Blackjack, also known as 21, is, without a doubt, one of the most popular card games found on any casino floor. The appeal of the game lies in the ultimate blend between skill and luck, not to mention the entertainment and reward factors. Blackjack is simple to play and is appealing because players are able to improve their odds by learning a basic strategy. Online blackjack is found at top casino sites such as the ones recommended by Casino.com Ireland. The objective of online blackjack is to reach the number 21 (but not more) through the cards dealt, and also to beat the dealer’s hand.
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Online Blackjack Odds
As noted, because online blackjack is a game of skill, there are several things that players can do to improve their odds at winning. The odds of online blackjack not only depend on the player’s skill level, but also the rules of the game. There is also an element of luck in blackjack which is, after all, a card game. Online blackjack casino odds are typically expressed as the House Edge – meaning the amount that the casino will make as a profit from the player’s wager. Should an online blackjack game have a house edge of 3%, for example, the player should enjoy a payout percentage of 97%. Another way of putting this is that for every €100 wagered, the player will get back €97.
This does not mean, however, that every single player who sits down to a game of online blackjack takes home €97 for every €100 wagered. These payout percentages represent the average over a long period, and it may happen that some players lose their entire €100, while others walk away with €300 at the end of the evening. Again, this depends on skill levels and luck.
An additional point is that, because players play against the dealer (the House), they have to beat the dealer’s hand in order to win. The House Edge means that the dealer only needs the player to bust out in order to win.
When all is said and done, however, online blackjack has the lowest House Edge among all online casino games. Players who learn the basic strategy are able to bring that House Edge down to just 0.17% – 0.66% (depending on how many decks are played). A rule of thumb is that the fewer the number of decks used, the lower the House Edge can reach.
Online Blackjack Game Rules
Online blackjack is typically played against the dealer and not against other players around the table. The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand with a higher points total, all the while ensuring that that total does not reach over the sum of 21. Should this happen, the player’s hand goes ‘bust’ and will lose the game.
The value of the cards is determined by adding the numbers on the cards together. Cards 2–10 have their own value, while face cards (i.e. Jacks, Queens and Kings) count as 10. The Ace card can be counted as 1 or 11.
The ultimate hand in online blackjack is a two card hand with an exact value of 21 (i.e. Ace and King). This hand is known as a Blackjack.
Blackjack rules vary from game to game, although classic blackjack sees the dealer deal two cards face up to the player, and one face up and one face down to the dealer.
Some variants allow players to take out an insurance bet at this stage, protecting themselves from the chance of the dealer landing a natural blackjack.
The game continues, with the player having to decide one of four basic options: To Hit, Stand, Split or Double Down.
Hit: Players are dealt an additional card.
Stand: Players request that no more cards be dealt and stay with the cards they have in hand.
Split: If players are dealt two cards of equal value, they can opt to divide them into two separate hands. They make another bet that is the equivalent to their original bet, and are dealt more cards.
Double Down: The player opts to hit a single card and then stand in return for increasing their bet by 100%.
Depending on the variant of online blackjack being played, it is also possible to choose a fifth option, Surrender. This occurs when players believe that the hand they’ve been dealt does not warrant continuing the game, and they then opt to get half their original bet back for the right to give up the hand.
Online Blackjack Strategy and Tips
There are many ways to ensure that online blackjack remains a game that is entertaining and rewarding at the same time. Here are some of the best online blackjack tips used by game experts:
It’s Worth Investing Time to Learn Blackjack’s Basic Strategy: If you’re serious about winning at blackjack and bringing down the house edge, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn the game’s basic strategy. This will teach you which decisions to make depending on which cards are dealt. Players who master the basic strategy can then go on to play more complicated strategies and improve their odds enormously.
Play Online Blackjack for Free: Naturally, it takes time and money to learn blackjack strategy, and some players may want to avoid spending their bankroll on ‘practice sessions’. For this reason, it is not only possible but also highly recommended to play online blackjack for free at any of the sites recommended by Casino.com Ireland. This cuts down the necessity to spend real money practicing online blackjack and honing skills, and at the same time builds the player’s confidence to make a swift move into rewarding and real money online blackjack.
Check out the Betting Limits at the Online Blackjack Table: It’s no use playing online blackjack at a table with a $20 betting minimum if your entire bankroll is $100. You’ll spend your money in no time and you won’t have time to enjoy your gaming session. Adapt your betting limits to the size of your bankroll and you’ll be able to play longer and win more in the long run.
