The biggest advantage for online blackjack is the very competitive house margin – this gives players a greater odds percentage of winning than the majority of other table games. In this article, you learn how to play online blackjack, useful tips, and the best strategies to increase your chances of winning.
So enjoy reading our blackjack beginners guide!
Online Blackjack: Guide for Beginners
The aim of the game is to get a hand with a total closer to 21 and more than the dealer, without going over that number. If either the player or dealer’s hand goes over 21, they automatically lose the hand. The game is played as follows.
There are other details, but this will get you through your first few hands:
1. Go to your favourite casino site, sign up, make a deposit, and choose to play a game of blackjack – it is best to choose the standard rules for your first time (read them below).
2. Before any cards are dealt, it is your call to place a bet, so define how much you want to bet.
3. You and the dealer will receive two cards each. Yours will both be face-up, the dealer will have one face-up and one face-down.
4. The aim of the game is to get a hand with a total closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over 21. Choose either to take another card (hit) or not take another card (stand).
5. If you go over 21, you’re out and the dealer wins. If you stand before going over 21, the dealer plays his hand. If he busts, or finishes with a hand that is further from 21 than yours, you win the bet. If you have 21 you get blackjack!
Why Play Online Blackjack?
Blackjack is probably the easiest casino table game to learn and play, that’s the main reason for its popularity. Online Blackjack provides you with a good compromise between the simplicity of play and the importance of a player’s skill, giving you the best of both worlds.
If you’re able to count to 21 and manage a few simple rules, you can start playing immediately.
One of the biggest reasons to play online blackjack for real money is the incredibly low house edge.
When using a strategy in every hand, the online blackjack house margin is reduced to less than 0.5%. This is far lower than any other casino game and means that you have the greatest chance of winning while playing online blackjack.
Online Blackjack Bonuses
Another good reason to play online blackjack for real money is the bonuses you can get. Most online blackjack sites offer generous bonuses as an incentive for signing up, so check these out and select the bonus opportunities that are best suited to you. Just remember that there are rollover requirements for any online blackjack bonus that you get. There are sometimes games that are restricted (ensure blackjack isn’t in the list), and you must almost always bet your bonus a number of times before you can withdraw it.
So, let’s analyse and maximise your chances of winning with mathematically tested blackjack strategies.
Online “BJ Basic Strategy”
Once you’re familiar with the online blackjack rules and have played some hands, you may decide to move to a basic strategy. This a tested strategy, mathematically proven to maximise your chances of winning and minimise your potential losses.
Using strategies obviously doesn’t guarantee you that you will win, but if you plan to play over 50 hands, you will get the benefits of using the basic strategy below.
H Hit (take another card)
S Stand (keep the cards you have, also “stick” which ends your turn – you won’t receive another card)
D Double Down (double your bet and take only one more card)
Sp Split (divide two cards of the same value into two hands)
The hand gestures used for these actions will depend on the style of blackjack you are playing. The two most popular types are ‘face-down’ or ‘face-up’.
In blackjack, the numerical cards have a face value equal to the number on the card. The face cards – Jack, Queen, and King – always equal 10. Aces are the one card with more than one value depending on how you play them. An Ace can equal either 11 or 1 depending on your preference for that hand. The respective suits of the cards have no effect on the outcome of the game.
|Two = 2||Three= 3||Four = 4||Five = 5||Six = 6|
|Seven = 7||Eight = 8||Nine = 9||Ten = 10||Jack = 10|
|Queen= 10||King = 10||Ace = 1 or 11|
BJ: Does Card Counting Work?
One of the most common questions asked by new online blackjack players, especially those who have seen movies on blackjack, is: does card counting work?
Card counting in online blackjack is always impossible due to the random element of the games, while land-based casinos still allow this strategy.
Card counting in blackjack increases your odds of winning, to the point where the house margin goes into negative numbers, and positive for the player. Meaning that if you continue playing for the long run, you should mathematically be able to make a profit. By knowing when to sit out, when to raise the stakes, you can set yourself up for bigger winnings.
9 Online Blackjack Tips To Help You Beat The Banker
Here you will find 9 online BJ tips whih will help to improve your game:
1. Be Faithful To Your Bankroll
Know how much you are willing to spend, and how much you are going to wager on each hand. If you have €100 to spend on blackjack online and want to play a lot of hands, go to a table with a minimum bet of €1-5. If you want to try to increase your money quickly, then play at a table with a higher limit, like €10-20 per hand.
2. Never Run After Your Losses
This is good advice for any type of game, but especially blackjack. Running after losses is when you lose a hand and money, then you start to play aggressive on the next hand to recover the losses. This always leads to bad decision making, and therefore more losses. If you lose a big hand and continue to play, play like nothing happened at all, and you will not fall into the trap of running after your losses.
