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What is Blackjack

Well, well, butter my biscuits and hang on to your ten-gallon hats, folks! It looks like we're diving into the wild and exciting world of Blackjack in casinos.Yeehaw!

Blackjack, also known as '21', is a classic casino card game as American as apple pie. Its simplicity, combined with a blend of chance and strategy, makes it a casino superstar—from Vegas's bright lights down to riverboat casinos bobbing along ol' Mississip'.

At its core, Blackjack is a showdown between you and the dealer. You're trying to draw cards that total 21, or as close to 21 as you can get, without going over—otherwise known as 'busting'.

But don't forget about those Blackjack basics:

  1. Card Values: The cards from 2-10 are worth their face value. King, Queen, and Jack are each worth 10. And the Ace, that slick card, can be either 1 or 11, depending on what's going to help you more.
  2. Dealing: At the start, you and the dealer both receive two cards. Yours are typically dealt face up, while the dealer has one card face down (known as the 'hole card') and one face up.
  3. The Gameplay: After dealing, you've got a few options to consider.
    • Hit: Heck yeah, give me another card!
    • Stand: Nope, I'm good with my hand.
    • Double Down: Double your initial bet and receive just one more card. It's a big gamble, like betting all your money on a single horse race.
    • Split: If you've got two of the same card, you can split them into two separate hands. It’s like starting the game fresh again for the split hand.
  4. The Dealer's Turn: After all players have taken their turn, the dealer flips their hole card. Depending on their total, they'll hit or stand based on predefined rules. Most often, the dealer must hit until they've got at least a 17.
  5. Victory & Defeat: At the end, it's time for the showdown! If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer's, you’re the winner! If it's a tie, called a 'push', your bet is returned. If you hit that magic 21 with just two cards (an Ace and a 10 or face card), that's a blackjack! This winning hand usually pays out more than a regular win.

It's important to remember, though, that not all Blackjack games are created equal. You might run across games with different rules or side bets, like Insurance, Even Money, or Surrender. Always make sure you understand any particular game's rules before you dive in.

Playing Blackjack is like ridin’ a buckin’ bronco. It's all about the thrill of the chase, holdin’ on tight, making the right decisions, and hoping Lady Luck is smiling down on you.

Just remember, play responsibly. As us gamblers like to say, "Always bet with your head, not over it."

Types of blackjack

Buckle up and slap on your cowboy hat as we ride into the sunset exploring the varied terrains of Blackjack!

Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack Surrender is like having a "Panic Button" at the poker table. Here, the word "surrender" doesn't mean you're a coward. No, sir! It's a strategic decision based on what you've got in your hand and what the dealer's showing.

In this version of Blackjack, after the initial deal, if you reckon the dealer has you beaten, you can throw in the towel by surrendering half your bet. You might lose some bucks, but it's better than losing the lot!

Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch is double the fun and double the trouble, friend! This game's got one crazy twist - you play with TWO hands instead of one. But here's the catch: you gotta place an equal bet on each hand.

Once the cards are dealt, you can take the top cards and switch 'em out between hands. This switch can give you the upper hand, helping you hunt down that elusive 21 or steering clear from a potential bust.

Live Blackjack

Live Blackjack is as exciting as strutting into a casino on a busy Saturday night. The only difference? You can do it all in your long johns. Technology brings the hustle and bustle of a real-life casino to your home screen. 

You get a real-life dealer, actual cards, and can even interact with other players, all while you're sprawled on the couch. These games are streamed live and in high-quality straight from a land-based casino or a fancy studio, giving you the ultimate Blackjack experience.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City Blackjack, named after the casino mecca on America's East Coast, follows similar rules to traditional Blackjack. The fun part is it's played with eight decks - now if that ain't a party, I don't know what is!

There are some extra perks too, like the chance to double down on any two cards, and even after splitting. The late surrender option is also available, meaning you get another chance to scoop out of a bad situation.

