Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games. In terms of its popularity, blackjack does not give up its position to the world-famous poker. Blackjack has fairly simple rules even an inexperienced player can quickly learn how to play it. In addition, the game is considered to be quite dynamic and exciting. it’s got some depth as there are decisions you can make that can affect the game’s outcome. On this page, you’ll find a full guide to the game.
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History of Blackjack
Blackjack is believed to have originated in Spain some time before the 17th century. A short story by Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, mentions two characters playing a game very similar to blackjack. This story was written between 1601 and 1602.
Around the early 19th century, there was a similar game being played in France called ‘Vingt-et-un’ (French for ‘twenty-one’). This game is believed to have had more in common with today’s blackjack games. Thanks to French colonists, it was able to make its way to America, where it grew in popularity. For many years, the game was known as ’21’. Its current name came about thanks to some casinos in Nevada. To attract even more players to the game, they offered a side bet that paid 10:1 if you manage to get to 21 using the ace of spades and one of the two black jacks.
Basic Blackjack Terms
Below are some of the most common terms associated with blackjack games:
- Bankroll – Your bankroll is how much money you have to spend on the game.
- Blackjack – As well as being the name of the game, this refers to when your first two cards add up to 21.
- Bust – If a hand goes over 21, it goes bust and is out of the game.
- Dealer – Also known as the banker, the dealer is who you’re playing against.
- Hard Hand – A hard hand either doesn’t include an ace or includes one that has to be valued at 1, otherwise you’d go bust.
- Hole card – This is the dealer’s face-down card.
- Player – This refers to anyone who’s playing against the dealer.
- Push – If a bet is returned to you, this is a push.
- Soft Hand – A soft hand includes an ace that can be valued at 1 or 11 without you going bust. You can add an extra card to a soft hand.
How to Play Blackjack
For beginners, we’d like to explain that you should get a hand that’s as close to 21 but without going beyond this total.
You are playing against the dealer as well as according to the fixed rules of the game but you are free to decide which choice to make.
Playing blackjack is quite straightforward. This game has pretty simple rules. First of all, place your bet. You and the dealer are then dealt two cards each. Any other players taking part also receive two cards. All cards are dealt face-up, though one of the dealer’s is dealt face-down.
Blackjack uses standard decks of 52 cards. The number of decks in use varies but for most games it’s six or eight. All numbered cards are worth their face value. Royals (jack, queen and king) are worth 10 and the ace can be worth 1 or 11.
If your first two cards add up to 21 and the dealer’s don’t, you’ve won blackjack and get paid 3:2 on your initial bet. If the dealer gets 21 and you don’t, the dealer wins and you lose your bet.
Should neither player get 21, you get to make decisions about what to do with your hand. There are several options:
- Hit – An extra card is added to your hand.
- Stand – You keep your hand as it is.
- Double Down – You double your bet, hit and then stand.
- Split – If your first two cards are of the same value, you can split your hand in two.
You keep on making decisions until you’re happy with your hand and decide to stand. If at any point the value of your hand exceeds 21, you’re out of the game.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, you have an extra option. You can place the insurance bet, which costs half your original bet. If it turns out that the dealer’s other card is worth 10, the insurance bet wins and the payout for it is 2:1.
Once you’re done with your hand, the dealer has to act. The dealer has to follow set rules. For example, in some blackjack games, the dealer has to stand on 17, while in other games the dealer has to hit on 17.
When the dealer stands, both hands are compared. Whichever one is closest to 21 wins. If yours is the closest, your initial bet is paid at 1:1. If the dealer wins, you lose your bet. If it’s a tie, your bet is returned to you.
Top Blackjack Variants
Just like other casino games, blackjack has many different variants you’ll find at online casinos. One of the most popular ones is single deck blackjack. As its name suggests, it uses just one deck of cards. Because of this, it’s house edge is lower than most other blackjack games, which is why it’s so popular. Other blackjack variants to consider playing include blackjack switch, where you play with two hands and can switch cards from one to the other, and Spanish 21, which doesn’t have any cards worth 10.