3. Play Variants if Possible
Some blackjack online casinos offer ‘Surrender’ rules. This means that you can fold your hand and lose half of your bet, instead of playing the hand till the end. This enables you to tip the odds slightly more in your favor by surrendering when your chances of winning are at their lowest. It is similar to the Cash Out feature in sports betting. You can also find the rare blackjack tables where the dealer has to stand on 16 instead of 17, which also decreases the house edge.
4. Utilise the “Basic BJ Strategy” (As Above)
There are few better ways to increase your BJ bankroll than using the basic blackjack strategy. It’s mathematically proven to give you the best possible chance of winning and minimizing your losses. Plus, it’s really easy to implement – just follow what your basic strategy card tells you to do in each exact situation.
5. Don’t believe you are due to win
Don’t increase your bets because you feel you are going to win. The cards don’t know and they don’t care whether you are in the middle of a losing or winning streak. So be rational and intuitive during your playing session and follow the tips in this article.
6. Say NO to Insurance
Blackjack insurance is probably the worst thing that could happen to BJ. It’s useless and you are only increasing the house’s edge by taking insurance when the dealer shows an Ace.
7. Always Keep the House Margin in Mind
You can’t expect to win at blackjack every time you play. That’s because it has a house margin which ensures that the casino has an advantage in the long run. The best method to reduce the house edge advantage is to stop playing as soon as you win extra money.
8. Check the Rules of the Online Blackjack Site Every Time You Play
There are many different variations of Blackjack. Each of them has slightly different rules. Check them out before you make your first bet.
9. Choose 3:2 Over 6:5 Payout
Some online casinos get an advantage over a player by changing the payout to 6:5 instead of the usual 3:2. Playing at an online casino means that you won’t win as much as you should because of the house margin. So our tip is to avoid online casinos with 6:5 payouts for blackjack players, and choose only to play on “3:2” tables: This refers to what you’ll get paid if you get dealt a Blackjack. 3:2 pays means you win €15 with a €10 bet, while a 6:5 payout is far worse with only €12 won. You will easily understand that anything besides 3:2 pays you back less.
Land-Based Casino Blackjack Actions & Etiquette
Playing blackjack in a land casino is an exciting and social way to build on your online gambling experience. With everyone trying to beat the dealer, blackjack is an ideal group game, and a busy table is a great place to make new friends. Whether your table is vocal or quiet, it’s easiest – and often necessary – to interact with the dealer through subtle hand signals. If there were to be a contradiction between a player’s verbal instruction and hand signal, the hand signal would take priority.
Hand Signals for Face Down Blackjack
When the cards are dealt face down in a casino, you’re allowed to pick up and hold your hand. You can pick up your cards as soon as they are dealt, but only your two original cards. You must hold your cards in one hand, keeping them in clear sight of the dealer and other players. You can then use these hand gestures to give your instructions to the dealer:
- Hit | use your cards to tap or scrape the table
- Stand | place your cards underneath your bet, using one hand to slide your cards underneath the chips
- Double | lay your cards face-up on the table and place an additional bet next to your original one. The dealer will deal your third and final card face down
- Split | lay your cards face-up on the table and place an additional bet next to one of the cards, outside of the betting box. This will give you a new hand to play
Hand Signals for Face-Up Blackjack
In ‘face-up’ blackjack, the cards are placed on their backs for everyone to see. Do not touch any of the cards, and use the following gestures to interact with the dealer:
- Hit | point at your cards or tap the table
- Stand | wave your hand over your cards, keeping your palm parallel to the table
- Double or Split | place an additional bet next to your wager. Hold up one finger to double, or two fingers to split
The dealer will do the rest.
American and European Blackjack: A Lot of Differences
Blackjack is attractive to players as a simple game that gives you a high-level control over the outcome. It can be a risky game with a house edge as high as 10%, but at a carefully chosen table and with the right strategic choices, this edge can lower at 0.62%. If you’re lucky with the house rules, it could even be 0%!
The key to developing a good blackjack strategy is understanding how the different rules affect your decision-making process.
Here you can find European and American rule variations, as well as some different house rules, the way in which they affect the house edge, and how to improve your advantage.
The more decks used in the game (where the cards are dealt from), the greater the house edge. This is because more decks makes card counting for you really hard. The player also wins fewer blackjacks (an opening deal of an ace with any ten-point card) and has less powerful double downs, which is the opportunity to double your original bet if you think your hand will beat the dealer’s.
In general, European blackjack uses two decks, and American blackjack between four and eight. However, to compensate for the change in odds caused by lower deck numbers, casinos frequently lower the blackjack payout or apply unfavourable rules to increase the house edge. As a result, European blackjack has a few rules that don’t act to the player’s advantage.
