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Author Betcity24 International | July 31, 2014

Blackjack gameAmong the classical online casino games, Blackjack is the one which gives the least benefit to the dealer, thus offering the player the highest winning probabilities. It’s a very old card game, probably born in Spain and later developed in the rest of the world; the aim of Blackjack is to beat the dealer trying to hit the highest score without exceeding 21 score points. There are many versions of Blackjack, and each of them is really worth a try.

Blackjack is one of the most famous card games that can be found both in the terrestrial and online casinos. You play against the dealer and the aim is to come as close as possible to 21 without going over but beating the score of the dealer. You can do this by drawing cards from one or more 52-card decks of without jollies. Blackjack provides a huge number of versions, whose rules may be very different from traditional Blackjack. However, Blackjack is generally played with a minimum of two and a maximum of six 52-card decks. The stakes are made by placing the chips in the appropriate box. Each winning hand is paid 1:1, except Blackjack, a 21 composed by only two cards; Blackjack, in fact, pays 1.5:1.

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Blackjack: The History

Casino games’ history is often charming and mysterious. It is surely the case of Blackjack’s history, a game which, at the beginning, was simply called ‘twenty-one’. Indeed, to be precise its first name was ‘ventiuna’, because this game seems to have Spanish origins, according to the first written references; in the case of Blackjack, the references are even notable. The first person to mention this game, in fact, was no less than Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the masterpiece ‘Don Chisciotte’.

De Cervantes talks about Blackjack in one of his novels: in this tale, two seasoned cheaters try to collect as much money as they can by playing, exactly, ‘ventiuna’, a card game where the winner is who comes more closer to 21. It’s de Cervantes himself to set Blackjack rules, though we can’t say he’s the real inventor of this game: a card deck is used, but in Spain tens were not included; in this deck each card has its own value, except the ace that can value both 1 than 11.

This tale of the renowned author of ‘Don Chisciotte’ was written in the early 1600, so we can guess that the game of Blackjack has over 400 years. What we can’t tell, however, how long has it been played, since it has not been invented by Miguel de Cervantes, as we said above; probably, it has been played even before the writing of De Cervantes’ tale.

As it was introduced in America, “twenty-one” game went under the name that it still bears: Blackjack. At the beginning, the game wasn’t much appreciated by players; in fact, they preferred to play other gambling games. So, the gaming houses invented a rule which better caught the attention: whoever had obtained a 21 through the ace of spades and the jack of spades or clubs would have won 10 times his gamble. This rule was part of a set of transitory rules that soon disappeared, whilst the name “Blackjack” remained the same.

Obviously, when at the end of the last century the first online casinos appeared, Blackjack was immediately available. Along with the roulette, in fact, Blackjack is one of the symbols of casino games and its charm is still the same over the years, despite the boom of newest games.

Blackjack Rules

Blackjack rules provide that the player must come as closer as possible to 21 without going over; furthermore, the dealer score must be lower than the player’s score. In this game one or more 52-card decks are used. Each card has got its own nominal value, except the ace that can value 1 or 11. When a player wins a Blackjack hand he receives a sum equal to his gamble, except if he made a 21 with the first two cards. In this case, in fact, he’ll get a sum equal to 1.5:1.

Blackjack is a game of skill and luck where two or more 52-card decks are used. The basic rules are quite simple: anyone can play Blackjack with a little practice. As in most of the casino games, winning at Blackjack means beating the bank. However, let’s see in detail how a Blackjack hand is performed.

Initially, the player must decide how much he wants to bet by placing the chips in the appropriate box. Once the stake is decided, the hand can start. The bank deals out two cards for himself and two for the player. Player’s cards are both shown, whilst the bank shows only one of his own cards. If the player gets 21 points with his first two cards, we say he has got a blackjack and his stake is immediately paid con un sum equal to 1.5 times his bet. Otherwise, the game may continue.

In Blackjack, each card has got its nominal value except the ace that may be used both as 1 or 11 according to what they prefer. The player can ask as many cards as he wants, after the first two cards, provided that his score doesn’t exceed 21. In this case we say he has “gone over” and his hand is automatically lost regardless of the bank’s cards value.

