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Blackjack Online: Everything You Need to Know in 2018

Blackjack has been around in some form at least since 1601. The earliest known mention of the game was found in a novel by bonafide gambler Miguel de Cervantes. Since then, it’s become the most popular casino table game in the world. No other card game has matched its legacy. When blackjack found its way to the internet, it got even better.

Nowadays, it couldn’t be easier to load up a game online and hit 21. Before you do just that, though, you should prepare yourself in the right ways. We know all there is to know about online blackjack, so stay tuned to find out how to play, what the best blackjack strategies are, and – most importantly – what the best sites to play for real money are.

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How to Play Blackjack Online

Part of what makes blackjack so brilliant is that the aim of the game is simple. It’s you against the dealer, and your sole aim is to get a score that’s closer to 21 then them, without exceeding that number. It’s no wonder that historically, the game was simply called ‘21’!

A game can have up to seven players in one table, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s always you versus the dealer.

The game starts with each player (including the dealer) being dealt two cards. In a standard game, the first will be face-up, while the second will be face-down. This, however, will vary depending on the style of blackjack and where you’re playing at. Once you’ve added up the total value of the cards you’ve been given, there a few decisions you can take:

HIT

To hit means to draw an additional card. This is something you should do when you have a hand with a low total value.

STAND

When you think your hand is close enough to 21, or if you think you’re at high risk of busting, you’ll want to stand, meaning you won’t take any additional cards. Blackjack rules state that the dealer will always stand when they have a hand of 17.

SPLIT

When you get dealt two cards of the same value, you can choose to split them into two separate hands, with the new hand having its own bet. Sometimes this is a brilliant move, but it can also be self-sabotage.

DOUBLE DOWN

If you’re really confident about your first two cards, or that the dealer is about to bust, you can put a double bet on your hand. The trade-off is that you’ll only be able to draw one more card.

Card Values

The card values in blackjack are fairly straightforward. All number cards from 2-10 are your standard fare. Face cards – Jacks, Queens, and Kings – have a value of 10. The ace is where things get interesting. An ace can either be valued at a 1 or an 11, depending on what is most strategic for your hand. Since the game is played with 52-hand decks, there are no jokers here.

Hard vs Soft

When an ace is valued at 11, it is called a soft ace. When valued at 1, it’s a hard ace instead. The idea behind this is that if you choose to value an ace at 11, then you’re in a position where you can take another card comfortably without busting (unless you have a blackjack hand, which is even better). If you value your ace at 1, then it would mean your hand is quite close to 21.
This means that when a dealer stands on a soft 17, his hand is made up of a soft ace and any other number of cards that add up to 6.

Insurance

When the dealer’s exposed card is an ace, players have the option to take Insurance. It’s a side bet on the dealer having a blackjack, and the payout is usually 2:1. Insurance is usually ill-advised (it’s actually known as a “sucker bet”), since it can very easily lead to a bigger loss, given that this bet is played in addition to the main one.

Surrender

You won’t find this rule in many casinos. Surrendering gives you the chance to forfeit your hand and take back half your bet, and there are only a handful of situations where this is advised.

Our Top Real Money Blackjack Casinos in 2018

Most gambling sites will have some form of real money blackjack games available, but not all of them will satisfy the most ardent blackjack fans. There’s a big difference. An excellent online casino will have table games by the best leading providers, and a good range of classic and unique varieties in the lobby, as well live dealer options. Bonuses that can be enjoyed on table games are also a big plus.
Not sure how to begin looking? The list below covers the top five casinos that we think really get real money blackjack right. Better yet, each one is totally secure and has top-notch customer support and banking options.

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Discover the Best Live Dealer Blackjack

Fans of table games love live dealer casinos. They capture the atmosphere of playing at a brick-and-mortar casino and combine it with the convenience of playing from home.
We’re big fans of live dealer providers that find new ways to create an authentic experience. If you see any of the following names in a casino lobby, you can expect premium quality live blackjack.

Evolution Blackjack

Probably the most renown name when it comes to live casino games, Evolution has an exciting range of standard and VIP blackjack tables, including the popular Live Blackjack Party.
Evolution offers side-bets such as 21+3 and Perfect Pairs. ‘Bet Behind’ lets people waiting to join a table to get in on the action.

