Blackjack is one of the most exciting games out there. It is highly successful in gushing your adrenaline levels. It is also a game that significantly increases your chances of winning when appropriate strategy is used. Online blackjack has a relatively low house edge, which makes it all the more attractive and tasteful for many players. Read more!
As a game, it enjoys such popularity that it is inevitably found in all land-based and virtual casinos that are worthy of the name. If online blackjack has piqued your interest, you first need to familiarize yourself with the rules and strategies (basic and advanced) associated with this timeless game. We will also shed light on some of the best Indian online casinos where you can play blackjack. To get off to a flying start, we recommend you read the rules carefully and familiarize yourself with basic blackjack strategy. These tips guide you in what action to take, depending on your hand and the dealer’s visible card. Based on mathematics, data interpretation and logical reasoning, blackjack strategies help increase your chances of winning. The various blackjack variations available in online casinos can be played from a computer or mobile device. Also consider opting for the best casino bonuses in order to start the game with a chock-a-block bankroll!
A few facts about classic blackjack …
- The goal of the game is to beat the dealer (casino) by procuring a 21-point hand (or as close to it as possible);
- The dealer must follow strict guidelines and is absolutely not entitled to make individual decisions;
- If the dealer’s hand is less than or equal to 16 points, he must draw an extra card. If his hand is between 17 and 21 points, he must stand;
- You need to put some basic strategy into practice to win in the medium term. Be it online or live, blackjack involves both luck and strategy.
What are the rules of blackjack?
The rules of blackjack stand out in terms of simplicity. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes to become familiar with them. Blackjack is always played against the dealer and not against other opponents. The goal of the game is to procure a stronger hand than the dealer without exceeding the 21-point limit. Each card has an individual nominal value. However, knowing the rules is not enough to be a good player. You must also learn basic blackjack strategy in order to decrease the house edge. If you have never played this game yet, you are likely to be asking yourself a whole bunch of questions. How do I start the game? Do I interact with other players or with the dealer only? How many times do I have to place a bet? What actions may I take? These are the kind of common questions that deserve clear and well thought out answers.
How to play blackjack?
At the start of the game, each player must place a bet in the designated table area. Minimum and maximum bets vary depending on the version being played and the software provider being used. Needless to say that we advise you to choose a version whose betting limits are aligned with your personal budget. After placing the initial wager, the player is dealt two face-up cards. At this stage, the dealer also gets two cards, one of which is face down. Now, time has come to calculate the value of your hand. The card values in blackjack are as follows:
Card values in blackjack
Note that the card suit doesn’t matter at all. Hands that don’t contain aces are pretty easy to calculate. For example, a hand made up of a jack and a 7 is worth 17 points (10 + 7). A hand made up of a pair of 9s is worth 18 points (9 + 9). If one of your two initial cards is an ace, you have a ‘soft hand’. Since the ace can take two values at once (either 1 or 11 points), this means that you can risk drawing an extra card without busting (overshooting the 21-point bar). For example, if you have an ace and a 5, the hand could be worth either 6 or 16 points. If the third card you draw is a 5, the hand is now worth 21 points (the ace would take a 11-point value).
But if the third card you draw has a value higher than or equal to 6, the ace would be worth 1 point. Otherwise, the value of your hand would exceed the 21-point threshold. In these conditions, it is said that you have a ‘hard hand’. The difference between these two hand types is important when studying the blackjack strategy chart. Once you know the value of your two cards, it’s time to choose which moves to focus on in order to beat the dealer. The various options available to you are summarized in the descriptions below:<
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What are the possible moves in blackjack?
Stand – The player decides to keep his hand by declining any additional action. It’s the dealer’s turn to disclose his game. You should focus on this option if you think that your hand is very likely to beat the dealer’s hand.
Hit – You draw an extra card to improve your hand. The value of the card is added to that of your current hand. The dealer keeps giving you one card at a time to improve your score until you reach 21 or choose to stand.