When the player’s first two cards have a value ranging from 9 e 11 he can, if he wants to, double his initial stake. In that case, though, he shall necessarily draw one single card and after this card he shall stop his game.

On the other hand, when the player’s first two cards are identical he can, if he wants to, split his hand and actually double his stake. In this case, the player will receive two other cards, one for each of his two new hands, as if he were playing into the shoes of two different people. Normally, when a player splits he can’t have a Blackjack anymore: any combination like that will value as a normal 21.

In many Blackjack versions there’s also the opportunity to buy the so-called “insurance”. It’s a stake that protects the player if the bank has a Blackjack, namely when he has a hand of 21 points using his first two cards.

Blackjack versions

  • Atlantic City Blackjack
    Otherwise known as the “Diet Coke of Las Vegas” is played with eight regular decks of 52 playing cards that are shuffled before each game. You’ll be able to double on your first two cards, and split up to 3 more hands (for a total of four). Aces can only be split once, and will stand once they each receive an additional card. The first of these features is the way cards are valued. An ace can be counted as a one or an eleven. A total hand-value attained by counting the ace as an eleven is considered “soft.” All tens, and all face cards, are counted as ten. Read the full review of the game Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series
    Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series is a version of the traditional Blackjack and it belongs to Gold gaming series. Gold gaming stands out for prestigious graphics and sound. Atlantic City Blackjack Gold’s peculiarity is the following: if the dealer makes a 21 with the first two cards it must immediately declare it, unlike in the other Blackjack versions. In this way, the player can save a lot of time avoiding doubles and splits that could only even the score. In the Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series, finally, the dealer has to stop every time he hits a score equal to 17 or higher. The Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series can be found in the best online casinos.
  • Big 5 Blackjack Gold Series
    Big 5 Blackjack Gold Series is a not very popular version of online Blackjack, though the online casinos which provide it are quite a few. “Gold Series” means that this game is designed, in terms of technical aspects, with a special care. Big 5 Blackjack Gold Series is played with five card decks and the Blackjack always pays 1.5:1. In this version, though, the player can fold, that is losing wilfully that hand, giving up to half of his gamble. Usually this situation occurs when the player thinks that his hand will lose the match: this way he will save some money. In Big 5 Blackjack Gold Series players are not allowed to fold only if the dealer is showing an ace.
  • Bonus Blackjack Gold Series
    Like any other Gold Series game, also Blackjack Gold Series Bonus has been designed with the best care in terms of details: sound, lights and graphics have got an incredible power. Playing Blackjack Gold Series Bonus is very easy: two 52-card decks are used, and they are reshuffled at every hand; the dealer always checks if he has got a blackjack, in this case the end is over. Blackjack Gold Series Bonus’s peculiarity is that the player can place an additional bonus stake that puts other prizes on auction. If in the first two cards the player has a jack and an ace of spades and he activated the bonus stake, he’ll win a sum equal to 50:1. On the contrary, in case of jack and ace of diamonds, clubs or hearts, he’ll receive a 25:1 bonus; finally, if two cards of the same suit are drawn he’ll receive 5:2 bonus. Read the full review of the game Bonus Blackjack Gold Series
  • Classic Blackjack Gold Series
    Classic Blackjack Gold Series is nothing but Blackjack as we all know it, just in its better version. Gold Series games, in fact, stand out for a better accuracy in graphics and sound. As far as concerns Classic Blackjack Gold Series’ rules, as we’ve already said before, we are talking of the traditional Blackjack. The aim of the game is beating the dealer score by building up a set of cards as near as possible to 21 without going over. The player can double if he receives the first two cards whose value is 9 and 11, and split if the first two cards are equal. Blackjack pays 1.5:1 and it is possible when the first two hole cards are an ace and any face card (or a ten).
  • Double Exposure Blackjack
