Most people on this planet have played blackjack at some stage. You have those nostalgic memories of playing it with your grandparents as a kid or with your college mates over 1-cent chips. Yes, the game has been played for centuries and is still potentially one of the most popular games worldwide.
And, it has become incredibly accessible thanks to technology and the many wonders of the Internet. Not too long ago you had to get all dressed up to travel to a land-based casino for miles and miles. You had to sit in smoky rooms to play your favourite games and the gaming variety was limited. The betting options were not always appropriate for a player with a smaller budget and tables were overcrowded.
And then the online casino industry was born in 1994, which made it possible for any blackjack enthusiast to play from the comfort of his or her own home. It was a hit from the very start and blackjack was being played by thousands of people from all corners of the earth.
As technology evolved, online casinos became better and better and it is clearly seen in the many different ways that you can play blackjack today.
The object of the game is to get a hand-value as close to 21 as possible without going over this total. Should you go over 21, you go bust and lose. If you hand is stronger than the hand of the dealer, you win and get paid out 3:2.
Kings, Queens and Jacks are worth 10 and 2 – 10 is worth they’re face value. The great thing about an Ace in blackjack is that it is worth 1 or 11 and the choice is yours.
The players are dealt with two cards face up and the dealer is dealt with one card face down. There are over 30 different variations of blackjack and the rules change with each different game so make sure that you understand exactly how it works before you start playing.
If you are lucky enough to get a 21 (blackjack) with your first two cards, you win. For example: A – K or A – 10). But let’s face it, the odds are slim.
After your cards are dealt you have the option to ‘hit’ or ‘stand’. If you hit, you want more cards and if you stand, you don’t want any more cards. You can ‘hit’ until you choose to ‘stand’ but remember that if you go over 21, you bust and lose.
The dealer also has a set of rules that needs to be obeyed. If the dealer’s cards total is 16 or less, the dealer must hit but if it is 18 or over, the dealer must stand. Should the dealer have a ‘hard 17’ (10 – 7), the dealer must stand and if it is a ‘soft 17’ (A – 6) the dealer must hit.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ONLINE BLACKJACK
This variation of blackjack is played with two decks of cards. The dealer needs to stand on a ‘soft 17’ and the player’s blackjack vs. the dealer’s blackjack results in a push. Players are also allowed to double down only when they have a total of 9, 10 or 11 and players can only double after splitting with no further splitting allowed.
It is also called ‘Spanish’ 21 and the biggest difference in this variant is that the dealer’s hole cards are both dealt face down. What makes this mysterious game great is that the payouts are much higher. In classic blackjack a two-card hand that totals 21 is called a ‘blackjack’ but in this variation it is called a ‘pontoon’ and he dealer also needs to hit on a soft 17.
Match Play 21
This blackjack variant is designed for slot fans because players can win bonuses and progressive jackpots when they make a side bet. All 10-cards are removed form the deck and players are allowed to split and double and, as in almost all other variants, the dealer must hit on a ‘soft 17’.
Face Up 21
It is the opposite of pontoon, which means that the dealer’s cards are dealt face up, which gives the player an added advantage. Players are allowed to double after splitting but it is only allowed on totals of 9, 10, 11. Again the dealer must hit on a ‘soft 17’ but the dealer’s blackjack vs. the player’s blackjack result in a loss.
Perfect pairs has the same rules as blackjack but there is an extra side bet at the start of each hand. This side bet is on the first two cards being of the same value. Players can play five hands per round and doubling down and splitting is allowed. And, yes you guessed it, the dealer must hit on a ‘soft 17’.
It is one of the most popular versions played at online casinos because it allows the player to play more than one hand at a time. Players are allowed to double on totals of 9, 10 or 11 and can only split once. The dealer does not check for blackjack but needs to hit on a ‘soft 17’.
It is very similar to pontoon in the sense that all 10-cards are removed. Of course this has an influence over the house edge but the game makes up for it by providing very friendly rules. Not only can you double after splitting but you can also re-split if you want to. Players can surrender after doubling while the dealer needs to stand on a ‘soft 17’, for a change.