Blackjack is one of the most popular card games so it is not surprising that it is also popular as an online casino game. The rules are simple, the game is easy to play, and it is quick and exciting enough to keep your interest. It is also a game that requires a level of skill. This also adds to its attraction, particularly for people who want to improve their chances of winning above simple luck. Online you can play standard blackjack, live blackjack and other variations.
Online Blackjack Variations
Classic blackjack is a game that most people will know how to play but there are also many different variations. Some of these are traditional variations plus there are others that are specially created because of the popularity of online casinos.
Some of the different styles of blackjack that are available include classic blackjack, blackjack surrender, blackjack switch, lucky blackjack, and 21 duel blackjack. Many of the UK's main online casinos also offer live blackjack games where there is a real dealer and other live players.
In classic blackjack you are dealt two cards and have a target of 21. Once you are dealt your two cards you can decide to stick and play out the hand with the two cards you have. You can also choose to hit which means the dealer will give you another card. You can also split or double down if you choose.
In classic blackjack once you have been dealt your hand you are committed to the bet and will either win or lose. In blackjack surrender you have a chance to withdraw from the hand once you have seen the cards you have been dealt. Typically, you get to take this decision once you have seen your hand and the dealer’s hand, and have been able to make a comparison.
In blackjack switch you are dealt two hands. Most of the other rules of blackjack apply, although you might find some small variations in some games. The biggest will be that the payout for getting blackjack is lower, but there is more chance of getting it because you are playing with two hands. You have to beat the dealer with one of your hands.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City blackjack has some main differences to standard blackjack. It is a Hole card game which means the dealer is dealt one card face up and one card face down. You are able to surrender and save half your bet if the dealer has a good hand (except if the dealer has 21). Another difference is that eight decks are used instead of six.
In lucky blackjack you don't get a hand. Instead, you guess the value of the dealer's hand and place a bet on that guess. Typically the closer your guess is to 21, the better your odds. You have to place your bets before the dealer's hand is dealt, and you have seven options - 17 to 21, bust or blackjack.
In bonus blackjack the game of blackjack is played as normal with the dealer getting two cards, you get two cards, and the winner is the person closest to, but not exceeding, 21. The difference is that you can place a side bet. For example you might be able to bet that you and / or the dealer get blackjack, or a certain combination of cards.
21 Duel Blackjack
You are dealt two cards - one face up and one face down. The dealer is dealt two face-down cards plus two are put in the middle of the table face up. You then choose one of the communal cards to play with the face up card. You can stand or hit - hit means turning up the face down card to use in your hand.
In progressive blackjack you have more chances to bet so there is the potential to win bigger payouts. The blackjack part of the game is standard but you also have the opportunity to place side bets based on the combination of cards in your hand. The best is four aces, where you win the full jackpot.
Live blackjack typically follows classic blackjack rules but in some online casinos you can get variations. The main difference is that you don’t play against a computer. Instead, you play against a real dealer who deals the hands and plays against you live. There are usually other players at the table too adding a social dimension to your online casino experience.
How to Play Online Blackjack
The dealer deals a hand for you and one for him. One of his cards is face up so that you can see. If it is a 10 he checks to see if he has 21, which is an unbeatable hand. If he doesn’t have 21 you decide on a course of action. You can stick with the two cards you have or get up to two more.
The objective is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over it. If you have two good initial cards you can choose to double your bet. Another option you have is to split if you have a pair. This results in you playing two hands to increase your chances of winning.
Aim of the Game
The aim of blackjack is to get a hand of cards that add up to somewhere between 17 and 21. If you get closer to 21 than the dealer, you win. You can't go over 21 though - if your hand totals 22 or more you are bust and you lose the bet. The ultimate hand is called blackjack. This is where you get 21 with just two cards - a 10, jack, queen or king (which are all worth 10), plus an ace which is worth 11. So the winner in blackjack is the player who gets closest to 21 with the fewest possible cards. If you get a pair in your initial two cards you can split them and play two hands to increase your chances.
How to Play Online Blackjack
You are dealt two cards. The dealer is also dealt two cards - one face up and one face down. If the dealer gets blackjack he automatically wins, otherwise play continues. You can get up to two more cards. If you have a good hand you can double your bet and if you have a pair you can split them into two hands. The objective is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over 21.
In blackjack there are four main actions. The first is to stay which means you play your hand using the two cards originally dealt by the dealer. The second option is to hit where the dealer gives you another card from the deck. You can do this twice if necessary to give you a total of four cards. Another option you have before deciding to hit or stand is to double. Doubles double your bet and gives you another card. Finally, you can split your hand if you have a double. This means you can play with two (or more if you continue to get doubles) hands. Each hand has the potential to win so you just have to get one of them close to 21.
Blackjack Game Rules
Blackjack is usually played with between one an eight decks of cards. Each card has a value which is then used to add up the hand - the hand that is closest to 21 without going over it is the winner. Blackjack is a hand that equals 21 with just two cards. Bets must be placed before the cards are dealt.
In some games it is possible to surrender once the hand is dealt if you don’t like your chances of winning. Doing this means you only lose half your bet.
What Is the Objective of Blackjack
The ultimate objective of blackjack is to get as close to 21 with your hand of cards, in as few cards as possible. You can’t go over 21 though. Doing this is called being bust and results in you losing the bet. The best hand is therefore one with a card valued at 10 plus an ace. This is called blackjack. The minimum hand value that you can win with is 17. Another objective of blackjack is to win as much money as possible. You can do this using a double. You get this option after the bets are placed and you are dealt your cards. If you think they are better than the dealer’s you can double your bet and, potentially, your winnings.
What Are the Card Values in Blackjack
In blackjack all of the number cards are valued at the number on the card. This applies to cards from two up to and including 10. The jacks, queens and kings in the deck are called face cards. Face cards also have a value of 10. This leaves the aces. You have a choice when you have an ace. You can either count it as one or as 11. This means you can get 21 with just two cards - a card worth 10 and an ace. This is called blackjack. If you go over 21 you are bust and you lose your bet, but you must have a minimum of 17.
What Is the Blackjack Table
In a real casino the blackjack table is the place you go to play blackjack. It is a half-circle table where about five players are able to sit around the circular edge. Their chips are kept at the edge of the table, the cards are played on the main surface, and the dealer stands at the straight edge. This design is featured on most online blackjack tables too. On online casinos you will also see the term blackjack table used in reference to live games. These are virtual tables that contain real life dealers and often other players. At an online live casino table you might not be at a real blackjack table, but it is as close as you can get without actually going to a casino.