How to Play Blackjack at an Online Casino
March 22, 2023
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, with the country where it came from still being debated. While some believe the card game appeared in French casinos in the 18th century, others argue that it came much earlier. Also known as game 21, blackjack is a combination of luck and strategy, unlike other casino games like roulette, where game results are based solely on chance. Once considered a game for the small circles and elites, today it is open to almost everyone, thanks to modern technology and the internet.
Many online casinos are offering online blackjack and King Billy is one of the best gambling destinations in terms of gaming variety, casino promotions, security of user data, speed of payouts, and service in general. However, before you try your hand at blackjack card games at The King Billy Kingdom, you need to find out how it works. We're here to tell you how to play blackjack in an online casino, help you learn the game rules, and give you useful tips to improve your winning chances.
Overview of Blackjack and the Main Objective
This card game has a rich history and still fascinates many Canadian players who enjoy skill-focused gambling. Unlike online slots or roulette where you can't influence the outcome of the game directly, blackjack gives you a lot of freedom to make decisions affecting the outcome.
Under the misconception that the main objective is to collect a hand worth 21 points to form a hand that pays 3:2 (or 6:5 in some versions of the card game). However, what you need to do is get as close to 21 as possible while beating the dealer.
Since blackjack is a card game that gives you plenty of opportunity to outsmart the house, it's important to start by learning the rules of the game. Experts claim that by making optimal gambling decisions, a player can minimize the house advantage to as little as 1%, which is an unprecedentedly low figure when compared to other gambling options. Below, we'll go over the main move choices, as well as the basic strategy with which you'll make the best decisions.
Strategies and Tricks
All in all, blackjack is far more than just a classic casino game that has stood the test of time. In the middle of the last century, a team of scientists researched the game and ran mathematical simulations to derive an optimal gambling strategy. Additionally, history remembers the MIT Blackjack Team, a group of ex-students trained to be experts at card counting, a technique that ensures an edge over the house.
So, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player looking to improve your skills, you're in the right place. Read on to find out how cards work, how to assess your hand, what move options are available to you, and much more.
Different Types of Online Blackjack
The move to an online environment has made this card game more accessible than ever before. While you can still enjoy it in land-based gambling venues, nothing beats the thrilling experience of playing from the comfort of your home or right on the go. By choosing King Billy, the most awarded casino in Canada, you can play blackjack online on both your laptop and mobile device via your web browser.
The first casino games were applications based on RNG algorithms. In 2006, Evolution Gaming entered the online gambling scene with a completely different concept of live dealer games. Below we explain the differences between computerized and human-based blackjack available at the King Billy casino.
Before we move on to the how to play blackjack for beginners guide, it's worthwhile to discuss what the game was like in the early days of online gambling. In the first web casinos, players could only play RNG-based games, where outcomes were decided by a special computer program that generated numbers at random. Each card drawn from the virtual deck was the result of an RNG. There are advantages and disadvantages to using this method of ensuring random cards and game results.
What you'll love about RNG-based card games is that you can play them in a risk-free demo mode. By playing the demo game, you can learn how to play blackjack without the fear of losing your hard-earned money. You can also play at your own pace without feeling pressured by other players. On the other hand, the lack of a human croupier makes the game less vivid and therefore less fun.
Live Dealer Game
In the mid-2010s, when internet technology made significant progress in its development, the concept of live casino betting was introduced. This is how the live blackjack dealer game appeared, where you can watch the physical elements such as chips, cards, and the betting table. Also, the game is managed by a real croupier and you can give the commands via live chat.
Live casino has made the gaming process more interactive and immersive. However, there are some things you need to know before you try a live blackjack dealer game at His Majesty's Kingdom:
- Live casino games are not available in free-play mode, as they require serious investment from the casino.
- They offer a wider betting range than their RNG-based counterparts, making them more suitable for high rollers.
- By playing live dealers, you'll have less time to think about each move as there are many willing to sit at the gaming table.
- The online casino can offer dedicated tables for their VIP players.
- When playing with a live dealer, you can try out your card-counting technique while using it in RNG-based games makes no sense.
To reduce your gambling costs and provide you with better chances of winning, His Majesty King Billy can offer bonuses and perks on live blackjack dealer games that appear in the Promotions section.
Understanding Cards in Online Blackjack
Unlike poker, blackjack is a game where the player opposes the dealer. Before a game round starts, you need to bet within the available betting range. Then - according to the rules of how to play online blackjack - the dealer deals the cards to himself and the players. Next, the player has to decide which move to make. However, to come up with the best possible gaming decisions, you first need to know how cards are valued in blackjack.
Most of the deck is made up of numbered cards from 2 to 10. To estimate your hand consisting only of numbered cards, simply add up their face values. For example, the dealer dealt you a 7 and a 9. This means the value of your starting hand is 7 + 9 = 16 points. While knowing your hand's value alone isn't enough to make a game decision, it's an important base without which you can't play the card game in a meaningful way.
