Blackjack is an old and popular casino game also sometimes known as 21. It is offered by every online casino and is one of the most popular online casino games in the world.
You can play many variations of these games but I will focus on the standard blackjack game for the purpose of this article.
How to play online blackjack
The aim of the person playing blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand by not going over 21.
Some basic information about blackjack
In blackjack each card has a value associated with it. Number cards take on the value of the number of the card, picture cards take a value of ten and aces can be with one or eleven. Below are some examples of hands and there value
- 7 of spades + Jack = 17
- 8 of diamonds + 5 of clubs = 13
- 8 of spades + Ace of spades = 9 or 19, depending on the value you pick for the Ace.
Casinos tend o use 6 to 8 decks of cards in blackjack. You will find the details with regards the number of decks used in the game rules available within the blackjack game you are playing.
If a smaller number of decks is being used it can be beneficial to the player because it means you have a better chance of drawing a blackjack. The higher the number of decks then the less likely you are to draw a blackjack.
A hand which contains an ace that is being valued as one is said to be soft. It is called this because if cards are added to the hand that make it exceed 21 then the player can reduce the value of the ace from 11 to 1.
When a hand exceeds 21, it is said that a player and their hand have gone bust. An example of this would be if you have 5 and an 8 and opt to receive another card. You get a 9 which equals a hand value of 22. This means you have exceeded 21 and gone bust.
Blackjack betting rules explained
- HIT: If you want another card, this is the button or command that will get you one from the dealer.
- Stand: Standing is how you finish your hand. You press this button if you think that the dealer will go bust the next time they draw a card.
- Split: If you get two cards of the same value on you have the option to split the cards and play two hands. This also means you are doubling the cost of your bet.
- Surrender: If you aren’t happy with the value of your cards some casinos give you the option to surrender to the dealer. You have to do this before you draw another card. This does not apply as an option if the dealer gets blackjack. Once you surrender you will receive half your original bet back.
- Insurance: This side bet is available when the dealer has a face up Ace and is basically a bet that the next dealer card will be a 10 and that they will get blackjack.
- Double Down: Doubling down allows you to double your bet and receive an extra card.
Blackjack Table Rules
- You must get all of your bets in before any cards are dealt
- Any hand with an ace is considered a soft hand because you can change the value of the ace from 11 to 1. A hard hand is one which doesn’t contain an ace, or one with an ace which can’t be counted as an 11,
- Landing a blackjack normally pays 3:2 and beating the dealer without a blackjack pays 1:1
- Martingale Strategy
This strategy was first used in France during the 18th century it has been reported and therefore is one of the oldest strategies still used today. The Martingale strategy focuses on doubling your bet size everytime you lose. This theory was originally used to show that someone who is wealthy and has infinite amounts of cash could always win in the long run. This strategy is also very popular in online roulette when betting on even bet types. Read more about that here.
When playing blackjack you often see people use this strategy and doubling their bets after every loss. The strategy sounds solid when playing a game that is an even money game but blackjack is not an even money game. If you are unlucky enough to go on
You will often see players use the Martingale system at the blackjack table, doubling their wager after each loss. In theory, this strategy sounds solid. However, blackjack is not an even money game. Therefore, the risks associated with playing with this strategy can be very high.
- Manhattan Strategy
All casino players can go on streak which they refer to hot and cold streaks. Hot being a winning streak and cold being a losing streak. Knowing when to stop while on a hot streak is critical in order to protect your winnings. Knowing when to stop when things aren’t going to plan is equally important.
The Manhattan strategy, also known as the 2-1-2 strategy rewards blackjack players that have a hot streak. The whole strategy is based around the idea that when you win you first reduce your bet size. If you win again then it increases.
The idea is in the name, 2-1-2 but here is an example of it in play. Player starts with 1600 INR. If they have a winning hand they reduce their next bet to 800 INR. If they then have another winning hand the bet increases to 2400 INR (800 INR+1600 INR). If they win again it increases to 3200 INR.
If the dealer wins the player goes back to the original bet of £20 and starts again.
- Oscars Strategy
This strategy was originally used in craps but also works very well in Blackjack. It is easy to understand and is based on positive progression which makes it a low risk strategy,
Before you start playing with this strategy you need to define what your minimum bet is. This bet size will double in size for every winning hand you have.
For the purpose of this example let’s say you are betting with 1 chip. If you win or lose your first hand, your next bet will be 1 chip again. If you win the next