Double Down – You double the value of your initial wager and receive an extra card. After that, you won’t be able to draw any further card: you are in possession of your final hand. This is a very profitable move when used wisely. For example, if the dealer’s visible card is a 6 and the sum of your two cards is 11, it is the right time to double down as you have good chances of getting a 21-point hand by receiving a 10-point card.
Split – If you get a pair (two cards of the same value) on the first two cards, you have the option to split them to form two separate hands. For example, if you get a pair of eights or a pair of aces, you can split them and receive another card to complete the two hands. Both hands are played one after the other. Online casinos apply different rules regarding card splitting: some allow you to double down after a split and some don’t, some allow you to split again if the new card makes another pair and some don’t … That being said, they all agree on one point: if you get a blackjack on a split hand, it won’t be counted as a natural blackjack but as a 21-point hand.
Insurance – If the dealer’s visible card is an ace, you are given the opportunity to take insurance. Here is how it works: if the dealer shows an ace, you can place a side bet for up to half your initial wager. If the dealer’s second card is a 10-point card, you win the additional bet at odds of 2 to 1 to compensate for the dealer’s natural blackjack. But careful! This policy isn’t as fair as it may look. If the dealer’s second card is not worth 10 points, you lose your insurance bet and still have to play your initial hand, with all the risks involved. Mathematically, the probability of the dealer’s second card being worth 10 points isn’t enough to place this type of bet.
Surrender – This option only applies to certain versions. By following this type of bet, you agree to give up your hand and yield half of your initial bet. For example, if you have a 16-point hand and the dealer’s visible card is an ace, things are looking pretty bad. In such circumstances, maybe it would be wiser to lay down arms and get back half of your initial stake. As such, you need to give up your hand before the dealer turns over his hidden card. This type of bet proves to be very useful when used wisely.
Payouts in blackjack
What is the outcome of the blackjack game?
As pointed out above, the goal of the game is to beat the dealer by getting a 21-point hand or as close as possible. If a player exceeds the 21-point threshold, the initial bet is lost without concession. Once a player upholds his position and no longer takes any game action, the dealer must reveal his hidden card. The latter keeps drawing additional cards as long as the value of his hand is not higher than or equal to 17 points (without ever overshooting the 21-point bar). In the end, if the value of the dealer’s hand is lower than that of the player, the player wins the game. In the case of a tie (push), your initial bet is refunded to you. If the player wins, he pockets a 1:1 payout. If he wins through a natural blackjack, he gets a 3:2 payout.
What is a natural blackjack?
A natural blackjack is a 21-point hand consisting of an ace and a 10-point card. In most online and brick-and-mortar casinos, a natural blackjack gets paid out at odds of 3:2. For ₹100 wagered, ₹150 is received on a natural blackjack, for instance. A natural blackjack is only possible on the first two cards. Any 21-point hand consisting of three cards or more won’t be considered as natural. This is the most powerful hand in the game: it beats any other hand unless the dealer has also a natural blackjack, in which case the game results in a tie. However, if the dealer has a 21-point hand made up of three cards or more and the player has a natural blackjack, the player logically wins the game.
Which blackjack strategy should I put into practice?
Now that you are familiar with the rules of blackjack, it is now time to get down to serious business. Learning to play blackjack is very commendable, but playing with an optimal strategy is even better. In blackjack, the strategy you adopt will have a major impact on the course of the game. If you want to reduce the house edge as much as possible and thereby increase your chances of winning, it is of paramount importance to learn basic strategy so that blackjack becomes a game with attractive odds. Let’s guide you in what to do in each situation with the help of a blackjack chart.
One of the greatest things about blackjack is that you can reduce the house edge to the lowest possible level. As a matter of fact, you can stack the odds in your favor by memorizing a few simple rules as well as a strategy chart. Those of you who apply the blackjack basic strategy can decrease the house edge from 5% to a mere 0.5%. Unless you feel like handing everything over to the dealer on a silver platter, you really need to follow our recommendations to the letter when playing blackjack.
