The game has been around for a long time, with the earliest records of the game ‘twenty-one’ seen in the early 17th century in France and Spain. When the game first transitioned to the US as Twenty-One it was promoted by various bonus payouts to gain interest from customers, one of the more common of which was the ten-to-one payout if the player’s hand was made up of the ace of spades and a jack from either the spade or club suit. This hand was called ‘blackjack’, and even though the bonus offer was later removed as the game garnered popularity this name ultimately stuck to the whole game. Today, Blackjack is a hand with an ace and a 10 value card, whatever the type or color.
5 things to analyze when playing Blackjack at online casinos
Not all Blackjack games are created equal, and choosing the online version you want to play is important for the enjoyment of the game, here are some things to look out for.
1. Sign Up Bonuses – This is one of the biggest deciders when looking for online blackjack, as a good bonus gives you enough plays to really get to grips with the game before you start using your own money. There is more than just the amount to look at though, the biggest bonus is not necessarily the best, and you must also look at the requirements and restrictions that come with it. All bonuses have play through restrictions that means you must play a certain value before you can withdraw any money, this is usually a percentage based on the total bonus awarded (such as 300% of the bonus), and the best idea is to find a bonus structure than balances the amount awarded with the amount required for play through.
2. The House Edge – The house edge in Blackjack is usually quite low, but it does vary between providers, and even between game variants at the same casino. The house edge is the casino’s average profit from a player's bet and is a measure of the advantage the casino has over the player built into the game. Well reputed online casinos do publish this information deep in their websites, and it is worth seeking out to find the one that offers the smallest level of dealer bias.
3. Game Variations – Here you want to make sure that the games offered are ones you actually like playing. It is no good signing up to a casino that doesn’t offer the game you like most, as it will ultimately end in disappointment. There are a wide range of variations of blackjack available, and that can be from simply how many decks are played at once, usually between 1 and 8, to variations on the rules for whether a dealer can stand or hit. Other games may include continuous card shuffling to the game. Whichever style of Blackjack is preferred it is important to make sure that is one actually offered.
4. Free practice Games – This is especially important if you are new to online gambling completely or to Blackjack specifically. Many online casinos offer a range of free versions of their games to help you understand the mechanics and get a feel for how to play properly. This can be really beneficial for new players as they can learn about the game, gain a little confidence and even decide whether Blackjack is the game they really want to play or not without handing over any money.
5. Progressive Jackpots – Some people may want to go for the big money, games with progressive jackpots have an optional extra bet that you can place each hand, this goes into a pot with all other players all over the world playing the game, and the win goes to the player that gets a specific hand, like the original version of ‘blackjack’. The longer it goes without being claimed, the jackpot amount just keeps getting bigger, and there have been some huge wins from these systems, so if you want to be involved with that, ensuring the option is available at your online casino is important.
5 differences between traditional and online Blackjack
1. Time – Online blackjack has no time limits for bets, so you can use strategy cards or plan your play, whereas traditional games are ran to a strict time limit for each play.
2. Cost – Online games generally have a much lower table limit, usually with minimum bets of $1, whereas traditional casinos will be ten times that amount or even more.
3. Convenience – Online games are available 24/7 so you can play whenever you want, and more importantly, they are available on your computer or mobile device, so you can play wherever you want as well. This also means that you get a level of privacy from the online games that is just not possible in the traditional setup, you can play games sitting in bed or on the train if you want.
4. Wider Choice – Each online casino in general has a much wider variety of Blackjack variations available to play than a traditional casino would, and it is much easier to go to another online casino for an even greater variety.
5. Bonuses – The introductory bonuses are something that is just not available at traditional casinos, and despite the play through restrictions mentioned previously, it is still in essence free money to play with.
Tips for making the best out of your online Blackjack experience
Once you have decided on playing online blackjack and chosen a suitable casino and game version, the next step is to learn the best way to play. Here are some tips and tricks for playing online blackjack:
1. Always split two 8 cards – Regardless of what the dealer is showing, a hand with two 8’s should always be split. This is because together they give you 16, the worst hand in blackjack. With two 8 hands you have a better chance of winning with at least one hand, and this breaking even, than you do from the position of a 16 hand.
2. Never split two 10’s – Conversely, two 10 cards gives you 20. This is a very strong hand, and splitting them in the hope of 21 may sound good, but the odds are not in your favor there and the most consistent results are obtained by sticking to the 20 hand.
3. Hard hands – If you get cards that amount to twelve of higher, these are known as hard hands, and here you should stand on any hand totaling seventeen or more. If your hand totals twelve to sixteen, what you should do depends on what the dealer is showing. If the dealer has a 2 through to a 6, then stand, if the dealer has a 7 or higher, then hit.
4. Double Down – This is an important weapon in negating the house edge in Blackjack, there are many theories and tactics involved with doubling down, one of the primary ones is that if you have 11, and the dealer shows a 10 or an ace, you should always double down.
5. Mimic the Dealer – This is a commonly utilized strategy found all over the internet. Do not use it. Never using the double or split strategies actually increases the house edge, it is one best avoided.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around, whether online or traditional, for good reason. It is easy to play, has some of the lowest house edge levels in any casino and is fast paced and fun. Online blackjack is a great opportunity to enjoy the world of online gambling, with a multitude of game variations to keep things interesting, low bet amounts that keep the pressure off players and with skill and strategy a good chance of winning a little bit of money as well.
With the progressive jackpots adding to the fun for a chance, however small, of winning a large amount of money from some games, there is always something exciting going on in an online blackjack game. It remains a fun to play pastime that is a great example of the advantages of online casinos.
Without the pressure, higher stakes and often annoying other players that you would commonly encounter in a traditional casino, the game is transformed into something much more enjoyable, and where there is traditionally a game all about money, in the online world it is more a game about the enjoyment of playing.