Online Blackjack: An Expert Guide
Everyone knows a blackjack fanatic. UK players have been enthralled with this game long before the internet provided them with a means to project the casino experience through their computer screens into their homes. Blackjack has been around since the 17th century and has shown no sign of wilting in terms of popularity. It’s a great game to play, is as straightforward as any other to learn the rules, and offers a greater chance to win than many other games in an online casino.
When playing online or in a land-based casino, this game has a much lower house edge in comparison to other games you come across. This is a huge contributing factor for players looking to hopefully make some coin while enjoying themselves in an online casino. Its popularity is widespread, not just in the UK, and this evidenced by the fact that the game is often seen featured in movies and TV shows.
Regardless of your experience levels, it is simply one of the first recommendations given by experienced players to novices. There is a particular allure of this game, and online casinos know this. There are a number of different versions of blackjack out there.
So where did it all begin for blackjack? Well, that is not exactly certain. What we do know is that the version we play nowadays in online casinos originated in the 1600’s. We take a look at the game itself, the rules involved, how to play, and what to expect in our review, below.
As previously mentioned, the game of Blackjack has some pretty strong roots. Initially believed as a successor of the game played in Don Quixote from Miguel de Cervantes, the rules of the game were slightly modified to make the casino classic what it is today. In the book, the two main characters are gamblers that play a game referred to as "Ventiuna," which translates to "21" in Spanish. The game is still known as 21 among many players.
Although the game is believed to have originated here, Blackjack’s rules and cards are somewhat different to the version popular back in the day. There was a deck which had the 8s, 9s, and 10s removed, for a start, and Don Quixote was written all the way back in the 1600s, making the game at least 400+ years old, which is pretty incredible when you think of it.
21 eventually was rebranded as Blackjack and would become an absolute must in casinos. It was in the earliest versions of casinos where this transition happened. Many casinos provided a bonus with odds of 10 to 1 to payers who managed to land an ace of spades aside any blackjack–clubs or spades. This is where the name Blackjack came about. As the late, great Notorious B.I.G once said: “If you don’t know, now you know.”
Online Blackjack Rules
As mentioned, blackjack is a very easy game to get the hang of. There is a deck of cards which the game revolves around. The full deck of cards, minus the Jokers, is used. Where other cards games have comprehensive conditions for colours and symbols, suits are not important as cards simply have a point value according to their number. So if you have a Jack of diamonds and Jack of spades, they hold the same value.
Both the player and dealer start off by being dealt a two-card hand. If the score (which is the combination of both cards) is not to the player’s liking, they can ask for additional cards or stand on what they have. If the total value of their cards is in excess of 21, they will bust. If they manage to get a 21 - which is the highest score available - they will win, provide the dealer has less or busts. Players will win once their score is higher than the dealer's and is below 21.
When playing blackjack online, you will be playing against the dealer’s hand so you might share the table with other players but you will not be in competition with them whatsoever. While your neighbour may have 17 and you have 21, you can technically both still win if the dealer's score is lower or they bust. Given the straightforward nature of the game, playing online blackjack is one of the most popular games out there for players to try their hand in.
Playing Blackjack Online
Online blackjack is quick and to the point. You can play a number of hands within the space of just ten minutes. Given that it is the software used by the casino which shuffles the cards, and for those who play Live Dealer will know, the pack is shuffled after every hand on this platform. This makes things flow and keeps players happy that the game cannot be rigged in the casino’s favour.
When it comes to playing the game, you will come across the terms “stick, hit, double-down, and surrender.” These are what are known as the calls in Blackjack. When playing online, you will have the software provide buttons and options for each of the choices laid out above. There may be other options depending on the type of game and the casino, but these are widely accepted to be the main choices for players.
These decisions are what lead to the outcome of the game. If you know what you are doing, that is. While luck is certainly the main factor in winning a hand of blackjack, there are many who believe otherwise. It is likely that the majority of these folks’ schemes and “systems” are nothing more than ideas which will have little effect on your chances of winning at blackjack. There are certain players who do believe that experience counts, and it does to some degree.
UK players should always just focus on learning the basics before trying to imitate Rain Man or other famous card counters. When it comes to the simple bread-and-butter approach to Blackjack, it pays to ensure you are familiar with these simple rules before you harbour any ideas of overtaking casinos based on your expertize. Even the most experienced and “lucky” of blackjack players all started off somewhere, remember, so getting into the game first will see you good in the long run.
There is a reason why Brits love this game and can’t get enough of it. So much so that it would not be uncommon to see players engaging in a few hands on the way to work, or while out and about through their mobile, tablet, or device.
Once upon a time, blackjack enthusiasts were restricted to playing the game in land-based casinos or online casinos from their desktop or laptop. With the widespread use of mobile phones, there was little doubt that playing blackjack while on the move would become very popular. When playing blackjack via your mobile or device, the rules governing the game are the same as in any other format.
Many players prefer the convenience of playing blackjack through their smartphone, given the convenience. There are a number of casinos in the UK which support in-browser or downloadable software in order to play blackjack through their mobiles. Blackjack played via browser is bound to be more successful and engaging, and it is. All you need to do is head to a site or open a blackjack app and you are away.
