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While the origins of blackjack have been the subject of debate for a long time, researchers believe that it originated from France at the beginning of the 17th century. It was first known as Vingt-et-Un, which means 21.
According to other versions, blackjack originated in Spain where it was considered a version of the Spanish game called One and Thirty, where players had to try and reach 31 with three or more cards.
The popularity of both the Spanish and French versions continued to grow and eventually, it was played in all corners of the world and today you can enjoy the popular game at many reputable online casinos from our list at Handpicked Casinos.
Finding the Best Online Blackjack Games
Blackjack is a high-energy game of chance associated with some impressive winnings. But that’s not the only reason to play this game of chance.
Here are just a few other reasons to play blackjack online:
- Blackjack is one of the most played casino games in the world, both at online casinos and land-based casinos
- Contrary to many other online casino games, blackjack is one of both strategy and chance
- The rules of blackjack are easy to learn
- Using the right online blackjack strategy can help reduce the house advantage from 5% to close to 0%, provided you follow a strategy to the tee.
As for finding the best blackjack games online, take a look through our comprehensive online casino reviews here at Handpicked Casinos to find the perfect variant, skill level and online blackjack table for your preferences from a licensed and regulated casino where all gaming outcomes are tested regularly for safety and fairness.
We’ve also put together a few tips to get you started at an online blackjack casino.
Choose the biggest online blackjack bonus – just remember to go through the terms and conditions
We know that one of the main reasons we choose to play at online casinos is the bonuses. But if you’re new to the realm of online gaming, you might not realise that most bonuses come with strict terms and conditions. These t’s and c’s carry important information about the bonus you’re being offered on sign up at an online casino, including wagering requirements that must be met before you can withdraw any winnings. You’ll also learn which casino games you can use your bonus cash on. At Handpicked Casinos, you’ll find an array of top-notch online casinos that either offer generous blackjack bonuses or that allow you to play through your bonus on blackjack games.
Choose a secure online real money casino with excellent payout percentages
When it comes to online gaming, security should be a top priority. After all, you don’t want your personal or banking data stolen ever. To check if an online casino blackjack site is secure, it should be licensed and regulated by a trustworthy gaming authority and use SSL encryption to guard against fraud.
Choose a site with excellent blackjack choices
While it’s always fun to play online blackjack in its original form, you may want to try other variations of this table game. If that sounds like an option for you, check out the online casino’s selection of blackjack games before you sign up.
Choose an online casino with cross-compatible games
Another thing to consider before signing up at an online casino is whether or not you’ll want to play blackjack on other devices besides your PC. While most of today’s online casinos have cross-compatible games, it’s not always a given. So, check if the site you want to play blackjack at is optimised for mobile gaming or whether there is an app you can download on to your device.
How to Play Blackjack Online
So, let’s get into playing the popular game. Firstly, in blackjack, cards that add up to 21, or as close to 21 compared to the dealer, get you a win. Anyone that goes over 21, goes bust and loses.
If the first 2 cards that are dealt to you or the dealer is a 10 or face card and an Ace, it’s called blackjack. That’s where the game’s name comes from. Blackjack isn’t just an instant winner, but unlike any other outcomes, it pays 1.5 to one. So, if your original bet was 2, you get 3 back for getting blackjack. Should you and the dealer, very unlikely, both draw a blackjack, this is known as a push. In this case, nobody wins, and you get your initial bet back. The same is true for any “tie” outcomes.
Know the Lingo
While online blackjack is a relatively simple game to get the hang off, it’s easy to get confused by the terms if you’ve not played before. Some of the important words to know are:
- Bust – when the total of cards go over 21
- Double down – you can double your bet and get dealt one more card
- Hit – when you request another car
- Insurance – should the dealer’s face-up card be an Ace, you are given the option to make a side bet that the dealer will get blackjack, turning your potential loss into a win
- Push – when you and the dealer have the same total card values, you get your original bet back so nothing is lost
- Soft – this is a hand with an Ace. They’re pretty flexible hands since Aces can be 1 or 11
- Split – this is the option to split a pair of dealt cards, so you have 2 hands. Each hand receives a second card.
- Stand – when you decide to stop receiving cards
- Surrender – if you feel you don’t have a winning hand based on the cards that are dealt first, you can decide to lose half your bet as well as the round
The Card Values
As with any card game, to play blackjack you need to have an understanding of the different card values. In this game, every card is worth a numerical value. Face cards, including queens, kings and jacks are all worth a 10, whereas Aces can either be a 1 or an 11 and you get to decide at the moment which of the options can help your current hand.
Counting the Cards
Online blackjack, like its original version, is played with multiple 52-card decks. Some places use a fresh deck for each hand to prevent the chance of players counting cards. But with online blackjack, Random Number Generators are used to ensure a fair outcome every time. So, there is absolutely no way to count cards at an online casino.
To Stand or Bust
If the dealer’s hand is less than 17, the dealer is required to draw another card. However, if this is the case for you, you can decide to “stand” and not ask for any more cards. This holds true even for low card totals of 15 and 16. Rather than risking going bust, you can simply hope that the dealer draws a card that makes the dealer’s total go over 21. But if the dealer draws a low card and remains at 21 or lower, yet higher than your hand, you lose.
Learning Strategy for Blackjack
If you want to take your online blackjack gaming to a strategic dimension, you’ll need to do some homework. It’s always a good idea to practice games in free mode at online casinos before wagering and risking real money. It’s a painless way to learn and practice strategies and once you’re ready to win real money, you can start playing for real money at our recommended online casinos.
Our Top Tips for Online Blackjack
Blackjack is a marriage of luck and skill, with strategy perhaps playing a slightly greater role than some other games. Knowledge combined with strategy can help increase your chances of winning.
These are our top blackjack tips:
Memorise the tables
Poker fans will tell you how much they love crunching numbers. There are tables about when to take a hit when to double down, when to stand and when to split. Understanding the table can greatly improve gameplay for you.
Let the dealer go bust
If your dealer’s up-card is between 4 and 6, be careful about taking cards which could cause you to go over 21. But if you have a soft hand, you’re protected from busting and can probably take one or even two hits before standing in the hope that the dealer’s hand will pass the 21 mark.
Split a pair of Aces or 8s
Not every type of dealt pair should be split, but if you have a pair of 8s or aces, go for it. Two 8s equal 16 which is a pretty sad hand. But splitting them gives you the opportunity to get an 18 or 19. A pair of aces is even more exciting. Instead of totally 12 or 2, you get a good chance of getting not one but two blackjacks!
Don’t take insurance
The cost of insurance is almost never justified by a win.
Try your hand at live dealer blackjack
Many of the online casinos on our list offer real-time live blackjack feeds, complete with real dealers. It’s an incredible experience that will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped right into a razzling, dazzling casino.
Try Online Blackjack Today
Online blackjack is a popular casino game with players particularly within the Live Casino Games, and it’s no surprise. Learn the ins and outs and you’ll be cutting the house edge right down in no time at all. Also, play different variations of the game online to figure out what you like and what works for your gaming style, and do yourself a favour, try a live dealer game every now and then!