The rules of blackjack are easy. It’s an exciting game in which it’s possible to use very effective strategies. Experts who play in a mathematical way and who are able to count cards can profoundly increase their chances of winning.
But it’s also a brilliant game for occasional players who can play sensibly. The odds in the casino’s favour are lower here than in many other games, which accounts for the fact that Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games.
History of Blackjack
Whilst the popularity of Blackjack goes back to the Great War, its roots go deeper in France to 1760 when the game was called Vingt-et-Un (French expression for number 21). Blackjack is a game that you’ll find in every casino these days. The Dealer is someone who takes responsibility for all the aspects of the game from the shuffling and dealing of the cards up to the processing of all the bets.
Blackjack is played with one player only, although it’s possible for many players to be present at the table. All the players are only playing against the dealer. The goal of the game is to get a card combination with a value higher than the dealer’s, but the sum mustn’t be exceed 21. The exceeding of the 21 is known as “pass” and leads to an immediate loss.
The final value of the cards in online Blackjack is given by the sum of the value of all the cards in the hand. The numbered cards have their nominal value (so “4” of spades has a value of “4” points). The aces have a value of 1 or 11 depending on the other cards in the hand. Tens, jacks, queens and kings all have the value of 10 points. Jacks (or other cards with a value of 10 points) and ace have the value of 21. This combination is known as “blackjack” and that’s the term that gave this game its name.
Before the online Blackjack game starts the player has to place a bet. If you’re playing online blackjack then you can play for free with virtual money. You can always choose a table with limits that fulfil your bankroll and you never have to bet more than you can afford.
As soon as the stakes are placed the dealer deals two cards facing up to each player. The dealer then takes two cards too but puts just one of them facing down. According to the combination of the player’s cards in hand and also through the dealer’s facial expressions the player has several ways how he can continue to play:
• Stand – finish the game with just two cards
• Hit – ask the dealer for more cards to increase the value of the card combination
• Double down – double the stake and use just one extra card
• Split – divide the combination into two independent parts if the first combination is couple
It’s important to mention that the rules of online Blackjack regarding doubling and dividing are different in each casino so it’s recommended to get advice from the dealer before you start playing.
When players are happy with their card combination, the dealer reveals his/her face down card. If the sum of his/her cards is 16 or less, he/she has to take another card. It’s required by some online casinos for the dealer to take another card, if he/she has a got combination called a “soft 17”, which means a card with value of 6 and an ace with the value of 11 points.
Again, it’s important to realise that certain rules of Blackjack are different in each casino. Get familiar with the particular house rules before playing.
The “soft 17” rule
Although the rules of various types are similar, the “soft 17” rule is often different. This situation happens when the dealer has a combination of a 6 and an ace, which has a combined value of 17. Depending on the online casino some dealers have to end the game on this value and in other casinos they are required to take another card. Most of the casinos require, with this card combination, for the dealer to take another card and this increases the probability of them winning by 0.2%.
Another rule that’s important to consider is how to deal with losses and ties. It’s best to avoid casinos that make it possible for the dealer to win on combinations of 17 to 21, 17 to 20 and 17 to 19. These rules increase the chances of the casinos winning and it’s more difficult to generate a profit. It’s therefore safe to say that ties place casinos at an unfair advantage.
Digital or live Blackjack?
The advantage of online casinos is that you often have a choice of two types of game – the classic blackjack or live blackjack where you’re playing against real dealers that you can watch via live web cams. Most men will be pleased to hear that the dealers are very often beautiful ladies, but another advantage is that you can read their facial expressions, and it’s even possible to talk to other players around the table. We highly recommend this opportunity, mainly in JackpotCity Casino.