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THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO BLACKJACK ONLINE FREE
In our opinion, online blackjack is a great sport for anyone willing to try their hand at it. Originally, it is estimated that this classic game made its debut in French casinos in the early 1700s. Since then, it has become quite popular in the world of gambling.
Americans probably had the pleasure of learning this game around the same time – within the 18th century that is, through the French colonists. The increased establishment of legal gambling halls had facilitated the spread of the game at the time.
However, the blackjack we know today is not the same as it was then. The game changed over time, rules were tweaked here and there to form the game that we are familiar with in the 21st century.
Out of all other casino games, it is safe to say that blackjack is one of the simpler ones with considerably less fallout than the other games. Obviously, as a beginner, you cannot come out as a winner in your very first game unless you have some serious good luck. There are rules and brain-workouts involved and once you have these in your grasp, only then is it possible for you to become seriously good at this game.
Our guide is focused on helping you achieve this so that you at least have an upper hand in every game you play.
Like every other game, blackjack has its own specialities. For example, blackjack house edge, compared to those of the other games like slots or roulettes, is quite low – roughly 0.5%.
Another interesting fact – card counting is legal! This is a gaming strategy that involves keeping a tab on all high and low valued cards that remain in the dealer’s deck while playing, to gain an advantage over the casino.
With the amount of experience card counters have, they can easily keep the house edge (percentage profit of casinos based on your original bet over the course of time you play) to a minimum which is bad for the casinos.
This matter is a common misconception, one that casinos would want you to keep believing. They are strongly against the use of card counting. And more often than not, if they get suspicious, you are probably going to be asked to leave the table or even the casino itself.
However, this strategy is technically legal but hard to master and sadly cannot be used in online games as the deck is shuffled continuously.
Now, if you are a beginner, we are sure these words must be going over your head but be patient, we will get there. This is a thorough guide, that is absolutely beginner friendly, and we intend to not only help you get started but also show you all the steps, tips and tricks to become a successful gambler at the blackjack table, though it may be virtual!
Additionally, even if you live in Delaware, you can play at any US online casino. You won’t be limited to just the local ones, but you can also play Hollywood casino, Atlantic City Casinos or Golden Palace Casino online. The main thing you have to keep an eye out for is the age limit – you need to be at least 21 years old. If you’re not 21 yet, we’re sorry, but you’re restricted by federal law.
All about the Deck, Cards, and Their Value
Before we get into the specifics of the game, let’s go over a few things of online gambling. First of all, it is not very different from real-life. The only difference is that you make your decisions known through the clicks on various buttons.
At first, you will be asked to create an account on the site, choose a screen name and then make the deposit. With that done, you can proceed to select any table you like and start your game by placing the bet.
Once you have chosen a blackjack table of your choice, you will see that it is the same as the real ones. You will also notice a few things written on it. Let’s get acquainted with them one at a time.
Let’s start with the first point. When you score a blackjack, you have a 2-card hand, the sum of which will be an exact 21. This will be your golden ticket to winning provided the dealer does not have a blackjack as well.
In case you both have a blackjack, the round is a draw and you neither gain nor lose money – the bet is given back to you. This situation is called a ‘push’.
Now, following the winning rules of blackjack, if you win, you will be paid off 3 to 2. This means your payoff will be accounted for in this way: for every 2$ you gamble, you get $3 as a payoff.
Some casinos also have a 6 to 5 payoff but it is mostly to benefit the casino itself which is why it is better to stick to the former.
This is a strategy that is advantageous for the casino. There are some rules as to how a dealer has to play his cards. In a game of blackjack, both the player and the dealer are given some bidding options, two of which are standing and hitting. As per the law, a hard 17 or higher requires a dealer to stand but with 16 and lower points, he is required to hit.
Now, a dealer has to hit a soft 17. However, if he does not, the table displays the words “Dealer must stand on all 17s or higher”
This is yet an option chosen mostly by card counters but for beginners or casual players, an insurance bet is not at all recommended. An insurance bet is dependent on a possible blackjack on the part of the dealer. If this is the case, the dealer offers an insurance bet to you for which you have to make an additional bet.
