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Blackjack Guide

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, you will find all you need in our comprehensive guide to playing the world’s most popular card game: blackjack.

Blackjack – One of the oldest games

Blackjack (also known as twenty-one) is one of the most popular casino games worldwide and also one of the oldest games, with origins dating back hundreds of years. One advantage with blackjack lies in the fact that you have decisions to make so blackjack does not rely on luck and chance, but you have the means to achieve gains through your choices and analysis. However, this doesn’t work if you don’t fully know the rules of blackjack and if you don’t have sufficient experience to anticipate all the different game options. This is where bettingexpert comes in!

Right here at bettingexpert you can read both the blackjack rules and also our blackjack strategy guide to put the odds on your side and defeat the casino as often as possible. We have put together blackjack tips and techniques that will help you succeed at wherever you want to play blackjack online, our preferences would be at bet365 Casino.

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Blackjack Origins

Blackjack and its exact original origins are unknown but it is traceable back to France in the 17th century under the name Twenty-one. At the time, the rules of the game of blackjack were almost identical to those of today.

Twenty-one was eventually taken stateside where it grew to a whole new level. In order to initially drum up players interests, those in charge in the U.S offered bonus payouts and one such bonus was a special ten-to-one (10:1) payout. So at the time for a bet of £1 you could win £10 if the player’s hand consisted of the ace of spades (which was called Black) and a Jack of spades (which was called Jack). So you can probably already guess that this hand was called a Blackjack and of course the name stuck, even though the 10:1 bonus was withdrawn.

Today you can get blackjack with just an ace (spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs) coupled with a 10 value card (10, Jack, Queen or King, also any suit). The other main difference being the blackjack payout, which now generally stands at 3:2.

Play Blackjack Online Free

Blackjack is the most popular casino game and is a very straightforward and easy game to learn. Blackjack rules are simple and if the cards are played well, the odds of winning are very good. The basic principles of blackjack revolve around the concept of getting the value of your cards as close to 21 as you can, without going over 21 or letting the dealer get closer.

Generally, you have a better chance of winning when fewer cards have been dealt from the deck. You will find the best payout when playing single deck blackjack. The blackjack scheme, which you can find below, is based on single deck blackjack. We cannot stress enough how important it is to use the blackjack schema, as it optimises your chance of winning in blackjack. The blackjack scheme is, in other words, the ‘heart’ of the optimal blackjack strategy.

Online Blackjack Strategy & Blackjack Rules

The basic blackjack strategy enables you to play with the best chances of winning. When using the basic blackjack strategy do make sure you consistently stick with it, as it proves to be very helpful.

Unless you join a multiplayer table, you will only be playing against the dealer (who is representative of the casino). You and the dealer are both dealt two cards each, however, only one of each set if visible to the other player (The dealer can only see one of yours, and likewise, you can only see one of the dealers). You now have to decide whether you want to draw additional cards in order to get closer to 21. However, you do not want to exceed 21. The rules for the dealer are a bit different. He has to draw cards until he has reached 17, at which point he cannot draw any other cards.

Read the Blackjack Rules

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Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart

On the right hand side you will see the blackjack basic strategy chart. This table was calculated, developed and evaluated by statisticians who computed and compared the probabilities of all card combinations. Read more at our blackjack strategy page.

On the left side of the scheme you will see the total value of your hand, and at the top the value of the dealer’s visible card. In order to use the scheme and follow its recommendations, you just have to follow the row of your given value horizontally until you reach the column of the dealer’s value. Let’s say you are holding a 7 and a 6 in your hand, and the dealer’s upward facing card is and 8 (only this card is of importance to you since you won’t see the other card until it is turned over). Accordingly, you should look at the left column for 13 (7+6) and follow this row horizontally until you reach the column 8. Here, you will find the letter H which means that you should hit by drawing another card. Let’s say that this card will be a 4. Then, you are now holding 17 together (7+6+4). Now, follow the left column for 17 until you reach 8 again and you find an S, meaning you should stand.

In general you should always hit if the total of your hand is less than 8 and always stand when your hand is worth more than 16. If you draw two cards of the same value remember that you should look at these; for example 5,5, and not 10. In the case you get an Ace and a 5 make sure to look at the row A,5 and then if you draw a 2, look at the row A,7.

Success at blackjack does not require you to be a mathematical genius. As long as you play according to the scheme, you are giving yourself the best opportunity for success!

Here is an example of how the scheme works: as pointed out most cards are valued 10. Lets say you hand is valued 12 and the dealer’s got 5 then the scheme tells you to stand. At first it might seem strange that you shouldn’t draw another card since 12 is not very close to 21! But, considering the amount of cards valued 10 your risk of busting (12+10=22!) in this situation is high and at the same time the dealer also has chances of busting (5+10+10=25). Therefore, it is better for you not to draw another card because you minimise your risk of busting.

