Blackjack is played by players against the casino/dealer rather than between players themselves. The aim of the game is to reach a total of 21 or closest before the dealer without going over. Players can also win a round if a dealer's total goes over 21 from additional cards drawn.
The game may be won in the first draw of two cards (a natural) or through drawing additional cards. A natural is achieved when either the dealer or player hand turns out to be a ten and an ace. If such occurs, the game ends at that point.
If neither hand has a winning total when the first two cards are revealed, the game continues, with each side of play either looking to reach 21 or force the opponent to draw higher than 21. Players may stand or draw additional cards to better their hand.
Playing Blackjack online for real money is no different from playing in an ordinary casino. Players just need to log into an online casino and pick the blackjack option from the menu. The game lies in the category of table games. Blackjack is one of the games that are incorporated into the recent innovation of live dealer casinos.
The game is played with one or several decks of 52 cards each. For speedy play, casinos usually shuffle six or more decks in a shoe.
The player places a bet before the game begins by stating the money they would like to wager on their own win. The bet is placed by pushing out chips in a physical casino or entering the amount in an online casino.
A player's bet sets the game rolling. The dealer deals two cards face-up to the player(s) and two to himself, one face-down and one face-up. The player then decides what step to take depending on his hand and the dealer's face-up card.
The player may decide to hit, which means they are dealt another card from the deck. They could also opt to stay, which is calling for the dealer to withdraw his card without further drawing. Another option is to double, which is to place another bet equal to the first and receive one more card.
Once the player has made a decision, the dealer reveals their face-down card, and a comparison is made.
The same rules that are used in land-based casinos apply in online casino games. The slight difference is that in the online version, losing a connection is automatically assumed to be a 'stand' decision.
Basic strategy for online Blackjack
Being a banking/comparing game, there really is not much strategy to Blackjack. It is a game of chance in many ways. Seasoned players, however, insist that there are ways of planning to end up with the superior hand without busting.
The strategy is informed by looking at the dealer's face-up card. This card reveals when it is best to double, hit or stay.
When the dealer's hand is a four, five or six face-up, they stand the greatest chance of busting. The best player action at this point is usually to double; place another bet of the same value as the first.
When the dealer's face-up card is a seven or more, the best action for the player is to keep hitting. This should go on until a total of seventeen is reached, at which point it is most advisable to stand.
There is an action known as 'insurance play' in which the player places another bet half the value of the initial bet if the dealer turn's out with an ace face-up. However, old-time players mockingly refer to the insurance as a loser's bet and advice to always steer clear of it.
Whenever unsure about the action to take, standing is the safest option.