The online casino scene is full of different versions of blackjack, with each game introducing its twist on the original concept. Despite the different versions, many of the same principles apply, more so when it comes to discussing how to place bets.
To bring you up to speed with all the information you need to know about the game, we have this full page prepared for you. It includes:
- The reason why Blackjack is one of the most popular games online
- The different types of blackjack games
- Mobile blackjack
- Live dealer blackjack
- How to play blackjack
- What not to do in order to become a successful blackjack player
- Choosing the best site offering blackjack – what to look for?
- Blackjack Glossary
Without wasting any more time, let us get into the meat and potatoes of how you can play blackjack and swing the odds back to your side.
What makes blackjack one of the most popular games
As we’ve mentioned at the start of this page, blackjack happens to be one of the most popular games, with more players choosing it over other table games. But what appeal draws players to it? Is it the odds? The reward that it offers? Or could it be the skill element? Let’s have a quick look at the top four reasons why players choose blackjack over other table games.
1. It is an easy to learn game
Blackjack is a straightforward and easy to learn game. While the majority of the other table games such as poker take a while to get to grips with the basic rules and bets, blackjack is fairly simple with few rules and forthright two-fold premise. While regular players are more informed of the subtle intricacies of blackjack, the basics can be learned even with the most novice players.
2. The game can be changed with a strategy
While ease of play is a big appeal to the new players, frequent blackjack players appreciate the level of control that they have over the game. Unlike video slots, which rely greatly on luck, blackjack happens to be one of the few games where you can influence the outcome by lowering the house edge using a good strategy.
3. Standard gameplay across all online casinos
Most of the online casino games use different rules in different countries. For players, this could mean that you need to learn the different rules every time you travel or choose to play at casinos with services tailored for players from certain countries.
However, for blackjack, the rules are consistent across all casinos – both online and at the land-based establishments. Even though there are various variants, the premise and gameplay remain the same.
4. It’s a fast-paced gamed and fun to play
If you’ve been searching for a fast-paced game that also happens to be fun, then we highly recommend that you try playing blackjack. There is no long, drawn-out gameplay and you can choose to set the pace as you play it online. This means that it’s possible to play multiple games in a short time to increase your chances of winning.
Blackjack Variants – 11 Different Ways To Play Blackjack
Just about every casino player knows how to play blackjack. After all, it’s one of the most popular casino gaming in the industry, right? But do you know all the 11 variations of blackjack found online? Each one of these games offers something different, and we are delighted to highlight the main features in points form.
This is the classic and original version that most of the players are familiar with. Online, the game uses a virtual six-deck shoe, which is re-shuffled after each hand. In classic blackjack, the dealer is expected to ‘hit’ on soft 17 (for instance, when he/she gets an Ace and Six) and you are also allowed to ‘surrender’. If you are dealt with two similar cards on your first round, you are also allowed to ‘split’ them. Also, the classic blackjack enables you to place an ‘insurance’ bet at the start of the game.
- The game uses up to six decks of cards
- You can choose to surrender, split or take an insurance bet once the cards are dealt
Double Deck Blackjack
The other popular blackjack game that you’ll come across online is the Double Deck Blackjack. However, unlike the classic version, it features fewer decks, which translate to a lower house edge. In Double Deck Blackjack, the dealer has to ‘stand’ on soft 17; a factor that also decreases the house edge. In Double Deck Blackjack, there are no surrenders accepted.
- Double Blackjack uses two decks of cards
- The dealer does not receive a hole card
- You can double down or split on any two-card hand
Single Deck Blackjack
Even from the name itself, you can already tell what single deck blackjack is all about. The game uses a single deck of cards in the virtual shoe. In this variation of blackjack, you’ll be playing one round per hand and allows for other features. Dealers are required to hit on a soft 17, while insurance bets pay out at odds of 2:1.
- Only a single deck of cards is used
- No surrender accepted
- You cannot re-split Aces
All the variations mentioned above use the American rules. However, in European Blackjack, you are given the opportunity to make all the important decisions before the dealer is given his hole card. In addition to this, the game uses the standard six-deck shoe for gameplay, but the dealer is required to stand on soft 17. One more twist to the game; players can ‘double down’ on hard 9, hard 10 and hard 11. This is usually referred to as the ‘Reno Rule’.
- This is the only version of Blackjack that uses the ‘Reno Rule’.
