Blackjack is the most popular casino game after slots and Roulette. It is a game that is reasonably simple to learn, although there is some strategy involved if you really want to play well. Blackjack is the only table game where you, as a player, can directly influence the game. In any other casino game (except video poker) a player can not change the outcome of the game through the decisions you make.
That is what makes Blackjack so irresistibly fun: as a player, you have to make real decisions, and those decisions lead to results.
If you follow the correct Blackjack strategy properly, the house advantage of the casino is only 0.5%. Then you have to buy on time (take a card), adjust, double and split.
You can play Blackjack at all good online casinos. It is, in any case, the automated form, but most online casinos also offer the possibility to play Blackjack in a live environment, at the Live Casino. You won't get much closer to a real casino experience unless you leave your living room and go to a land-based casino.
How does Blackjack Work?
Let us begin with eliminating global misunderstanding once and for all.
The aim of the game is NOT to have more points than the bank without going over 21.
The purpose of Blackjack is to beat the bank.
It's that simple.
And how you do that doesn't matter.
If you pass in time with a bad card (for example, if you have 16 points and the bank shows a 5) and the bank buys itself to death, you win with a weak hand.
With the right Blackjack strategy, the house advantage is almost nil. And you don't have that with any other casino game.
The game is played with one or more cards.
- Cards 2 to 10 represent the face value: a 4 is worth four points, a 9 nine points, etc.
- A picture (Boer, Vrouw, Koning) is worth ten points
- The Ace is worth one or eleven points.
The Gameplay at Blackjack
You start every round by placing your bet in 1 or more boxes. With automated Blackjack you can often play up to 3 boxes at the same time, at the Live Casino it is usually limited to 1 box.
After the bets have been placed, the bank (dealer) deals two cards to each player and 1 open card and 1 closed card to himself.
If with these first two cards you immediately made 21 points (so an Ace plus a 10, Jack, Queen or King), you have a Blackjack. You get paid immediately: 1.5 times your bet. This is written as 3: 2 in Blackjack. If you have bet 5 dollars, you will receive 7.50 dollars (plus the stake) back.
If no blackjack falls, which is usually the case, then the game is continued.
The following options then arise:
- Split (with two equal cards)
- Double (if your total points are 9.10 or 11)
- Request an extra card
- To fit
Suppose you have more than 21 points, you lose, and you lose your bet immediately. Once all players have passed (or bought themselves "dead"), the bank deals cards for themselves.
With doubling, you can further expand the advantage that you have over the bank. If you double, you have to bet your first bet again, and you get 1 extra card. Then you adjust automatically.
The bank stops when it:
- Has 17 or more points
- buy oneself "dead" by having more than 21 points
The final balance is currently being drawn up, and 3 different outcomes can arise:
- You have more points than the bank: you win the bet once (you double your bet)
- You have fewer points than the bank: you lose your bet
- You have as many points as the bank: you keep your bet
Splitting is possible when the first two cards you receive are the same, such as two eights or two aces.
By splitting you turn your game into two separate games. You indeed have to bet the original bet on both games.
Splitting can be an exciting exercise, especially if you have two base cards that add up to an unfavorable value and the bank has a good card (7 or higher). For example, two eights together make 16, two sevens make 14, and two Aces make 2. These are all combinations where there is a good chance that you will buy your death.
In other words: by splitting you increase the chances of a successful outcome in many cases.
But that is not always so.
An error that we, unfortunately, see too often is that players split two tens. That is a very weak decision strategically. The player already has 20 points and that means a huge chance of winning. By splitting 2 tens, you lower the chance of winning.
Double up (Double)
The possibility of doubling is perhaps the most important Blackjack rule that the player can use to increase his chances of winning. Therefore use it well.
With the option to double the initial bet is doubled by the player and one more card is given by the dealer.
At some casinos, you may double with every two cards and with others only if your first two cards show a total of 9, 10 or 11 points. Doubling is especially interesting if you have a high point total (8, 9, 10 or 11) and the dealer shows a low card (with a high chance of buying): 3, 4, 5 or 6.
Making good use of the double option is an essential part of the basic Blackjack strategy.
Blackjack has different ways in which the player can "insure" against the outcome of the game. Insurance is an option that comes into play if the dealer's first card is an Ace.
The player now bets an additional bet (that is always half the original bet) on the insurance line.
If the dealer has Blackjack, the insurance bet will be paid out twice, and your loss will be compensated. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, you will lose the insurance bet.
Insurance is always a disadvantage for the player in the long term. Therefore: never do that.
If the player has Blackjack and the bank shows an Ace, the possibility is offered to accept a 1 on 1 payout instead of 1.5 against 1. Suppose the bank also has Blackjack, then you win your hand anyway. If you do not take this "Even Money" insurance, you will lose if the bank has a Blackjack.
Even Money insurance is always a disadvantage for the player in the long term. Therefore: never do that.
With some Blackjack variants, the no-hole-card rule applies. The bank looks directly at the second closed card if there is a 10, Jack, Queen, King or Ace. With Blackjack, the game ends immediately, and all players who do not have a Blackjack also lose. This Hole Card rule is advantageous for the players because, in this way, they do not run the risk of splitting or doubling while the bank has had a Blackjack all along and therefore automatically wins.
This Surrender rule is also not always available. With Surrender, the player is given the option to "surrender" his hand. He then refrains from continuing to play and only loses half the bet.
Surrender is only beneficial for the player if he has 15 or 16 against a 9 or 10 from the bank.
Blackjack Strategy: When Should You Buy, Pass, or Double?
With Blackjack, the game rules can show (small) differences at different online casinos. This makes it difficult to determine the optimal strategy since it depends on which rules are applied.
Fortunately, there is a basic strategy that you can apply to any Blackjack table, and that will always help you to increase your chances of winning.
When Should You Buy or Fit?
Keep the following buying and adjusting strategy for the best chances of winning:
- 17 or higher: always fit
- If the dealer has 2 or 3 and you have 12 or less: buy
- If the dealer has 4, 5 or 6 and you have 12 or more: pass
- If the dealer has 7, 8, 9 or 10 and you have 16 or less: buy
When Should You Double?
Doubling is an essential way for a player to gain extra benefit. So always use it!
- With 9 you double against a 3, 4, 5 or 6 on the bank
- With 10 and 11 only if you have more than the bank
A Warning: Watch out for 6: 5 Blackjack
In the last few years, a nasty variant of Blackjack has surfaced: the 6: 5 Blackjack. This variant is mainly found at land-based casinos and is very player-unfriendly.
A casino only pays 6: 5 instead of the usual 3: 2. Now that may not seem so bad, but appearances are deceptive. With 3: 2 Blackjack, a house advantage of 0.5% applies. With 6: 5 Blackjack, the house advantage rises to 1.9%.
For example, a player who bets 10 dollars and gets Blackjack receives the standard 3: 2 variant a payout of 15 dollars. If he plays 6: 5 Blackjack, he only wins 12 dollars: a difference of 3 dollars.
Live Casino Blackjack
Do you want to play Blackjack at home on your PC or tablet, but do you miss the excitement and energy of a real casino? Then visit one of the many Blackjack tables in the Live Casino. Here you play Live Blackjack with real dealers, along with other players. With a live camera connection in HD quality, you can follow the game down to the smallest details.
You always play at your own bet level, and the Live Casino is open 24 hours a day.