European Blackjack

European Blackjack is like the Old World cousin of the American version. It's a classy, elegant game usually played with two decks. Unlike American blackjack, the dealer doesn't take a hole card until after you, the player, has played your hand.

This slight difference adds a pinch of suspense, 'cause face-down cards might just flip the game and change your destiny. Surrender isn't typically offered in this game, so make sure every move counts!

Perfect Blackjack

Perfect Blackjack adds an extra shot of adrenaline to our good ol' Blackjack. This version introduces the 'perfect pairs' side bet. If your initial two cards form a pair, you strike it rich with additional payouts. The rarer the pair, the bigger the payout.

Remember, the 'perfect pairs' bet is independent of your main bet. So you could lose the main hand but still win your side bet. 

Every one of these variants adds a unique spice to the game, like different BBQ sauces at a Texas cookout.

How We Rate Casinos For Online Blackjack

You folks ready to dive into the great river of online blackjack and come out the other side a seasoned pro? I'm gonna show you the recipe I use when sizing up an online casino to play blackjack. 

  • Respectability and Legitimacy: First and foremost, the outfit running the show's gotta have the right paperwork. If a casino's not licensed and regulated by an upstanding commission like the UKGC, MGA or Nevada Gaming Control Board, it's no better than a snake oil salesman. A license is a badge of honor - and the first sign the wagons are circled and the campfire's safe.
  • Blackjack Variety: From classic to European, to pontoon and beyond, I like my blackjack like I like my ice cream flavors– plentiful! If a casino can't offer me a smorgasbord of blackjack variants, then it's like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
  • Quality Software Providers: The pistoleros behind the technology are important. I'm always on the lookout for games made by big names like Microgaming, NetEnt or Evolution Gaming - the real gunslingers of the online gaming world.
  • Mobile Compatibility: If a casino decides to skimp when it comes to mobile use, it’s like trying to wrangle a herd of cattle without a lasso. I need an online casino that's gonna let me pull out my smartphone and get to gaming, no matter where I'm planted
  • Bonuses and Promotions: It's always nice when a casino throws you a hunk of change as a welcome gesture. A nice bonus can be the difference between being able to play an extra hand of blackjack or having to call it quits for the day
  • Payment Options: I reckon a good casino will always make sure your coins can get to and from your pocket with minimal fuss. Selection is key, so look for a mix like Visa/Mastercard, eWallets like PayPal, or even something more modern like cryptocurrencies.
  • Reliable Customer Support: Sometimes you need a guide. A top casino will always have a customer service team ready to lead the way - preferably available 24/7 via live chat, email and telephone.
  • Fair Play and Security: Lastly and most importantly, fair play and top-notch security are finer than frog hair split four ways. Don’t trust a casino that ain’t endorsed by independent auditors like eCOGRA or iGaming Labs. Make sure they use SSL encryption technology to ensure your information's as secure as a bank vault.

So, that’s the full meal deal. Following these signs will lead you onto the right trail, straight to a quality casino to play online blackjack. Keep your wits about you, and you'll do just fine!

How to Pick The Best Casino to Play Blackjack

If you're aiming to mosey on down to the digital saloon to play a little blackjack, I reckon I can help you pick out the best spot to park your horse and take a seat at the table. So, dust off your boots, secure your spurs, and pay attention! Here's how to pick the best casino to play blackjack.

