Blackjack is a popular online casino game, unique in that it pits you against the dealer rather than other players. The aim of the game is to get a card total of 21, or be the closest to 21 without going ‘bust’.
Blackjack isn’t just about luck but requires a certain amount of knowledge and skill. So before you place your real-money bets take a few minutes and read Casino.com Ireland’s guide to Blackjack. Discover the most popular online Blackjack games, learn how to play and how to win with our blackjack tips and strategies, plus some extra interesting blackjack facts for good measure.
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There are a number of types of online blackjack, all based on the same basic rules but with subtle differences to such things as payouts or betting options.
Classic Blackjack game is the probably the most popular version and can be played with 1-8 card decks. The basic aim of the game is to beat the dealers hand either with a combined total of 21 on the cards or by beating the dealer’s total without going over 21. Go over that number and you’ve gone ‘bust’ and lost the game.
Similar gameplay to the classic Blackjack, but with an additional side bet which puts players in with a chance to win a growing jackpot.
Played with 2 decks, this is one of the most popular types of online Blackjack. The players 2 cards are dealt face up, and then dealer’s hole card (face-down card) isn’t dealt until after the player has decided how to play.
Sometimes also called a ‘Blackjack Tournament’, the multiplayer online blackjack, players play against each instead of the dealer.
No need to travel or get all dressed up to visit a land-based casino. Now you can enjoy the real casino atmosphere from the comfort of your own home. The games are live-streamed from either a studio or a real casino, with attractive croupiers who you can interact with and chat to in real-time.
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.
We’ll concentrate on the basic rules of classic online Blackjack since there are many variations. Just remember to read the specific game rules before you play!
The game starts with the player and the dealer getting 2 cards each. Both of the player’s cards will be face-up, while the dealer gets one face-up and one down. Each card has value, for example cards from 2-10 are worth the same amount, while face cards such as Kings and Queens are worth 10. An Ace can be worth 1 or 11, depending on what is best for the player.
Once players have been dealt the first 2 cards, they need to decide what action to take in trying to get his card total to 21 or beat the dealer’s cards without exceeding 21.
Players can decide to Hit, Stand, Split or Double Down.
Hit: To ask the dealer for another card
Stand: Stick with the cards you have been dealt. The dealer will go on to the next player.
Split: If you have pairs, such as two cards at with an 7 in value, you can split your cards to make two new hands.
Double Down: Feeling confident? Double your original bet and receive one more card.
Players make their decision and if their card total is under 21, they remain in the game. Then the dealer will reveal his face-down card. Whoever is closest to 21 without going bust is the winner.
How to play like a professional
To be successful at online blackjack you have to do a little homework beforehand. First of all, learn the card values and the options available to you.
Next, choose the version of Blackjack you’d like to play and learn the specific game rules. A small change to the rules can make a huge difference to your payout. When real-money is included in the mix you need to pay attention to detail.
Everyone has heard the term ‘counting cards’ in Blackjack, but it’s almost impossible to do when playing online due to the speed the cards are dealt, and the deck is reshuffled between every hand dealt. So, if you can’t rely on fast maths to give you the edge, what else can you do? We’ve got plenty of other tips for a winning Blackjack strategy.
Strategies and Tips
All the best strategies start with keeping your cool and staying in control of your bankroll. Don’t bet more than you can handle and don’t be tempted to chase losses with more bets. Set yourself a deposit limit and stick to it.
Never split face cards, as you may lose out on the chance of beating the dealer with a 20, and risk losing double your bet if you don’t get the cards you need in the next deals.
Always split the aces and 8’s to avoid getting stuck with bad value cards and give yourself more chances to make up a winning hand.
As with any game, the more you play the better you become. The majority of online casinos offer no deposit games, where you can play for fun. These free online games are a great way to learn the rules of the game and perfect your technique before placing any real-money bets.
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.
- 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
Playing online Blackjack can be an expensive hobby if you’re not careful. But just sticking to a few money management tips will help maintain your bankroll and even increase it.
Choose an online casino with a decent sign-up deposit bonus, such as 100% of your first deposit. This should give you plenty to play with, but also take the wagering requirements into consideration.
Once you’ve chosen your online casino, you then have to choose which game version to play. Picking one which allows lower minimum bets will allow you to build you bankroll slowly but steadily, and minimize losses.
One reason why Blackjack is so popular is because it has the casino game with the lowest house edges. For example if the game that has a house edge of 2%, the payout percentage to the player is 98%, which is pretty great odds.
Play your cards right by sticking to your strategy and you can reduce the house edge even further and increase your winning potential.
Playing Online 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.
Most online casinos will offer a free-game option on their Blackjack games, so you can enjoy the game just for fun without placing a bet. But there are also those online games which will offer additional free bets in play on certain card totals.
For example, if your 2-card total is a 9 or 10, the house will double your bet with a ‘free bet’. If you win the hand using the ‘free bet’ then winnings are paid as if you had wagered your own real-money.
Interesting Facts About Blackjack
While the origins of the game are unknown, the earliest mention of the game was found in a short story written between 1601 and 1602, by the Spanish author of ‘Don Quixote’, Miguel de Cervantes, who was a prolific gambler.
It was hugely popular throughout the 1700’s in France, and was known as ‘vingt-et-un’ (twenty-one).
It has a few historical fans, such as Napoleon Bonaparte. He would play it for house to while away his time when exiled on the island of Elba.
Despite the popular belief, card counting isn’t illegal, but of course casinos don’t like it, and they reserve the right to ban players from the tables if they suspect players of counting cards.