While numbered cards are worth their face value, face cards are a completely different story. Regardless of whether you receive a Jack, Queen, or King, each of these cards is worth 10 points. For example, if the dealer dealt you a Jack and a King, your starting hand is worth 20 points, which is a good bet to win a game round.
This card is unique because it can take two different values depending on the game scenario. So, according to how to play blackjack in a casino, an Ace is deemed to be 11 if you hold a hand of 21 or less. Otherwise, an Ace is valued at 1. This polymorphic nature of an Ace gives a slight edge to its bearer, making it a very desirable card to play.
How to Play Blackjack: Basic Rules
All the action starts with the dealer, who can be either a computer program or a live person, depending on which version of the game you choose. He has access to at least one 52-card deck. First, you have to place a bet, which cannot be changed after the blackjack deal has started. First, the dealer deals two cards to the player, both face-up. Then, the dealer deals two cards to himself, with one face down so you don't have a full view of what the dealer's hand is worth. Once all parties have received their cards, the player can now estimate the value of his hand and choose any of the available moves:
- Hit. In simple terms, this is taking another card from the deck to increase the value of your current hand. According to blackjack deal rules, the player can draw as many additional cards as he wishes until he has passed the 21-point limit. Before choosing this option, think about your chances of drawing a card that will help you form a stronger hand.
- Stand. If you are happy with your initial hand, meaning you think your initial hand is strong enough, you can choose this move. To Stand means not drawing an extra card and not doing anything at all. It effectively means that you pass the right to move to the dealer.
- Double Down. Although we said above that you can't change the original bet once the dealer has dealt the cards, you do have the option to increase the pot. Using the Double Down option, you are essentially buying an extra card, doubling your original bet. Since any winnings are paid out based on the total pot size, Double Down gives you the chance to win twice as much. On the other hand, you also risk losing more than your initial bet, so think carefully about the pros and cons before making such a risky move.
- Split. You will receive an offer from the dealer to split your hand if it consists of two cards of the same value or two face cards. When you choose this move, you must place another bet equal to the original bet. Then, the dealer will deal one more card each to form two hands. Notably, if another pair of cards is formed, you can use the Split option again. Using the Split option means that you will be playing for more than one player at a time.
- Insurance. If the dealer shows an Ace, the chances of him picking a stronger hand are quite high. In that case, you'll be asked to take blackjack insurance from the dealer. By choosing insurance, you'll make an extra bet equal to half of your original bet. If the dealer makes a blackjack hand, you'll lose your original bet, but you'll win the insurance bet, so you won't incur financial losses in the game round.
Finally, according to blackjack deal rules, you can refuse to play further by choosing the Surrender option if you think your initial hand is unsuccessful and each new step will only bring you closer to losing. You can Surrender either immediately after receiving your first two cards or when the dealer looks at his face-down card (Late Surrender). In some versions of the game, you will be able to get back half of your original bet.
Game Cases and Payouts
So, to better understand how to win at blackjack card game, all of your efforts – according to the card game basics -must be directed towards accumulating a hand more valuable than the dealer's one, but not exceeding 21 points. When the player completes his turn, the blackjack dealer enters the game according to his predetermined rules and instructions, which will be discussed later in this article. Here are a few possible game outcomes:
- If the value of a player's hand is 21 points, this situation is called blackjack and the player receives a 3:2 payout.
- If a player scores 21 points and the dealer shows an Ace, chances are that the dealer has also formed a hand worth 21 points and it's a tie. Before the dealer reveals his face-down card, he may offer you a 1:1 payout or you may wait until the end of the game for a possible 3:2 payout.
- If the player picked up an additional card and his hand becomes worth more than 21 points, it is called a bust, and the player's bet goes back to the casino.
If both player and dealer make a blackjack combination, it's a tie and the player gets his bet back. Although more than one player can play, you only compete against the dealer and the other player's cards are not considered.
Blackjack Dealer Rules
Although in this card game, the player opposes the dealer, the rules of the game are slightly different for the dealer. There is a clear set of instructions that the dealer must follow:
- He must deal one of his cards face down for himself, and this is known as the pocket card.
- He can only reveal his card when all players have made their moves.
- With a hand of value 16 or lower, the dealer must draw another card from the deck.
- With a hand of value 17 or higher, he must Stand.
The dealer plays by his own rules, regardless of what decisions the player makes. By observing the dealer's actions and understanding them, you will be able to make more informed decisions.
Blackjack Playing Behaviour Rules
While there's nothing more important than understanding the basic rules of the game, there are also etiquette rules that you should adhere to. If you're new to the card game, before you sit down at a table - virtual or physical - learn how to behave properly. Here are some simple etiquette rules you should follow to ensure you don't pass yourself off as a newcomer:
- Don't touch the chips if the blackjack dealer has announced that there are no more bets.
- Don't touch cards that are lying face up.
- Tap your fingertips on the table next to the cards if you want to Hit.
- Wave your hand horizontally over your cards if you want to stand.
