One casino game which you are guaranteed to come across in every single online casino you choose to play at is the game of Blackjack. This is a century’s old gambling game which due to its very unique structure and playing format offers players the chance to sit down and play a very low house edge game which therefore offers the maximum number of winning opportunities.
However, as this card game has been around for a number of years now there have been a huge number of different Blackjack game variants designed. Whilst most Blackjack games look the same, each different variant will come with its own playing rules and occasionally a different set of payouts. As such there is a fine art to be had by players in regards to them tracking down and only ever playing those Blackjack games which due to its structure offer the lowest house edges.
To help all of our OnlineCasino.org visitors get a much better understanding of how Blackjack games work and operate, below you will find lots of additional information that you should find very useful, not only will we enlighten you on how to play online blackjack but we will also introduce you to many different Blackjack game variants and tell you how they differ from each other and what each individual game has to offer, along with the house edge that is attached to each variant listed below.
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How to Play Blackjack
You will find out that Blackjack is a very easy to understand and play card game, as the basic structure of any Blackjack game variant sees you playing a heads up game against the Dealer. Some online Blackjack games will allow more than one person to play and these are mainly the Multi Player Blackjack games. Each player is going against the Dealer and not against the other players.
You will first have to place a stake onto the Blackjack table to allow the Dealer to deal out your cards and once placed you will then be dealt two cards, and in most variants the Dealer will then deal himself a face up card which obviously you can see the value of.
You need to then decide on one of several different ways to play your hand and these various ways will be determined by the variant you are playing. However below is an overview of the many different playing decisions you will have to make when playing any type of Blackjack game online.
You are faced with having to get a final hand combination that due to the value of that hand is worth more than the Dealers hand. The cards in both the Dealers and Players hand must never add up to 21 and if either the Dealer or Player gets a hand dealt out to them worth over 21 in value they instantly bust and lose!
- Hit Your Hand – If you do not like the value of the two initial cards the Dealer has dealt out to you then you can hit your hand. When you do that one additional card is dealt out to you for no additional cost. You can hit an initial two card hand as many times as you wish, but be aware some variants will not let you hit certain cards once they have been split.
- Stand Your Hand – Should you like the total value of your hand, and think based on the one Dealers card you can see that your hand has a very good chance of winning that round then you must stand your hand. Whenever you have chosen to stand your hand no additional cards will be dealt out to you.
- Split Your Hand – There are some hand combinations that will let the player make something known as a split. You can usually split two cards and form two new hands with each card when the two initial cards you have been dealt are a pair for example 2 x 4’s. Some Blackjack games will let you split same valued cards such as a Jack and any Queen. However some variants only permit you to split matching cards.
When splitting a pair of cards you are obligated to place an extra stake onto the new hand that you have formed, be aware that the cost of this new wager is going to be the same amount as you placed on the original.
- Double Down Your Hand – Certain hand combinations will permit players to perform something known as a double down. Not all Blackjack game variants let you perform this betting move, however those that do will let you buy another card to add to your initial two card hand.
If you are allowed to place a double down wager then you need to place a bet equal to the initial wager you placed on the base hand to get dealt out another card. When you have made this betting move only that one extra paid card is going to be dealt out to your hand on most standard types of online Blackjack games.
- Take Insurance – You will find most Blackjack games will give you the option of placing something known as an Insurance whenever the Dealer’s up facing card is an Ace. This will cost you half of your initial base game hand stake amount, and you are betting that the Dealer doesn’t have a BlackJack.
If you place this wager on the Blackjack table then if the hand the Dealer shows at the end of the game is a Blackjack then your Insurance wager will be paid out at odds of 2 to 1.
You will find the majority of standard Blackjack game variants offer a similar type of payout structure. When a Player wins a hand with an Ace and Ten card as their initial two cards that is known as a Blackjack hand he will be awarded with a winning payout at odds of 3 to 2 based on their staked amount. All other winning hands are paid out at odds of 2 to 1.