Playtech Blackjack

Playtech is one of the oldest game developers in business today, so they know how to deliver the goods. They’ve fused live blackjack with augmented reality technology for a hyper-realistic experience. They also have a brilliant Live Unlimited Blackjack game that ensures you’ll always get a seat.

NetEnt Blackjack

If you know NetEnt for their excellent slot games, you might be surprised to learn they also excel at live blackjack. They are particularly great at offering live dealer games that are optimized for mobile screens.

The Ins and Outs of Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack strategy as we know it is a fairly new thing, considering how long the game has been around for. The first attempt to create a strategy based on mathematics was 1956, and it was later perfected in the 1960s.

Before we get into more detail about strategy, it’s worth pointing that you might be better off saving strategy for land casinos, since the results in blackjack games online are determined by Random Number Generators no matter what.

You could join the hordes of card counters who will try and process all the cards that have been played and mechanically adapt their strategy to influence the outcome, but we don’t recommend it all that much. In the end, blackjack is anybody’s game. At best, strategy should be about learning how to make the most advantageous decisions during gameplay to optimize your payout potential.

Truth

The dealer is obliged to follow a restricted pattern of gameplay, such as standing on 17. By following his actions, you’ll be giving the casino a bigger advantage.

Myth

It’s a good idea to mimic the dealer’s playing-style.

Strategy is about knowing what to do and what not to do, so the following is a list of tips we’ve learnt throughout the years. We recommend practicing them on our no download free blackjack game so you can later bring your A-game when you hit the real money tables.

DO

Play on a table where the dealer stands on a soft 17

Hit on a soft 17

Split a hand of two aces

Hit on a 16 if the dealer has a 10

Split 8s

Play games with fewer decks

Play games where you can double after splitting

DON'T

Play a game of 6 or 8 decks unless you can surrender

Split a pair of 10s

Stand on 12 if the dealer has a 7 or higher

Take insurance

Overuse the surrendering option

Play at casinos where a dealer hitting 22 results in a push


Test out your strategy on our free blackjack game

Need-To-Know Blackjack Phrases

If you want to hang with the top blackjack players, you need to know the lingo. Here are a few of the most common terms and phrases you’ll find used on the web

Face Cards

Jacks, Queens and Kings, all valued at 10.

Face-down Blackjack

A version of the game where all cards are dealt facing downwards

Face-Up Blackjack

A version of the game where all the cards are dealt facing upwards, also known as Double Exposure.

Hard Hand

A hand valued at 12 or more that doesn’t feature an ace. Should the player draw an Ace, he would have to value it at 1.

Hole-Card

A dealer’s second card, which is dealt face-down, contrary to the first card.

House-Edge

The advantage the casino has over the player, calculated as a percentage.

Natural Hand

A perfect blackjack; getting two cards that add up to 21.

Pat-Hand

A hand valued at a hard 17 or higher.

Push

The player and dealer having the same value after standing, resulting in a tie. Also known as a stand-off.

Shoe

The device used to hold multiple decks.

Soft Hand

A hand containing an ace (of either value) that won’t bust when a new card is drawn.

Ten-Poor Deck

A deck with most 10-value cards already dealt from it.

Ten-Rich Deck

A deck which hasn’t had 10-value cards dealt from it yet.

Up-card

The dealer’s first card in a game of blackjack, which is dealt face-up so that players can evaluate their options better.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Blackjack

If I use blackjack strategy, will I win for sure?

In a nutshell, no. Blackjack – especially online blackjack where the outcomes are determined by Random Number Generators – is subject to chance. Strategy is about knowing what to do in different situations so that you can make decisions that may result in more favourable outcomes – but winning is not a guarantee. It’s good to be aware of basic strategy, but don’t become too dependent on it when playing online. Strategy can, however, make your gameplay more enjoyable. We suggest practising on free games, so you’ll be more confident when you decide to play for real money.

If I’m playing a multiplayer game, should I care about the other players’ hands?

At the blackjack table, it’s all about you and the dealer. There is no need to worry about how other players are faring. Some people will argue that in land casinos, it’s best to sit in the last position because it gives you the chance to keep track of what’s already been dealt. You might want to test this out at live dealer tables if possible, but we wouldn’t give it too much importance.

How can I find the best online casinos to play real money blackjack?

Through us! We’re huge blackjack fans and have been playing the game for years. We know what makes a great blackjack casino and will only recommend you casinos where your favorite game is priority, not an afterthought. Plus, all our top-rated sites are some of the securest and most trustworthy on the web.

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