- Popular among UK players just as it is popular in the Las Vegas Casinos
- No surrender accepted
Instead of surrendering your bet, how about the online casino makes your cards disappear and award you with two new ones? This is Zappit Blackjack for you. This option is only valid if you are dealt with a hard 15, 16 and 17 (without an Ace present in the hand). Only then can you click/select the ZAP button to receive the fresh set of cards. Otherwise, you’ll be playing classic blackjack with a total of six decks of cards and the dealer being required to hit on a soft 17.
- Replaces the surrender option with new cards, i.e., instead of surrendering, you are given new cards
- The option is only available if you are dealt with a hard 15, 16, and 17 without an Ace
Atlantic City Blackjack
You can now experience the era of jazz and speakeasies by playing Atlantic City Blackjack – a game that uses eight decks of cards and allows you to double down as many times as you wish, regardless of the cards that you hold in your hand.
The other popular spin on the classic blackjack is the Perfect Pairs, which enables you to place side bets on whether you’ll be dealt a pair as your first two cards. If this comes to pass, the casino will pay out at odds of 6/1, equivalent to odds of 7.00. In addition to that, there’s more awaiting you.
- If the pair has the same suit, the casino pays out at odds of 25/1 equivalent to odds of 26.00
- If the pair has the same colour, the casino pays out at odds of 12/1 equivalent to odds of 13.00
- After you’ve pocketed your money, you can go ahead and split your pair and place the same bets for more winning opportunities. Perfect!
This version of blackjack allows you to trade cards between two hands. If you were to play the regular game of blackjack, this is outright cheating, but in Blackjack Switch, this is allowed and presents you with the opportunity to win while playing blackjack.
For you to perform the switch, you have to place two identical bets after which you can proceed and perform the switch on the cards. This is fun for the player, but, as usual, the house always benefits as well.
- In the game, the dealer only busts after exceeding the 22 mark instead of the 21
- If the dealer gets a hand valued at 22, it’s a push
- In Blackjack Switch, blackjacks pay even money
Free Bet Blackjack
Is there any time that you’ve wished that the dealer would pay you to match your pair splits and double down? This is what Free Bet Blackjack offers you – a game that was invented by Geoff Hall and it’s readily available in most of the online casinos. While playing Free Bet Blackjack, you can do any of the following:
- Place free splits and free doubles. We encourage you to use this pass
- When the dealer’s hand is valued at 22, all unbusted player hands will ‘
- The house edge is roughly 1%
Super Fun 21
Super Fun 21 is the other variant of blackjack, which is however not as popular as most of the others that we’ve just had a look at. This game was invented by Howard Grossman, a notorious card counter who used to frequent casinos in Atlantic City. The game is very popular among players because it offers flexible rules.
- In Super Fun 21, the player’s blackjack will pay even money
- The game has a house edge of roughly 1%
Spanish 21 Blackjack
Unlike most of the other variants that we’ve gone through before, Spanish 21 is unique and very popular across most of the online casinos. The game offers you an opportunity to place numerous side bets, and it uses a shoe of six decks. It uses all the basic rules involved in blackjack such as hitting, standing, splitting a pair of hands etc.. However; it’s important to note the following about Spanish 21 Blackjack.
- The shoe of six decks does not have number 10s. This increases the house edge by a whopping 2%
- Due to the increased house edge, the rules in Spanish 21 Blackjack are very liberal
- Even while using some of the basic blackjack strategies, the house edge still ranges between 0.37% to 0.78%
- Any winning hand in Spanish 21 pays at odds of 1/1
Online mobile blackjack makes it possible for you to play all the variants of blackjack straight from your tablet, smartphone or internet connected devices. It offers you the ultimate in portability, convenience and betting on the go. Through the mobile blackjack, you can play the best games anywhere, anytime and give you the opportunity to discover new ways of playing on the move.
Mobile blackjack games have revolutionized how players enjoy blackjack games and have created a new crop of blackjack players. Statistics indicate that mobile blackjack and other casino games are the next big thing in the online casino industry with more and more players choosing to use their Blackberry, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Android devices to play the various games.
Overall, these games are out in two main categories:
- Instant play mobile blackjack
- Mobile app blackjack games
Instant Play Mobile Blackjack
In order to play instant play mobile blackjack games on your device, all that you need to do is log onto the online casino website using your smartphone or tablet. You can do this through your Safari, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. From there, you can choose any of the instant play blackjack games, which load seamlessly and come in crisp graphics.
Blackjack Mobile App
Besides the instant play mobile blackjack games, you can as well download and install the games on your smartphone, iPad, iPad or tablet device. To do this, you need to visit the mobile casino, click on the mobile app; allow the app to download and install in your device after which you can start playing the game.
