Introducing the rules of blackjack
Blackjack is, without doubt, the most popular casino game, both online and in the land-based casinos. But as with most games, there are a certain set of rules to follow. Your strategy and interpretation of these rules are your way of beating the house edge.
Many online casinos in the UK make a ton of money from players, that don’t truly understand the rules and strategies of blackjack. Below I have listed the most important rules, followed by useful background information as for example where to get the best online blackjack bonuses.
Besides the dealer, 1-7 players can be playing at the same time. But the players all play against the dealer at the same time, meaning you are not playing against the other players. To win a hand, you must get as close as possible to 21, but going over 21 will make you lose. A hand with higher value than 21, will be considered as a “bust”. The winner is the player/dealer getting as close to 21 as possible.
The value of “a hand” is the sum of the cards you’ve been dealt. Picture cards, king, queen and jacks all have a value of 10. The cards 2-10 all has the value shown at the card. Ases can be played as 1 or 11, determined by what fits the hand the best. If aces are played as 11 it’s considered “soft”, whereas aces played as 1 is considered “hard”. The difference is that “soft” does not have the possibility of hitting a bust on the next card. But aces played as 1, has a chance of being busted.
Reading on will give you more knowledge of the game, thus making you closer to your perfect blackjack strategy. You will also find opportunities to play online blackjack for free.
How to play a blackjack hand
At the beginning of the game, the player must place a “bet”. Each player, including the dealer, will now be given two cards. Hereafter the player must decide, upon the value of the cards, if they want to “stay” or “hit”. Staying will end your turn, and the dealer will now have to come up with something closer to 21 than you. The dealer will hit for cards until hitting 17 or more. He can’t stop below 17. This means the dealer has high chances of “busting” whenever they are at 12-16.
The natural hand, also called the “blackjack” hand, from where the game has its name. This happens every time the player or dealer are hitting an ace and a picture card in their first two cards. Thus making the hand 21 exactly. This appears, on average, in every 20. hand being dealt. Hitting blackjack on your opening hand pays your bet 3:2 instead of the regular 1:1. If both player and dealer hit the same value, it’s considered a draw = “push”. Whenever this happens, the bet will be returned to the player with no winnings or loses.
In the first round of the game, you have the chance of making a split if you’re are being dealt with similar card values. Getting two picture cards makes it possible to split the two tens. From here the player will continue playing blackjack with the normal rules, but now from the two tens. There is a limit when it comes to splitting aces. After splitting aces, the player can only receive one extra card per ace. Depending on the casino you are playing at, you might have possibilities of splitting up to 3-4 times if you keep getting the same cards.
Doubling down, or double is a double-bet on your first two cards. When “doubling” in blackjack, you will only be given one more card per bet. It is recommended to be doing this only when your hand can’t bust. Meaning doubling on anything above 11, usually is a really bad idea.
Some casinos have a “surrender” feature. This means that you can surrender a hand, without getting an extra hand, or seeing what the dealer has. Sometimes this is a good opportunity to have because you will only lose half your bet. Having 16, and seeing the dealer has 1 card 10, this is often a good option to take.
If the dealer is dealt a visible ace at the beginning, you may use your “insurance”, meaning you will only lose half your bet, just like with the Surrender feature. The insurance will only be paid out if the dealer actually hits blackjack. Therefore this is not something we recommend, as it will just be too costly in the longer run.
The above-mentioned rules are the most basic of blackjack. It’s important to understand that, history, different cultures and the size of the casino may reflect different rules. Make sure, you know the rules of the type of blackjack, you are about to play.
The perfect blackjack strategy and tips
There is no true blackjack formula that makes you win every time. But there certainly are strategies, tips and guides, that you can use in your favour. The following blackjack tips and tricks, are made so that you will make fewer mistakes, and get more time at the blackjack tables for your money.
Start with a bonus. UK online casinos have, in some cases, specific bonuses that you can use for blackjack. Boosting your bankroll from the beginning is a good choice! Bonuses can often be found as welcome bonuses, but also reload-bonuses, match bonuses and much more. They are free to use and will not only extend your game experience but also give you time to better your strategies.
Always check terms and conditions when it comes to casino bonuses.
Make sure these can be wagered at the blackjack table, and that you know exactly how much to wager.
Decide how much, you want to play for, and when to stop. Having a budget will not only give you a safer and better gaming experience. It also helps your awareness around the hot and cold streaks. Thus making you more conscious of the cold ones, saying that it’s time to stop the for day!
Learn the rules as we’ve written above. Not only about blackjack in general, but also the different versions of online blackjack. Live or not.
Blackjack strategy chart
Have you ever heard of a Blackjack scheme – or chart? Easy-to-read tables, you can have laying by your side when playing online blackjack. This is the number one go-to tool! I’m not arguing that you should ALWAYS listen to, what the tables are saying, but it gives a general feeling of the statistic odds of each hand in blackjack. Dealer vs player hands. As a long-time casino player, with blackjack and poker as my main areas, I will give you some advice before following one of these charts.
There is no betting system attached to the chart. Many varieties of blackjack betting systems exist. From the martingale to the 1-3-2-6 blackjack betting strategy.
The martingale betting strategy
One of the most common blackjack betting strategies is the martingale betting strategy. Following a negative progression pattern, it’s as simple as, you raise your bet-amount after losing a bet. The purpose of the system is to make sure, you eventually return to 0, when being on a losing streak. But if you have read our article around the “hot hand fallacy”, you will see this system, by far, is as bulletproof as some say.
The 1-3-2-6 blackjack betting strategy
Also in no way a bulletproof system. It is a strategy, that mostly at an extra element of excitement to the game. Betting £1, £3 if you won the first, then £2, then £6 if you managed to win the first four bets. It adds an. Exiting touch of chasing that forth £6 winning. Wondering why I don’t talk more about the specifics of the strategy? Because I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s more of a funny way of adding some structure and excitement to the game. The 1-3-2-6 blackjack betting strategy has better alternatives.
The Oscar blackjack betting strategy
One that I have been a fan of myself and that can be evolved around a blackjack chart. Following this strategy, you shall think of your bets as units. 1 unit may be £2 or £10, depending on how much you can afford to bet. For the strategy to be “activated” you need to lose a bet. We are always chasing to be 1 unit up, not more. If you lose your first 3 bets, you bet 1 unit – 1 unit – 1 unit. Keep betting minimum unit when you are loosing, but once you hit your first win, the progression begins. This is exactly what the Oscar blackjack betting strategy is all about. Utilising your hot runs. After your first win, you add one more unit. Loosing 3, and winning the next 3 will make it look like this.
1 unit – 1 unit – 1 unit (total: -3) now winning: 1 unit – 2 units – 3 units (total +3 units) 3 was lost on 3 hands, and then 6 was won on 3 hands. For the strategy to really work, you are chasing the 6-7 hand streaks. That’s when it gets really funny if you do the math.
Beneath you see the blackjack chart, and now that you’re more aware of the various betting strategies, feel free to give it at try. You can start by playing blackjack for free, in one of the casinos listed top of this page.