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Online Blackjack tips for newbies
Blackjack is arguably one of the most popular casino card games in the world. Blackjack is a game that has been around for centuries, with some authors citing it as early as the 17th century. Although the exact country of origin of the game remains to be a debate to date, what is for sure is the fact that Blackjack is now a universal casino game, that can be found in virtually any country.
We have compiled this tutorial as an introduction to the game newbies interested in learning more about Blackjack. We will highlight the main features of the game, the basic rules and some tips on how you could win your first blackjack game. Fair Go Casino has fun blackjack for newbies.
What is Blackjack?
Traditionally known as 21, Blackjack is a card game that is played by comparing cards. In Blackjack, players do not compete against each other but instead, aim to beat the casino dealer. The general goal of winning at blackjack is to have a final score that is higher than the casino dealer, without holding cards that are worth more than 21 points, thus the name 21. As such, you can keep drawing cards or let the casino dealer draw the cards, until a point where one of you exceeds the 21-point mark.
If any player is above 21 points, then it is considered an automatic loss and he is out of the game. If the dealer’s cards are above 21, then the player with the higher card points that are below 21 has won the game. This is the general idea around both land-based and online blackjack games.
Features of a Blackjack Game
The Blackjack table
To start with this tutorial, it is important to highlight the main elements or features of a blackjack game. The stand-out feature you will first notice is the Blackjack table. This is usually semi-circular and can accommodate anywhere between 2 to 7 players. In online casinos, the layout of the blackjack table will depend on whether the casino is offering a multi-player version or even one with a live dealer.
Just as with traditional blackjack tables, the rules of the blackjack game you are playing will be displayed at the top of the table. Some of the rules you will find here include the odds the casino is paying, whether insurance is available and whether the dealer stands or hits on a soft 17. We will elaborate more on these rules in the next section of this review.
In a game of blackjack, you will make use of a regular deck of cards. Typically, a deck of cards consists of 52 playing cards. The 52 cards are further categorized into suits and ranks. In most variants of online blackjack, the game might involve more than two decks of cards.
A suit in a deck of cards is the pattern of the symbol printed on a card. One deck of cards has four suits namely Clubs, Spades, Diamonds and Hearts. The symbol of the suite will be printed on the card’s face. As such, if you are holding a heart card, it will be bearing a hearts symbol. Typically, the suits are of not much significance in a game of Blackjack as they do not influence the card’s value, unlike in a game of poker. In certain variations of the game, the suit might come into play. However, since this is a tutorial for beginners, we will focus on the primary version of the game.
Of more importance is the second classification, the ranks. One deck of cards is subdivided into 13 ranks. A rank is denoted by the number indicated on the card’s face. These numbers start from 2 all through to 9; then there is the Ace, Jack, Queen, and King. The Jack, Queen, and King are also referred to as face cards. The rank is important since it determines the value of points that each card holds.
An ace, denoted by A, is the highest rank, and its value is worth 1 or 11 points. The face cards, denoted by J, Q, and K, are all worth 10 points. All the other cards starting from 2 through to 9 are worth their rank value. This means a 2 is worth 2 points, a 3 is worth 3 points and so on.
In a land-based game, the dealer shuffles the decks of cards whenever a hand is dealt. The same concept applies to online blackjack. However, since online blackjack is played in a virtual world, online casinos will make use of random number generators to shuffle and deal with the cards. A good online casino will make public the audit report of their random number generators, as a show of good faith and transparency.
Playing the Game of Blackjack
With a good understanding of the game’s basic features, we will now explain how the game is played out. Although considered by many to be a strategy game, blackjack is quite easy to understand and play. The dealer issues each player and himself two cards. In online blackjack, your two cards will be face-up, and you can immediately tell what your total card value based on the numbers indicated is. Remember the cards 2 to 9 carry points equivalent to the number printed, face cards are worth 10 points, and an ace is worth either 1 or 11. This means if you are dealt a 2 and J, then your hand is worth 12.
The aim is to get a blackjack, which is a hand worth 21 points. This could be, for instance, an ace and a Q.
Once the hands have been dealt, you will notice one of the dealer’s cards will be face down while the other is revealed. Now, this is where some strategy comes into play. Based on the value of the cards dealt and the dealer’s face-up card, you as the player will decide whether to hit, stand, double down, surrender or take insurance.
Playing blackjack comprises of two main moves; hitting or standing. Visit Fair Go Casino and give it a try today.
In blackjack, hitting means getting another card in addition to the two issued for your hand. Hitting will increase your hand’s points tally and therefore could take you closer to the 21 points mark or even past the 21 points mark. It is important to remember that as per the game’s objective, if your hand goes past 21 points, then you are bust, meaning you have lost that round.