  • Reputation: Now, reputation ain't just about word of mouth, folks. A good casino's got to have a proper license and it should be regulated by well-respected bodies like Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, or Nevada Gaming Control Board. Y'all don't want to play at no unlicensed joint, savvy?
  • Game Selection: Now, we all know blackjack, but there are more varieties out there than you've got fingers and toes! Make sure your chosen casino offers a range of blackjack games like classic, European, Atlantic City, and even fancy ones like Blackjack Switch or Live Dealer Blackjack.
  • Software Provider: It's like choosing a good steak, folks–you gotta consider who's behind the grill. Look for games from trusted providers like Microgaming, NetEnt, and Evolution Gaming. These guys serve up a fair and smooth gaming experience.
  • Bonus Offers and Promotions: If a casino's offering a welcome bonus sweeter than Aunt Betty's apple pie, you might be onto a winner. But, don't get reeled in on that alone–inspect the wagering requirements and make sure you're not signing up for a raw deal.
  • Mobile Compatibility: This here’s the 21st century, partners, and a casino that ain't mobile compatible is like a horse with no legs. Ensure the casino website is mobile-friendly or, better yet, they have a dedicated app.
  • Safety and Security: Make sure the casino uses state-of-the-art security measures to keep your personal and financial data safer than gold in Fort Knox. Look for SSL encryption technology and secure payment gateways. After all, identity theft is no joking matter, and y’all don’t want to get bushwhacked!
  • Banking Options: Check out the deposit and withdrawal options. You want plenty of choices here, like credit and debit cards, eWallets like PayPal or Neteller, and even cryptocurrencies. Also, keep an eye on the potentially hidden charges like withdrawal fees or conversion fees – that's money could be better used on your pile of chips!
  • Customer Service: Should trouble arise, you want customer service there quicker than a rattlesnake strike. Look for 24/7 support through chat, phone, or email, and do a bit of research to check if folks generally find them helpful and responsive.

Play responsibly and know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, or run.

Basic Online Blackjack Rules and Strategy

I reckon ya'll are ready to get the lowdown on the much-loved game of online blackjack. We're not just gonna pull out the rulebook, but also give you a peep into the Basic Strategy, too. Think of it as your personal corner booth in the saloon where you’re learnin' to play without someone peekin' over your shoulder!

  • Objective of Blackjack: The aim is to beat the dealer’s hand by achieving a card value closer to 21 without busting over. Just remember, if you go bust, your stagecoach crashes, rain or shine – even if the dealer busts too.
  • Card Values: Picture cards (kings, queens, jacks) are worth 10 points. Number cards are worth face value, while an ace can either be an 11 or a 1 – it's the kind of multitasker we could all do with!
  • Starting the Game: Each round begins with you placing a bet. After that, you and the dealer each get two cards. You get to see both of yours, but one of the dealer's is face down, adding a sprinkle of suspense.
  • Basic Options: The choices depend on your cards and the dealer's upcard.
  • Dealer's Rules: The house's gotta play by their rules too – normally, the dealer has to hit on 16 and stand on 17. Imagine having to play your hand with the strategy written on a giant billboard for all to see!

Online Blackjack Basic Strategy

The basic principle of the strategy is breaking down the possible situations into chunks and understanding what's your best move for each one.

For example

  • Hard totals (when you don't have an ace, or it is counted as 1): If you've got eight or less, ya hit no matter what. 17 or more? Ya stand. If you have a total of 11, ya double down if you can, or otherwise hit. Other totals require a peek at the dealer's card to know what's best.
  • Soft totals (when an ace counts as 11): Some are a slam dunk – ya always hit a soft 13 to 17. For soft 18, things get tricky. It depends on the dealer's upcard whether ya hit, stand, or double down.
  • Splits: Always split 8s and Aces. Never split 10-value cards and 5s. For the rest, it depends on the dealer's card.

But remember, a strategy ain't a holy grail. It’s just there to level the odds, not bring you guaranteed gold. And the most crucial strategy of them all? Know when to walk away. Set limits and stick to 'em.

Advanced Blackjack Strategies, Rules and Tips

I`ve prepared diving deep into the world of advanced blackjack strategies, rules and tips.