    Double exposure is a blackjack variation in which both dealer cards are exposed.Naturally there are other rule changes that favor the dealer to compensate. Although the house edge is greater than conventional blackjack, it still ranks as one of the best bets in the casino, if played properly. The basic strategy for this game is different, both because the player can see dealer cards 11 to 20 and because the player loses all ties except blackjacks. For examples, two ten-value cards are split whenever the dealer has 13 through 16, and a hard 19 must be hit if the dealer has a 20. Read the full review of the game Double Exposure
  • European Blackjack
    European Blackjack is played with two standard decks of 52 playing cards that are shuffled before each game. Player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer is dealt one card face up. The "No Peek" rule in European Blackjack means that the dealer cannot check to see if he has blackjack until the second dealer card is dealt, after you have finished your hand. Therefore, if the dealer does end up with blackjack, you will lose any additional bets made. Of course, the dealer can only get blackjack on the hand if the first dealer card is a 10-value card or an Ace. Read the full review of the game European Blackjack
  • European Blackjack Gold Series
    European Blackjack Gold Series is the first recognised version of classic Blackjack. As it belongs to Gold Series, though, it has been designed with the highest quality standards you can ever find among online casino games. Since you know the rules of classic Blackjack, learning European Blackjack Gold Series is nothing but a formality. In fact, double and split rules don’t change, but it is necessary to say that in the European Blackjack Gold Series is not possible to split two cards with the same face value but different suit (we can’t split a Q/10 hand). In the European Blackjack Gold Series the dealer doesn’t check if he has received a Blackjack, so the player may always have at least a “push”.
  • High Streak Blackjack Gold Series
    High Streak Blackjack Gold Series is a loved Blackjack version, and not just because, since it belongs to Gold Series, it has been designed with care and detail attention. This game is popular because it provides a bonus free from any additional player’s stake. The rules of High Streak Blackjack Gold Series, in fact, are mostly the same of the rules of any other classic Blackjack. However, the player gets a bonus win for as many hands he can consecutively win: if he wins two consecutive hands, he’ll get a 2:1 payment; if he wins three consecutive hands, he’ll get a 5:1 payment; if he wins as much as four consecutive hands he’ll get a 10:1 extra payment.
  • Hi Lo 13 European Blackjack Gold Series
    Hi Lo 13 European Blackjack Gold Series is a game which especially tantalize the most inveterate gamblers. It belongs to Gold Series, so it guarantees a set of unprecedented technical and graphic improvements. However, what distinguishes Hi Lo 13 European Blackjack Gold Series from the other Blackjack versions is that the player can gamble on the outcome of his cards’ deal. The player, in fact, can gamble that the sum of his first two cards is higher, lower or equal to 13. Both the first and second case, the player would win an additional stake equal to his bet. On the contrary in the third sum, if the player’s guess is correct, he will receive an additional stake equal to 10 times his bet. Besides, it is very difficult to guess that the sum of the first two cards is just 13; moreover, totalizing 13 is not easy at all.
  • Pontoon Gold Series
    Pontoon Gold Series is a very particular Blackjack version. It is particular for two reasons: firstly, because it belongs to Gold Series games, the most prestigious gaming series ever, since it has been developed to look as much as possible like a real videogame. Secondly, it is prestigious because Pontoon Gold Series permits to play five hands at a time and it uses a terminology which slightly differs from Blackjack’s (Pontoon, just to mention one word, is the word replacing Blackjack itself). Furthermore, in Pontoon Gold Series the player is bound to ask for a card until he totalizes 14 at least. As for the rest, though they are differently defined, there are the same double and split rules.
  • Spanish Blackjack
    An interesting blackjack variant, Spanish Blackjack, is played with only 48 cards per deck. The number 10 cards are removed from the deck for this game. A number of specific hand combinations will also bring bonuses to this game. Spanish Blackjack offers some of the best odds that can be found in casino blackjack. In Spanish Blackjack, there is an important rule change that is in favor of the player. In regular blackjack, when both the dealer and a player have a blackjack in the same hand, it is considered a push or a tie, and the player simply gets their bet back. In Spanish Blackjack, the player’s blackjack will always beat a dealer’s blackjack.
  • Spanish Blackjack Gold Series