The occurrence of a blackjack here means you get your second bet back but lose the original one. All in all, you lose and gain nothing.
But the twist comes when there is no blackjack in the dealer’s hand – and keep in mind, this is the most common scenario. In this case, the insurance bet is lost and when the game continues, you very well could lose the original bet too. Majority of the times, player tend to lose both their bets.
- 5$ minimum and 500$ maximum
There two are the limits to your bets. However, since we are talking about online blackjack, you should know that some online casinos allow you to bet 1$ for every hand you play.
Online Blackjack: How the Game Works
In an online game, you have already deposited the money and in exchange for that you will be given chips. To place your bets, you make use of these chips – they are positioned in a specific spot on the virtual table. When you take a look at an online blackjack table, you will early be able to discern these things.
The game begins after all bets have been placed with the dealer dealing each player 2 cards, including 2 for himself. For the players, the cards dealt can be either face-up or face-down; it really depends on the online casino you are playing at.
For the dealer, only one of his cards will face-up. Do keep an eye out for this particular card of the dealer! If you’re observant, you will be able to glean much-needed info which will help in the decision-making process.
If your two cards sum up to 21(the largest total you can have with 2 cards) – you have got yourself a blackjack and win the game by getting your payoff in 3 to 2.
If you saw the dealer getting an ace earlier, you will be offered the insurance bet which is a no-no from us.
Moving on, the dealer checks his cards for a blackjack. If that does not happen, the players get their turn and choose how to proceed by selecting one of the bidding options. The options include:
- Hitting – taking an extra card
- Standing – not taking an extra card
- Doubling down
(You will find a thorough description of each term in the next section but for now, you should have a small idea on hitting and standing)
The players play their hand with these bids which depend entirely on the situation and the dealer’s card that had been previously seen. Unless you are the one with the blackjack in which case you get paid, you will have to use these bidding options against the dealer.
One thing you should always keep in mind is that after your play, if the total is above 21, you are no longer a part of the game.
On the other hand, if the dealer had gotten a blackjack, the bets would be won by him from those sans the blackjack. If it is a push, then nothing is gained or lost.
Blackjack and the Dealer’s Plays
While a player can simply choose to play however he or she sees fit, a dealer has to adhere to the rules set out by the casino.
Here are some things that the dealer has to follow:
- Hitting when he has a sum of 16 or less (regardless the player’s cards)
- When the dealer has 18 or more points, he has got to stand. All the time.
- Based on the casino, he either has to hit or stand on a soft 17.
- The dealer only plays after the players have played their hands. Players who get bust, never get to know what dealer’s hand held. Regardless of what he might have had, the player has to leave the game.
It is entirely possible for the dealer to bust after the player busts but it does not matter as the first move is the player’s.
- This last point is in favour of the players – the dealer does not get to decide what moves to make. For instance, if his cards total to a 16 and you have a 15 yourself (whilst you would decide to stand here), he will have to hit according to the rule of the game (even when he shouldn’t!).
If his luck does not play out, he will risk getting himself bust if he deals himself anything above 5.
Getting to know the Bidding Options and Moves
All of our statements about hitting, standing and playing hands would make no sense if we do not discuss what these bidding options mean. So let’s get down to it!
When you choose to hit, you are dealt an extra card. But the likelihood of winning is based solely on luck as you could be dealt anything. A wrong card on your hand, and it will be game over for you, seeing as the total above 21 gets you a bust.
This is when you choose to not get another card. This is an equally risky move as hitting. For one, his score could be higher than yours or he could choose to hit and get lucky with his hand.
This play is only possible if you have two cards of the same rank in your hand. In such a case, should you choose to split, two extra cards will be given to you for each card you held initially. You will not end up with 4 cards in one hand; rather two independent hands will be formed with each hand containing one old and one new card.
Since the two are played independently of the other, what happens to one or the other does not affect the game of the other hand
When you double down, another card will be added to your present hand but in this case, you will have to make an extra bet
Depending on how the game is turning out for you, you could choose to surrender if you are okay with losing half of your bet. In such instances, you will no longer have to play your hand.
Casino-wise you can get either an early or late surrender. When the casino allows you to back out before the dealer takes a look at his cards for a blackjack that is an early surrender.
