Blackjack has been a popular online casino game ever since its inception. Its simplicity and speed makes it ideal for fast, exciting gambling that no other casino game can beat. A slight element of player strategy rounds out its appeal, as most players enjoy the control they have over a blackjack hand.
All online casinos offer blackjack, as it is such a popular game. The best casinos will offer a number of variants as well, which have different rules that can make them more fun or give the player an advantage. Joining online casinos is easy, requiring simple registration of details and a deposit of cash via credit card, e-wallet or other accepted method of payment.
The advantages of playing blackjack as an online casino game over live casino blackjack include a wider variety of blackjack types, a lack of pressure from other players, and extremely fast dealing. Also, blackjack at online casinos allows players to play whenever they wish. There is no waiting, and online casinos are open every day and night.
Many online casinos will also offer special deposit bonuses to blackjack players, bonuses that boost deposits by as much as 100% of the amount the player is adding to his or her account. This can really help new blackjack players to get a feel for the game and rewards established blackjack players for their time and wagering.
The goal of standard casino blackjack for a player is to beat the value of the dealer hand without going over 21. Cards 2 to 9 count as their given value, while 10 and all face cards are scored as 10. The ace is a special card that can count as a 1 or an 11, as the player wishes. To begin, each player places a bet and then is dealt two cards. The dealer is also dealt 2 cards, one face up and one face down, except in some blackjack variants.
Each player now gets to make decisions, in turn. First of all, after seeing his or her hand, a player may choose to ‘Double Down’, doubling the size of the initial bet and receiving one card face down. If the cards dealt are a pair, the player may choose to ‘Split’ and play two hands, but must add a second bet equal to the first one. The player may now choose to be dealt more cards, one at a time (called a ‘hit’), until he or she chooses to stop (called a ‘stand’), 21 is reached, or the value of the hand goes over 21 (called a ‘bust’).
Next, it is the dealer’s turn to hit or stand. The dealer turns over the face down card, and must now hit if the value is less than 17 or stand if it is 17 or higher. The exception is if the value is a ‘soft 17’ where the 17 is made up of an ace that is valued as an 11. Dealer behavior on a ‘soft 17’ will depend on the rules of the casino.
Any players who get higher than the dealer without a bust get paid out money on their bets equivalent to the odds on offer at the table, usually 3:2. Players who busted or scored less than the dealer forfeit their bets. Players who equal the hand of the dealer are ‘pushed’, having their bets returned to them with no winnings.
‘Blackjack’ is a special hand, when a participant has an ace and a 10-value card as his or her first two cards. Players with this automatically win, unless the dealer has one also. When the dealer has a blackjack, all players lose, other than those with blackjack, who are pushed. If the dealer’s original hand shows an ace on the face up card, players may choose to buy ‘Insurance’ as part of their turn. This is a side bet that pays 2-to-1 if the dealer happens to have blackjack.
There are many variants of casino blackjack rules. Online casinos will often offer more than one kind of blackjack, as not all blackjack players like to play by the same rules. As online casinos have no restrictions on the number of different blackjack tables that can be run, they are the best place to look for more unusual blackjack variants.
Blackjack is by far the most widely recognized card game played around the world. Also referred to as English Pontoon, Blackjack has a fairly hazy background. Although there is no specific date of origin, general consensus allows that the card game evolved from the French game, Vingt-et-un (meaning twenty-one) around the early 17th century.
After its introduction into North America during the French Revolution, Twenty-One found its new name. Casinos offered incentives, such as special cash payouts in an attempt to entice new players to the game. One such “bonus” was paid out on hands that comprised of the ace of spades and either black jack (club or spade), hence the name Blackjack as it is still known today.