    Spanish Blackjack Gold Series belongs to Gold Series Blackjack-related games. That’s why you’ll notice a better accuracy in graphic details, as well as a more appealing soundtrack. Spanish Blackjack Gold Series is played with eight 48-card decks, because in Spanish Blackjack the four tens are not included. However, this is not the only peculiarity of Spanish Blackjack Gold Series. In fact, if the player gets 21 with three “7 “cards, or with 8-7-6 combination, he’ll also receive an additional prize of absolute value. In Spanish Blackjack Gold Series, finally, the player’s Blackjack always beats dealer’s Blackjack, as well as the player’s 21 always beats the dealer’s 21.
  • Super Fun 21 Blackjack Gold Series
    Also Super Fun 21 Blackjack Gold Series is one of those Blackjack games that can boast “Gold Series” label. This is no small thing, since Gold Series games are decidedly better than any other version in terms of quantitative level. Super Fun 21 Blackjack Gold Series is played with one single 52-card deck and it offers many benefits to the player. For example, the player can split regardless of the value of his first two cards, and it can also double after he has split two aces. In Super Fun 21 Blackjack Gold Series, then, the player is provided with a 2:1 bonus if he succeeds in making a 6-card usable combination. That’s not all: in this case the player automatically beats the dealer, even if he nearly makes a Blackjack.
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack
    Vegas Downtown Blackjack is played with two standard decks of 52 playing cards that are shuffled before each game. The aim of Vegas Downtown Blackjack is to beat the Dealer's hand by either getting a higher value hand, without exceeding 21, or by the blackjack Dealer's hand going bust. Like normal online blackjack you can only bet one hand at a time. Blackjack is when your hand contains an Ace and a card with a value of ten. It is the strongest hand in Vegas Downtown Blackjack, and automatically stands. It cannot be beaten, only matched. Read the full review of the game Vegas Downtown Blackjack
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold Series
    Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold Series is a Gold Series branded Blackjack version, that is the range of these online casino games designed with obsessive care about any single graphic detail. As for its execution, Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold Series is played with two 52-card decks. It’s kind of a “libertine” game, because it gives you the opportunity to double on any initial hand. The split is available to all the same cards or to the cards of the same value, though you’ll receive just one card by splitting the aces. In Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold Series, as in the most Blackjack version, the dealer must draw until he totalizes 17 points at least.
  • Vegas Single Deck Blackjack Gold Series
    Vegas Single Deck Blackjack Gold Series is a real little treat. All in all, being a Gold Series game, it boasts unmatchable graphics and sound. As the name suggests, it is played with one single 52-card deck. The player can double if the first two cards, when added, give a 9, a 10 or an 11. All the cards of the same value, for example a face card and a ten, can be divided or rather “split”; this is not permitted in other versions. Also in Vegas Single Deck Blackjack Gold Series there is the insurance that the player can pay to be protected if the dealer makes Blackjack.
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack
    Vegas Strip Blackjack is the most common version played on the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip is a 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in the casino capita of the world. This Microgaming version of blackjack is played with 4 decks of cards, which is better than the 6-deck or 8-deck games that are so common both online and off. The dealer stands on a soft 17, which is also good for the player. Read the full review of the game Vegas Strip Blackjack
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold Series
    Played with four 52-card decks, Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold Series is one of the many Blackjack versions. Gold Series is a guarantee for quality, because it assures that its games are developed with the highest qualitative standards. In Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold Series, the player can double after having received his first two cards, regardless of their value. The “split” is permitted up to a maximum of three times, with the opportunity to double. The only exception is for the aces that can be split only once; you can call only one card with the aces. Unlike other Vegas versions, in Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold Series, “surrender” is not comprised.

