ONLINE BLACKJACK GUIDE
Blackjack is the most popular gambling-related card game on the planet, and it has a long history of entertaining gamblers. Featured in virtually every land-based and online casino in the world, it’s incredibly easy to find Blackjack tables - and the game is also really easy to learn and play.
On this page, we’re going to be giving you an in-depth look at what Blackjack actually is. We’ll cover the history of Blackjack, and give you a comprehensive guide into how to actually play the game. Later on, we’ll look at some of the different variations of Blackjack you’ll find online, finishing up with a look at the best online casinos to play it at.
History Of Blackjack
Like most casino games today, the history of Blackjack is murky - and experts aren’t sure exactly when or where the game was initially created. However, historians have a few ideas - and the version of events that most agree with, is that Blackjack is a French game. They believe it’s based on a Spanish game called Vingt-un - and this translates directly to ‘21’ - the core goal of playing Blackjack.
It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that Blackjack started to really ‘catch on’, and this is likely where today’s version of the game was created. For example, in 1905 it started to be offered in land-based casinos throughout Europe, and from here, the rest was history - it soon became one of the world’s most popular casino games.
How To Play Blackjack
One of the main reasons that Blackjack is so popular with players is the fact that it’s so incredibly simple to play. You don’t need to worry about learning complex maths - and, literally, the only thing you need to do is place your bets, make a couple of decisions, and wait to see if you win!
The general goal of Blackjack is to make a hand totalling as close to 21 as possible. You are dealt two cards, and the dealer is also dealt two cards. Now, the card values in Blackjack are fairly self explanatory. All number cards are worth their face value. So, for example, if you were dealt a 4, it would count as a 4. All face cards are worth 10, while the ace is worth 1 or 11. Once you’ve confirmed your bet, you two cards will be dealt - and you will then get to choose one of the following options:
Hit: Also known as ‘twisting’ or ‘taking a card’, you’ll want to hit your hand when you feel you don’t stand a very good chance of beating the dealer’s. If you choose to hit, you are dealt one additional card. You can hit as many times as you want, but remember - if your hand goes over 21, you’ll ‘bust’, and your hand will lose.
Stand: If you’re happy with your hand, you can opt to stand. This means you will not take any further cards. Say, for example, you were dealt a 9 and a Jack. This would give you a hand total of 19 - a very strong hand - and you’d always choose to stand in this scenario.
Split: If your first two cards dealt are of the same value (for example, two 4’s), you could choose to split them. This essentially starts two new hands - and you will need to match your stake in order to split. You are then dealt an additional card to each hand, and you play each independently of one another.
Doubling: Also referred to as ‘doubling down’, a double applies when your first two cards equal 9, 10, or 11. You're then given the option to match your total stake - and you will then be dealt one additional card. You only get one more card, so it’s a bit of a risk - but it can be a good way of increasing your chances of winning a ‘sure-fire’ hand.
Now, those are the options you have - but what does the dealer have to do?
Well, this depends on where in the world you’re playing - and what variation of Blackjack you’re on. Usually, the dealer will need to draw to 17. (This means that if they have 17, for example, and your hand totals 18, they won’t take any more cards.) Dealers cannot double down or split.
Once the dealer has finished playing their hand, the hands are compared, and the winner is paid out. If you win, your total bet will be paid out at 1/1, unless you’ve got Blackjack in which case you’ll be paid out at 3/2. If the hand was a tie (meaning you and the dealer have exactly the same hand total) the game will be a tie, and your stake will be returned to you.
Additional Blackjack Options
Now, on some Blackjack games, you’ll also be given a couple of additional betting options. We’ll look at these below:
Surrendering: Some Blackjack games allow you to ‘surrender’ your stake. What this means, is that if you’ve been dealt a poor hand (which you think has very little chance of winning, against the dealer), you can choose to surrender. This means you will receive back half your stake, and the hand will then end.
Insurance: If the dealer’s first card is shown to be an ace, you can often choose to take insurance. This costs you half the cost of your stake. If you take insurance and the dealer does have Blackjack, then you’ll be paid out at 3/2, meaning you cover both your main stake and the insurance bet. If, however, the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, you’ll lose the insurance bet.
Blackjack Side Bets
With Blackjack now more popular than ever before, it’s only natural to learn that there are a number of side bets offered. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common side bets you’ll come across.
Perfect Pairs: This is the most common side bet you’ll see at the Blackjack tables. You’re given the chance to place an additional side bet, and this pays out if the first two cards dealt to you are of the same value. Generally speaking, two cards of the same value but different colours pays 5/1, while two cards of the same value and the same color (but different suits) pays 10/1. If your first two cards are identical, you'll be paid out at a generous 35/1.
Blackjack Double Exposure: Double Exposure Blackjack isn’t one of the most popular variations of the game, but it’s worth mentioning purely because of its exciting nature. During this version of the game, the dealer will deal both of his cards - letting you see exactly what decision you should make. Of course, this comes at a cost - and the way the casino get back their house edge is by making it so that if the dealer gets 22, the hand is classed as a tie.
21+3: This is a hugely popular side bet, offered at virtually every online casino on the planet. The goal here is to make a poker hand using your first two cards and the dealer’s first card. For example, if you make a flush, a straight, 3-of-a-kind or better, you’ll win a payout - often as high as 1,000/1!
To be honest, game developers are now creating more Blackjack variations than ever before. You may well come across game variations you’ve not seen before - and if this happens, a good way to try them out without risking any of your own cash is to play the game in ‘demo mode’. This lets you try the game for free, using free-money.
Where To Play Blackjack Online
Here at Snazzy Slots we realize the importance of choosing a casino that’s safe, trusted and reputable. That’s one of the main reasons why our team of experts work round-the-clock to bring you the best online casinos. We spend time reviewing sites before recommending them, and if you choose to join (and place bets) at a casino listed on our site, you can rest assured that it’ll be a trusted place to play.
Now, if you look at the table below you’ll see our recommended list of online casinos. All of these sites offer a wide variety of Blackjack games for you to enjoy, and if you see a site you like the look of, all you need to do is press the button next to the casino’s name. You will then be taken directly to their website where you can join, and begin playing!