There is no need to stress about memorising the scheme. After playing a few times, you will soon learn how it works. Make sure to always carry a copy of it for reference. Once you have learned the game and maybe even started to like it, make sure to check out our high stakes blackjack section.

Read our Blackjack Strategy Guide

Blackjack for Beginners

Blackjack is a fun and strategic game to play. As with all things worth doing, it is best to get the basics down first, before attempting to dive right into the deep end.

The main aim of Blackjack is to attain 21 points, using the hand that you are dealt. It is important to keep in mind, that any Blackjack player is playing against the dealer too. And seeing as though the dealer is a representative of the casino, the ‘house’, this means that you’ll be playing against the house. So, it’s a good thing to heed some useful Blackjack playing tips.

Seating is the first step to playing a good game of Blackjack. You won’t want to be rushed, as the dealer whizzes through the line, dealing cards – rather sit further down the line, so as not to be the first base hand, and take your time, reviewing the options available to you.

Start with small bets, and keep a steady pace, as you get to play more, the more you’ll find your own pace and find a strategy that works for you.

Important terms to get to know when playing Blackjack is: hand, traditional set of cards, hit, stand, bust, split, double down and surrender.

  • Hand: cards dealt to you, by the dealer, from a traditional set of cards.
  • Traditional set of cards: 52 cards consisting of 4 different suits (diamond, club, spade, heart) and 2 different colours (red & black).
  • Hit: take another card to add to your hand.
  • Stand: no more additional cards taken on, the decision to keep your hand as is.
  • Bust: when your hand counts 22 or higher.
  • Split: take 2 cards (must be the same rank) and begin playing 2 hands simultaneously. You will, of course, need to bet more to enable the second hand.
  • Double down: by placing an additional bet and taking ONLY one more card.
  • Surrender: can be compared to folding in poker. This is when the player relinquishes half of their bet to drop out of the current hand.

Also important to know, as a beginner playing Blackjack, is how to score?

  • Ace = 11 (or in some instances, could be counted as 1)
  • Face cards = 10 (King, Queen, Jack)
  • 2-10 = number as represented by the card itself, eg. 8 of spades = 8 points

Blackjack for Advanced Players

So, you’re not your novice Blackjack player, but you’re still on the search for some useful playing tips? Look no further, we’ve got you covered right here.

According to some Blackjack experts, it is imperative to make use of the game play options of splitting, standing and doubling down. It is all very well to simply hit and stand, but when a player makes use of the split and doubling down options, they are actively rearranging and shaping their hand, to create a hand that will best suit their game play style. It is also a thought that by employing these tactics, the house’s edge is cut by at least 0.5%.

Research tends to show that there is a marked trend when it comes to betting and playing the Blackjack table game.

The following guidelines for when to bet and when to stand have been making the rounds, and could have some merit to it:

  • Stand, when your hand is between 12-16, and the dealer’s hand is between 2-6
  • Hit, when your hand is between 12-16, and the dealer’s hand is between 7-Ace
  • Split your aces and 8’s
  • Double down, when the dealer’s hand is between 2-6, and your hand is between aces-6

Whether these methods of playing Blackjack is a winning formula is yet to be tried and tested, but it is interesting to note that in each proposed way to play, the hand of the dealer is always taken into account.

This is the most important thing for an advanced Blackjack player to always bear in mind: the player is always playing against the house. And the house will inevitably always have at least 6% advantage over all players.

So, go it slow and steady, find your pace, and bet responsibly.

Blackjack Live

Blackjack is a great table game, and is packed with the potential of loads of hours spent enjoying the ride, but it is indeed made all the more enjoyable when you can actually engage with the table.

Being able to chat with your dealer and fellow players just adds that certain level of interaction that only adds to the game, giving the entire experience certain subtle nuances that are just impossible to achieve when just playing behind a computer screen, with no real-time live action.

Thanks to the gigantic leaps and bounds that technology keeps making, on a daily, if not minutely basis – the option of being able to play tables games, especially Blackjack, live, is not just a sci-fi concept anymore, and has not been just a fantasy for a number of years now. Which is great, as many casinos have adopted and are now offering a Live Casino element to their online gaming package too. A great gaming experience to be had by all.

Most often, you’ll find the hours just whizz on by, when you’re playing Blackjack live, as you find yourself being entertained to the max by your fellow blackjack players, and the lively dealer too.

Simply sign up to your favourite casino and be sure to check if they have a Live Blackjack game on offer while you’re at it. If you haven’t gone the live route yet, then today the day!

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