When it comes to casino games, there aren't many titles that can rival blackjack in terms of global popularity. Its origins are not known, but it used to be called simply twenty-one. The oldest reference made to the popular card game is in a Spanish book which was written in 1601. That being the case, this makes it one of the oldest casino games available today on a large scale.
The name blackjack was formed in the casinos in Las Vegas. Twenty-one was introduced in the gambling capital of the world with additional bonus features meant to draw players to the tables. One of the bonuses was a special payout of 10:1 offered for getting a black Jack, be it of spades or clubs, along with a spades Ace. The hand was known as blackjack, and so the name caught on among frequent players. Although the bonus payout was removed from the game since it wasn’t profitable for the casinos, the name remained. Nowadays, a blackjack hand is simply a combination of any two black cards that have a total value of 21.
You can find several versions of blackjack nowadays, and the internet is arguably the best place to play them. Classic Blackjack remains the standard, and it has the most fans. The game has simple rules and doesn’t complicate things with special features for certain scenarios.
If we consider the massive popularity of blackjack, it is safe to say that it appeals to different types of players and bettors. In general, blackjack tables are frequented by newcomers and by very experienced gamblers. For beginners, the familiar name and rules can make it a perfect place to start. The house edge is low so winning in blackjack is an often occurrence.
For the more experienced player's blackjack is a casino game where the house edge can be lowered by making the right decisions. If you know how to play, you are more likely to win, and this makes it more entertaining. You can use basic strategy to lower the casino advantage.
There are no additional bets to consider for Classic Blackjack. A winning hand pays 1:1 while getting 21 from the first two cards will generate a payout of 3:2. Compared to other casino games, the payout rates are quite low, and this might discourage some gamblers from taking a seat at the tables. In most cases, you will only double your bet if you win. Other games have more exciting options, such as straight numbers in roulette paying 35:1. Depending on what you want from a casino game, this is something to consider before playing blackjack for real money.
If you are new to blackjack, or if you want to get a refresher course, you have come to the right place. Classic Blackjack is typically paid with one deck of cards, but some casinos can use multiple decks to avoid reshuffling after every hand. You start a round by placing your bets on the designated locations on the table. In most cases, you can bet as little as €1.
After the bets are made, the dealer will deal the cards from the shuffled deck. You will get two cards facing up, while the dealer receives one card facing up and the other facing down. After reviewing your first two cards, you can Hit and be dealt another hand, or Stand and settle on the current hand. The dealer will continue in the same way, trying to beat your hand. The goal here is to get a hand that has a higher value than the dealer, without going over 21.
The value of a hand in Classic Blackjack is the sum the available cards. All cards from 2 to 10 are worth the same amount of points as indicated. For Jack, Queen, and King, the cards are worth 10 points each. Finally, the Ace in blackjack can either be worth 1 or 11 points, depending on which value is better in the current situation.
If you get 21 from the first two cards, it is known as a blackjack hand, and you win 3:2. If you go over 21, the dealer wins automatically and doesn’t have to play the hand further. In most versions for Classic Blackjack, the dealer is forced to stand on 17. There are some situational gaming options available, and you can Split two identical cards by placing another bet and playing the two hands separately. You can also Double Down on a hand of 10 or 11 points to double the wager and only receive one more card.
The house edge comes from the fact that the player has to act first and can go bust without the dealer getting any more cards. However, the decision to hit or stand can influence the actual house edge. If you are using optimal play, you will benefit from a low house advantage of around 0.5%.
We recommend that you practice a bit with free online blackjack since you don’t have to use any real money and can quickly become familiar with the betting buttons before using real cash to gamble on the cards.
As we mentioned previously, you will have two or more options during a hand of blackjack. The route that you take can influence the results. In other words, there are good and bad decisions that can lead to winning or losing a hand. However, this does not apply to every round and players still lose about half of the hands on average, even with optimal play.
The goal here is to lower the house edge in Classic Blackjack and make sure that you get the best results during your session. You can do this by following a set of rules known as Blackjack Basic Strategy. The highlight is basically to stand if you have 17 or higher. For 13-16, you should stand if the dealer has a 6 or lower and hit if he is showing a 7 or a higher card. For 12, it is best to hit in most cases, except if the dealer has a 4, 5, or a 6. If you have a hand of 10 or 11 and the blackjack game supports the double down feature, you should use it. For lower value hands, just hit and then follow the same rules.
For pairs, we recommend that you stand if the total is of 20 and double down if you have two 5 cards. Other than that, it is best to split the two cards in most cases.
While it might sound a bit difficult, the concept is actually easy to put into action and it is best to not get lost in the details if you just want to play for fun. If you follow these steps, you will play against a casino advantage of under 0.5%. Without using basic strategy and just playing by intuition, the house edge in Classic Blackjack is closer to 1%.
The number of decks used is another factor that plays a role in the house edge. Most casinos use six or eight decks, which makes it more difficult for players to keep track of the dealt cards. Fewer decks make for a lower house edge so we recommend checking this little detail before taking a seat.
Another popular strategy for blackjack is card counting. However, this is no longer viable as casinos have taken measures to prevent players from gaining an advantage. The decks are shuffled more often so the count is basically impossible to determine.
Since a winning hand in Classic Blackjack pays 1:1 and the house edge is very low, you can also use classic betting strategies. For example, doubling the size of the stake after a loss can be a good way cover the lost bet as long as your bankroll can support several double ups in a row.
Overall, Classic Blackjack is a casino game with a unique mix of features. Although it is a game of chance, where the only thing that can influence the flip of the card is luck, it also requires a certain degree of skill to play optimally. The basic strategy presented above is easy to learn and it can actually be useful. After a few rounds, you are sure to get a grip on the best decisions. If you do everything well, you will get very close to an RTP of 100%. With a house edge of just 0.5%, blackjack is a perfect betting option.
With the strategy out of the way, the game is not that difficult to play. Clients have a great time at the tables but most bettors don’t like to play blackjack for long since it tends to get boring. There aren't any betting options with big payouts that could make the session more thrilling. All in all, you will probably fall in love with Classic Blackjack after a few good rounds.