Rules of Blackjack & How to Play
Whilst it should not take you very long to master just how to play Blackjack, what can take you quite a while to wrap your head around are the many different decisions that you will have to make when playing a variant of this popular casino card game.
Choosing a Blackjack Game Variant
When that craving appears, and you get the urge to play Blackjack, then you need to take a step back and not just rush to play the first Blackjack game variant you find on offer.
There are a huge number of different Blackjack games which you can access online, and as such the most savvy of players will seek to play only those games, which due to the playing rules and payouts offered give you the lowest house edge. However this is often easier said than done!
If you are an online Blackjack player then it will all depend on where you live in the world as to the types and kinds of Blackjack games that you will be able to access and play on your computer, laptop or even you mobile device, and as such here are a couple of the best Blackjack games you should be looking to play.
Blackjack Switch – If you wish to play some of the software driven Blackjack game variants online as opposed to the Live Blackjack games, then do checkout Titan Casino, for they have a Blackjack Switch game, which although it comes with a very unusual playing structure, will offer all perfect strategy Blackjack players a tiny house edge of just 0.16%!
Early Payout Live Blackjack – Over at Celtic Casino you are going to have access to their Early Payout Blackjack game, this is one of their many different live Blackjack games and this particular one comes with a respectable house edge of 0.60%.
Playtech Live Blackjack – You will find the Live Blackjack game variant on offer at both Bet365 and Gaming Club, these two sites both offer the Playtech version of this game, and when playing it with optimum strategy you will find the house edge it offers is 0.57%.
Staking Your Blackjack Hands
Any good Blackjack player will tell you that the stake levels at which you play your hands for should be relevant to your Blackjack player budget, for if you stake too much on each hand you play then you will run the very real risking of busting out your bankroll in the early stages of your session.
The most conservative Blackjack player will limit their stake per hand to an amount no greater than 1% of their bankroll, so if that player has 100.00 available then they will low roll for stakes of 1.00 per hand.
However a most high risk high reward type of online Blackjack player will increase this to 5% or even 2.5% of their available balance and as such as in our example of a bankroll of 100.00 they will player for hands of 5.00 or 2.50.
It is of course how you choose to play Blackjack that will determine your actual stake amounts, so do think long and hard on whether you want an extended game playing session or a boom or bust type of Blackjack session and adjust your states per hand accordingly!
Blackjack Betting Decisions
We will now take a look at the many different betting and playing decisions that you will be presented with when playing Blackjack online, be aware that not all Blackjack games will offer you all of the betting options, but depending on which variant you are playing many of them will be offered to you as you are playing.
Initial Wager – Before a game gets underway you will be required to place your initial stake onto the Blackjack table, when playing online you simply need to click your chips into position onto your own unique betting box, and you do this by moving your mouse onto the betting box and then clicking the required number of chips you wish to wager onto that box.
The Deal – There are two main types of Blackjack, one is known as a Hole Card game and the other is a No Hole Card game. Once you and any fellow players have placed their wagers onto the betting box the Dealer then deals every player their two initial cards.
If the game is a Hole Card game then the Dealer will deal to him or herself one face up card and one face down card, however in a No Hole Card game the Dealer just has one face up card. The remaining cards will only be dealt out to the Dealer once every other player at the table has made their betting and playing moves.
Insurance Wager – If the Dealers up facing card is an Ace, then you will, on most Blackjack variants be offered the Insurance wager, this is a totally optional side bet and one that will cost you half of your initial staked amount on your base hand.
If you take and accept this wager you are hoping that the Dealer has a Blackjack hand, namely ant ten valued card with their Ace, if the Dealer does have such a hand your Insurance wager is paid off at odds of 2 to 1.
So effectively you will not have lost anything on your initial base game wager, as the winnings paid out on the Insurance bet will be the same amount as that bet cost you!
Blackjack Hand – If you get dealt an Ace with any ten valued card then you have a Blackjack hand, this is going to be paid out at odds usually of 3 to 2, however this can vary depending on which variant you are playing. Never play a Blackjack game offering a Blackjack hand payout of 6 to 5 as that is a poor valued winning payout.