Some strategic advice to stick to …
- Don’t hit if you have a 17-point hand or more;
- If you have a hand worth between 12 and 16 points, hit if the dealer’s visible hand is worth 7 points or more;
- Double down if you have an 11-point hand;
- If the dealer’s visible card is worth 9 points or less, double down if you have a 10-point hand;
- Always split aces and 8s, but never split 10s. If you have two aces, split them so that you can possibly form two 21-point hands. Two 8s will give you a 16-point hand (which is one of the worst combinations you could get). However, if you split them, you could potentially get two 18s (much stronger hands). Conversely, a combination of two 10s (i.e. a 20-point hand) is far too powerful to take the pointless risk of splitting them;
- Always split a pair of 2s or 3s if the dealer’s visible card is either 4, 5, 6 or 7 points;
- Double down on a pair of 5s if the dealer’s visible card is worth 9 points or less;
- Avoid insurance bets! Some blackjack versions give you the option to take insurance against the dealer hitting a natural blackjack (if his visible card is an ace). Unfortunately, statistics have shown that taking insurance is only lucrative on very rare occasions.
Why use blackjack basic strategy?
- The blackjack basic strategy mathematically represents the most advantageous way to play to reduce the house edge;
- Depending on the variation and turn of events, basic strategy can reduce the house edge to less than 1%;
- Blackjack basic strategy urges you to follow the instructions of a chart that summarizes which actions to take in any specific situation.
What are the main blackjack variants?
As pointed out earlier, there are many reasons why blackjack has gained so much popularity. In addition to being very easy to learn, blackjack has also many offshoots. Some of the most popular blackjack variants include Blackjack Switch, Blackjack Surrender, Double Exposure Blackjack, Spanish 21, Free Bet Blackjack, Pontoon, live blackjack, European Blackjack, Match Play 21, Multi-Hand Blackjack, Super Fun 21 and Atlantic City Blackjack. It is also possible to take part in multi-player games.
Blackjack Switch – Blackjack Switch is one of the most popular blackjack variants of the casino world. At the start of the game, each player gets the opportunity to swap the cards between two hands. To balance out this advantage for the player, all natural blackjacks pay even money. On top of that, if the dealer has a 22-point hand, he doesn’t bust and the game results in a push against all non-busted hands. But even with these coercive rules, the house edge remains below the 1% line (0.58%).
Blackjack Surrender – Blackjack Surrender is another variant of classic blackjack. During a Blackjack Surrender game, the player is given the opportunity to forfeit his hand if things get off to a bad start. As an example, if you have a hand made up of a 2 and a 4 and if the dealer’s visible card is an ace, things are going very badly … In such circumstances, you could give up the game prematurely and recover half of your initial bet.
Double Exposure Blackjack – Double Exposure Blackjack is a more transparent variant of classic blackjack since both dealer’s cards are visible at the outset. This gives you the opportunity to determine which strategy is most likely to defeat the dealer. As you can imagine, some rules have been implemented to favor the dealer in return. For instance, the dealer wins on all ties and all natural blackjacks pay even money.
Live Blackjack – Live blackjack allows you to compete against a genuine dealer in the flesh from your computer or Internet-enabled mobile device. This variant recreates the distinctive ambiance of a land-based casino. By playing it, you can challenge a real dealer without leaving the comfort of your home. The games are broadcast in real time through a set of cameras that cover every move without any delay.
Spanish 21 – In spite of its deceptive name, Spanish 21 is of North-American origin. Its introduction into brick-and-mortar casinos quickly aroused huge excitement among international players and its popularity has continued to grow ever since. Although the four 10s have been removed from the standard 52-card decks, this version puts emphasis on the player’s moves. The player has greater chances of winning big since 21-point hands with multiple cards offer huge payouts.
Free Bet Blackjack – Free Bet Blackjack is another blackjack variant Geoff Hall invented. In doing so, he decided to introduce an extra feature to the rules of classic blackjack: the player doesn’t risk losing money when splitting or doubling down, enabling him to resort to these moves more often than he would have. However, the outcome of the game results in a push for all bets if the dealer gets a 22-point hand.
