Bring the House Down with Our Complete Guide to Online Casino Blackjack
Blackjack has been the mainstay for bricks and mortar casinos almost since they were invented so it’s no wonder they have taken to being online so well. Millions of people enjoy playing at their choice of online Blackjack casino and we’re guessing you’re thinking of becoming another one. You might already be an experienced online casino player and are just looking for something different to play. Or you could be a complete online gambling virgin. Whatever the case, we’ll share all you need to know to get started and help you find the best online casino Blackjack can be played at. So what is it that has made Blackjack such a popular game? It’s a simple game and doesn’t require an awful lot of decision making. But the decisions you make can be very profitable once a little knowledge and skill are applied. It’s not as much a game of luck as many other online casino games can be. There are ways to play casino Blackjack online that will give you a better edge and we’ll explain some of these a little further down the page. But for now we’ll start with a brief history lesson. Because the origins of the game are really rather interesting.
A brief, and we mean brief, history of Blackjack
We could be really brief and say that nobody really knows 100% the origin of the game. But let’s just say it’s a hotly contested subject. Many agree that it’s the French we have to thank for this popular game, so we’ll stay on that side of the fence for now. Around the 1700’s, in French casinos there was a game called “Vingt-et-Un”, which is French for twenty-one. It’s thought by many that this game derived from two other popular card games called Chemin de Fer and French Femme. There was a similar Spanish version called “One and Thirty” which required players to reach a minimum of 31 with three cards. Another theory that’s gaining ground is that Blackjack was an invention of the Romans. We’ve got them to thank for straight roads, indoor sanitation, so why not the game of Blackjack? Anyway, going back to the French version, it increased in popularity and spread across continents to North America. Thanks to the French colonists. And it wasn’t long before it was being played extensively across America too. In 1931, in Nevada, the state which first chose to make gambling legal, a game called ‘21’ was being played. In order to increase the number of people playing, a special bet was introduced by the smart thinking casino owners. If a player’s hand featured either of the black jacks plus the Ace of Spades, the casino would play 10-to-1 odds on the player’s bet. Hence the name Blackjack. The practise was discontinued but the name stuck. So Blackjack wasn’t really conceived by one special person at a particular point in time. It has evolved over time and is still evolving today, thanks to the intervention of the Blackjack online casino. The latest innovation is casino online Live Blackjack with real dealers. And there are a number of other games you can play at the best online Blackjack casinos.
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The different variations you can play at the best online casinos for Blackjack
There are a wide number of variations when it comes to this king of the card table. The rules are basically the same, with a few minor differences in the payouts, number of decks, how the different gaming options can be used and a few others.
- Classic Blackjack
This is the most popular and widely available version of the game. It’s highly likely this will be the game on offer when you’re looking for the best online casino to play Blackjack at. There are going to be other options but you’re always going to find this one. It’s played with between 1 and 8 decks of cards. The dealer will deal you and themselves two cards each. One of the dealer’s cards will be face down and it’s called the hole card. The aim of the game is to have cards that equal 21 or as close as possible. You also want the total of your hand to be higher than the dealer. Any higher than 21 and you’re the loser with a bust deal. If you’re dealt a hand that has an Ace and a face value card that equals 21 it’s called a Natural Blackjack.
- Progressive Blackjack
This online casino Blackjack game is very similar to classic Blackjack. It’s the fact that players have the chance to win an increasing jackpot that makes it different. To be in with a chance to win the progressive jackpot a player has to place an additional $1 bet. Everything else about this online Blackjack casino game is the same apart from a few small variations as to when the cards can be doubled, split, hit or stand.
- European Blackjack
The way in which the cards are dealt is the difference with this Blackjack online casino game. It’s played with 2 decks and as in Classic Blackjack the player is dealt two cards face up. Along with one face up card for the dealer. The dealer’s hole card isn’t dealt until the player has made a decision as to what they are going to do. The decision is whether to split, hit, stand or double the cards. Another option is to double down for a hand that totals 11, 9 or 10.
- Atlantic City Blackjack
This Blackjack online casino game is played with 8 decks of cards. The cards are dealt as in other games with the difference being that the Dealer can look at his hole card and choose to stand on a soft 17. It’s possible for players to resplit up to three hands. A late surrender and insurance option is also available.
- Spanish 21
Also known as Spanish Blackjack this version is played using 6 or 8 decks of cards. The 10 value cards are removed from each deck thereby leaving only 48 cards to play with. This serves to increase the house edge. As in the previous variant the Dealer is allowed to look at the hold card and wins straight away if they have a Blackjack or 21. It’s also possible that the player might have a Blackjack too and this will mean it’s a tie. Late surrender and insurance are allowed as is surrendering after doubling down.
- Blackjack Switch
In this game the player is allowed to switch between two pairs of cards. Two hands are dealt to the player face up and there is the opportunity to improve a hand by switching. Blackjack has a 1:1 payout, rather than 3:2 which is more usual. The Dealer wins if they have a Blackjack. And if the player has a Blackjack before making the switch they can keep their bet amount.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack
It’s highly likely you’ll find this version at the best online Blackjack casinos as it is very popular online. The Dealer is able to look at the hole card and has to stand on the soft 17. 4 decks are used to play the game, doubling down is allowed after splitting the Aces and a player can re-split cards up to 3 times.
This game is played like Spanish 21, as in the all the 10s are removed. Some of the terminology is different, as in rather than hit, stand and Blackjack being called the terms Pontoon, twist and stick are used.
