Blackjack (also known as ‘21’) is one of the most popular games played at casinos across the world. In fact, it has been recognised by Wikipedia as the single most widely played casino game in the world.
The game is believed to have begun in Spain; it’s first known reference was made by Don Quixote author, Miguel de Cervantes. The story was written in the early 1600’s and the game was referred to as ‘ventuina’.
The lasting popularity of blackjack is no doubt down to its simplicity, quick rounds and the excitement of getting as close to 21 as you can with the card numbers drawn.
At the start of each hand, both the player and dealer receive two cards each. The player’s cards are usually dealt face up and the dealer’s one face up and one face down. The object of the game is to attempt to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over.
What types of blackjack I can play?
Online casinos typically offer a variety of blackjack games, there are even sites offering dozens of different variations, ranging from classic to modern versions that allow side bets.
Some of the most popular of these include Double Exposure Blackjack, Spanish 21 and Blackjack Switch. Spanish 21 is the most popular variation of blackjack and this is because players automatically win if they hit 21.
Blackjack Switch is also a popular choice, as players are dealt two hands and have the opportunity to switch cards in their hands before choosing to hit or stand.
Typically online casinos offer entire areas specifically for blackjack and all the variations they offer. We’d always advise to start out with the classic blackjack game type before progressing to the more complex variations like Vegas Strip.
Live dealer blackjack
It is possible to play online blackjack with a live dealer and also with software. There are many providers who offer amazing live dealer services as well as the latest software versions for you to enjoy. Playing with a live dealer uses streaming to bring a live blackjack game to the comfort of your home. Players are able to see the dealer interact with the cards and this creates a more authentic experience that many people prefer.
Online blackjack is available to play on all device platforms provided you have an Internet connection and the particular games provider offers touch screen gaming.
How to play blackjack
The objective of the game has remained the same regardless of which version you choose to play. Blackjack is played with a 52-card deck and players have to make their cards total higher than the dealer, and aim to hit 21 or get as near it as possible without going over. All Jack, Queen and King cards become 10 and an ace can be used as either 1 or 11.
When playing you have the basic option to either hit or stand, as well as the ability to double down or split.
Hitting or Standing – this is the decision whether you are going to ask for another card or not. If you hit then the dealer reveals a card that ideally takes you closer to 21 without going over or you lose the round. It is wise to remember the dealer has to hit if their hand is 16 or lower.
Doubling Down – this option is open to players when their original two cards total 9, 10, or 11. When it is the player’s turn they can place a bet equal to the original bet, then the dealer gives him one card which is placed face down and isn’t revealed until all other players bets are settled.
Splitting – this can be a very beneficial tactic to use if done with the right cards. If a player is dealt a pair of the same card numbers they then have the opportunity to separate those two numbers into two hands, doubling your chance of winning.