Casino blackjack has to be the biggest card game that is available in a casino. It is even bigger than poker and just because you don’t see blackjack tournaments on TV doesn’t mean it’s lacking in excitement. More and more players, including those in India, are discovering casino blackjack and realizing that it’s one of the most fun online casino games currently available.
The rules of casino blackjack
The rules of blackjack are incredibly simple. As with most card games you are trying to beat the dealer, and in blackjack this is done by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over, or going bust as it’s called.
A player is dealt two cards which are both played face up. The dealer takes two, one face up and one face down. The player then decides what to do. He can either stand and receive no more cards, hit by taking another card, split if he has a pair or double down by doubling his stake and taking one more card only.
The values of cards in blackjack are simple to remember. Everything from 2 – 10 has face value, an A is 1 or 11 and all picture cards are 10.
Once the player has decided to stand, the dealer reveals his face down card. He then plays according to the rules – he must stand on 17.
If you beat the dealer you are paid out at 1/1. If you have blackjack, which is an A with either a 10, J, Q or K, the odds increase to 3/1. A draw is called a push and stakes are returned to the player. If you lose, the dealer takes your chips.
How to play casino blackjack
Playing blackjack is easy when you know how. You place your stake in the box on the table and the cards are dealt. You will then decide once the cards have been dealt how you will proceed.
If you wish to stand, inform the dealer and then he will play has hand. If you wish to hit, inform the dealer and he will play you another card face up. There is no limit to the number of hits you can take, but once you are satisfied you can stand.
Splitting is an unusual aspect of blackjack. If you have a pair (any 10 or picture card combination is also considered a pair as they all have a value of 10) you can split them to form two hands. You will have to match your original stake in order to do this. You then play both hands in exactly the same way as if you were playing one.
The other option is you can elect to double down. Doubling down can be risky as you only get one card and then you must stand. You must double the amount of stake you have initially bet and then the dealer will give you one card face up.
If the dealer’s visible card is an A you have the opportunity to take out insurance which pays 2/1 in the event of him getting blackjack. Insurance will cost you a further 50% of your initial stake.
Winning at casino blackjack
There are a number of ways to approach successfully playing casino blackjack. It is a game that a lot of professional gamblers make a living from.
Firstly you need to play as well as you possibly can and this can be done by using basic blackjack strategy. Blackjack strategy is a universally accepted set of rules for how to play your hand based on the cards you have and the single card the dealer is showing. There are a number of places online that you can find and print out this information and offline casinos will even give their players a blackjack strategy pocket sized card in many cases. Some of the basics of blackjack strategy involve always splitting a pair of As, never splitting a pair of 10s and always doubling down if you have 10 or 11. Blackjack strategy isn’t overly complicated, but it can take a while to learn and printing out your own copy is highly recommended.
Another tip for winning is to never take the insurance bet. Many players will take it, but all it does is create a push scenario in the event of a dealer blackjack. It is possible to lose the insurance bet and win a hand and in doing so you minimise your winnings. It is also possible to lose both the insurance bet and the hand. As side bets go, insurance is one of the worst.
The ultimate way to win at blackjack, according to many professional players, is by doubling up. This is seen by some as a risky strategy, but others swear by it. You start off betting $10 on a hand. If you win, repeat the bet, and if you lose, double up to $20. If this bet wins you drop back down to $10, but if it loses you double up again to $40. Every time you win a hand and drop back down to $10 you will have made $10 profit. You will actually make a lot more if you get a blackjack using this method. Most players will not split hands or double down when using this method as it can confuse the staking plan a little bit. That’s not to say that you can’t do that and if you have a good heads for maths, by all means play in exactly the same way you normally would with level stakes. As long as you have a sufficient betting bankroll there is no real risk when using this method, but remember, you will lose a few hands here and there and the doubling up staking strategy goes $10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, etc. As you can see, the stakes get quite high quite quickly and it’s important to check the table limits because some casinos will not allow bets of this size.