Blackjack is the most popular table game played in land based casinos throughout the world. The origins of Blackjack is still a mystery because no one knows precisely where it originated from.
Popular opinion holds that it might have originated in Spain during the 17th century, while some say the Ancient Egyptians invented it.
Be that as it may, Blackjack is here to stay, and as we speak, it is becoming more popular by the day. This guide will give you the blackjack betting strategy and where to play blackjack online for real money or free at the best online casinos.
List Of Contents:
- BlackJack Strategy
- BlackJack Variants
- Blackjack Charts
- Calculate BlackJack Odds
- Free BlackJack
- Betting Systems
Best BlackJack Casinos
The Goal of Playing Blackjack Online
When you play Blackjack, your main goal is to beat the dealer by getting a card total of ’21’ or Blackjack! Anything above 21 is known as a ‘Bust’ or simply put, a losing hand. You hit Blackjack when the sum total of the cards you hold in your hand amounts to 21.
The value of each card is as it indicates on it while the face cards (Jack, Queen, King) count 10 points, and an Ace is worth either 11 points or 1 point. When you get dealt an Ace, this is known as a ‘Soft Hand.’ If you receive an Ace plus a 5 card, your hand total is either 16 or 6.
Should your next card be a 10, then it makes sense that the Ace in your hand counts as 1, which brings your new total to16 and leaving space for a low number card and better odds to hit 21.
Blackjack Online Basic Strategy
basic strategy divides into Pair Splitting, Soft Totals, Hard Total,
and Late Surrender. In the section below, we give a short overview of
Pair Splitting: When you get dealt 2x Aces or 2x 8-cards, then split your pairs. The logic behind it is that it improves your odds significantly in reaching a total card count of 21. When the dealer shows a 7-card or lower, then split your pairs of 2s, 3s, or 7s. If you receive a pair of 5-cards, never split them; it is best to keep them together because they total 10, which is one of the strongest hands in Blackjack.
Soft Total: Total is the sum of the card values you hold. If one of your in-hand cards is an Ace, which can count as 1 or 11, this is called a Soft Total. A face card that combines with an Ace has a combined value of 21 or Blackjack.
Hard Total: A Hard Total is when your hand does not have an Ace. For example, when you hold a 10 and a 2, this is known as a hard total because there is no Ace.
Late Surrender: Once the dealer checks for Blackjack, late surrender occurs when the player surrenders his/her hand and loses half the bet. One of the fundamental rules in Blackjack is always to ‘hit’ when the dealer holds a 10. If you don’t, then fellow players at the table might label you as ‘chicken,’ and you don’t want that! Furthermore, never surrender hand totals of 12, 13, or 14.
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Blackjack has a few variants, and you’ll be surprised to know that they are similar to each other. Each has its own little nuances that you should master before you play it with real money. Presently there are 5 online Blackjack variants, which are:
Atlantic City Blackjack: Played with the standard 8- deck of cards, Atlantic City Blackjack uses standard Blackjack rules. Each deck of cards comprises of 52 cards, and there are no Jokers. Compared to Pontoon and Blackjack Switch, it only has a few minor differences.
Blackjack Surrender: This variant of Blackjack is known as the ‘safe’ option. Instead of losing your entire hand, you can fold and only lose half your bet instead.
Blackjack Switch: Invented by Blackjack guru, Geoff Hall in 2009, you play both hands, which should have equal bets. You can only switch the top card (second card) dealt with the other hand. You may not switch your first card, however.
European Blackjack: In every sense of the word, European Blackjack is unique because it is the ‘baby-daddy’ of all Blackjack variants. It is pretty much the same as the standard Blackjack as played in U.S. casinos such as Las Vegas; however, there are a few subtle changes such as the fact that the dealer receives one card only at the start of the game.
Perfect Blackjack: This Blackjack variation allows players to place as much as five Blackjack bets and side bets simultaneously. Although the basic rules still apply, the player must place an ‘Insurance Bet’ after receiving the first two cards.
How To Calculate Online Blackjack Odds
Off all the casino games, Blackjack gives you the best odds at winning. Before you get too happy, there is a small catch. You must know and understand basic Blackjack strategy, the game’s rules, and your odds, especially when you play the game on a multi-horse shoe. So, what are the odds of you going bust then? To best illustrate our point, we’ve created a few hypothetical scenarios:
Scenario 1: You receive a 9 and 3, making your Blackjack hand total 12. If the dealer’s up-card is a 4, your next move would be to Hit. Your chances of going bust are just as good as the dealers. Alternatively, you can play it safe by standing and hoping that the dealer goes bust. If you decide to hit, your odds at going bust is 39% compared to the dealer’s 42%. Therefore, in this scenario, it’s better to ‘Hit’ than to ‘Stand.’
