Blackjack, also known as Blackjack21 or just 21, is a fast-paced casino card game that is played by several players and a dealer. The aim is for the players to defeat the dealer by getting a score as close to 21 as possible or to reach a higher score than the dealer without exceeding 21. Regardless of how many players are at the table, the only Blackjack hand players need to beat is the dealers. Each player acts individually and versus the dealer during their turn. Blackjack is still one of the most popular games in both online and traditional casinos. It is a game of skill, where research and a good strategy can work wonders for players.
Online Blackjack is excellent for new players. It allows beginners to learn the game in an environment of their choosing and avoid the pressures of a traditional casino. Online Blackjack can be played anywhere, all that is required is a device capable of running the software and a decent internet connection.
To start the game each player puts forward how much they wish to wager. Common pre-set amounts are GC1, GC2 GC5 GC10 GC25 and GC100. Players can also manually input custom amounts. Once the input amounts stage is over, click deal to receive your cards. Sometimes a timer may be involved to speed up the game. The minimum and maximum vary from game to game, but a general rule of thumb is a ratio of 40 to a 100. So if the min amount is GC5, then the maximum will fall somewhere between GC200 and GC500.
Each player receives two cards, usually one at a time as the dealer goes around the circle. The player to the left gets the first card and is also the first to act against the dealer. The dealer also gets two cards, except one is left face up for all to see.
After the deal, players will be presented with several options, hit, stand or double down. If players have been dealt a pair, which is two of the same card, then there is also the option to split. When play starts, the person on the left goes first and then chooses to hit, which provides a chance to keep receiving an indefinite amount of cards until they either reach 21 or exceed it. Stand which means the player is happy with their current total and doesn’t want to receive any more cards. You can also double down if your two cards total an amount between 9 and 11. This means that you put in an additional amount equal to the amount of your first and receive just one more card.
If the total value of their hand is less than 21, players can hit as many times as they like until they bust or they wish to stand. When a Blackjack hands value exceeds 21, it automatically bust. Then the game passes to the next player in sequence. If a player is dealt an Ace and a card valued at 10, which is Jack, Queen, King or a 10 it is called Blackjack. Blackjack is the best hand in the game and can’t be beaten.
If the dealer has Blackjack, then their second card is exposed immediately and all players who don’t have Blackjack lose their amount. If both a player and the dealer have Blackjack, it’s called a push, and it results in a tie with neither the player or the dealer winning, the players amount is returned. A push can also occur in other hands; if the dealer has cards of equal value with any number of players at the end of play it is called a Push, and the player’s initial amount is refunded.
Once each player has had a turn and chosen to stand, or their hand has involuntarily busted, the dealer plays their hand in the same way as the players. This gives the dealer and the Casino a slight edge, known as the house edge because players can bust and lose before the dealer has to play. If the dealers revealed card is an Ace, players can purchase insurance. Which is a side amount, wagering on the dealer to have Blackjack. This amount pays 2:1.
Some casinos will make the dealer stand when they reach a total of 17. If the Dealer busts any remaining players automatically win. If the dealer doesn’t bust, any players who end the game with a higher hand value than the dealer win.
After a player has gotten comfortable enough with the game, they may decide to try the advanced features. They can double down which means after receiving their two cards they can place a second wager equal to the first potentially doubling the total winnings. However, after doubling down, players can only be dealt one card and then they are forced to stand. Players can only double down when their hand has a total between 9 and 11.
Another option is to split pairs, where if a player has two cards of the same value then they can place an additional of the same amount as the first and split the cards into two separate hands. If the player has an Ace and a card valued at 10 in any of the new hands, it does not count as a Blackjack. Instead, it’s only a regular 21 which means the dealer can still achieve 21 through hitting and force a push.
If players receive another set of pairs when they split, then they can split again to a total of four times.
Choose an amount. wager amount. Click Deal. Then every player receives two cards. The dealer gets two cards, one face up, the other face down. Players hit, stand, double down or split. Players will remain in the game as long as their hand is 21 or less. Once everyone has acted, the dealer reveals the facedown card and hits or stands. If the dealer has the highest score, all amounts are lost. Any players who have a higher score then the dealer wins.
