There are so many varieties of blackjack. But which one should you choose for your gambling entertainment? There's no need for guess work with our full guide...
Types of Blackjack Games
Blackjack has always been a tremendously popular game. The reasons why it’s a favourite are simple. The player has a degree of control over the outcome and the better you get at playing it, the less advantage the casino has of winning.
You will find many versions of this game across the world. Some call it 21 - while the British have a variant called Pontoon. We decided to collect the different varieties you can find over the globe.
Continue reading below as we thoroughly examine the types of blackjack games available. You can also use our list to compare the ultimate blackjack casinos.
The majority of online casinos typically offer a rich selection of blackjack games. To whet your appetite, here’s a taste of what to expect:
Standard Blackjack (2, 6 or 8 decks used)
Classic Blackjack (usually played with a single deck)
Atlantic City Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack
In addition to these, there are several variations like Lucky Ladies, Perfect Pairs and 21 + 3 Blackjack also available. These games usually follow European blackjack rules but they each have unique side bets you can try out.
Players looking for something extra, progressive blackjack is highly recommended. This is also a side bet, so the rules are the same as traditional blackjack, but the payouts are much greater if you win the progressive bet.
The core rules of blackjack, in that you must get closer to 21 than the dealer without busting, are standard throughout. However, each variation of the game will have its own tweaks such as the number of decks used, the payout for hitting blackjack, whether the dealer stands or hits on soft 17 and so on.
Each minor rule adjustment has an effect on the RTP, so before playing, check this out to ensure you play the variant that offers you the highest RTP. Thus meaning, the casino has less advantage over you when you play.
Online Blackjack Games
If you’re looking for online blackjack games at online casinos, you won’t have to look far. A variety of blackjack games are widely available at pretty much every site - along with roulette.
So if blackjack sounds appealing to you, the great news is that you have countless online casino blackjack sites to choose from. Many operators also offer a number of live dealer blackjack tables which are the closest thing to playing this classic game in an actual casino. Learning how to play blackjack is easy enough, especially since most casinos offer demo play that lets you play the game for no cost at all.
How To Play Blackjack
Both the player and the dealer are dealt two cards. One of the dealer’s card is dealt upturned for all players to see; all other cards are dealt face-down. You add up the value of your hand. All face cards are worth 10, all number cards are worth their respective number and the ace is worth 1 or 11.
There are three ways to win at blackjack: if the player’s first two cards total 21 (this is called a natural blackjack) and the dealer’s don’t; if the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s; if the dealer’s hand goes over 21.
The player’s hand gets to go first. There are several actions you can do: you can hit (get an extra card), stand (keep your hand as it is), double down (double your bet, receive one extra card and then stand) or split (if your two cards are a pair, you can double your bet and split your hand into two separate ones). If your hand goes over 21 at any time, you lose.
Once you’re happy with your hand, you stand and then it’s the dealer’s turn to act. Most of the time, the dealer will have to keep drawing cards until their hand is worth 17 or more. Once the dealer has decided to stand or has busted, the hands are compared and the winner is whoever is the closest to 21. If both hands are of the same value, it’s a tie and your stake is returned to you.
Online Blackjack Rules
You’ll find that online blackjack rules are pretty much the same as the rules for blackjack games played in land-based casinos. The key difference between online blackjack and its real-world counterpart is the fact that everything’s automated and done by the computer; there’s no dealer overseeing the game, except, of course, in live blackjack games.
When it comes to playing blackjack online, you’ll find that the exact rules can differ quite a lot from game to game. The basics will always be the same, but different variations will have different rules in place. That’s why whenever you play a new online blackjack game, it’s worth going over the rules so you know exactly how the game works and what to expect when playing it. And, of course, each rule change alters the RTP. Sometimes in favour of the player, other times to the benefit of the house, so make certain you play the variant which offers the best chance of winning.
Best Blackjack Bets
When it comes to betting on blackjack, there’s the main bet on the player’s hand winning. If the game results in a tie, your bet is returned to you in full. If the dealer wins, you lose your bet. If the player wins, you get a payout of 1:1, so if you bet 10, you’d receive your 10 bet back plus an extra 10, for a total of 20. Finally, if the player’s hand gets blackjack, the payout is normally 3:2, so for a bet of 10, you’d get your bet back plus 15 (you receive three pounds for every two wagered).
There’s also the insurance bet, which is designed to protect you if the dealer has a natural blackjack. If the dealer’s upturned card is an ace, you’re allowed to place this bet, which has to be half of your main bet. It pays out at 2:1 (you receive double the amount of your insurance bet) and is designed in such a way that if the dealer gets blackjack, you break even instead of losing money.
Let’s say your main bet is 10, the dealer’s upturned card is an ace and you place an insurance bet of 5. You’ve bet 15 in total. If the dealer happens to get a blackjack, you lose your main bet, 10, but you receive a payout of 10 for your insurance bet (a 5 winning bet paid out at 2:1) - therefore, you’ve basically had your 10 paid back to you instead of losing any money.
Blackjack also has a number of optional bets, known as side bets. Examples of these include Perfect Pairs (pays out if the player’s initial hand is a pair) and Lucky Ladies (pays out if the player’s initial hand totals 20).
So, if you’re keen to know what the best blackjack bets are, the answer is simple: it’s the game’s main bet. The side bets and insurance bet all have worse odds than the main bet. In fact, for the insurance bet especially, the more decks of cards are used, the worse the odds get.
Online Blackjack Tournaments
If you want to take your blackjack experience to the next level, take part in online blackjack tournaments. These are exciting, fast-paced, multi-player competitions where the top players are rewarded, usually with cash prizes. Everyone taking part pays a small entrance fee and receives the same number of chips.
Tournaments usually consists of multiple games taking place over a number of rounds. The more participants there are, the more rounds there will be. Rules vary depending on the casino you’re playing at, but typically there’ll be one or more winners from each table who will go ahead to the next round. When taking part in a blackjack tournament, your goal is to have as many chips as possible at all stages so you don’t get knocked out.