Ever since online casinos first started to appear over two decades ago online blackjack quickly became one of the most popular of all the games on offer, possibly with the exception of slots.
There are a number of reasons for this. For example, unlike roulette which is purely a game of chance, there is definitely an element of skill and judgment involved in blackjack. And, whereas playing poker means you’re taking on other players, in blackjack, it’s just the dealer that you’re trying to beat.
The third, and perhaps most crucial appeal, is that for the experienced player who is well up on the best strategies, there is a very low house edge, tipping the odds of winning in their favor.
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The Basic Rules
Before we move on to discussing some of the strategies that can come into play which can help turn you into a successful casino gambler, first it’s worth running through the basic rules. The hand begins with the dealer dealing each player two cards face down and themselves two cards, one face down, the other face up.
The player then has to decide whether to hit (take another card) or stand (keep the two dealt cards) in order to get as close to 21 as possible and closer than the dealer will manage. There are other options too and these will be explained later on.
It is then the dealer’s turn to see if they can beat the player’s hand. If they do, the house wins, if they don’t, the player does.
The Differences Between Online and Land-Based Casino Blackjack
The most obvious difference between online and land-based gambling is that in the former the cards are not dealt from a pack but are generated by a computer algorithm (although more and more casinos now also offer “live casino blackjack” in which games are streamed to the player in real-time and feature actual dealers).
One of the biggest advantages of playing with a major operator is that they will offer a wide range of variations of the game, for example, some games enable you to play multiple hands simultaneously, maximizing potential winnings.
And, before you even get to play for real money, most also allow you to practice for free allowing you to develop the skills needed to start winning when you do.
There is plenty of competition between online casinos, all of them trying to out-do each other, however, 888 casino is the preferred choice for many and the awards they have recently won reflect that.
In 2019, they were named Casino Operator of the Year at the prestigious EGR industry awards, and in 2020, they were named Casino Operator of the Year again, but this time at the 2020 Gaming Intelligence awards, there’s no doubt that both awards were deserved, and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about when you head over there and play online blackjack.
So, you know where to play, but what is the best approach?
A Few Strategies to Consider
Ask any expert blackjack player the secret behind their success and the chances are that they’ll tell you that it’s all a question of learning and memorizing something called the “the Basic Strategy”.
This was a system developed by a computer expert called Julian Braun who was working for IBM at the time. He used one of their mainframe computers to run through the many permutations possible in any given hand to work out the statistically most advantage move in any situation
This data was then used to produce charts showing the ideal move in every conceivable situation. So, the very first thing any player wanting to be a winner has to do is memorize these charts which are still widely available today.
There are also additional charts that advise you how to play in other situations including these three examples.
1. Doubling Down
If you feel that you have a particularly good chance of winning a hand you can take the option of doubling down. In this, you double your initial bet but are limited to receiving just one more card. But if you then go on to beat the dealer, you’ll win double the amount that your original stake would have won for you.
2. Splitting Cards
Another feature of the game comes into play when you’re dealt a pair with the same face value. In this situation, you are generally allowed to split the hand and receive two more cards. This allows you to play with two hands against the dealer, giving you double the chance to win. But, depending on the dealer’s card that has been dealt face-up, there are also standard moves dictating whether splitting a pair is an advisable move to make.
Although generally not advisable, some online blackjack games also allow you to place a so-called insurance bet in case the dealer goes on to beat your hand with blackjack. As you will still lose your original bet, while winning a smaller side bet, this is generally judged to be counterproductive.
Bankroll Management and Betting Strategies
Bankroll management is critical in all casino games. This effectively means measuring out how much you are prepared to risk and deciding how much or little you can afford to use in each hand. By having a clear idea from the outset, it will invariably give you a better chance of winning.
In terms of specific betting strategies, there are three key principles to follow. The first is that if you are winning consistently it is quite a good idea to slightly raise the stakes. But, if you’re not being so fortunate, then the logical move is to slightly reduce the size of your bets, the degree by which you do this will always be at your own discretion.
The third principle is that you should never chase your losses. In even the most consistently successful blackjack player’s career there are times when they have to throw in the towel. It’s not an admission of defeat. It’s simply a question of thinking that tomorrow is another, hopefully, more fortunate, day.
With a little work and research on your part to look more deeply into the topics we’ve covered here, there’s no reason why online blackjack can’t become a lucrative side-line for you, and even a way to make a little money while you travel the world, laptop and plug adaptor in hand. Now wouldn’t that be a perfect outcome?