The ultimate guide to online blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around the world, with almost every online and bricks and mortar casino including it as a central part of their table game offering. This card game has a long history spanning hundreds of years and has evolved as it has travelled from country to country into the game that so many know and enjoy today. 

If you’re new to blackjack, it can seem a little daunting at first. But keep reading to uncover our handy guide on the game, from its origins to where you can play it. 

What is blackjack and how is it played?

Put simply, blackjack is a popular casino card game that involves going head to head for the dealer to get the score 21. Unlike other casino card games, you do not play against other players in blackjack. Each card is assigned a numerical value corresponding to their card number, with the Ace is worth either 1 or 11.

The game is played with one or more decks of cards and begins once the player has placed their first bet. Generally, the dealer will deal the player two cards face up and give themselves one card face up and one faced down.

The player then has a number of options; they can hit, which means they take another card, stand, double down on their bet or split their cards into separate hands. The dealer will then take their turn. After betting, if the player’s score is higher than the dealers, but less than 21, then they win money. If the dealer’s score is higher, the player will lose the money they staked. 

There are a number of different game variations and plenty of choices for those who want to play blackjack online. Different options can include American blackjack, low stakes blackjack, multi-hand. For a more interactive feel, live dealer blackjack is available on several of the best casino sites.

The origins of the game

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The name blackjack actually comes from a type of bonus in the game, where a player has an ace of spades and a black jack in their hand. 

The first records of the game that blackjack evolved from date back as far as the early 1600s. Around this time a book was published in Spain mentioning veintiuna, the Spanish equivalent of twenty one. Over the following century, the game appears to have made its way to France and then on to England.

In the early 1800s, a rulebook for twenty one was published in America and a while later the game was later re-developed into a new American variant and renamed blackjack. In the last few decades, the game has grown in popularity and become a main feature in many casinos.

While there was a slight slump in blackjack’s popularity towards the end of the 20th century, the birth of online casinos in the 1990s saw blackjack make a huge comeback and regain its place amongst the top casino games. 

Blackjack is widely enjoyed due to the simplicity of its rules, its fast pace and low house edge in comparison to other casino card games. While this game is easy to play, there are a number of steps you can take to increase your chances of success:

Tips and strategies for success

So you know where blackjack originated and the basic rules, but what about strategy? Here’s our top three tips for success to get you started. 

  • Understand that there are some myths surrounding the game

It’s often assumed that the aim of blackjack is to get as close to the number 21 as possible. In actual fact, the player only needs to beat the dealer’s hand, this could be with a low number like 5 or 8. 

Sometimes players make the mistake of thinking they are due a win just because they have made a series of losses and so will continue to play and stake more than they originally intended. Remember that each game begins with the exact same mathematical edge.

Assuming that a number 10 is always in the hole for the dealer is another falsehood players often believe. In reality, there is a higher probability that a 10 is not in the hole given that they account for just 31 percent of the deck.

  • Develop your own winning strategy

As you begin to play more games of blackjack online, you will improve your confidence and develop your own unique game strategy. However, there are a few basic rules that will help to get you started, these include:

  • Always split aces and 8’s
  • Never split 10’s
  • You should always stand on a soft 20 (which is an ace and a 9) 
  • For hard totals, 17 and above should always stand, while 11 always doubles and 8 should always hit. 
  • Take note of these quick tips for new players

You should aim to start small when placing bets and increase your stake slowly as you play more games.

You can protect your winnings by splitting your cash between your winnings and your personal funds. Then, use your funds to wager but do not touch your winnings.

Generally, you should avoid taking the insurance bet as this tends not to be worthwhile. 

By researching the history, ground rules and basic strategies of the game you can quickly learn how the game works and enjoy playing the many different types of blackjack successfully on your favourite online casino sites.

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