Take note that while instant play mobile blackjack games can be played through blackberry, Android, iOS, and Windows devices, the application games are mostly limited to Android, iOS and sometimes, Windows devices.
Live Dealer Casino Blackjack
In addition to the mobile blackjack, you can also experience the intensity of blackjack as you play against real human dealers in real time across all online casinos. Play classic blackjack, perfect pairs, Atlantic City blackjack and so many others online through the live dealer platform.
The feature-rich live dealer casino blackjack brings you iconic games through cutting edge video streaming. All you need to do is launch any one of the online casinos and choose a wide range of games; book a space at any one of the tables, place your bet and start interacting with the dealers and other players seated at the table.
Classy and Stylish Live Dealer Casino Platform
The live dealer blackjack makes it possible to play the games in real time. To make it possible for you to have authentic gaming experience, software developers such as NetEnt and Evolution Gaming have these blackjack games streamed straight from the land-based casinos throughout the UK, Malta, Monaco, Las Vegas and other popular gambling destinations globally.
Through the casino’s live dealer blackjack game, there are features to help you have a smooth experience. For instance, you can opt to change the size of the dealer’s image or choose to have the size of the image in full-screen mode. You can also choose to view the history of the game(s) that you’ve been playing at the casino in addition to the bets that you’ve been placing. You can also view the game’s rules, bet limits, and special features by clicking on the information button, which is usually located within the game.
How to play blackjack
The first thing you have to take note of before playing Blackjack is the objective. Contrary to what most of the other websites write, it’s not your goal to reach the value of 21 with your hand. Instead, you should focus on getting a better hand value than the dealer. Getting as close as possible to 21 is just a mechanic, and it means that there’s a high chance that you are more likely to beat the dealer. If you are going to achieve this, let us go through some of the basics.
By choosing to play software based blackjack, the casino will have simulated the land-based casino setting in software format. The first thing that appears is the settings table where you get to customize your gaming experience. The field includes the following:
- The limits button where you get to choose the minimum and maximum allowable bet amount.
- The colour section where you get to choose the colour of your table.
- The special bets button, which after activating it lets you place special bets while playing
- Background music button, which enables you to toggle the music on or off
Your objective as you play Blackjack
Contrary to what most of the players think, your main objective while playing this fantastic card game isn’t to get to the value of 21. The truth is, the highest hand value that you can get in blackjack is set at 21, but if all you do is focus on attaining this number, you won’t be doing much winning. Instead, strive to get a hand value that’s stronger than that of the dealer and one that’s closest to 21 as possible. It’s as simple as that, it really is!
Card values in Blackjack
Different cards in Blackjack have different values.
- Cards 2 through to 10 have a value equivalent to their face value
- Face cards – King Queen and Jack – are valued at 10
- An Ace can be valued either as an 11 or a 1 depending on your preference. For instance, if you’ve been dealt with an Ace and a King, you could decide to value it as 11 or 21. However, should you hit and draw a 5, you’ll have a hand value of 26, which you automatically lose. To avoid this, you’ll choose the Ace to be valued at 1.
So, you now understand your objective as you play online blackjack and you also know the value of the cards. So what is the next step? This is very important, and at this point, you’ll be playing blackjack now. You’ll be dealt with the cards by the dealer (if you are playing live dealer blackjack) or by the simulated dealer (if you are playing software based blackjack).
Two cards will be dealt to you; one face up, while the other facing down. The dealer is also dealt with two cards; one facing up and the other facing down. The card facing down is referred to as the ‘hole card’. After the two cards have been dealt to the dealer, you are given the opportunity to peek at your cards and perform any one of the following moves:
- Hit – By hitting, you’ll essentially be asking the dealer to deal you another card to increase the value of your hand. You are allowed to do this as many times as possible as long as you don’t burst
- Stand – This is the complete opposite of hitting. When you opt to stand, you are essentially refusing to take another card. If your hand has a natural blackjack (an Ace and a ten-value card), then this is the perfect option
- Split – You can split your hand only if you have a pair of cards – for instance two Aces. When you choose to split your hands, you’ll now have two ‘new’ hands, and you double your winnings. However, be prepared to spend more as splitting your hands dictates that you match the initial bet, making it a high risk, high rewarding move
- Double Down – You can double your initial wager in exchange for an extra card. If you choose to go down this road, you won’t be able to hit. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that some online casinos don’t allow for this move on certain hands. It’s therefore important that you go through the rules before playing this move
- Insurance – This is also a risky move, and it’s only left for the adrenaline junkies. When you place an insurance bet, you are basically betting that the first card to be drawn by the dealer is an Ace. In other words, you are betting that the next card is going to be a 10-value card, which will result in a natural.
