If you’re new to the game of blackjack or have some experience playing the game of 21, you may want to brush up on that knowledge by tuning in to our online blackjack guide. Within this user manual, we’re going to be dissecting the game from top to bottom and giving you an insight on how to make the most of your gaming experience. To change your blackjack gaming experience upside down, have a read through and get to grips with how to play blackjack like a pro.
An Introduction to our Online Blackjack Guide
First and foremost, let’s break down the game of blackjack. Blackjack is a casino table game which is easy to learn and played with cards. It is played with decks of cards, a dealer, and positions on a casino table.
The main purpose in blackjack is to get as close to 21 as you can without going over the top. If your hand beats the dealer, you will record a win. However, if the dealer has got better cards than you – i.e, closer or exactly 21 – you will lose the hand.
Alternatively, getting anything over 21 would result in a bust. Going bust means that you automatically lose the hand. Nevertheless, keep in mind the dealer can also go bust, resulting in wins – provided you haven’t busted already. The dealer will always be the last one to reveal his hand and only after all players and hands are completed.
The basics of blackjack see all card suits have an equal value. However, as far as cards go, things get a little more complicated. All numbered cards keep their original value. All face cards (Jack, Queen and King) have a 10-value. Ace can be either 1 or 11. Thus, in order to record a blackjack, you’ll need to land and Ace with a face-card or 10. The resulting hand would amount to 21 – blackjack.
Learn the Basics Blackjack Actions
You will need to place your bet at the start of the round. This means before the cards are dealt. Each player will receive two face-up cards and the dealer receives one faceup and one facedown. When it is your turn to play, you’ll have a few options. The standard ones are to ‘Hit’, ‘Stand’ and ‘Double’.
If you hit, the dealer will give you another card to your hand. Choosing to stand will see your hand stay the same as it is. If you choose to double, you will bet another amount (the same as your stake), basically doubling up. You will then receive one more card and the play moves on to the next player. You are not allowed to take another card after choosing to Double.
When all the players are finished, the dealer will then play their hand. The dealer must almost always draw on a 16 and stand on a 17. This may vary, but it depends on which blackjack variation you are playing and at which site. However, the standard is to hit on 16 and stand on 17.
The fourth choice is to ‘Split’. Splitting is only possible when you’ve got two identical cards. By doing so, you will open them up and play new cards on the two identical ones. This allows you to play the cards individually, giving you more chances to win.
If the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, you can place an ‘Insurance’ bet. This basically saves yourself from Blackjack. If the dealer lands a Blackjack after you’ve placed an insurance bet, you will receive a payout of 2:1. All standard wins are paid out at 1:1 whilst Blackjack warrants you with a 3:2 payout.
Online Blackjack Guide: Blackjack Variations
There are many different variations on blackjack. Most notably, European Blackjack and Vegas Strip Blackjack. The rules of the game will depend on which type of blackjack you’re playing. What the variants may change is the number of decks used, the rules on splitting/doubling down, what steps the dealer must take and also the payouts.
Thus, it is always a good idea to double check what type of blackjack you are playing before heading over to the table. You may also find that some games use a variant, such as European Blackjack, but then may change a few minor rules here and there. The good news though is that all blackjack games have a set of rules which you can find read through before playing for any real money.
In European Blackjack, the dealer will always hit on 16 and stand on 17. The system in place will see most games be played with 6 decks rather than with 8.
European Blackjack gives players the chance to hit, stand, double down or split. The regulations concerning splitting are quite simple. You are only allowed to split once per hand. As for doubling down, the rules see to it that you may only place such a wager on totals of 9, 10 or 11. This also includes split hands. Thus, you may place a double down wager after splitting.
European Blackjack tends to have the same payouts as in standard blackjack games. A Blackjack pays out at 3:2 whilst a standard win is worth 1:1. There is also Insurance Bets available which will call for you with a 2:1 payout. Unfortunately, European Blackjack tends to not offer Surrender betting.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack has got a few more interesting perks to it. The gameplay is carried out with 4 decks at the shoe of the table. Whilst playing Vegas Strip Blackjack, you’ll perhaps be intrigued to know that the dealer will always stand on 17. This is regardless of whether it is soft or hard. Thus, if the dealer lands an Ace and a 6, they will stand rather than hit.
Another such feature would have to be about the dealer’s excitement for Blackjack. If the dealer’s face up card is either a 10-value card or Ace, he will at once check the second card to see if he has got a blackjack. Obviously, if he does have a blackjack, you will hope to equal him with blackjack if that be a choice for you. The good news is that Insurance Bets are welcomed.
