Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and one which is easy to learn. Online casinos usually offer several variants of blackjack, including the option to play against a live dealer.
While the rules of the game are simple, before committing real money, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of how to play blackjack.
The difference between online blackjack and live online blackjack
The main difference is the presence of a live professional dealer who will be playing with real cards. This replicates, as far as possible, the experience of playing at a “bricks and mortar” casino. With the online, non-dealer version, you interact with a graphic interface that is designed to look like a casino blackjack table and may feature a “virtual” dealer.
The basics of blackjack
Whether playing bitcoin blackjack live or in-person cash and chip games, the object is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21. You can also win if the dealer’s hand exceeds 21. Unlike poker, as you are only playing against the dealer, you don’t need any other players to participate. However, there will usually be other players, who are also playing against the dealer.
Initially, players and the dealer receive two cards. The dealer has one hole card (dealt face down) and one dealt face-up. Both the player’s cards are dealt face-up.
Players and the dealer can then request additional cards (referred to as “hit”), with the aim of getting to 21. Once you’re happy with your hand, you can “stand”. While 21 is the aim, you can choose to stand at any time. Going over 21 is known as “busting out”. If you beat the dealer, you win. If the dealer beats you, you lose any money wagered.
In blackjack, the “face” cards count as 10, while aces have a value of either one or 11. The player gets to choose which, depending on their hand. For example, if you held a face card and an ace, this would make 21 (known as “blackjack”), whereas, if you had two face cards and were then dealt an ace, you would also be able to claim 21.
Terms you might come across are “soft hands” and “hard hands”. Soft hands include any two cards plus an ace, while a hard hand consists of two cards, where neither is an ace.
While this is a basic overview of blackjack, there are several variants available that have slightly different rules.
Blackjack strategies for beginners
While the objective of blackjack is straightforward, strategies have been developed to help players tip the chances of winning in their favor.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to know when to stand and when to hit. Generally, standing on 17 or over is advised. A slightly more advanced strategy is “splitting”, where you turn one hand into two and place an additional wager.
More complex strategies involve trying to calculate the probability of which cards are likely to be dealt with. However, casinos use up to eight decks of cards shuffled together in their blackjack games to prevent “card counting” techniques, which have proven controversial.
Overall, if you want to experience a real casino environment and participate in one of the more straightforward games, live online blackjack is a good option.