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Blackjack is famous with mathematicians and gamblers alike, with an incredibly low house advantage of 1% or possibly less, it is no wonder that it has retained its popularity throughout the years. So before you head out to play blackjack online free, be sure to check out how to play blackjack and what the essential blackjack rules are and before you know it, you’ll have a winning hand! Read more

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Blackjack Rules

The ultimate objective of blackjack strategy is to garner a hand of 21 cards, although you do not want more cards, and you would also like to achieve a higher total than what the dealer is currently holding. The first rule is that there must be multiple decks of cards used to create the hand of the dealer and after every hand is dealt the cards are required to shuffled (although some places have a rule for every second or third hand).

The second rule is that the blackjack dealer may not stop taking cards if the total value of their cards are equal to or less than 17, but any player seated at the table may choose to not to draw cards at any point during the game. The third key rule is that players have the option of splitting cards when they are handed a card of equal value, which increases his chance of playing a hand. It is important to note that splitting aces implies that a player will only be handed one more card.

Basic Gameplay

As you are aware the main purpose of blackjack is to obtain a hand of 21 cards, but the entire game begins by a player stating their bet. Once the bet has been placed, the dealer will place two cards face-up in front of the player and will also take two cards for themselves. The player will ultimately win back the bet if the value of their cards is nearer to 21 than the sum of the dealer’s cards. Alternatively, if the dealers cards are greater than 21, then the player will also win. However, the player will lose his bet in entirety if the sum of his cards happens to be larger than 21.

In terms of blackjack, the suits of the cards – jacks, aces, diamonds and clubs – do not matter, only the numeric value assigned to them. Numbers 2 to 10 are all taken as they are, while the jacks, queens and kings are all awarded a weight of 10. Aces are interesting as their value can change depending on the preference of the player, an ace can either be valued at 1 or at 11.

Rule Variations

There are a wide variety of exceptions to rules that occur not only in blackjack but across games in online casinos, therefore I will only touch on some of the most interesting forms today. One example is known as the Five Card Charlie, another is the dealer standing on a soft 17 or a player being allowed to double after splitting.

Blackjack Strategy

In order to increase your likelihood of succeeding within blackjack there are many tried and tested techniques to follow, the predominant school of thought is the blackjack strategy chart. This is where a chart denotes whether a player should hit, stand, double or not, and it is all dependent on the dealers upcards and the various surrounding circumstances. It is important to note that strategy may change through the game and that there are many possible exceptions which is why more experience is required especially with online blackjack, to improve your skills why not try a free blackjack game?

Strategy Sheet: Dealer Stands On Soft 17

A soft 17 can be described as when the hand of a dealer is made up of a six and an ace, where the ace is counted as an 11, rather than as a 1. A hard 17 is when the hand of the dealer is made up of any alternative combination that can create 17, such as a 10 and 7 or a 9 and 8. In this scenario, the dealer is required to either provide a hand of 17 or something more attractive to the player, according to master strategists. Therefore, the blackjack strategy chart denotes that players should ideally stand when a dealer stands on a soft 17.


Strategy Sheet: Dealer Hits Soft 17

When a dealer is on a soft 17, the house’s ultimate advantage has risen a little more than in other combinations of the blackjack tables hands. Since the cards will consist of an ace the option to surrender should be chosen, if you are allowed to choose that option, if the option to surrender is forbidden, then hit. Surrendering consists of giving up the hand of the cards you have been given and voluntarily giving up 50% of your bet.

The History Of Blackjack

Earlier versions of blackjack have been known for centuries, according to literature from the 1500’s a popular card game existed with the express purpose of achieving 21 cards. Following which, a version of 21 reached North America where it had great success thanks to the 10:1 bonus given to the player who achieved 21 cards. The reward was termed as a blackjack due to it being comprised of an ace of spades and a jack of either spades or club. Apparently, the reward disappeared but the name has remained.

The Era of Card-Counters

During the 1960’s blackjack became the game of choice thanks to academic review establishing that the game could be won through a strategy termed ‘advantage play’. Edward O. Thorpe changed gamblers fortunes by proposing the ideal blackjack strategy, which was ultimately utilized by Ken Uston who began learning with a card counting team in the 1970’s. After a few years of being in the team Ken Uston was so proficient that he had to start coming up with creative costumes so that he was allowed to play at casinos.

However, all good things cannot last, and the casinos did learn about the card counting strategy and revised the rules so that card counting was no longer possible in blackjack.

How Does Card Counting Work

In earlier years, blackjack would be played with a single deck of cards or with an assortment of card decks, called the shoe. The knowledge that there was a limited number of cards within a single game, meant that it was entirely within a player’s reach to simply count the cards in order to figure out what was likely to occur. The probability of a player being correct improved greatly as the number of cards became fewer, this is especially true for the gambler with an incredible short-term memory. Yet, this practise has become almost impossible in modern day physical casinos and the point is moot within online blackjack where the card supply is infinite and randomized.

The Reason Card Counting Is Impossible In Online Blackjack

Online casinos create an implausible environment for card counting within blackjack due to the fact that there is a limitless supply of cards. Yet, the likelihood of card counting at the blackjack table in a traditional casino is still almost non-existent for many reasons. One of the many reasons is that within the blackjack game the dealer would make use of eight card decks within her shoe and that the blackjack dealer would make absolutely certain that the shoe is never completely finished.

In addition, to throw a spanner into the basic blackjack strategy of card counting, the shoe will be swapped out at the midway point of the game which makes counting cards improbable. Yet, this does not give the house a serious advantage over the player, rather blackjack has managed to retain its low house advantage which is what made it so popular in the first place.

Online Vs Real Blackjack

The main differences between playing online blackjack and playing blackjack at the casino tables is that an online casino has a limitless deck of cards, while a table uses a combination of eight card decks formulated into a shoe. In addition, it has been reported that the advantage for online casinos with blackjack is significantly lower than for brick-and-mortar casinos. A further advantage for online casinos is that the variety of blackjack games is much greater in online casinos.

Can You Make A Living From Blackjack?

Although the opportunity to make money as a professional gambler is a legitimate course of action, there is limited evidence that playing blackjack can provide a credible source of income. The chances of having a three-time back to back winning streak for blackjack is less than 1% according to mathematical studies which proposes a rather bleak forecast for anyone hoping to earn a living.

Good Luck

You may have initially come here thinking of Blackjack Mulligan the infamous WWE Hall of Famer, but hopefully you have left filled with a sense of wonder for the game of blackjack and the aim to test free online blackjack. Check out our list of online casinos for more information.

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