While these are not rules in the strictest sense, players will come across the following terms frequently during their playing time. Depending on where the game is based they may change to local slang or be in a different language entirely. Regardless of what it’s called somewhere else, these are the most common terms used in Blackjack.
In Blackjack the value of the cards is derived from its value or rank, the suits don’t matter.
The card ranks are the following
Cards 2 to 10 carry their face value and cannot be changed or modified in any way.
The Jack, Queen and King are worth 10.
Aces can be either 1 or 11. It’s usually the player’s choice to decide which one, however for all intents and purposes it stays at 11 unless it results in the hand’s value exceeding 21, then it reverts to 1.
The casino has a slight statistical advantage because the player has to go first.
This allows the player to bust before the dealer even plays. Blackjack still has the best odds of success out of any casino game, online or otherwise which is one of the reasons for its popularity.
The chances of being dealt a Blackjack are 4.8%
For a win, the pay ratio is 1:1 so if the amount is GC5, then the player can win GC10. GC5 for the amount and GC5 in winnings.
Being dealt Blackjack, so an Ace and a card valued at 10 can have an extra bonus where it pays 3 to 2 meaning the player receives an additional GC3 for every GC2 amount.
Insurance pays 2 to 1; the player receives GC2 for each GC1 they PLAY.
Blackjack is a game with as many strategies as there are players. What works for one, may not work for all. So it’s a good idea to try different strategies and figure out what kind of play works for you. Most of all though, just remember to have fun.
Bankroll management is an essential strategy that players will often neglect. But just like knowing the rules and how to play, bankroll management is a crucial concept all players should think about before playing. First and foremost, it’s highly recommended that you only play with what you can afford. That’s why players need to have a set amount they are willing to lose and then stick to it. No matter how tempting it is to exceed that level.
A general rule for newer players could be to quit after losing 50% of their chip stack and cash out hard-won winnings after gaining 40%. Luck can change quickly in Blackjack, which is why it pays to have a plan before starting play. As an example, if a player entered with GC200 they’d call it a day after losing gC100 and leave after winning GC80.
For long-term players, whose only goal is to play Blackjack for as long as possible. Once you have your pre-set amount you are willing to risk. Divide it up and figure out how much each hand can cost before the stack is gone. If a player has a starting stack of GC300, wants to play for 3 hours, and averages ten hands an hour, then it would cost GC10 a round. Knowing this information before playing will help limit losses and keep the games fun because you won’t be worrying about money.
Blackjack is an incredibly versatile game that has many different strategies. Some take years of work to perfect; others take only a few minutes of reading. After a few weeks of playing, most players will work out their play style and know how they want to approach the game.
The basic idea for winning Blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand. Most new players think that the goal is to get to 21 every time, it’s not and is the quickest way to bust. The easiest way to win is to get the dealer to bust by achieving a high valued hand and putting the pressure on the dealer. Instead of trying to hit 21 players can make their sole goal beating the dealer by getting a higher score. It sounds obvious, but a lot of players don’t realise that you can, and will win with lower ranked hands.
The dealer shows one card at the start, if it’s low, the odds are that they will have to hit and increase their chances of busting. If the dealer has one card shown that is 9 or better, hit until at least 17.
The dealer is considered weak when they show a card of 6 or less; this means they will have to hit several times and increase their chances of busting while trying to achieve 17 or more.
A good strategy for beginners and veterans alike is to Aim for 18; it’s a strong hand to stand on, and most dealers won’t be allowed to hit past 17. If your hand is 12 or below hit. When its 17 or more stand and always ignore the law of averages. Just because aces haven’t come out for a while, doesn’t mean they are due to, the game doesn’t work like that.
After playing a few rounds and getting a grasp of the Blackjack hands and rules players can move onto more advanced strategies like splitting and doubling down.
Perfect pair aces are the best hand to split on. Aces are a strong starting point and can quickly create strong hands. All that is needed is a card valued at 10, and the player will have 21. They can also change their value depending on what is dealt.
There are also dozens of Blackjack strategy calculators online where you can generate a strategy chart to follow while playing. They are great for beginners because they use the basic math and provide a guide to playing the dozens of different combinations.
Strategy cards use letters instead of full words, and the following is a general rule of thumb when deciphering them:
H – Hit
S – Stand
D – Double down
D/S – Double down or stand