Blackjack is a truly iconic casino game — it's the Ultimate Casino Challenge. It is not only about luck blackjack also requires some strategy. Remember, the goal of Blackjack is not to get as close to 21, but to beat the dealer and avoid going bust!
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How to Win at Blackjack
Blackjack is not very hard to learn. All you need to remember is the score of your own hand and the score of the dealer’s hand. You must also know how the action works and when it is essential to stay or hit in a hand. When it comes to acting in Blackjack there are certain optimal decisions you can make that can improve your winning chances. In the classic variant of Blackjack, the player has an almost 49% chance of winning. This makes Blackjack the evenest casino table game out there.
If you know the optimal strategy in Blackjack, you could decrease the house edge even more. The fact is that you could actually get very close to a winning chance of nearly 50% for certain blackjack types. Some of these optimal acting decisions include hitting an extra card if you have a score of 16 when the dealer shows a 10-card. You should also always double your hand if you have a score of 10 or 11 against the dealer’s face-up card showing a 7, 8 or 9. Be aware that the dealer’s worst starting hands are 5 or 6, whereas your worst first two hands are 15 or 16. Therefore you should always stay on hands showing 12-16 if the bank shows something like 5 or 6.
Conversely, you should always hit if you have 15 or 16 versus the dealer’s face-up card of 7, 8, 9 or 10. Even if you will lose most of the times with 15 or 16, in the long run, you will lose less money than if you did the opposite and stayed.
Finally, you should never ‘split winners’. This simply means that you should not accept a split if you, for instance, have two paired cards worth ten. You already have 20 points, which will beat the dealer most of the time. Why pay to split this strong hand and create two potentially worse hands? The two hands you create stand a chance of creating far worse hands than 20 if you split them (there are more low cards in the deck left than those worth 10 points).
Don’t Play Side Bets
Blackjack has a number of options such as Perfect Pair and 21+3 for side bets to punt on. These include Perfect Pair and 21+3. While you may be tempted to try to win a humongous payout from this kind of bet, you should always avoid them.
While the payout in side bets is bigger than the base game, you increase the house edge when you play them. While you may be lucky to win a huge amount on these side bets, you will end up the loser in the long run
This is what comes to mind when players hear about blackjack strategy. When playing live dealer blackjack, you can always try the card counting technique. This is a blackjack technique that will help you to carefully follow the number of low and high cards in your shoe.
This gives you an idea of the next card and therefore, helps the scale to fall to your advantage. Hi-Lo is the easiest system of counting cards. For every low you see, you will add a point and for each of the high cards, you deduct a point.
Where can you find Blackjack Games at an Online Casino?
With so many online casinos doing the rounds these days, it has never been as easy as it is now to get instant access to high-quality blackjack games. Whether you prefer to play against a computer in an RNG game or to take your chances against a live dealer, you have more choice than ever when it comes to choosing a game type.
With so many possible options, however, it is also increasingly difficult to choose just one website to use! As such, your best bet is to use a casino review website such as SuperLenny that collects all the best online blackjack websites in one convenient location. This way, you spend less time hopelessly searching and more time playing!
How popular is Blackjack at Online Casinos?
In both land-based and online casinos, blackjack is one of the most popular games beating with roulette, and baccarat. This is due to two main reasons. Firstly, the rules are incredibly simple to pick up and even novice casino-goers can get a decent grip on the rules in a matter of minutes. Secondly, blackjack is a game that is fast-paced with short rounds, meaning that it is the perfect format to play in an online gaming session at home or when on the go with games that are typically much shorter in duration. This means that you can pick up a game and get playing within seconds without having to set aside a lot of time. Because of this format, blackjack is perfectly suited to the online and mobile gaming format.
History of Blackjack
Before there was Blackjack there was another game named ‘Twenty One’. It is unclear where Twenty One originated. The first mention of this game was by Spanish writer Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, where two characters are proclaimed as being excellent at a game where the aim was to reach 21 points. This story was written in the very early 1600s and gives some idea of just how long this game has been around.
Later Twenty One was brought to the United States where gambling establishments would actually offer players bonuses to gain their interest. Each of these bonuses was a ten to one payout to the player but only if their hand contained an ace of spades and a black jack from either clubs or spades. This hand was dubbed a ‘blackjack’ and the name stuck. Later, as the game grew in popularity, the bonus payout was withdrawn but the name remained. Nowadays, a blackjack hand is a hand that contains an ace or a card with the value of ten, regardless of suit or whether the cards are face cards.
As the game grew, it was only to be found in land-based casinos. However in the early 1990s online casinos arrived. With their arrival was born a new form of blackjack. These virtual games were created using random number generators (RNGs) and allowed players to access a variety of different blackjack games without ever having to visit a casino. As online casinos prospered and improved, so too did the game of blackjack. In recent years, blackjack has made a further transition to live dealer casinos.
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Can I get Blackjack casino bonuses?
Yes, although most casino bonuses are tied to slot games some casinos appreciate that some players prefer to play table games. This is why several casinos offer bonuses for blackjack, and other classic table games. To find them simply check out our reviews or ask customer service at the casino you’re interested in.