  • The Surrender Rule: Many rookies don't know 'bout this little gem. By surrendering a hand before digging too deep, you're given back half your bet. This ain't for every hand, but situations where the odds are stacked against you - like a hard 16 against a dealer's 9, 10, or Ace, or a hard 15 against a dealer’s 10. Knowing when to quit can save you some precious chips.
  • Card Counting: This ain't for the faint of heart and definitely ain't for the forgetful. Card counting involves keeping track of high-card to low-card ratio in the game to predict the likelihood of drawing a 10-point card. Though it's not illegal, casinos aren't too fond of it and could show you the door if you get caught. Online, it's a no-go due to the card shuffling algorithms.
  • Shuffle Tracking: This is a heck of a lot trickier, and you won't accomplish anything trying this online where algorithms keep shuffling unpredictable. In land-based casinos, with a bit of practice (much more than 'a bit' to be honest), it could allow you to predict when those high-value cards will make an appearance.
  • Hole Carding: In some rare scenarios when the dealer's sloppy dealing exposes the hidden card, ya concentrate real good and take note. This won’t work online... unless their code is as clumsy as a drunk in a china shop!
  • Using Software: Since online blackjack doesn't take kindly to card counting or shuffle tracking, you gotta turn to other methods. Certain software can help analyze patterns and strategize your moves.
  • Composition Strategy: This means altering your decision based on the make-up (composition) of your hand. For example, you may handle a hard total of 16 differently if it's made up of 3 or more cards instead of just 2 because it reduces the risk of busting.
  • Back-counting or Wonging: This strategy involves joining the game at a count that favors players and leaving when the count favors the house. It's more of a mortar-and-brick strategy than an online one, but useful to know!

And remember, you gotta keep your wits about you when you play. Online blackjack ain't a sprint, it's a marathon. Set limits on how much you're willing to lose and never, ever, try to chase your losses. Now, go on ahead, pardner, and deal your own luck!

Blackjack cheat sheet: How much cards are worth

Now, if you're keen on shootin' up a storm at the blackjack table, understanding the worth of your hand's the first step.

How much are cards 2 to 10 worth in blackjack?

First up, numbers. Pretty straightforward here, partner. Cards 2 through 10 in blackjack are worth face value. That's right! So, if you've got yourself a 7 card, then that stubborn mule is worth exactly 7 points.

How much is a Jack or Queen worth in blackjack?

Onto face cards now. Regardless of their regal nature (or lack thereof), in the world of blackjack, kings, queens and jacks are all equal. A Jack or Queen, whether from hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades, is always worth 10 points. Some might call it democracy of the deck – each royal is worth the same!

How much is a King worth in blackjack?

Oh, and the King? Well, his majesty doesn't quite demeanor any special respect in blackjack. Just like his royal counterparts, the Queen and the Jack, the King card is worth 10 points. So, don't go bowing down to this regal card - he's just another 10-point card in your hand.

How much is an ace worth in blackjack?

Now, the Ace. This here card is the real trickster, the veritable chameleon of the deck. An ace can be worth either 11 or 1, depending on what suits your hand better. If an Ace and a 10-point card (that's a 10, Jack, Queen, or King if ya following along) are your first two cards, that's a blackjack, yeehaw! With any other hand, the Ace would be worth 1 point so you wouldn't go bust.

So, there you have it folks, the quick and dirty rundown of the blackjack cheat sheet and the value of each card. Take this wisdom to heart, because knowledge is power, even when you're sittin' down for an exciting game of blackjack.

History of blackjack

Our tale begins in the misty heydays of the 17th century, somewhere in good ol' Europe. The first known mention of our favorite game is from a book by Miguel de Cervantes, a Spaniard who knew a thing or two about the realities of gambling (the man who brought us Don Quixote also penned a tale about avid gamblers).

The game was known as "Ventiuna" or 21. The rule of hitting 21 stuck around, but some of the other original rules were left beside the trail. Still, the goal was the same: beat the dealer without going bust.

As folks were wont to do, they carried the game across the sea to the New World, where early Americans took a shine to 21. However, the game didn't garner the same popularity as other pastimes. Something had to be done to jazz things up a bit.

