Hit me!! No, no, not literally. Hit me with another card Mr. Dealer Man. Blackjack is hands down one of the most popular casino and online casino games around. People love to play this game for several reasons, one of the most common is because Blackjack is one of the few games of chance where you actually have a say in the destiny of your hand. Another contribution to the enormous popularity of online Blackjack is the abundance of playing systems that claim over and over that they’ve figured out the secret to beating the house. Along with being one of the most popular online casino games, Blackjack is also one of the easiest to learn and most exciting to play. You can play online blackjack at virtually any online casino, and you can even get into a living breathing game with an online live dealer blackjack casino game.
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The Game Of Blackjack
The object of Blackjack is to beat the dealer, by either getting closer than the dealer to the number 21 without going over, or getting the dealer to go over 21. Here are the card values:
- Cards 2-10: face value points (a 5 is worth 5 points, a 10 is worth 10 points)
- Face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) are worth 10 points.
- Aces are either worth 1 point, or 11 points. The player can decide.
Everyone at the table is dealt 2 cards, including the dealer. The first player to be dealt their cards is to the dealer’s left and so on in live dealer casino blackjack. In an on-line casino game, it is basically just you and the dealer; however most online blackjack casinos allow you to play multiple hands simultaneously.
First Decision In Black Jack
Once you are dealt 2 cards, you make the decision to either stand (receive no more cards), or to be ‘hit’, and take another card or cards. The layout of the virtual blackjack table in online blackjack perfectly mimics the land based casino tables. The live dealer blackjack games show you the land based blackjack table via video web streaming, as well as provides you with an electronic replica on your monitor. You may take as many cards as you want, as long as you stay under 21. Once you go over 21, you lose immediately.
Double Down In Blackjack
To ‘double down’ means that you can double your initial bet, but you are then limited to only taking 1 more card. You can place a wager in any amount, but it can’t be more than your original bet. If you win, the winning amount is based on the new total. The only difference is that if the dealer gets a blackjack, you only lose your original wager.
Splitting Pairs In Black Jack
Splitting pairs is when you get a pair (2 Kings for example) and you have the chance to play them as 2 separate hands. You then take an additional bet and put it on both hands: 2 hands-2 bets. There are some cards you should split, and some you probably shouldn’t:
This may not make a lot of intuitive sense, so a couple of decisions need to be explained. For example, if you have double 5’s, you should never split, no matter what the dealer has. The reason is the 5 + 5 is a good hand to draw another card to. Splitting takes a good solid 10 away. You should always split 8’s, as 8 + 8 = 16, and this is not a good hand. By splitting, you are giving your 8’s a chance to build something better, like getting a 10, to get an 18, which is a good hand. Here is a good place to talk about 10’s. There are 4 cards that count as 10 (10, Jack, Queen, King), which makes it the most frequently dealt number in the deck. There are 16/52 cards that hold a value of 10, which means that there is a 30.7% chance a 10 can be the next card. Therefore, splitting an 8 is good, with a 30.7% that the next card you’ll get will b a 10, giving you a nice hand of 18. However, if you split a 5, and the next card is a 10, you then have a total of15, which is a poor hand to stand or draw on. Online blackjack provides intuitively designed buttons for splitting your pairs.
Taking Insurance In Blackjack
With vegas online casinos, when the dealer shows an ace on his card that is turned up, insurance is an option. It is basically a side bet where you can wager half of your original bet and if the dealer gets a blackjack you get 2 to 1. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the hand is played as usual but you lose your insurance bet. This is not a good bet, as the house edge jumps to about 6% against you. Most online blackjack casino games will prompt you to accept or deny an offer to obtain insurance.
Surrender In Blackjack
A surrender is an option to give up ˝ of your bet, rather than to go to the end of the hand. This must be done before you make a decision to further your hand by taking a card, splitting, or doubling down. Some casinos and on-line casinos have different rules on this, mostly related to timing. You might want to take advantage of this option if you see the dealer with an ace or a face card showing, but it is up to you. The surrender option is not offered at all online casinos.