Blackjack Game Action Online

Blackjack remains one of the most popular casino standards as mobile and online casinos become available to millions more players than their land-based counterparts, because legend has it that Blackjack is the one casino game where a player with their wits about them has an edge over the house. Originally played in land-based casinos with a specified number of decks in the shoe, Blackjack is indeed a game that those of a mathematical bent can play successfully by counting cards.

Modern land-based casinos tend to use continuous-shuffle shoes, however, which destroy this advantage. But because expert Blackjack game play relies on the understanding of mathematical probabilities, the random number generators that determine the cards in online Blackjack have allowed players the opportunity to once again play Blackjack as a game of coldly calculated probabilities, rather than a matter of pure luck.

Basic Blackjack Game Rules

One of the advantages of Blackjack is that it is a game with easy-to-understand rules and simple betting options. All players play against the dealer, but not each other. Before any cards are dealt, each player must place a bet, in a multiple of the table minimum, in the number of boxes they wish to draw cards for. In many land-based casinos, the player is limited to three boxes, but online Blackjack games will offer players a variety of options. The dealer then deals two rounds of cards to the players betting and the dealer, clockwise from the dealer’s left. Both of the players’ cards are face-up; the dealer in almost all Blackjack games will display at most one face-up card. Players must then decide to fold, stand, draw more cards, or pay for more cards in the “split” or “double” options, until their hand totals as close to 21 as possible, or exceeds 21 and “busts”.

When a player is satisfied that a hand has the highest total possible without busting, they stand. After all players have stood or bust, the dealer reveals their second card. If the dealer’s two-card total is above 17 and automatically loses to any player’s total, the dealer stands and the winning players are paid. Losing players lose their bets. If the dealer’s total is 17 or less, the dealer must draw cards until their hand either reaches more than 17, or busts over 21, in which case all remaining bets win. All winning bets are paid even money, so splitting and doubling bets on strong hands increases the possible reward. A player’s “Blackjack” (an Ace and a ten-point card, usually paid 3 to 2 if the dealer cannot beat it) is nullified to a push by a dealer’s Blackjack. This is why players are allowed to place “insurance” bets if a dealer’s visible card is an Ace. If the dealer turns out to have Blackjack, players recoup their losses.

The Key to Successful Blackjack Play

The question uppermost during every Blackjack game should be, “Is the dealer likely to bust?” A player’s primary job is to stop calling for cards when they are fairly sure the dealer will have to draw a card and bust: for example, if the dealer’s face-up card is a 6 or 7, which increases the possibility that their two-card total is between 12 and 17. A player in these circumstances could stick on 14, for instance, if they suspected that a 10 or picture card was a high probability next out the shoe, which would bust the dealer. Understanding these odds is what sets the Blackjack champions apart from the rest.