Best Online Casino Guide


Blackjack Online

BlackJack is one of the hallmark games of the online casino world, just as it is in the bricks and mortar casinos.

Exciting, fast changing, high rolling, sociable, the game that has it all!

Going into the rules of BlackJack in any great detail is beyond the scope of this item, so make sure you get really clued up on them before playing.

However, let’s briefly explain what is online BlackJack.

You can always play free BlackJack online to try and get a feel from the game before committing your hard-earned cash of course.

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First things first, it’s important to understand what BlackJack is not. It is not a game against other players as is the case with the various types of Poker. You can play at the same time as other players, whose hands are visible, but the idea is to beat the house - it’s not a zero sum game in other words; at the BlackJack table it’s possible for all players to beat the house, or the house to beat everybody, or, most likely, some players to beat the dealer and others not.

You can even play multiple hands yourself in casino BlackJack in some versions (look for ‘multi-hand’ types), where the same applies, you can win some, all or none of your hands!

There are no key differences between the BlackJack game online as against real-life versions, except one very significant one for more advanced players: card counting is futile in the online game.

BlackJack card counting is a strategy whereby you memorize or ‘count’ the cards which have already been dealt as a running total and, in the knowledge of whether the remainder of the deck contains a larger or smaller proportion of higher cards, can adjust your play, including your stake, accordingly.

However using that as an online BlackJack strategy would be a waste of time because unlike a physical pack of cards where the cards stay in the same order once they are shuffled, and the discards are kept to one side, the software-powered game continually shuffles the cards that have yet to be dealt, and returns discards to the ‘pile’ so to speak - so the cards are coming up truly randomly.

We will deal a bit more with BlackJack strategy below

But back to the basic principles – as stated the idea is to beat the dealer by getting as high a number, or more accurately the closest to 21.

Go over 21 and you are ‘bust’ and the dealer has automatically won.

Please note you cannot go bust from a first deal; you are dealt 2 cards, with the dealer being dealt 2 immediately after (the second of which is face down).

It’s up to you what to do next, you can ‘hit’ ie. draw another card, and continue doing that as much as you want. You can also ‘stand’ at any time meaning you don’t draw another card.

Whether you win or lose depends on what the dealer has and what he or she (or ‘it’ in the case of the online version) does next, and the dealer goes through the same process of hitting or standing.

If you beat the dealer you receive evens winnings, ie. if you staked 10 you would get 20 back.

One exception to this is when you score a BlackJack, whence the game gets its name. This happens when you get a 10 or face card and an ace, making 21 - you have BlackJack straight off the deal, which pays 3:2 usually (the dealer can also get a BlackJack of course).

In a regular hand, aces count as either high (11) or low (1) as you wish, where naturally they count as 11 in a BlackJack.

A regular hand containing an Ace is called a ‘soft’ hand, and can be counted 2 ways on the initial deal, so an Ace plus a 2 would be ‘soft 13’, because it could also be counted as 3 and you could continue hitting (once you’ve hit the Ace continues to count as 1, you can’t then revert to 11, however).

That’s about it in brief, there are more complex points in the rules including whether the dealer hits or stands on ‘soft’ 17, but one advantage when you play BlackJack online is that all the rules are just a click away and you can consult them during play, which in a more intimidating or busy walk-in casino you may not get the chance to do.

How to win at BlackJack?

Actually this heading is a bit misleading – we can’t promise that you will always win in any game.

However, we can give you some BlackJack tips which will certainly help you up your game.

As we said, forget about card counting or similar systems when you play BlackJack online, but one thing that you can do and which is likely to be effective is to find BlackJack tables from sites such as the Wizard of Odds.

These tables do nothing less than tell you what you should do in a given situation – for instance if you have a hard 12 and the dealer has a 4 you should…stand, believe it or not.

That’s because the dealer usually has to hit up to 17 (check with the rules of your version) and as they hit they have a greater chance of busting in that situation.

This is why you need to consult the tables as sometimes what you should do might be counter-intuitive.

Additionally, you can keep the tables open on your desktop as you play, and take your time to make the right choices – an option which is not open to you in a real life casino of course!

A general tip is to shadow the dealer, in other words, if you have cards which the dealer would hit on (remember they are obliged to hit on anything up to 17 by most rules) then you should hit.

However, this is not anything like as good as the tables method, so it’s well worth checking them out if you’re serious about the game.

Another top tip is to play free BlackJack games before you commit yourself to playing for real, as a way of practising. You can do this usually with your online casino, and there are other free online BlackJack sites out there which you can play at without even needing to open an account!

Remember that BlackJack generally does not count fully towards wagering requirements for welcome bonus, so bear that in mind when playing-through your welcome bonus.



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