With the vast majority of casinos mobile friendly, you can play via your device. This also applies to Live Dealer Blackjack.
Types of Mobile Blackjack Games:
The majority of mobile casinos use a mobile platform for blackjack instead of an app. This helps players a lot, as it means no updates etc. It also provides blackjack enthusiasts with the same functionality as an app, and the same performance when it comes to playing the game. Deposits and withdrawals are also easily performed.
When it comes to mobile blackjack games, there are a few popular titles which seem common when playing on a mobile site.
European Blackjack – Which is essentially a four-deck version with 3:2 payouts and insurance.
Blackjack Touch – Single-deck Blackjack which is designed for mobile gaming.
Vegas Strip Blackjack – Vegas rules, where you can double down with two cards and following a split. You can also split up to three times, in cases where you don’t have two aces.
Atlantic City Blackjack – Much the same as Vegas Strip Blackjack. You can double down on all two cards and after a split, but there are a couple of small differences.
Double Exposure Blackjack – Dealer’s two cards sit face up but you do lose your stake if there is a tie.
Blackjack Switch – Multi-hand blackjack allowing the switch of the second card.
Safety and Security: Choosing a Safe Blackjack Site
Where would we be without the internet? One thing is for sure: gambling would be an entirely different prospect, and the chances are that not even a fraction of players who currently enjoy gambling would have any interest in doing it. Luckily for players, there are a number of sites out there which specialize in blackjack, giving you a wide range of options to play your favourite game. Online blackjack can be found in any respectable casino around the world. If not it’s not a real casino.
If that is the case, you better find yourself a top class casino which has blackjack and is trusted and not likely to collapse into the sea. Before you deposit with a casino, you need to first make sure that it is legitimate. Once you have ascertained that it checks out, you should be on your way. There are so many top quality casinos out there vying for your money. It is a player’s market, so find the best out there.
Hackers looking to get their hands on your info is one reason why online fraud is a massive problem these days. A site which makes the right efforts in keeping players protected will always be attractive to any player who has suffered any form of fraud in the past. You will find a number of methods an online casino can use to keep the security of the site watertight. These can include things such as a 128-bit SSL encryption put in place to protect transactions and safeguard sensitive information should be in place in any casino you choose to play in.
When it comes to the other side of things, fair practice and safety must be in place for a site to consider itself as legitimate and top-class. If possible, always try to get as much information on the security of a site before you choose to play there. Without any solid knowledge of a security policy or any proof that you are protected, you will essentially be playing with risk.
If the site is not regulated, properly designed and does not have the key components of safety built in, then you are playing with fire. When registering your details on the online casino site always check is the website has an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ part of the address before you proceed. The ‘s’ essentially stands for safety. Another thing to remember is to check online casino reviews of the site to ensure that there have been no major problems experienced by other players.
Online Blackjack Strategy
If you want to play a casino game where steady but unspectacular gains can be made then Blackjack is the game for you.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and by applying the following system you will maximise your winnings and minimise your losses. When you play at a casino you are always playing against the house edge which varies with each type of casino game.
It's All About The House Edge
The house edge is how the casino makes its money. Read this article for a more detailed description of what the casino house edge is and how it varies across different games.
Blackjack or 21 as it is more popularly known as a house edge of up to 1% depending on which variant of the game you play. If you play a perfect game you can reduce the house edge to 0.5%. However, the catch is that unless you play with an optimal strategy the house edge can be much greater than 1%. If you continually hit when you have 15 and the dealer is showing a paint card then the house is taking your money faster than you can spend it at a petrol pump.
So for our purposes and to explain strategy and optimum play we are going to play European Blackjack which is what you will find in most of the UK casinos.
If the house edge for Blackjack is 1%, then it stands to reason that you have a good chance of beating the game over a short period of time say four or five hours. The longer you play the more statistical odds will mean that over time you will lose 1% of the money you are playing with.
Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but overall you will eventually fall into line with the statistical average if you play for long enough.
Casinos are here to make money. Let's make no mistake about that. But it is possible to pass the time recreationally without losing all of your money in a short time frame if you are smart about which games you pick and how you play them. And yes if you are disciplined enough to walk away when you hit a winning streak you can make some money.
Basic Strategy Guide
This simple strategy is based around the cards we are dealt and the action we take all depending on what the dealer holds. Learning this basic strategy is the key to becoming a good blackjack player and you can learn it quickly simply by dealing out cards and referring to the chart below.
Remember that the object of the game is to beat the dealer and not always try to get as close to 21 as possible. There are some blackjack systems that advocate sticking even with very low cards.
The “No Bust” strategy for example. These systems typically have a far lower percentage win than the basic system. The simple strategy can take a lot of time to memorise so the best thing to do is to print it out.
Blackjack enthusiasts know just how great this game can be, and the fun which can be had when playing online. There is simply no game like it. For players who spend hours on the tables of casinos, rather than playing online, you would have to wonder if they know what they are missing out on.
Once you have found the right site for you when it comes to online blackjack, there is a chance you may be ready to wave goodbye to an hour after hour, on account of your new found love. There are so many different versions of the game that you won’t be lost for choice!