The origins of Blackjack may be debatable, but one thing’s for certain – it has withstood the test of time and remains a staple in any casino player’s repertoire. While its aims and rules have stayed vastly unchanged over time, playing online Blackjack at a casino in UK and Ireland is a great way to learn the basics, while also trying your hand at variations or Blackjack games with an innovative twist. Before you log in and try to beat the dealer, we’ll give you all you need to know about this timeless classic.
The aim isn’t to get 21 points
Let’s start things off by debunking a myth. Many Blackjack beginners believe the aim of the game is to get 21 points – hence why across the globe, the game is also known as ‘21’.
This isn’t the case, and the aim of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. You can do this by getting a closer points’ total to that magic figure, 21, or you can hope the dealer goes bust – in other words, exceeds 21 points.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3
That’s right – you can play a hand of Blackjack in three easy steps.
- Place your bets
These need to be equal to, or higher (if you fancy your chances) than the table minimum. Then come the cards. The player will receive two cards face up, while the dealer will receive one card face up, and the other face down.
- The player’s turn
In most games, you will have four options: to hit (take another card), stand (receive no more cards), double down (double the bet and receive only one additional card), or split (pay an extra bet to split a pair into two different hands).
- The dealer’s turn
Once the player has stood, it’s the dealer’s turn. They must hit on any total below 16 points. Then the totals are compared and the winnings are paid out.
The advantages of playing online
Many of the advantages aren’t strictly limited to playing Blackjack online, and they can be attributed to any casino game of your choosing. There are plenty of benefits, which include:
- Stakes catering to all budgets – whether you’re looking to try your hand at the game, or are a high-roller, there are Blackjack games for everyone.
- Variety is the spice of life – compared to a land-based casino, there are so many variations of Blackjack in the online lobby. From traditional Blackjack to themed games, and variations with innovative twists.
- Action-packed hands – the latest technology ensures you can play more hands in a shorter period of time. It adds to the thrill of a Blackjack game.
Basics for beginners
So now you know how to play, what the game’s aim is, and the advantages of playing online, you’ll need to know these tips, before you get started.
- Card values: Aces are worth 1 or 10 points, each card (between 2 and 10) retains its face value, and face cards (J, Q and K) are also worth 10 points.
- Pay-outs: a standard win is 1:1 while landing a natural (21 points) pays out at 3:2.
- Hand strength: by looking at the dealer’s up card, you can determine the strength of their hand and how to play your game. Anything between 2-6 is deemed weak, 7-8 is moderately strong, and 9-10 is a very strong starting card.
- Know how to play the game: following on from our last tip, if the dealer’s starting card is weak, and your hand is too, it’s best to stand. Whereas, if the dealer is strong and you’re weak, it’s best to hit.