Scenario 2: When your hand total is 15 (8 and 7), and the dealer’s up-card is a 10, it’s best to hit. The odds of the dealer getting a hand total of 17 and 21 is good. Now you must Hit, or take a chance at least. In percentage terms, the odds of the dealer getting between 17 and 21 is 61.22%. There is a 40.81% chance of the dealer totaling 20 or 21, while the player’s odds of getting 17 and 21 is 40.81%.
How Does Blackjack Card Counting Work?
Although card counting is by far the best Blackjack strategy, it’s frowned upon, and many Blackjack experts who have used it received a ban from casinos. Players use mathematics to their advantage by keeping track of all the small and large cards that remain in the deck and those already dealt. Card counting reduces the House Edge by a whopping 1%, so it’s not worth it!
Hi-Lo Card Counting Strategy For Single Deck Games
This Blackjack card counting strategy assigns a value of -1, 0, or +1 to each card that’s dealt face-up. The card counting community calls it ‘Tag.’ Essentially it is just a value assigned to each card. This method is a ‘short cut’ because very few people have the memory or mathematical proficiency in counting or remembering every single card.
Small Cards: Low-value cards such as 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 each have a tag of +1. If they get removed from the deck, the player has the upper hand.
Other Cards: Cards like 7, 8, or 9 have a tag of 0 because they have a minor impact, and as such, there is no need to count them.
Large Cards: Cards like 10s and Aces gets a tag of -1. If they get removed from the deck, the house comes out tops.
Blackjack card counters who use these tags can determine the deck’ running count by subtracting or adding when a large or a small card gets removed. They know precisely if the deck favors the house or them, which helps them to make the right bets. Card counting becomes complicated when multi-decks get used.
Blackjack Bankroll Management
Bankroll management is one of the crucial aspects of the game that often gets overlooked. Truth be told, if you manage your bankroll correctly, you can improve your odds at winning. Don’t believe us? Here’s how:
When you place your bets, don’t gamble more than half your stack. It demonstrates reckless play, while you should keep a cool head at all times. Successful and experienced online Blackjack players plan ahead and never allow their emotions to get the better of them. Use basic strategy at all times, since it’s the best way to turn the odds in your favor again.
Where Can I Play Blackjack For Free?
Our best USA online casinos list the various Blackjack variants which you can play for free before you deposit real money. Before you can play, you must download the casino’s free app onto your phone or download the software if you are a desktop player.
As you play the different variants, you’ll notice that they still retain the same elements (rules and odds) as the standard Blackjack. Playing the game for free allows you to understand its variants, odds, rules, and basic strategy.
Online Blackjack Betting Systems
Just like Roulette that has numerous betting systems Blackjack also has a few:
Martingale: The Martingale Betting system provides for players double their bets until they win. It’s risky stuff, to say the least. The logic behind it is to make up for all the losses players have incurred with a single winning bet.
D’Alembert: Players who use the d’Alembert system raise their bets by $1 every time they lose, and if they win, they reduce their bets by $1.
Fibonacci: Fibonacci is a mathematical sequence that has been used by the ancients to build the Pyramids and the Parthenon. This sequence has been around for a very long time, and you can see it in nature all around you. It is 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. Each new number is the total of the previous two numbers. Players place their bets according to the Fibonacci sequence. If they win, then they use the same number. It’s similar to the Martingale, but it’s not as volatile.
1-3-2-6: Better known as the ‘Split Strategy,’ bets are made on units of 1, 3, 2, and 6. You only increase your unit bets if you win. If you lose, you must stick to 1 until you start to win again.
Parlay: The Parlay is known as the “Positive progression betting’ system. On a winning bet, not only will the player bet his original bet, but his winnings too. On a losing hand, the player bets his original bet.
Oscar’s Grind: Oscar’s Grind has been invented specifically for Craps, but have been used in Blackjack as well. It is a progressive betting system. On every bet, the player increases his bet by $1, and if he wins, he doubles it.
Bankroll: The amount of money you use for the sole purpose of gambling online. Don’t use your house rent to gamble. Please gamble only what you are willing to lose.
Burn Card: This is the first card that gets removed from the top of the deck. The reason why it gets removed is to prevent players from cheating.
Bust: In Blackjack, a hand goes ‘Bust’ if the card total is more than 21. It only occurs after the player or the dealer has hit. Players can avoid going bust by sticking to two cards because the total of two cards can never be more than 21.
Card Counting: This is the method that Blackjack card counters use to estimate how many low or high cards are still in the deck. Card counting cannot be used at online casinos because a random number generator gets applied to all games. It means that playing online is safer and fairer compared to land-based casinos.
Deck Penetration: This is the number of cards that remain in the deck since the previous shuffle. It is advantageous to card counters.