The live dealer game offers the same basic payouts as European blackjack. 3:2 for Blackjack, 2:1 for Insurance Bets and 1:1 for standard wins. Keep in mind, Vegas Strip Blackjack will always require the dealer to stand on 17, regardless of whether it is soft or hard.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
If you thought Vegas Strip Blackjack was wild, get ready to find out about Vegas Downtown. In this live dealer blackjack game, the action is played out with only 2 decks, which are shuffled before every hand. The dealer will always hit on a soft 17.
Like Vegas Strip Blackjack, Downtown will also result in the dealer checking his hand for Blackjack if he has got a 10-value card or Ace as his face up card. He will instantly check to see the result.
In Vegas Downtown Blackjack, the rules and regulations concerning doubling down and splitting are rather straightforward. You can double down on any hand, regardless of the total value. Splitting is also very lenient, with the possibility to split up to three times on a single hand. This includes the choice to split 10-value cards which are not identical. You can split a J and a K or 10 and a Q. If you do manage to land an Ace with a 10 on a split hand, it results in 21, not Blackjack.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack gives players the choice to capitalize on lenient rules and profit from basic blackjack gameplay payouts. Thus, landing a Blackjack will result in a 3:2 payout whilst a normal win pays out 1:1. If you place an Insurance Bet, you’ll win 2:1 but you are not allowed to Surrender.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack is one of the more popular types of live blackjack to play as the game uses the traditional 8 decks. However, they are shuffled before every single round. In this game mode, the dealer will always stand on 17, regardless of soft or hard.
Just as with the earlier two US versions, the dealer will also immediately check for Blackjack if the face up card is either a 10-value card or Ace. One of the most interesting features about Atlantic City Blackjack is that the gameplay offers a Late Surrender option. How this works is after the dealer checks for Blackjack. If the dealer does not have Blackjack, the players are given the choice to Surrender their hand should they not wish to continue.
The rule for splitting is a maximum of once per hand whilst Doubling Down is available for any hand, regardless of what the total is worth. The basic payouts for Atlantic City Blackjack remain the same. Blackjack will call for you with 3:2 whilst the Insurance Bet will get you 2:1. A standard win is worth the standard 1:1 payout.
Online Blackjack Guide: Blackjack Side Bets
To make matters even more exciting, many blackjack games now come with the option to place side bets. This addition to the game is often found in online blackjack games. There are many different side bets to choose from, but the two most popular ones are Perfect Pairs and 21+3. As seen in this online blackjack guide, we will break down the two most popular side bets next.
Perfect Pairs is a side bet which is made up of your first two cards. You will have to match them up for one of three different payouts.
If you’ve got two cards of the same value, that qualifies as a Mixed Pair. For instance, a 7 of Clubs and 7 of Hearts. The payout is usually rated at 5:1.
If you’ve got two cards of the same value and same color, that qualifies as a Colored Pair. For instance, a 7 of Clubs and 7 of Spades. Typically, the payout is rated at 12:1.If you’ve got two identical cards, you’ve got a Perfect Pair. For instance, two 7 of Clubs. The payout is usually 25:1.
21+3 is the other side bet which is available on most blackjack games and is popular with many players. You will be using your first two cards and the dealer’s face-up one to try and form one of five poker hands. If you have three cards of the same suit, you will claim a Flush. For instance, a 5, 7 and 9 of Clubs. Typically, the payout is 5:1.
If land three cards in numerical order you will claim a Straight. For instance, 5, 6, 7. The suit and color does not matter. This usually pays 10:1.
For a Three of a Kind, you’ll need to match all three cards, regardless of suit and color. For instance, three 8s qualify, paying out 30:1. The next in contention is the Straight Flush, meaning cards from the same suit in numerical order. As an example, think of 7, 8, 9 Diamonds. This pays out 40:1. Last but not least, the Suited Three of a Kind, which means all three cards have the same value and suit. This is the highest of the lot and warrants a payout worth 100:1.
Online Blackjack Guide: The Bottom Line
To conclude this online blackjack guide, we hope that having read this, you have a better grasp of what online blackjack is all about. There is a fine selection of online blackjack games which use the same rules and stipulations as the ones above. Thus, with a better understanding of what these games are all about, you stand in a better place to make a profit. Stay with us at Blackjack Champ to play the best online blackjack games.