Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in gambling history and is still very prevalent today. This is especially true online, where players explore digital ways of enjoying this fabulous table game. Whether it is a live casino version you opt for or an on-screen game against the computer, blackjack is sure to give an enjoyable and strategic experience.
The history of blackjack
Also known as ‘21’, blackjack is one of the oldest casino games – dating back to the 17th Century. Although the origins are disputed, the most widely believed story is that it was played in mainland Europe around that time, particularly in Spain and France.
The name ‘blackjack’ was derived in the United States it is thought, due to the winning payout a certain hand would bring. In most gambling houses at the time, a 10-1 payout was given to players who had a hand with the ace of spades and a black jack in it. This hand was soon named a ‘blackjack’ and before long the game itself had taken on the moniker.
Blackjack – the basics explained
What makes blackjack so fantastic is that it offers an interesting and challenging game in an easy to understand format. Played with a 52-card deck against the dealer, the overall aim is to get as close to the number 21 with the cards in your hand or hit it exactly. If you get 21 or closer to it than the dealer, then you win the hand. If you go over 21, then you are bust and will lose the hand unless the dealer busts too. The scoring system for blackjack is as follows:
- Number cards – the face value of the card (i.e. an 8 is worth 8 points)
- Face cards – these are worth 10
- Ace – can be 1 or 11 points
To begin with, the player is dealt two cards. You need to first look at the two cards you have been dealt to total up their worth. A 2 and a 4, for example, would see you with 6 in total. If you are lucky, then this first deal will see you with a face card (i.e. a jack, king or queen) and an ace. As this would add up to 21, you have automatically won and can call blackjack.
If you do not have a blackjack, then you can draw additional cards to your hand. Doing this can be tricky though because if you then go over the total of 21, you are bust. The skill is to keep drawing cards until you are as close to 21 as you dare go or think will win.
When you have finished with your hand, the dealer will then do the same. They will have dealt themselves a card face up at the start, continuing to draw cards with the same aim of getting as close to 21 as possible or exactly on it.
Once the dealer has either gone bust or finished, you would see each other’s hand to determine the winner. If there is a draw on the total you both have (also known as a ‘push’) then you would usually not win or lose anything due to it being tied.
The advantages of playing blackjack at an online casino
Of course, this article is about online blackjack, so we need to look at why playing it on your mobile or computer is so popular. Online blackjack works in exactly the same way as we have looked at above, but with some key advantages:
Sometimes you may feel like playing blackjack but cannot make it to the physical casino close to you. Other people may not feel comfortable going into a casino at all. In these types of scenarios, online gambling makes perfect sense. You can play blackjack without leaving your home and in an environment you feel comfortable with to ensure maximum enjoyment.
In the past, you would only be able to play blackjack when your casino was open. This meant if they were shut, you would have to wait until they opened. Online blackjack is available 24/7 and is always there to play, whenever you feel like it.
If you live somewhere that is remote or isolated, then there might not even be a casino to visit and play blackjack at physically. If this is the case, online blackjack is ideal. As long as you have a computer or mobile with an internet connection, you can play wherever you are located.
Lower house edge
A key reason why many enjoy blackjack is that you have an edge over the house compared to other games. When you play at an online casino this house edge is reduced even more, giving you a better chance of winning. With the online bonuses that many operators also give, it is a far more lucrative way of playing your favourite game.
What about live blackjack?
While online blackjack against a virtual dealer is fabulous, many players still crave the personal interaction with a human dealer, as you would get in a physical casino. This is where live blackjack comes in.
Live blackjack operates just like playing the game in a bricks and mortar casino – from the real-life dealer you can interact with, to the authentic casino backdrop. All the fittings are there from the table to the cards for that true-to-life casino vibe. If you are wanting the comfort of playing online at home but with the authentic physical blackjack experience, the live dealer version is for you.
Online blackjack offers so much
For many players, online blackjack will be just what they have been looking for. Offering a new and convenient way to play this popular game, it also makes it accessible for all to enjoy. As long as you have an internet connection and device, then you are ready to jump in and try to beat the dealer. Just remember to get to know the basics thoroughly before you do, to really have the edge.