Live Dealer Blackjack
If you want to play blackjack in real time, and for real money look no further than live casino blackjack. At live casinos players can stream all the action live from a studio and also interact with the dealer and other players. Not all casinos offer live dealer games, but SuperLenny will always list which ones do in our reviews.
How to choose a blackjack table to play at
You will need a lot of discipline while playing blackjack online. You should avoid playing live blackjack where the minimum bet isn’t suitable for your bankroll. Pick a table whose minimum bet is not more than five percent of your bankroll. When you do that, you will last longer.
Place each hand separately
When using a blackjack betting strategy, you should avoid laying multiple hands concurrently. Instead, focus on one hand at a time to have a successful strategy.
Sit furthest away from the dealer
Now, this one mostly applies when playing blackjack at a land based casino. If you fancy some blackjack action always take a position at the live table that is furthest from the dealer. This way, you will see the played out cards.
Popular Blackjack Variants
Although you might have thought that it was a relatively simple game, there are a surprising number of variations of blackjack beyond the classic format. While there are far too many to list here, these are some of the most popular variations:
- Pontoon or British blackjack:Pontoon is simply the British equivalent of the classic American blackjack. Although it shares many of the same features, a few twists create a completely different playing experience. The biggest ones are that players can see one card before making their bets and that bets can also be increased when the hand is in play.
- Buster blackjack:Buster blackjack is essentially the classic blackjack format with the option to place a side bet that pays out when the dealer goes bust.
- Blackjack switch: Although only introduced in 2009, blackjack switch is a favourite variation online and in land-based casinos. The main difference is that each player plays two hands and has the opportunity to switch their cards after the initial deal in the game.
Top 10 Blackjack Terms
As with most online casino games, blackjack has its own unique lingo that only hardcore, experienced players will understand. Here are some of the most common:
- Bankroll: The money that the player has at their disposal. If your bankroll goes to zero, you won’t be able to place any more bets!
- Bust: When the cards you have been dealt exceed 21, your hand will be considered bust! This means that you are out of action for that game and have to wait until the cards are dealt again to get back into the action.
- Chips: Chips are essentially the in-game currency you use. You use chips to place bets and take winnings.
- Double down: When you get a sense that you will only need one more card to beat the dealer, you are given an opportunity to double down your original bet and draw a final card. If you are successful, you will win twice as much! However, if your feeling is off, you stand to lose twice what you originally wagered!
- Face cards: All face cards are assigned a value of 10 in a game of blackjack. These include jack, queen and king cards.
- Hard hands: Hands you have been dealt that do not contain an ace card are known as hard hands.
- High roller: If someone is described as a high roller, it generally means that they are playing with large sums of money or for high stakes. Typically, high rollers will only play and bet at high-value tables.
- Hole card: Any face-down card on the table – typically the dealer’s single card that is face down on the table.
- Split: If a player is dealt two great opening cards such as a face card and an ace card, they will have the option to split their hand. This means that they will essentially be playing with two separate hands in one game.
- Soft hands: Any hand you have been dealt that includes an ace, as ace cards can be valued at either 1 or 11.
Top Tips for Playing Blackjack
Whether you’re playing blackjack for fun or real money, it never hurts to have a few tips up your sleeve. Straight from the Deer’s (Lenny’s) mouth here are our top tips.
- Set your bankroll and stick to it
- Learn basic strategy
- Ignore other the players
- Avoid progressive betting systems
- Don’t expect to win
- Play on busy tables
- Don’t let emotion cloud your judgement
- Never go all-in
- Show respect to the dealer
- Only play at licensed online casinos.
Can I play Online Blackjack for free?
Generally speaking, you won’t be able to play blackjack online completely free of charge. However, a number of the larger online casino platforms might give you a free trial to play a number of their games. While it won’t necessarily cost you to play the game itself, you will have to wager real money to play.
Playing For free vs. Real-Money Blackjack
While playing for free through a trial version gives you an opportunity to get to grips with the game and to try out different strategies, playing for money is completely different. Playing blackjack with real money on the line completely changes your strategy and brings a new level of excitement to the game.
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Are the odds the same as virtual online blackjack?
While your odds are generally the same given the limits of the rules, depending on what software provider or variation you play, the odds of winning a hand might differ slightly.
What is the RTP for Blackjack?
The RTP – or Return to Player – rate of blackjack will typically hover around the 99.4% mark. While it might not seem like it, this is actually one of the best RTP rates of any casino game. This will depend on the variation you play however, with some other variations offering an RTP rate of 99.6% or even higher.
Game RTP by %
French Roulette 98.65%
Texas Hold'em Poker 99.47%
Dream Catcher 96.55%
Should I avoid insurance bets when playing blackjack?
Yes – For people who count cards, insurance is helpful. However, blackjack uses different card decks and this can make it very hard to count cards. This removes the need for insurance as the insurance bet’s odd is 9:4 when an ace is shown by the dealer.
For instance, if you made thirteen insurance bets in a single game worth one pound each, there are chances that you will four of the bets amounting to four pounds. You will then lose in the other nine amounting to nine pounds ending with a loss of five pounds.