Double Down: A player doubles his original bet if he has a good hand with the option of receiving one more card. It cannot be applied to a hand that has more than two cards.
Face Cards: The face cards are the Jacks, Queens, and Kings in the deck.
Flat Betting: Blackjack experts consider it a poor betting strategy if you continue to use the same bet again and again.
Griffin Book: Name after the Griffin Investigations, land-based casinos keep a list (Black Book) of all the card counters by circulating their names among their employees.
Hard Hand: A hand that only has one value (no Aces).
Heads Up: If there is only one Blackjack player at the table. Except for Live Casinos, the table games offered by online casinos are heads-up.
Hit: When players request another card from the dealer with the hope of hitting Blackjack (a card total of 21).
House Edge: This is the mathematical advantage a specific casino game holds over the player. It gets expressed as a percentage term to the casino over the long haul and an assured percentage loss of a player’s bets.
Natural: When a player is dealt two cards that already have a total of 21.
Paint: This is the slang term for the face cards.
Push: A push (or a tie) occurs when the dealer and the player’s hand totals are the same.
Soft Hand: When the player has one or two Ace-cards. The value of an Ace can be 1 or 11 and protects a player from going bust because it offers some flexibility.
Surrender: Players who feel that they don’t have a winning hand can forfeit it by requesting half of their bet back. Players are not allowed to do in after hitting or doubling down. It must happen the moment the player receives his cards.
Up Card: This is the dealer’s card with the face up while the other card is face down. It gives players an idea about the dealer’s next card and helps with basic strategy.
Online Blackjack Casinos Frequently Asked Questions
Our best casinos allow players to play Blackjack for free before they deposit real money. Not only are the games free, but they offer huge bonuses on deposit, their customer support is superb, and they list Bitcoin as a deposit and withdrawal method.
Mobile casino players will be prompted to download the casino’s app while desktop users must download the software.
As soon as the app is installed onto your phone, you can play the games on your phone’s browser. RealTime Gaming’s software interface is browser-based and can be downloaded, while Betsoft’s is Instant Play.
Yes, you can. Once you have picked an online casino, register an account by providing a few personal details such as your name, surname, residential address, and preferred banking method.
Once done, you can deposit and play. It is not smart to wager more money than you can afford to lose. If you have won a nice amount of cash, withdraw your money, and continue to play with your original bankroll.
Some online casinos do offer bonuses to Blackjack players, but not all of them because their weightings differ by a substantial margin. Because Blackjack has a low house advantage, the bonuses have a weighting of 10% – 20%.
Wild Casino and Sloto Cash offer players special Blackjack bonuses with reduced wagering requirements. Once you have made the qualify deposit and provided the code for the bonus, the bonus gets credited to your account.
Note, each bonus has a roll-over requirement you must complete before you can withdraw your winnings. Bonus funds will be deducted from your winnings.
BSE: Basic Strategy Edge, players who use basic strategy, can improve their odds at winning.
DOA: Double Down On Any Card.
D10 or 11: Players can double down on a 10 or 11.
DAS: When pairs are split, doubling down is permitted.
ESR: The casino allows Early Surrender. It seldom occurs, but a player can surrender his/her hand if the dealer has a Natural Blackjack/21.
H17: The dealer must hit when he has a soft 17 (Ace).
LSR: Players can surrender their hand. As a result, they only lose half their original bet in the event the dealer gets a non-natural 21 (Blackjack).
O/U: Over and under 13 bets are allowed.
RSA: Aces can be re-split.
S17: When the dealer has a soft 17, he must stand.
After the player received his two cards, he can request an extra card. In Blackjack, this is known as ‘hit.’
When the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, insurance is allowed. It is a side bet that is half of the player’s original bet. When the dealer’s first two cards total 21, or a Natural Blackjack, Insurance pays 2:1.
When the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, you can surrender, but bear in mind that only some online casinos offer it. Instead of losing your entire bet, you’ll only lose half of it.
Each Blackjack variant offered by an online casino gets driven by a random number generator (RNG). Independent companies such as Technical Systems Testing and iTech Labs regularly test the RNG to ensure that players have an equal and fair chance at winning.
Truth be told, it’s almost impossible to do because the cards dealt by the simulated Blackjack dealer are dealt at a blistering speed. Your chances against multi-deck Blackjack games are less than 1%, and after each hand, online casinos digitally reshuffles the deck.
You can, if you study the basic strategy, rules, and the odds of each Blackjack variant. Plus, you can also dabble with the betting systems (d’Alembert, Fibonacci, Parlay, Martingale) we’ve already mentioned.
You can improve your odds at winning at online casinos because they offer you comps, bonuses, and rebates on your losses every time you play.
Blackjack casinos protect sensitive information of their clients with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) algorithms. SSL software distorts all player data, which makes it impossible to decipher. Banks across the world use it too.