This is where the origins of "Blackjack" come in, as innovators offered a special payout if a player landed a black Jack and an Ace of Spades in their hand. This hand, made up of the Ace of Spades and a black Jack, won a jackpot-worthy 10-to-1 payout. The name "Blackjack" stuck, even though the hefty payout was eventually discarded.

Then came the Nevada years. When the state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, Blackjack settled into its new home in glamorous Las Vegas. It wasn't long before it became a mainstay of casinos everywhere, with its magic mix of skill, luck, and socializing.

During the 1950s and 60s, Blackjack grew even more in popularity as mathematicians began to analyze the game. Edward Thorp, often referred to as the father of card counting, used modern computing to crunch the game's numbers. He found that by keeping track of which cards were played, a person could improve their odds against the house. His book, "Beat the Dealer," became the gambler's Bible and attracted a new group of players to the Blackjack tables.

Counting cards might have given folks an edge, but the casinos weren't ready to fold. They tinkered with the rules and even reshuffled the deck to fluster card counters, leading to the modern forms of the game.

Let's bounce straight into the bright, shiny age of the internet, where cowboys and cowgirls gather 'round their laptops for a round of blackjack instead of the poker table.

You see, it all started in the mid-1990s when the internet was a just a young colt, not the thoroughbred racehorse it's become today. There were folks who saw it as a chance to bring the thrill of casino games straight to the comfort of one's homestead. In 1994, the country of Antigua and Barbuda enacted a 'Free Trade & Processing Act,' essentially giving businesses the right to open online casinos. 

Toward the end of 1994, a company called Microgaming, a real trailblazer in our story, developed the first functional gambling software, fully encouraging the spread of online casinos. In the following years, more and more companies began to spring up, creating their own online casino platforms.

Blackjack, being one of the most popular casino games out there, was at the forefront of this revolution. Our beloved 21 quickly found its way onto the screens of computers all around the world, delighting fans with its accessibility, convenience, and novelty. Instead of road tripping to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you could try your hand at blackjack without ever stepping out of your front door!

Fast forward to 1998, a year that deserves a gold star on our timeline! Along with fast-paced growth, we saw the introduction of multiplayer online blackjack games, which brought a sense of community to the screen, bridging the gap between the physical and virtual world of casinos. You could now mingle with other players and discuss the blackjack strategies that put the twang in your country tune.

Then, in the early 2000s, online casinos started to offer live blackjack games with real dealers. That meant players could sit at their kitchen tables and interact with a live dealer dealing real cards halfway across the world, bringing the authentic casino experience straight to your home. It was like magic. You had the real-life chatter of dealers, the shuffle of cards - everything but that clinking cocktail glass.
As technology trotted forward, so did online blackjack, finding its way onto mobile devices during the 2010s. Blackjack became more accessible than ever, allowing players to hit, stand, or double down whether sitting on their front porch enjoying a sunset or having a quick lunchtime round at work.

Now, we've arrived in our current age of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Companies are experimenting with using these technologies to provide a fully immersive blackjack experience. Someday soon, donning a VR headset might transport you straight to a glitzy Vegas casino table, where it feels like you can almost touch the felt.

From the early 90s to the present day, the history of blackjack in online casinos has been marked by constant growth and development. It's adapted to the times, made itself available across platforms and devices, and brought players together from across the globe.

Keep the stakes fun, always play responsibly, and remember that the goal is to have a blast. Happy playing, y'all!

FAQ About Blackjack

  • Can I play blackjack online?
  • Is online blackjack rigged?
  • Can you win real money playing online blackjack?
  • Is playing online blackjack legal?
  • How many decks are used in online blackjack?
  • What's the best strategy for online blackjack?
  • Should I take insurance in online Blackjack?
  • Are online and live blackjack rules the same?
  • Can I use bitcoin for online blackjack?
  • How fast are the rounds in online blackjack?
  • What are side bets in online Blackjack?
  • How many hands can I play at once online?
  • Are there online blackjack tournaments?
  • Can I count cards in online blackjack?