Try out Live Blackjack Tables: Casino.com Ireland offers players a variety of different online casino options where they’ll have a chance to play at live dealer blackjack tables, bringing them the best of both worlds. Chat with the dealer, watch the cards being dealt, and see your credits pile up – all from the comfort of your own home.
Blackjack Game Buttons Information
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different game buttons found on the blackjack tables at the various online casino sites recommended by Casino.com Ireland.
Some of these buttons are explained:
Chips: Click on the chip to select how much to wager. Each click of this button will increase your bet by the value shown.
Clear Bets: This will remove all bets from the blackjack table.
Deal: Ask the dealer to deal the cards to you and the house.
Insurance: You can click this button to insure against the dealer having a Blackjack, if one of the dealer’s face up card is an Ace.
Hit: Ask for one more card.
Stand: Don’t draw any more cards and end the turn.
Double: Double your bet to receive a third card.
Split: Split your hand in two.
New Game: Start a new round.
Rebet: Choose to wager the same amount as in the previous round and have the cards dealt.
Online Blackjack Glossary
- Bankroll: The amount of money the player has to spend in the blackjack session.
- Bet: The amount wagered on the online blackjack game.
- Bet Max: Wager the maximum number of coins possible on the game.
- Bust: When the player has cards equal to more than the value of 21. Leads to a losing hand.
- Dealer: Casino employee who deals the cards at the blackjack table. Virtual in the world of online blackjack.
- Deck: 52 playing cards used in blackjack.
- Double Down: Player has the option of doubling the original bet.
- Early Surrender: Player can give up half the bet to control losses against a dealer’s potential blackjack win.
- Edge: The advantage an online casino has over the player when it comes to wagers.
- Even Money: A wager that matches the winnings.
- Flat Bet: Betting the same amount in each hand.
- Face Card: Jack, Queen and King with a 10 value.
- Hand: The first cards dealt to players.
- Hard Total: When the Ace counts as one or a hand that has no Ace.
- Hit: Request to draw another card after the original hand has been dealt.
- House: The casino
- Multiple Deck: An online blackjack game consisting of multiple decks of cards.
- Push: Scenario where the dealer’s card and the player’s card are a draw.
- Soft Total: A player’s blackjack hand where the ace is worth 11.
- Stand: Player opts not to receive any more deals.
- Surrender: Player gives up a hand and loses half the bet.
- Upcard: The dealer’s exposed card
Opening an Account and Playing Online Blackjack for Real Money
Players seeking to play online blackjack at any of the online casino sites suggested by Casino.com Ireland for real money first need to register an account and make a deposit. This quick and easy process is the player’s gateway to a number of online blackjack variants on offer at the site, as well as hundreds of other games. The process is required whether players choose to download any online casino software onto their computer systems, or play directly off their browser using Flash software.
This is how players create a real money account:
- Click ‘Play for Real Money’.
- Click ‘Create an Account’.
- Players are required to fill in the relevant fields
- Players agree to the Terms and Conditions
- Click ‘Create’
Creating a real money account also allows players to redeem the Welcome Bonus offered to new players at Casino.com Ireland’s recommended casinos.
History of Blackjack
The game of blackjack has its roots in medieval Europe, having originated from popular French card games of the time such as Chemin de Fer. It was played in French casinos in the 1700s and 1800s and was first known as Vingt et Un, meaning 21 in French. Some say that Vingt et Un was actually based on a similar game that predated it somewhat – Quinze (meaning Fifteen). Even earlier was a game called Trente-un (31), mentioned by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in a text from the late 1500s. Blackjack made its way to the United States as people migrated to the New World, and minor changes were made to the game as its popularity spread through saloons and casinos. Around the time of the Second World War, casinos started offering a top payout for players who received a spades and black Jack. The name stuck and vingt et un eventually became Black Jack.
It soon became evident that by learning blackjack’s basic strategy and other methods such as keeping track of cards, could tilt the game in players’ favor and casinos were finally forced to sit up and take note after the publication of the book Beat the Dealer in 1962 which marked the beginning of card counting as we know it. More books on the subject followed, until casinos finally started restricting the practice of card counting. Blackjack, nevertheless remains a game that can see its odds improved based on learning a strategy.
In the mid 1990s, online casinos burst onto the scene, and online blackjack became a regular part of the lineup of games offered to players. Today, online blackjack is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for online gamblers.