Should you get dealt such a hand which cannot be matched by the Dealers hand then you are paid out your winnings immediately, if however the Dealer does have a Blackjack hand also then usually, once again depending on which variant you are playing, this is classed as a Push and you get only your initial stake amount back.
Splitting Cards – If your initial two card hand is a pair of matching cards, such as 2 x4’s (the suit of these cards is immaterial) then you are allowed, on many Blackjack variants to Split these cards.
When you Split any hand then the two cards are moved and two new hands are then formed, you need to be aware that when you Split a pair then you need to place a new wager on the new hand formed, which has to be equal to your initial wagered amount.
You then play these two hands completely independently of one another. You can often re-split a pair if another matching valued card is dealt to a Split card. Some Blackjack variants will also let you split unmatched ten valued cards such as a Jack and a King.
Stand a Hand - The aim of any game of Blackjack is for you to get a higher valued hand that the Dealer has, but without obviously going over a total hand count of 21, should you get a hand with the same value then this is known as a Push and as such you will get your stake money back.
So when you have been dealt any hand, and you no longer with to receive any cards to that hand you simply need, when playing online, to click on the Stand button and you will not be dealt any additional cards!
Hit a Hand – You are able to continue drawing cards to a base hand in Blackjack until you are either happy with that hand, and in which case you then Stand that hand or you end up busting that hand by going over 21 in value.
To receive an additional card then you simply need to click on the Hit button, and an additional card will be dealt to you, when you hit a hand these extra cards are dealt to you for free with no additional charge being made.
Double Down – Dependent on which Blackjack game you are playing, you may be permitted to instead of being able to Hit a hand, you can buy an additional card, this is known as Doubling Down a hand, and when you Double Down on a permitted hand you must pay an additional charge for the extra card which is equal to the initial amount you wagered on the base hand.
Surrender a Hand – Some Blackjack games will let you give up your hand at certain points in the game should you consider your hand not strong enough to win that particular game.
When you surrender a hand you will be removed from that one game and for taking the Surrender option instead of losing your entire stake you get half of it returned to you.
There are two Surrender types one being a Late Surrender and the other being an Early Surrender, the former is only permitted after the Dealer has checked his hand for Blackjack and the latter can be taken at any time in the game.
Blackjack Playing Hints and Tips
As with any casino card game there are plenty of playing hints and tips we can share with you, the first tip as mentioned above is to stick to the Blackjack variants offering only the lowest house edges, as by doing so you will increase your overall winning chances.
Another playing tip, which may come as something of a surprise to new Blackjack players, is in regards to the Insurance wager, this one optional side bet is the highest house edge wager in the game of Blackjack and as such, no matter what your hand is, when it is offered you should always refuse the bet and not take it, if you do you will be increasing your overall house edge and therefore lowering your long term winning chances!
You will also need to learn how to play with perfect strategy when playing Blackjack this will entail you knowing fully how to play every single hand combination that has been dealt out to you, when faced with every possible Dealer up facing card.
This may seem something like a very tall order, however if you get yourself what is known as Blackjack strategy card, this will show you every way to play your hand when faced with any Dealers up card.
You will often come across additional Blackjack games which offer a side bet option, this side bet could pay you out a bonus set of payouts when you have been dealt certain hand combinations, or you could be placing this side bet in the hope of winning a progressive jackpot when a certain set of playing cards has been dealt to you.
Much like the Insurance wager mentioned above, any Blackjack games side bet option is going to come with an above average house edge, and as such you should always avoid placing such a wager on any Blackjack game for it will slowly or in some cases very quickly eat away at your available Blackjack playing bankroll.
One final and very important tip for playing Live Blackjack online is for you to always have enough spare cash in your available casino account balance to play any additional wagers in the current Blackjack game you are playing.
In the Live Blackjack playing environment you are always up against a timer in regards to making your betting moves, and as such if you do not have sufficient funds in your casino account to for example, Double Down or Split a hand, then you will not have time to visit the banking interface and top up your casino account with extra funds!
So always make sure you have more than enough accessible funds in your casino account or occasionally if you do not you will not be able to make the correct game playing moves.
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