Blackjack Glossary

If you wish to fully understand Blackjack, it is fundamental knowing the most important words used in this game. To this end, it may be helpful the use of a glossary which can help the Blackjack player every time he has a doubt about the meaning of a word. Words like “soft” and “breaking hand”, in fact, are not commonly used and for this reason people can’t immediately identify them.

  • “A”
    • Action. This word is valid for any gambling game and indicates the sum bet by a player. If on a blackjack table a player bets 100 euros, we say that he has generated “100 euros of action”.
  • “B”
    • Bankroll. The amount that a player decides to provide for his game session on a blackjack table. More generally, the bankroll indicates the player’s available money.
    • Blackjack. Anytime the dealer or player gets 21 points with the first two cards, we say he “has blackjack”. Blackjack is the highest point, and it beats any combination of the same value. As usual, blackjack pays 1.5:1.
    • Breaking hand. It is possible to go over with this hand by picking up the next card. For example, when we have a15 composed by 7.5 and 3.
  • “C”
    • Counting (cards). In blackjack, card counting is a strategy that can increase the player’s benefit. If he remembers which cards have been dropped, it is easier to take favourable decisions, as for example when many low cards have been extracted and we need a high card. In this case, the high card has a high probability to come out.
  • “H”
    • Hole card. Private player’s cards.
    • Hit. To pick up a card (see also “Draw”)
  • “I”
    • Insurance. When it is possible that the dealer has blackjack, that is when he receives an ace as an exposed card, the player can purchase the insurance. If the dealer has blackjack, the player receives a 2:1 sum, the amount necessary to buy the insurance.
  • “L”
    • Limits. Each Blackjack’s dealer has stake limits. You can stake more or less than the sum decided by the dealer.
  • “N”
    • Natural. When the player’s first two cards are an ace and a card having a value of 10 (a 10, a K, a Q or a J).
  • “P”
    • Pat Hand.It occurs when the first two cards hit a score equal or higher than 17. “Pat hands” are very strong hands, with which the player usually decides not to draw other cards.
  • “S”
    • Sabot.The box from which the dealer draws his cards.
    • Single Deck. A disused Blackjack version; in this version a single deck is used.
    • Stan d. Hand during which the player has got an ace and it may have both 1 and 11 value.
    • Split. When the player receives two equal cards, he can make “split”, which means splitting his own hand into two different hands.
    • Stare. When the player decides not to pick up any other card.
  • “U”
    • Up card. The dealer’s exposed card.

Blackjack’s Strategies and Tricks

A set of strategies and useful tricks to increase the winning probability can be adopted in order to win in Blackjack game. The most famous strategy, though it is almost impossible today, is card counting. However, the player can avoid taking disadvantageous decisions if he adopts some strategic tricks: he would better vary the stakes, stop if the dealer has got very bad cards and play if the dealer has got high cards.

As in many other casino games, the player may use some strategies and tricks in Blackjack to minimize his losses and maximize his winnings. It should be said, however, no strategy or trick will guarantee you a win. Otherwise, the casinos would have shut down a long time ago.

The best strategy to win Blackjack is card counting. Actually, card counting is difficult also for people having an IQ ten times greater than average, since both online and land-based Blackjack tables use a large number of card decks which are being shuffled frequently to prevent players from counting their cards.

Card counting helps you understand if you have a “hot” deck. A deck is called “hot” when the desired cards are more likely to be dealt. Card counting is difficult both to master and explain. Basically, you have to assign a point of score to the different type of cards (high, low, neutral) and keep track of your cards especially when a specific type of card is requested.

Since card counting is forbidden by Blackjack’s regulations, let’s check out other strategies and tricks. First of all, don’t bet the same amount every time, or the advantage of the banker will be unbeatable. Actually, you’d better wager different amounts, bet larger sums when your odds of winning are more likely and smaller sums if you are in a losing streak.

You’d better plan your moves carefully, keeping all the necessary information in your mind. The banker’s face-up card will be the most important information. Please remember that the aim of Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible and, more importantly, beat the banker. You’d better not risk too much money when the banker shows low cards, since your chance of busting would increase. Vice versa, you shouldn’t stand with 15 if the banker shows a face card; if the next card dealt is a face card, the player will lose the hand, whether the card has been picked up by himself (he will go bust) or has been dealt from the banker (the player will close his hand with 20).

You’d better not double your bets when the banker is showing a high card, because you would probably lose your game. The same goes for the “split”: if the player has two high cards and has totalized a big score, “splitting” would mean a double loss instead of one single win (or loss).

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