- Live Blackjack
When you’re looking for the best online casino to play Blackjack at look out for those that offer Live Blackjack. To be able to enjoy playing the game live, interacting with other players and the dealer, without having to leave home is a great way to spend a few hours. All the game rules are the same as in other online versions.
- SuperFun 21
This games uses one deck of cards and sticks with the Classic Blackjack rules. There is, however, a slight change to the payout structure. The most important one is that player’s natural Blackjack will beat the dealer’s.
As you can see there are a multitude of different Blackjack games you can play at an online casino. The best online casino for Blackjack will most likely be one that offers more than one variant. As you’ve been reading through this list there may have been a few terms you were unfamiliar with. Time to proceed with a brief look at the most important Blackjack terminology.
Introducing some of the more important terms you’ll be using when you play Blackjack at a casino online
- Hit – asking the dealer for another card
- Stand – asking the dealer to move on to the next player because you don’t want any more cards
- Split – turn your hand into two separate hands
- Double Down – this is very similar to a hit, but you just get one card without any option to take another
- Insurance – when the Dealer shows an Ace he can ask if you want to take insurance which protects you in case the dealer has a card with a value of 10
- Surrendering – this isn’t an option at all online Blackjack casinos but it is at some and it allows you to surrender half your bet if you don’t like your hand
- Soft hand – this refers to a hand with an Ace in it. The reason for it being called soft is that the hand will have two values, depending on whether the Ace is counted as a 1 or 11. You should check the rules because some online casinos where you can play Blackjack require the Dealer to hit on a soft 17 while others require the Dealer stands.
- Taking even money – should you hit a Blackjack when the dealer is showing an Ace you’ll tie (push) if they also have a Blackjack. If you don’t want to risk not winning you have the option to take even money. In other words you’ll get paid 1:1 instead of getting paid 3:2.
We’ve already mentioned that Blackjack is a popular game in land-based casinos, so why would you play online if you already play at a local casino?
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The benefits of playing Blackjack at an online casino rather than a land-based establishment
The overriding benefit for a large number of players will be convenience. Not everyone, if fact not very many people, will have a land-based casino close by that can be visited on a regular basis. There might be one in a nearby city, but for many this wouldn’t be a viable option to travel there on a regular basis. And the expense of travelling would negate any profit made. There are a number of other things you won’t have to worry about if you play at home. You won’t find yourself stuck in traffic trying to get there. You won’t have to worry about finding a parking space. There’s no dealer you need to worry about tipping. All of which are going to save you money that can now be spent on your games. If you play Blackjack at an online casino you get a far wider choice of game. And this can be a big benefit, especially if you like to play Blackjack often. It’s also appreciated because it allows you to play variants that offer the house the lowest possible edge, which is always going to be an attractive prospect. It’s possible to play far more hands per hour than at a land-based casino and if you use a mathematical strategy this will increase you chance of winning. The more hands you play the better your chances of winning. If you’re playing at a physical table with seven other players, the most hands you can expect to play will be 52. Whereas at an online Blackjack casino you can play more than 200 hands per hour if you’re playing heads-up against the dealer. And on that note, being able to play heads-up against the dealer has its own advantages. For a start you’re eliminating the possibility of playing against a player who really doesn’t know how to play the game. One final advantage is that you can change tables whenever you want to. If the hands aren’t going right at one particular table it’s a simple thing to change tables, or even try a different website. Whereas in a real casino it’s not so easy because there might not be another table or there might not be another chair available. For the final section of this page we’re going to pass on some tips for those of you looking for the best online casino for playing Blackjack. We can’t tell you which are the best, but following these tips will help you find the best online casino to play Blackjack at for yourself.
4 factors to consider when looking for an online casino where you can play Blackjack
If you’ve made it this far then you’re serious about wanting to play Blackjack online. The next step for you is to find the best place to do it. Below are four factors that will ensure your chosen online casino ticks all the right boxes.
When playing Blackjack at an online casino it’s important to be able to trust the site. If you win you want to be certain the online Blackjack casino will pay out, otherwise there’s really no point. The reputable casinos where you can play Blackjack will be licensed and regulated by a renowned regulatory body, such as the UK Gambling Commission. This and other regulators ensure the games are fair and the casinos act in a fair and honorable way. At the bottom of the casinos website you’ll find reference to the casinos license and you should also be able to check whether it’s eCOGRA approved. We will do all that we can to you as much of this information when we write our reviews.
- Variety of games
While the Classic Blackjack game offers more than enough excitement all on its own the opportunity to play another version is always an option to look out for. The bigger casino brands will certainly offer a wide selection of online Blackjack variants, but some of the smaller ones will too. Having a range of versions to choose from means you’ll be able to profit from different side bet options along with alternative gameplay features.
- Payout percentage
One of the reasons Blackjack has managed to retain its level of popularity is that it is one casino game in which the house has the lowest edge. And for a skilled online gambler this can be a big deciding factor. By using the right strategy you can reduce the house edge even further. We would advise you to be very wary of side bets as this can erode your advantage considerably.
- Bonus offers
One final feature you need to bear in mind is the inevitable collection of bonuses most casinos now offer. It has become the method of choice for enticing new customers through the doors of even the top online blackjack casino. There are some pretty hefty bonuses available but they are matched equally by the large deposits required to make the most of the offer. Which is why it’s important to check the terms and conditions very carefully. And if you’re unsure about the requirements get things clarified by speaking with a representative of the online casino.
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