Pontoon – Pontoon is very close to North-American Spanish 21. But it has radically different rules from those of classic blackjack. Its rules are so different that some players even consider pontoon to be a completely unrelated game. For instance, players may double down after a split, the dealer doesn’t take a hole card, 21-point hands made up of seven cards or more have better payouts than natural blackjacks … These somewhat wacky rules make pontoon an action-packed game. And if you play flawlessly, its house edge is relatively low (between 0.34% and 0.64%).
What budget do you need for online blackjack?
In blackjack, intelligent and discerning budget management is essential or you may not be able to stay in the game long enough to make a profit. Without self-control and discipline, chances are your initial budget will melt away like ice before the sun. And even if you were lucky enough to capitalize on some winnings, you would lose them as soon as you set eyes on them. Before heading to a casino (be it virtual or land-based), it is essential to determine a game budget and stick to it. You should also define a loss threshold in case you are dogged by bad luck. That way, you won’t overspend. In addition, use foresight to choose a table whose betting limits are in line with your budget.
Which bonuses can be claimed while playing blackjack?
One of the best parts of blackjack which make this game so engaging and intriguing is the amazing set of bonus features the game comes equipped with. Highly favored by players around the world, blackjack was among the first games introduced to online casinos. These have a huge advantage over their brick-and-mortar counterparts: they can offer glamorous bonuses, each as stunning as the next! Bonuses come in various forms (welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, cashback bonuses, high-roller bonuses …), but they all have one thing in common: they enable players to place larger bets. Similarly, each online casino offers the possibility of choosing from a wide range of payment options that enable you to deposit funds safely into your account.
Brief history of blackjack through to the present day …
Blackjack is a timeless board game. It is often seen as the darling of the casino world. But have you ever wondered where this multifaceted game comes from? Many historians agree that blackjack is derived from Twenty-One: a very fashionable game in 17th-century France. At the time, its rules were completely different from those of modern blackjack. In the 19th century, European immigrants brought blackjack to North America and Nevada casinos. At first, the game took a while to gain acceptance since most American players only had eyes for craps and roulette. To address this problem, casinos decided to offer rewards to players who tried out blackjack in an attempt to boost its popularity.
In the ’30s, blackjack became the third most popular casino game in Las Vegas. Two decades later, only craps was holding its own against blackjack. Right after its rise to fame, several mathematicians began studying it in order to develop strategies aimed at beating the dealer. The first work on blackjack strategy was written by Roger Baldwin. It was entitled The Optimum Strategy In Blackjack. A few years later, other mathematicians followed suit. In his book Beat The Dealer, Edward O. Thorp explained how to overcome the house edge in blackjack by using the card counting technique. Nowadays, blackjack has become one of the most popular casino games of all time, played on a daily basis by millions of people around the world.
Only play blackjack in the best casino sites!
With the amount of online casinos currently up and running, it is sometimes difficult to find the right one. Don’t leave to chance to decide where to play blackjack. Our guide has been designed to walk you though the exploration of the best Indian online casinos where you can play blackjack. Blackjack is a game you should try playing, even if you have no interest in online casinos. With a little luck, you can win very lucrative payouts. This game won’t disappoint you at all. It will keep you hooked till the end. Blackjack is a very simple game thanks to which you will get entertained and earn a profit. The only thing that you need to focus on is to get a better hand than the dealer without busting. If you are looking for a lighthearted game which you can play on the go, this is it!
FAQ about online blackjack
If you are looking for an online casino where to play blackjack, the safety and reliability of the casino site should always be your main priorities. Where did the site get its operating license from? Is the range of available games likely to satisfy you? Are the bonuses accessible? Are the casino features worth it?
Of course! You can play blackjack live with many online operators. If you want to view descriptions of today's best live casinos, we advise you to glance over our comprehensive article on live casinos.
You can give it a shot, but it won't help you that much. Live blackjack casinos usually use multiple decks of cards (6, 8 and sometimes even more). Since the cards are automatically shuffled several times per hour, this makes card counting a difficult strategy to implement at live casinos.
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