Being the most popular card games of all time, blackjack is not restricted to brick and mortar casinos only – now it is possible to try one’s luck on blackjack at online casinos. The key to boosting winning potential in blackjack relies on the very basics of the game. Top it up with some blackjack strategies, and you may be set up for some thrilling sessions of gambling with real money.
If you are new to card games and looking for some easily interpreted guide to blackjack, you are on the right page. Here we have covered the basic rules, gameplay, popular variants, and some appropriate strategies to gain an upper hand on blackjack. So, continue reading and proceed on your way to becoming a blackjack master.
Cards and Ranks in Blackjack
Choose any blackjack variant you want, and you will find the classic French decks of 52 cards. If you are familiar with the cards only from trick shows, well, here’s how they are divided into different suits:
Among these, you get A (Ace) 2 to 10, J (Jack), Q (Queen), and K (King) – a total of 13 card ranks in each suit. Now, although the Ace may seem equivalent to 1 in value, it may be regarded as the highest-ranking card at times. Then there are the face cards who are marked by the royalties, K, Q, and J.
In contrast to traditional card games, suits are not that really important in blackjack, which means you have to focus on the ranks instead. So, depending on the cards you have on hand, you can count the ranks to calculate the total score. Confused? Let’s make it a bit simpler for you.
For starters, an Ace has a value of 1 or 11. Cards from 2-10 are worth their point value. For example, when you have a 3 on hand, you have to count 3 in exact for this. As for the face cards, these are worth 10 points each.
So, how do all these relate to blackjack? Well, your total sum of the card values is your total score in a blackjack session.
How to Play Blackjack
Now that you can easily keep track of your blackjack score, we can move to the next step of today’s lesson, which is to understand the basic blackjack rules.
As a rule of thumb, you are always playing blackjack against the casino dealer. There may be other players in the same table, but the only action taking place is between two hands at a given time – the dealer and the player. The one with the “higher hand” wins the game.
A blackjack game begins with the dealer giving 2 card hands to the player and keeping 2 card hands for himself. The highest total you may receive from the 2-card hand is 21, and that’s exactly how much you will be wishing to have every time you play blackjack.
But let’s be realistic here, it takes extra blessing from the lady luck to achieve 21, and when your score goes over 21, you get the “losing hand” instead. It means no matter which score the dealer receives, this session is done for you. Also, each hand that is a point shorter than the dealer’s, is a losing hand. As you can see, cards and ranks really are responsible for changing your luck in blackjack.
When you are playing blackjack in an online casino, you may come across some terms that will help you to understand the gameplay, payouts, betting amount, etc. Here’s how that may appear on the table:
Blackjack Pays x to y
Blackjack pays 6 to 5, or blackjack pays 3 to 2 refer to the payoffs and odds offered at your selected casino. It means that if you win, you will be paid off 6 to 5 or 3 to 2 the initial stake.
Insurance Pays 2 to 1
It allows you to place an extra bet on the possibility of getting a blackjack either by you or the dealer. In this way, even if you lose the hand against the dealer, you may be able to cut back on your losses if you win the insurance bet.
Minimum and Maximum display boxes indicate the smallest and the largest stake eligible on that table.
How to Bet in Blackjack
After all the chips are put up for gambling and the cards are dealt, then comes the real exciting part of blackjack – making a bet. You can make a decision based on the dealer’s first card that is face up and by calculating your own score. However, you are invited to make a bet only if the dealer does not receive a blackjack.
Depending on the blackjack variant you opt for, there may be different bet types, and the most common ones include the following:
Hit means you want to be dealt a new card.
If you go for a stand, it indicates that you are satiated with the two cards on hand.
When you have two identical cards, you can play them separately as two hands.
If you are not happy with your dealt cards, you can withdraw earlier in the session and get back half your stake. The rules for surrender may vary in different casinos.
Double down means placing an extra bet for receiving another card to your initial hand.
Insurance is an additional bet often placed if the dealer’s face up card is an Ace.
Types of Blackjack Variations Online
Interestingly, when you are playing blackjack online, you will find a lot more variants than land-based casinos. In fact, the live dealer sections at some casinos may offer 10+ blackjack variations.
When you are new to blackjack betting, you may not need to start with all these versions at once. Instead, you may want to begin your blackjack journey from these popular bet options mentioned below:
European Blackjack begins with 2-8 decks of cards with the payouts 3 to 2, and the player can double down on 9-11. This type of blackjack is more favourable towards the dealer because the dealer draws the second card only after the player has completed his hand. It means that the dealer can start the session with an Ace, and the player can split or double down right away. Afterward, the dealer may draw the second card and get a blackjack, thus end up winning the game.
Las Vegas Strip Blackjack
Unlike the European Blackjack, Las Vegas Strip Blackjack provides the players with more opportunities to determine their wins. The game begins with the dealer looking for blackjack after having a face up 10 or Ace. Meanwhile, players can split any card up to 3 times (Ace can be split once) or double down on the cards. Players may even opt for a double down after making a split. With more options to move forward, players can test their blackjack skills against the dealer.
Live Dealer Blackjack
Almost every renowned online casino offers a live dealer section where players can try different forms of blackjack. The difference between a live dealer game and a table game variant is the live streaming session of a real dealer with other virtual players sitting at the table. This makes the gambling experience as close to a brick and mortar casino session as possible.
How to Win in Blackjack
Like many other casino games like slot machines, winning in blackjack relies heavily on the player’s moves. So, it is comparatively easier to win in this game with proper knowledge and practice. Here’s how you can get better at blackjack and eventually win the sessions.
Learn the Rules and Terms
While the basic rule is similar in all blackjack games, the gameplay and the bet type may vary depending on the version you choose. So, it is essential to learn about the game rules and blackjack terminology before you sit at the table.
Focus on the Dealer Only
Whether you are playing at a land-based casino or a live dealer game at an online gambling platform, there’s no need to compare your stake amount, strategies, or achievements with other players at the table. Your goal is to win against the dealer and try to keep your attention to the dealer alone.
Opt for a Solid Strategy
It is not rare to win a few tables with random moves; however, to increase your winning streak, try using a solid blackjack strategy. Although it takes a lot of time and practice to form a strategy that is suitable to your gambling style, the extra effort may be worth it in the end.
Play Demo Versions
As a beginner, your first blackjack games should be the free versions available at online casinos. As you continue to understand how the game works, you can start placing small wagers at real money blackjack casinos. When you are confident enough, you can gradually raise the amount and participate in tables with bigger stakes.
Blackjack is a fantastic casino game that is interesting to learn, fun to play, and lucrative enough to win real money. Whether you are up for an authentic blackjack session at an online casino or looking forward to a homely blackjack game with friends, you may be able to understand the gaming process within a few hours.
While our guide to blackjack covers the introductory part, there is more information to be found on detailed blackjack variants if you are curious enough. So, continue following our guide and strategies, and discover what the amazing world of blackjack has in store for you.