- Surrender – Casinos such as 888 offer you the option of surrendering if you strongly believe that you are not capable of beating the dealer with the value of hand that you have. When you go in for this option, the casino will declare your hand dead and will only refund half of your stake.
Once every player at the table has completed their hands, the dealer will flip over the hole card. After this, there are a new set of rules that the dealer must play with depending on the value of their hand. For instance, if their hand value is equal or less than 16, they are required to draw an extra card. If the value is 17 or more, they are required to stand.
- Players with a lower hand value than the dealer’s hand lose, while those with more win.
- If the dealer’s hand goes over 21, they automatically bust and all the players seated at the table and with a hand value less than 21 wins.
- If you have a hand value that exceeds 21, you bust regardless of the value of the dealer's
- If you have the same value as that of the dealer, the result is a push, and you get a full refund of your stake
So how do some of these bets payout? Well, the insurance bet usually pays out 2:1 while getting a natural hand will see you receive a payout of 3:2. All the other wins will result in a standard even-money payout.
What not to do in order to become a successful blackjack player
Most often, you’ll come across guides featuring the right ways of playing blackjack; that’s usually the point, right? It sure is. But it got us asking ourselves, why is that everyone is telling you how not to play? Well, our team have come up with a few points on the worst mistakes that you can possibly make while playing online blackjack. In all honesty, by avoiding these bad ways of playing this beautiful game, making the good choices come automatically.
Not checking the game’s rules beforehand
Whether it’s at the land-based or online casinos, the majority of the casino players plonk themselves at the blackjack tables before reading the rules involved in the game. Unfortunately, not all blackjack games were created equally, and while some favour the players, there are those that favour the house. It’s not the job of the dealer to point you in the right direction, so you shouldn’t expect them to do so. Instead, you can consider some of the following points:
- Does the dealer have to stand on soft-17?
- Is it possible to double down once you’ve split your pairs
- Does the casino pay 3/2 (2.5 in fraction format) for a natural blackjack
All in all, just ensure that you’ve cross-checked the rules of the game before you can play. If they appear unfavourable, swerve the table!
Not taking a break from betting
Did you know that blackjack is one of the casino games that has ruined so many players within a short time? This does not mean that you don’t play this game. Instead, we suggest that you have a bankroll to guide you as you play. As a rule of the thumb, always ensure that you’ve split your bankroll into 100 bets at all times. If the least bet amount that you can bet in the game is £1, then you’ll need £100 in your casino account. Don’t exceed the £100 mark. Again, if you can’t afford to lose the £100, don’t bet.
Placing side bets isn’t the best idea
Lucky ladies, match pair, whatever players call them – just avoid them like plague! Most of the online blackjack games have the provision of side bets, while others don’t. However, one thing that you always have to keep in mind is that if you find yourself seated at a table with side bets, the house edge is usually high. If you can avoid them, the better for you!
Using the progressive betting systems such as the Martingale
Progressive betting systems only work for a few players, who have also lost a fair share of their bets while playing online. In most cases, they don’t change your odds one little bit – with others such as the Martingale Betting strategy being rather risky. So, avoid them whenever you can.
With that last point, we wind up this brief yet very important section. Try the tips above, and you’ll find yourself playing better than the other players at the table. But before you start playing, we also have tips that will help you choose the best blackjack casinos online.
Choosing the best site offering blackjack – what to look for?
Across the world, more and more people are visiting online casinos, some as a form of entertainment, whith others trying to win some money. Irrespective of why you choose to visit one yourself, there are a few factors that you have to consider first. Factors that will not only ensure that you have an easy and smooth time playing at the site, but also an enjoyable and fun experience. We’ll quickly take you through some of the factors to consider.
1. Look at the security features the casino offers
Security is one of the most important features that you should put on top of your list. While the online casino industry has come a long way as far as security is concerned; there are still a number of dubious internet casinos online. Most of these sites are out to exploit the naivety of new players online or even some of the experienced players. Such sites are characterized by the following features.
- They often fail to pay out players’ winnings especially those who have won huge sums of money
- They are not willing to share the RTP of their games and other information regarding their audits
- Some are not licensed. And for those that claim to be licensed, their ‘license information’ isn’t accurate
- Winning at these casinos is like a dream – which will never come true!