Most Played Online Blackjack Variants
To help you find an online Blackjack game that you will want to play, below we have listed a large number of games available online. These games for reference are Microgaming designed games, however there are lots of other gaming software platforms offering online BlackJack games.
Have a look through each of these Blackjack games listed below and remember the ones worth playing are those which come with the lowest house edges.
- Classic Blackjack – Classic Blackjack is played with one deck of cards. The Classic Blackjack Dealer is going to have to stand his hand when it is worth a Soft 17 or any higher valued hand and will not peek for Blackjack as this is a No Hole Card game. A Player playing Classic Blackjack is allowed to Double Down any Hard 9, 10 or 11 base game hand, but cannot Double Down after they have split a hand. The Classic Blackjack game house edge is 0.13% when played optimally.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack – Vegas Strip Blackjack is played with 4 decks of cards. The Vegas Strip Blackjack Dealer is going to stand his hand when it is valued at Soft 17 or higher and will peek for Blackjack as this is a Hole Card game. A Player playing Vegas Strip Blackjack is allowed to Double Down any base game hand, and can Double Down after they have split a hand. The Vegas Strip Blackjack game house edge is 0.35% when played optimally.
- Vegas Single Deck Blackjack – Microgaming’s Vegas Single Deck Blackjack is played with one deck of cards. The Blackjack Dealer is going to have to hit his hand when it is worth a Soft 17 or any lower valued hand and will peek for Blackjack as this is a Hole Card game. A Player playing Vegas Single Deck Blackjack is allowed to Double Down any Hard 9, 10 or 11 base game hand, but cannot Double Down after they have split a hand. The Vegas Single Deck Blackjack game house edge is 0.35% when played optimally.
Playing Blackjack Optimally
There is a set of game play rules as you can see above which can vary depending on which Blackjack game you are playing, and there will be an optimal way to play each Blackjack game variant. This will ensure you are getting as close to the house edge as possible in the long term.
Knowing how to play every single hand depending both on your cards and on the Dealer’s visible card is how you can play any Blackjack game variant perfectly and optimally. Even though it may seem difficult to some players to stick to these rules, it can surely pay off playing this game following a certain strategy.
There is of course a truly massive number of hand permutations that can be dealt out to you and the Dealer, however, it may surprise you to learn that you can in fact quite easily learn to play any Blackjack game perfectly without the need to learn every single hand permutation.
To do this you simply need to get hold of something known as a Blackjack strategy card for the variant of Blackjack you are playing, and once you have been dealt out any two cards and the Dealers up facing card is showing then by simply having a look at that table, you will immediately know exactly what your next move should be.
You will find many websites offering Blackjack strategy cards, and in fact even online casino sites will have the perfect playing strategy for the Blackjack games they offer displayed on either their websites or on the help files of those Blackjack games.To get the maximum winning opportunities when playing online Blackjack it is imperative that you get one of these Blackjack strategy cards!
Blackjack Bonus Bets
You will also find a lot of online Blackjack games that will allow you to place one or more additional bonus type side bets alongside your base game hands stake. Whilst these bonus bets are usually optional it should be worth noting that we have yet to see any Blackjack games bonus betting opportunity that ever comes with a house edge attached to it that is as low as the base game hands.
Whenever you place a bonus type wager onto any Blackjack game the house edge of that bet can often be more than ten times (and often way higher than that) of the base games house edge and that means those wagers, no matter how tempting or high the bonus payout amounts may seem, are very poor valued bets and should always therefore be avoided.
If you keep placing the bonus bets when playing Blackjack online then after a series of losing outcomes on that bonus bet you will not only see your available Blackjack bankroll being eaten away but you will also dramatically increase the house edge of the game you are playing and that will mean you have fewer chances of ending you session in profit!
Progressive Blackjack games are another variant of Blackjack that should mostly be avoided, because progressive blackjack require an additional side bet too which offers poor value.