On the contrary, if you are allowed to do it afterward, that is a late surrender provided the dealer does not get a blackjack in which case you will surrendering is not even on the table.
BLACKJACK STRATEGIES THAT EVERY PLAYER SHOULD KNOW
Wondering when to bid what? To get there, you will need to acquaint yourself with some blackjack strategies.
Unlike most casino games, every move in a game of blackjack can be made mathematically and combined with the fact that blackjack house edge is so less, this is a good game. There is even a blackjack chart which we will introduce you to in a minute!
A blackjack chart was created with the intention of giving a player an upper hand in the game. A computer was directed to play hundreds of millions of hands of blackjack. Useful information was gleaned from every game lost or won.
For every possible combination of card totals and the face-up dealer’s card, the best move/decision in order to lose the least amount of money to the casino was found. All these decisions were compiled in a table to form the blackjack chart.
However, remember that committing the chart to memory will not be enough. You may get lucky here and there but besides this basic strategy, you will have to take much more into account. The purpose of the chart is to give you an edge over the casino not guarantee a win.
Making use of card counting greatly increases your chances of winning a game. It takes practice to become an expert at it but once you get the hang of it, you are good to go.
Here are the steps typically followed to count cards:
- Every card is given a value.
Usually, cards 2 through 6 are counted as +1.
Cards 7 through 9 are a 0.
Cards 10 through Ace are -1.
- You start the count using the given values for every card that is being dealt in each round. This is known as “running count”. A rising, positive running count is advantageous to the player. A negative count is advantageous for the casino.
- The count in a single deck or “true count” is found using running count. To find true count, divide the running count by the number of remaining decks.
With the increase in true count, you will have to alter your bets.
Martingale Blackjack Strategy
This is a strategy you use when you have made a huge deposit or in simple words when the amount you have invested in the game is substantial. The principle of this strategy is that whenever you lose, you will choose to double your bet which is why you needed big investments in the first place.
This may come across as some seriously bad advice but the idea behind it is quite logical. Even if you lose and keep doubling down your bet, once you win, it will more than make up for it.
However, it is best to stop making use of the strategy once you exceed the bankroll.
If authentic blackjack does not seem fun or appealing and you want to try something new, you could try blackjack switch. It is the same as blackjack but there are twists to the game that you may enjoy!
COUNTRY AND STATE CASINO GUIDES
Wondering how different U.S. States approach gambling? the KGB team has provided in-depth guides on how various State or County laws stack up on casino gambling. Check out the guides below, where we’ll investigate each state and help you in your quest to Bet Responsibly, Bet Greatly:
LEARN TO PLAY CASINO GAMES
Pick your game, learn the game principles, and take a look at the strategies developed over the years. Can you find that elusive hot streak? There’s only one way to find out. Always remember, Bet Responsibly, Bet Greatly:
Roulette Game Guide
Texas Hold'em Poker Guide
5 Card Poker Game Guide
BLACKJACK: GAME FAQs
Many bonuses and promotions are offered to customers so as to draw in them to sign on for a site. Unfortunately, not all of them sway be easy to convert into real cash. Some casinos have unreasonable wagering requirements that keep players from utilizing the bonuses.
Well, there is no specific answer to this question. If you think your luck is not panning out, make a quick getaway but only after you deem that it is the best course of action, monetarily speaking.
Take into consideration how long you have been playing and do not dismiss fatigue which leads many to make wrong decisions.
It is also a good idea to leave the table when you start feeling frustrated – blowing all your money on bets is not really the best idea on earth.
It is said that most consider the third base as the best seat in the casino. And the one you should avoid is the first base.
An online game of 21 is almost the same as a normal one. It employs the same rules and techniques and you can win if your luck is shining and if you have learned the basic strategies. We would say 21 is definitely worth giving a try.
Yes, certainly you can make money on blackjack provided you nail each and every move, keeping the house edge to a minimum. Making use of basic strategies and being excellent at them is a must if you are serious about making money from blackjack.
It is also important to note that you can only play this game when you meet the legal age. In most places, that would be either 18 or 21, depending on where you reside.