let’s find out more about the gameplay.
How to Play Blackjack online?
In most game variants, a round starts with the player placing a bet and receiving two face-up cards. At the same time, the dealer gets two cards with one of them dealt face-up. If any side receives a natural, they win the round automatically. Should both sides have a blackjack, the round will end in a push, which is another term for a tie. In this case, no one wins, and the player gets their original wager back.
If the round does not finish after the initial hand is dealt, the player has several options to choose from. They can hit, meaning that they will ask for another card or stand, which means that they don’t want to receive more cards. Other options include double down, which will double their bet and get them another card and split. This option is available when the player has received two cards of the same value and splits them into two hands while doubling their bet.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, the player can go for the insurance option, which is a kind of a side bet worth half of their original wager. This bet wins when the dealer has a blackjack. A surrender is an option available in some Blackjack variants. It allows the player to give up on half of their original wager if they believe that their hand is weaker than the dealers.
If any side goes over 21, it is a bust. As for the dealer, when their hand is worth 16 or less, they must hit while on a total of 18 or more, they must stand. Besides, the dealer stands on a hard 17 and hits on a soft 17. In some game variations, the dealer hits on all 17s, which is a rule that is not favorable to the player as it increases the house advantage.
House Edge Explained
Blackjack is popular due to its low house edge. It sits at around 0.5% provided that the game is played according to the basic strategy. Otherwise, it increases to 2% and even higher, so you can figure out how important it is to know which moves you should make. Of course, the low house margin applies to the main game. Side bets come with a higher house edge, meaning that they involve more risk. That’s because these optional bets are based on luck, and you can do nothing to win on them.
You should also bear in mind that the house margin varies from one Blackjack variant to another. Many factors affect the house edge, like the number of card decks in play, whether the dealer hits on soft 17s and the player can hit after splitting Aces, and so on.
Always check all the rules and the house edge of the Blackjack variation you intend to play and learn the basic strategy for it.
Winning Blackjack Strategy – Is There One and Can You Rely on It?
As we have pointed out earlier, there is a strategy that can help you beat every Blackjack game. However, whether it will turn out to be the winning strategy also depends on luck. No matter how perfect it may be, Blackjack still has an element of luck to it. Since each game variant has its own set of rules, the best way to win is to find the appropriate strategy chart. Also known as a Blackjack cheat sheet, it will suggest which moves you should make based on the cards you have received and the dealer’s face-up card.
Besides, there are some things you can do regardless of the game variant you opt for. For instance, you can always split Aces and 8s or choose a variation where the dealer stands on a soft 17. There is also one piece of advice that may seem counterintuitive, and it says that you should stand when the dealer’s face-up card is a 4, 5 or 6. By doing so, you will practically give the dealer a chance to bust. And if they bust, you win!
Just like Baccarat or Poker, Blackjack comes with various side bets adding more excitement to the gameplay. While they may offer juicy payouts, they are risky to play. As we have mentioned earlier, no strategy can help you win on a side bet, because all you can do to play them is to make a wager. Side bets can be considered an extra feature that you need to pay additionally and to win on them, you need to receive the right cards.
The good news is that you can win on the side bet even if you lose on the main bet. However, they come with a higher house margin, which simply means that they are less likely to win. Instead of wasting money on optional bets, make sure to master the basic strategy for the game variant you want to play and make your decisions according to it.
As you can see, Blackjack is all about strategy and making the right moves, so if you want to be successful at it, act accordingly. You should not play a hunch as your gut feeling may be misleading. While online Blackjack doesn’t allow you to use advantage play techniques like card counting, there is still a chance to beat the game by playing by the strategy.
Other don’ts you should keep in mind if you want to be successful at Blackjack include avoiding insurance and side bets. These may drain your bankroll, so instead of investing your time and money in them, focus on the main game and how to beat the dealer with a stronger hand. Also, keep an eye on your bankroll, avoid progressive betting systems and, last but not least, know when to quit.
🇸🇬 Blackjack FAQs
Yes, you can beat the game of Blackjack by learning the basic strategy and applying it when making decisions. Make sure to find the cheat sheet for the game you want to play and make moves according to it.
While they may pay more attractive prizes than the main game, side bets are riskier as they come with a higher house edge. No strategy can help you win on side bets.
In Blackjack, the house advantage is low, sitting at 0.5% in most variants when the game is played according to the basic strategy.
Blackjack offers the main bet and different side bets that vary from one game variant to another.
Blackjack is a game of skill, meaning that your decisions and moves can affect the house edge.