For such casinos, it’s always easy to spot them, but only if you have enough experince playing online. Before visiting any site, we recommend that you visit the following sources and see if it’s truly safe.
- A number of online casino review sites. At Allvideoslots.com, we are always taking the time to try out sites so that you do not have to. We will write accurate reviews based on all the important security features at a casino
- Player comments across multiple forums. Most of the players will share their real-life experiences while playing at the casinos, so it's highly advisable that you check out their comments
2. The game variety
You are after playing blackjack, right? So it makes a lot of sense that you would visit an online casino that offers plenty of blackjack games online. In addition to blackjack, you’ll also want a site that offers a variety of other games such as slots, roulette and live dealer games. After all, variety is the spice of life!
3. The quality of service delivery
This is also a very important factor that you cannot ignore – even if you’d like to. When choosing a casino based on the quality of service delivery, you need to ask yourself the following questions. How fast do they process their payments? Do they have a customer support service team that I can reach whenever I need the help? Do they consider UK players? What currencies are supported? What languages do they support? How good are their dealers? If a casino checks out in at least four categories, then you might as well want to sign up and try their services.
At Allvideoslots.com, we have tried a number of online casinos, and we believe that they perform alright in the three sections above. At Casino Cruise, for instance, they offer players 66 live table games, 47 table games (which include a number of blackjack games). Also, at Sloty Casino, you might be expecting slot games only, but the site also offers a wide variety of live dealer games (77 in total) and 39 table games that include a few varieties of Blackjack.
Bankroll: This is the cash that you’ll be spending as you play blackjack online.
Blackjack: This name has two meanings; first, it’s the name given to the game. Secondly, during gameplay, it’s used to mean a natural hand of 21 points after the first deal
Bust: When you go bust, it simply means that you’ve lost the game because your hand has exceeded the 21 points allowed in blackjack.
Cut: This term is mostly used in live dealer blackjack. Before the start of the game, the dealer will ‘cut’ or simply split the decks of cards immediately after shuffling them. This action is usually necessary to ensure fair play
Deal: This word is used to refer to the action of the dealer handling you with the cards
Double Down: This is an optional action that you can choose to opt in. When you double down, you are simply doubling the size of your bet and receiving an extra card at the same time. If you win, your payouts will be doubled
Draw: When you draw, you are simply being dealt an extra card from the deck
Even Money Bets: Even money bets are those that will pay back the exact value as your original stake
Face Card: This is a term that you’ll often come across while playing blackjack online. It’s used to mean any card displaying a Jack, Queen or King
Hard Hand: This is the opposite of a soft hand. What it means is a hand that lacks an Ace or an Ace that’s counted as one
Hit: When you hit, you are requesting the dealer to deal you with an extra card. It’s possible to hit as many times as possible provided that you don’t go bust
Hole Card: A term used to refer to the dealer’s face down card
Natural: Your hand is referred to as a natural if the value of the two cards sum up to exactly 21 points
Insurance: Insurance is a type of side bet that lets you bet on whether or not the dealer’s hand is a natural. If he happens to have a natural, you’ll win back up to 1.5X your bet. Take note that not all online casinos offer the insurance bet
Push: The result is a push if you happen to have a hand value that’s similar to that of the dealer. When this happens, the casino will fully refund your original stake
Shoe: This is a special card case that’s been designed to specifically hold blackjack cards
Soft Hand: A soft hand is any hand that has an Ace valued at 11 instead of 1
Stand: When you choose to stand, you hold and turn down any more cards from the dealer
Surrender: When you opt to surrender, you are simply giving up your hand, and as a result, you lose half your original stake. In some instances, surrender is also referred to as folding. And just like the insurance bet, only selected online casinos offer the option of surrendering
Split: You can only split your hand when your hand contains two cards of the same value. Once you’ve split them, you’ll be playing them as two new hands
Up Card: The up card is the dealer’s card facing up
Once you’ve fully understood the lingo and basic rules involved while playing online blackjack, the steep learning curve of blackjack will start smoothening out and easier to transverse. In the spirit of keeping things short and detailed, we’ve opted not to go into specifics of each variety of blackjack, but as for now, we strongly believe that you have a starting point and an understanding on how you can tackle the croupier.
888’s Casino has a variety of blackjack games powered by section 8 studio. The games have special in-game features that evert blackjack player needs in order to enjoy the full complexity of this classic card game. Head straight to the casino, get your cards dealt through the free to play mode and see what we are talking about.