At most American blackjack tables, the payout for hitting blackjack is 3/2, meaning a $10 bet would return $25 (including the original stake). If you’re very lucky, you might find a game that pays out 2/1 on blackjack. At some tables, the payout is reduced to 6/5, meaning a $10 bet would return $22 (including the original stake). The difference may not sound like much, but settling for a table with 6/5 payouts can increase the house edge by 1.39%.
While it is a common feature at American blackjack tables, the strategic advantage of a surrender is often overlooked, particularly by players who believe that fortune favours the brave. The surrender option allows you to admit defeat after your initial two cards are dealt.
When you surrender, you forfeit just 50% of your original stake instead of the full amount, which is particularly useful when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, face card, or 10 and you have a hand of 15, 16 or 17. In fact, if you play this right you can lower the house edge by up to 0.1%.
The rules on whether a player can double down vary across both European and American blackjack. In general, European blackjack restricts the player’s ability to double down to hands with a total of 9, 10, or 11, while American blackjack allows a double down on any total. Restricting the double down will add around 0.09% to the house edge, as it prevents a potentially profitable doubling on a start card of values up to nine when facing a weak dealer hand.
The Hole Card
In European blackjack, the dealer is dealt one card face up, and only receives the second card after the player hand is complete. In American blackjack, the dealer receives the second card – the “hole” card – face down immediately, and can get a look if blackjack is a possibility.
This might seem like a minor difference, but the absence of the hole card increases the house edge by 0.11%, as the player may double or split before realising they’re up against blackjack. The results of this can be supervised by playing conservatively against potential blackjack hands.
Splitting means dividing the pair of cards you were originally dealt into two separate hands, and adding a second bet equal to the first to back the second hand. It’s a way to take advantage of a weaker dealer card. Some blackjack versions don’t allow you to double after a split, which increases the house edge by 0.14%, or don’t allow ace re-splits, which increases the house edge by 0.18%. If these restrictions are in place, there isn’t much you can do in response.
One thing that’s always worth remembering when approaching the blackjack table is that European blackjack will always force the dealer to hit on a soft 17, which is a hand containing an ace with a value totalling seven or 17. This is bad news for players, as the dealer is more likely to win an improved hand when they hit rather than stand, increasing the house edge by an average of 0.2%.
Although you can’t respond to this strategy, you can learn from it. Standing on a hard 17 (a hand totaling 17 without an ace) is a good strategy, but remember to always hit on a soft 17. A blackjack game can vary hugely across the continent and between casinos, so when sitting down to play, remember to adapt your strategy to match the house rules and lower its advantage.
Some other strategies
The Martingale Strategy:
The Martingale blackjack strategy is one of the best strategies available.
You can win quite often following this strategy, but only when you have a lot of money to invest in the game. If you don’t have at least €500 to bet online – leave this strategy.
The Martingale strategy is completely different from the conservative blackjack approach. You have to be brave to use this strategy and be rational at the same time. It is basically very simple: Every time you bet and lose, you have to double your bet till you win.
How can you ever win if you keep losing – and losing more and more as you keep playing? Because even if you lose lots of money on several consecutive losses, everything changes when you win. The one stake that brings you victory makes your bankroll grow to the level of covering the amount of all your previous lost bets.
However, there’s one very crucial thing to keep in mind. Once you go over your initial bankroll, stop playing. The Martingale blackjack strategy doesn’t work when it comes to long gaming sessions.
The best approach is playing BJ often and stop immediately when you get some extra cash. You are very likely to win at least one hand per round of blackjack – and this is what you’re looking for when applying the Martingale blackjack strategy.
Just keep in mind that you need a big initial amount of money to invest. Because you need enough money to keep doubling the bet until you finally win your bets. If you feel like it, you can practice this strategy on different BJ variants to see which one works best for you.
1-3-2-6 Blackjack Betting System:
The 1-3-2-6 blackjack betting strategy doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing ever – especially after you’ve read about the Martingale strategy – but it can still help you a lot.
This strategy doesn’t require you to have a big amount of money to invest. So, what do the numbers in the title mean? It is all about your bets after you win a hand of blackjack.
You have to trigger this system after you win a hand and cut it when you lose. This way, you won’t lose all your money at once. This blackjack strategy is based on the idea that winnings come in streaks. Also, it gives you a systematic approach to your bets. You don’t make your bets in a random way and that gives you control over the game.
Let’s have a look at an example of the 1-3-2-6 blackjack strategy.
Say, your initial bet is €10. If you won a blackjack game four times in a row, your betting pattern would look like this:
Of course, if you lose you have to cut this sequence and then return to your original €10 and wait for another win. This strategy definitely helps you to manage your bets, not to overspend, and gives you an advantage when you hit a winning streak.
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