Standing Blackjack Explained
Standing is the opposite of hitting, whereby you decide to keep the two cards you have been dealt without taking any additional cards.
Both hitting and standing have a certain level of risk involved since the moves affect your total points, in relation to the dealer’s hand. For instance, you might decide to stand and the dealer’s hidden card, also known as a hole card, turns out to be an Ace that drives is points tally to 21 or closer. The decision to hit or stand should be mathematically calculated, based on the hand you have been dealt and the value of the dealer’s face-up card. We will expound more on these playing strategies in the next section.
Types of Hands at Black Jack
But for a better understanding of these strategies, we will first explain the type of hands you can get dealt a Blackjack. Just like with any other casino card game, the cards you are dealt will determine your chances of winning or losing. In blackjack, there are two types of hands you can get; a hard hand and a soft hand.
In blackjack, you get a hard hand when you are dealt no aces or if you have an ace that must count as a 1 not 11, else you go bust. An example would be getting a K and 6, which takes your total tally to 16. Another example, now involving an ace, would be getting a 9, a 2 and an ace. On such a hand you will be forced to count the ace as a 1 to have a total tally of 12. If you value the ace at 11, then this would take the total value to 22, which would leave you a bust.
As seen in these two examples, a hard hand is one that will leave you with no or very few moves to make without risking going bust.
A soft hand, on the other hand, is one that gives you a chance at making extra moves. This is where you are dealt a hand with an ace that can be valued at either 1 or 11. With a soft hand, you can take a hit without risking going bust. An example would be getting an ace and a 9. If the ace is valued at 11, then your total points are 20. If the ace is valued at 1, then the total points will be 10, leaving you with room to take a hit without going bust. For instance, if you get a third 10-point card such as a J, then your hand can still be valued at 20.
What are some Playing Strategies
Depending on whether you are dealt a hard or soft hand, there are a number of moves that you can make. If well calculated and mastered, you can easily turn out to be a pro at this game.
Dealer’s Up Card
Before deciding on whether to hit or stand, you should always consider the dealer’s upcard. If the dealer’s face-up card is the low value at the range of up to 6 or 7, then it is advisable to play cautiously since the dealer will likely go bust.
If the dealer’s face-up card is less than 7, then you can be more aggressive with your hand since the dealer is likely to beat you. The logic behind these two moves is from the general rule in most online casinos on the dealer’s moves when hitting and standing. In blackjack, the dealer has to hit if on a hand of 16 or less and has to stand if on a hard hand of 17.
Should I be Splitting?
This is a move you make when you have been dealt a hand with two cards in the same rank, for example getting two aces or two K’s. By splitting, you will be separating the two cards starts two new hands. In such a move, you will be required to place an additional bet for the 2nd hand. Each hand plays and pays off independently.
Generally, it is advisable to split into any pairs of 4s through 10s. However, this is a mathematical decision based on the dealer’s face-up card. The aim is to ensure each of the two hands stands a better chance of winning.
Doubling Down Blackjack Online
Another strategy to master is doubling down. This is where you place another bet of the same value on the hand you have and take a hit of one extra card. For example, if your hand is an 8 and 3 and your stake was $20, you can decide to double up by betting an extra $20, and taking an extra card. This will essentially take your bet up to $40. If the third card dealt is an ace, you will have won the and with more money in play.
With a hand worth 9, 10 or 11, you can double down if the dealer’s face-up card is less than 10. This is because mathematically, there are higher chances of getting high-value hands than the dealer, without going bust. If the dealer’s face card is an ace, it is almost always worthless doubling down since the chances of the dealer beating you anyway are higher.
In this move, you will be giving up half of your bet money and dropping out of the game, as the name suggests. You can use this move when you are cornered, just like folding in poker.
Do I need Insurance playing Blackjack?
This is a move not so popular with pro gamers, as it sets up for more losses. In blackjack, you can opt to insure your hand by placing a side bet worth the same as your original bet. If it turns out the dealer has a blackjack, then you lose your original bet, but recoup in your insurance bet, thus a net loss of zero.
What are the Odds and Winning Chances at Blackjack
Online blackjack has an odd of 3 to 2. This means if you have placed a bet of $10 and you win the hand, then you get $25. Try Fair Go Casino and the blackjack games offered.
With good mastery of the game and the online blackjack tips above, you can be a master at the table. It is important to understand that to win at blackjack; you do not play to get a 21 hand. Instead, the real aim of the game is to get a higher valued hand than the dealer, without going bust. This means you can beat the dealer even with a hand of 15.
You need to understand the frequency of each card rank in the deck of cards. For instance, the chances of getting a card worth more than 10 points are 30.7%, which is more than any other card in the deck.