Animated vs Live Games
Animated games are mostly designed to look like games you’d find in land-based casinos. They follow the standard rules, though some of them have slight changes or even new features. Live games, on the other hand, are real-life games that you can take part in by watching a real-time broadcast through your computer or phone. Live dealer games have several players taking part and there’s an actual croupier keeping things running. Live casino versions of blackjack can be more exciting and immersive, though they typically have higher betting limits than animated games.
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Blackjack’s House Edge
One of the reasons why blackjack is so popular is because it has a very low house edge. Most blackjack games have a house edge of around 1% or lower. The lower the house edge, the less of your money you should lose to the game on average over long-term play.
Best Blackjack Strategies
There are a number of strategies to play blackjack, like Split the pair of aces, or always double down on hard 11, but the best strategy for beginners is to use the basic blackjack strategy card. This is a table that shows you what the best move to make is based on what your own hand is worth and what the dealer’s face-up card is. There are different cards available for different versions of blackjack.
To give an example, let’s say you’re playing an eight-deck game with the dealer required to stand on a soft 17. The dealer’s face-up card is a 6 and your hand is worth 14. Strategy cards will tell you to stand if your hand is hard. If your hand is soft, you’ll be told to double down if the game allows it, or to stand. Following a card’s advice should give you the best chances of winning, though of course there’s no guarantee you’ll win the game.
Hints and Tips for Playing Blackjack Online
Below are some useful hints and tips that beginners should know before they start playing blackjack online.
- Think Carefully – Take time to think about your next move, whether you’re consulting a strategy card or making decisions on your own. When playing for real money, don’t rush things and give yourself enough time to make sensible decisions.
- Don’t Place the Insurance Bet – This particular bet isn’t worthwhile as in the long-run, it probably won’t make you much money at all. It’s best to focus on the game’s main bets.
- Avoid Card Counting – Some people try to practise card counting, which is where you mentally keep track of the cards that have come up in the game. In most blackjack games online, this isn’t possible because the software shuffles the cards at intervals regular enough to make counting pointless.
Blackjack Software Providers
Some providers stick to the traditional rules when creating blackjack games. Others introduce new twists and features to make their games more appealing. It is important to play games from reputable developers, it guarantees fairness, smooth gameplay, quality graphics and stability.
There are lots of online casino game providers that have released blackjack games. Some of these include: BetSoft, NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, Play’n Go and more.
Play Blackjack on Your Phone
Most online casino blackjack games are playable on mobile devices. To play blackjack on your phone all you need is a steady and secure internet connection. There’s no requirement to download any additional software to your device. You can play blackjack games in instant play through your device’s web browser.
Playing for Free vs Playing for Real Money
Since blackjack requires you to make decisions, it’s a good idea to practice playing for free. This way, you can test out strategies and get used to playing the game without taking any risks. When you’re confident at playing the game, try playing for real money instead and see how you fare against the dealer. Many players prefer playing for real money because it’s a lot more fun and exciting than playing for free. There’s the chance to win actual money and if you do happen to win, it feels very rewarding because your in-game decisions have helped you win; you haven’t just won out of pure luck. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of having your decisions pay off and scoring a decent win from playing real-money blackjack.
Blackjack is an exciting card comparing game that gets you thinking. It’s played between you and the dealer and your objective is to beat the dealer to 21 without going over 21 yourself. The decisions you make can help you win, but they may cause you to lose. Online blackjack games are available in the Philippines. People in the country are able to play both animated and live games of blackjack at licensed online casinos. Familiarise yourself with the rules and play for free to see what it’s like, then start playing with real money.
You’re able to slightly increase your chances of winning by using strategy cards. These tell you what move is theoretically the best one to make.
When playing against a live dealer, you should use a strategy card. Also, choose a game whose betting options suit your bankroll, avoid the insurance side bet and be prepared to have less time to make decisions.
Yes, blackjack is available to play on mobile phones. Both animated and live dealer games can be played.
The house edge varies depending on the particular version of blackjack you’re playing. For most games it’s very low indeed at around 1% or lower.
Some players prefer single deck blackjack because it has a lower house edge.
Animated games follow the same rules, though they usually have cheaper betting options and no time limits on how long you have to make decisions.
Since blackjack requires decision-making, free play is recommended so you can get some practise in and get used to how the game works without risking your money.
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