- Place additional chips with your original bet and raise your finger to signal your intention to choose the Double Down option.
- Bet an equal amount as your original bet and raise your index and middle fingers if you wish to Split.
- Feel free to approach the dealer and ask questions of him.
Although you won't need the above knowledge when playing at The land of King Billy, once you're at a land-based gambling establishment, you'll be able to show your best side.
Popular Versions of Online Blackjack Game
Although initially, it was available as a game of 21, blackjack is now offered in many variations. Since the rules can vary from version to version, it's important to learn the ins and outs so you can find an option that suits your playing style. Here are a few popular versions of blackjack card games, available at the Canadian online casino King Billy:
- Classic. Being the original version of the game, it uses the standard rules described above. Generally, in the classic version, a blackjack dealer must stand with a hand of value 17 or higher.
- Speed. The key feature of this version of the game is that the player can make a move at any time he has already made his decision, which speeds up the gameplay.
- Azure. Introduced by Pragmatic Play, this version of the live dealer game offers many exciting features such as Side Bets, Multiple Hands, and Bet Behind making the gaming experience even more exciting.
- Multihand. A variation of the traditional game, it lets you play multiple hands at once in a single game.
- American. Unlike the Classic version, here the dealer deals only one card to himself and then reveals the second card only when the players have made their moves.
In terms of house advantage, Classic Blackjack is the most promising. Provided you use a perfect basic blackjack strategy, you can reduce the house edge to 0.5%.
Side Bets at Some Blackjack Versions
Besides the main bet on the outcome of the hand, some versions of the card game also offer side wagers. Designed to add excitement to the gameplay, side bets offer the opportunity to win large prizes if certain conditions are met. Here are a few of the most popular side bets available in online blackjack:
- Perfect Pairs. This bet is on the player's starting hand to contain a pair.
- Bust It. It is a bet that will win if the dealer goes over 21 points with three or more cards.
- Lucky Ladies. This bet will wager that the player's initial hand will be valued at 20 points.
- 21+3. Betting that the player's first two cards and one dealer's face-up card will make a three-card Poker Hand.
- Super Sevens. This bet needs the dealer to deal at least one 7 for your starting hand to win.
While a regular bet on the outcome of a hand comes with a minimum house advantage, the chances of winning a side bet are much lower. Therefore, you should consider your risk tolerance before placing a side bet.
Blackjack Card Game Tips for Beginners
Before you try your hand at a game that is new to you, you must prepare thoroughly. Although blackjack offers pretty high winning chances, this is only true if you approach the game the right way. Acting randomly will turn this game into a sort of online slot with an extremely low RTP. So, if you are a newbie, here are some simple tips for you to get more successful:
- Determine how much you are willing to spend and stick to that limit. If your luck runs out and you lose that amount, stop playing and switch to something else.
- Learn a basic blackjack strategy. This is essentially a set of guidelines on how you should play a given game situation. Available as charts on the internet, a basic strategy can be your best helper.
- Practice your skills by playing free blackjack so you don't risk any real money.
- Be aware of the casino advantage and learn how to quit when you're in profit.
Finally, take advantage of casino promotions designed for blackjack to minimize the expense of your money.
Improving Your Winning Chances
As you can see, blackjack is a game of strategy and skill where a lot depends on your ability to make the best decisions. Here are some tips to help you maximize your winning chances:
- Choose versions of the game with favorable rules and the lowest house advantage.
- Manage your bankroll wisely, allocating your betting money and winnings in the correct proportion.
- Use a betting system based on numerical sequences, decreasing or increasing the betting amount depending on whether you are losing or winning.
- Learn to control your behavior so you don't give in to emotional decisions.
- Learn card-counting techniques to gain some advantage over the casino.
Keep in mind that none of the above matters if you play at an unreliable online casino. To make sure that the blackjack games are fair and all your winnings are paid out on time, we recommend you opt for King Billy. This award-winning casino is owned and operated by a reputable iGaming company and is licensed by the MGA to ensure that it offers services that meet high standards.
How does online blackjack work?
In Blackjack, players aim to get a hand with a total value closer to 21 than the dealer's hand without exceeding 21. Each card has a point value, and players can choose to Hit for more cards or Stand with their current hand.
How can I win at blackjack?
To improve your winning chances, you should start by learning the game rules, that is, to find out how to play blackjack in a casino. Then, study a basic blackjack strategy with which you can minimize the house advantage to 1-0.5%
How do blackjack players count cards?
According to the simplest card-counting technique, you need to divide all the cards into 3 groups: 2-6 = +1, 7-9 = 0, 10-A = -1. Keep a total count when the cards are dealt to have an idea of how many high cards are left in the deck.
When should I Hit or Freeze?
Playing classic blackjack, you should Hit when you have a hand worth 10 or 12-16 and Stand when you have a hand worth 17 or higher.
Why play blackjack?
One of the reasons many people like blackjack is that it combines luck and strategy, which means you can influence the outcome of a game based on your knowledge and experience.
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