Blackjack is one of the most popular table games to play at an online casino. It’s no different than the regular blackjack game that is played in land based casinos. Online blackjack is so simple to play that all you need is to know the ground rules and the so-called basic blackjack strategy or standard strategy. If you don’t stray from your strategy you can win some great cash. Of course, you may be unlucky one day, but if you have a set budget and don’t spend any more than that, the losses will be under control. This is the key to avoiding online gambling addiction. Never go over your budget, and never play to “win back” your losses.
There are a few different variations of blackjack that can be played online. There’s the standard Blackjack game where you place a bet and try to get as close to 21 as possible with 2 or more cards, without exceeding 21. If you hit Blackjack (a total of 21 with 2 cards) you get paid 3 to 2, so a $5 bet would give you $12.50. If you don’t get 21 but end up on a high number that beats the dealer, or the dealer goes bust (meaning he exceeds 21) you will double your money.
Cards 2 to 10 count at their face value, while Jacks, Queens, and Kings count as tens (10). So there are four cards out of 13 that are worth 10 (K, Q, J, 10). Aces act as a sort of joker card, as the player can choose whether it should count as 1 or 11.
In most online casinos the best value will be automatically selected, depending on whether the player hits and exceeds 21 when the ace is counted as 11. For example, if you have an ace and a five (A-5), the hand value is either 6 or 16. If the player hits and gets a 7, then the hand value is either 13 or 23. Since 23 is bust, the lower value is automatically selected.
Many variations of Blackjack also offer options like Insurance, Double, Split, Surrender… An ‘Insurance’ option is offered when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, as there is a high chance that he has a Blackjack (a chance of approximately 4 out of 13).
Before you consider playing for real money you should be familiar with the basic rules as briefly outlined above. Once you can play at a pace where you no longer need to think much at all about what to do next (whether to hit, stand, or double) most of the time, it’s time to study the basic blackjack strategy.
The basic strategy of blackjack is quite straightforward. Depending on what cards you are dealt and what the visible dealer card is you should follow certain rules to decide whether to Hit, Stand, Double or Split. These rules won’t always win the hand because you never know how the cards will fall, but based on probability they give the best likelihood for winning the hand.
If you follow the basic strategy to a T, you will have upwards of 99.9% chance of winning. In some cases, depending on the variation of the blackjack game offered by the online casino and the number of virtual decks used, the payout ratio can exceed 100%! That’s right, it can be as high as about 100.2%, but that is only if you play the perfect strategy over a prolongued period of time.
The standard blackjack strategy is listed in the image below. Options like Insurance are never to be taken. The standard strategy table applies to most variations of Blackjack variations, with a few exceptions such as Pontoon or Spanish 21.
When you play blackjack online, whether for real money or just for fun, it’s a good idea to have this chart handy.
By John Crow
John Crow is the operator of various gambling related websites, including multi-language sites such as online casino sites in Norwegian (Casino pÃ¥ Norsk) and English-language sites covering most types of online gambling games such as online casino slot machines.