ONLINE BLACKJACK: THE BASICS, STRATEGY AND RULES
Blackjack, one of the most popular card games in the world is one of the best options offered by Cozino. The game is simple as it is competitive; the perfect hybrid of skill and foresight, one that can make you a lot of money if played correctly. The game has been around for quite some time now, and still, it sits on the throne as, arguably, the most popular and fortuitous card games around, even though the slot games have taken the 1st place in casinos.
There are plenty of strategies that blackjack players can enforce to give them a leg up on the competition, each differs in some way shape or form from the other, so before you even think about strategies, first look at how you like to play. Are you someone who likes playing on the edge with massive bets, or do you play small and pick your opportunities? Another strategic game worth checking out is online live roulette.
Not sure about how the game is played? Blackjack — sometimes referred to as “21” — is a game where you are pitted against a dealer alongside fellow players. The desired goal here is to reach the number 21 using the cards handed to you in repeat succession. Players are given options between each turn, this is where the element of strategy comes into proceedings. We go more in-depth with the rules later, so be sure to read on.
We’re guessing you’re somewhat new to the world of blackjack (hence why you’re reading this right now). If you are, the best piece of advice we can give players is just to take their time. Slow yourself down and the pieces will all fall into place; take a step back to go forward, so to speak. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and veteran blackjack players didn’t end up with reels upon reels of cash overnight, it takes time.
THE BLACKJACK STRATEGY THAT ACTUALLY WORKS
Look online for effective blackjack strategies, and you’ll find a tonne of them, some are more effective than others, depending on the sort of player you happen to be. Trial and error will be your guide here. Yes, some strategies are better suited to new players, and we’ll be sure to point those out when the time comes. Keep in mind that some of the strategies we’re going to talk about here are frowned upon in certain locations, so play at your own risk.
The perfect blackjack strategy, in our opinion, is to count cards — something that will get you kicked out, even banned in certain casinos if you’re caught. Counting cards is foolproof if you can execute it efficiently. This strategy is one that is going to take time to master simply because of how much focus is required; some blackjack players have taken years to master this skill.
Counting cards essentially allows you to predict outcomes before they even happen on the table. You’re essentially identifying where all cards are as you play, that’s why most casinos don’t like it, as you’re always coming out on top with an unfair advantage. How this strategy works is that you are basically creating a mental inventory of where all cards are at all times – counting cards makes you psychic basically!
Players should know that there are only four cards in the same jacket, meaning if you know that three hearts have been shown and you have the fourth, you know that there’s no chance of it appearing in the rotation. When you’re teaching yourself how to pull off this strategy, we’d recommend you focus on one or two jackets, to begin with — there’s a lot of cards to keep track of, and the mind can only track so many.
Think of it like you’re in the gym, you don’t want to immediately jump into doing the heavier weights because the body will crumble. Take your time and work through your repetitions on as few jackets as possible before you can step up. Daydreamers/those with short attention spans might find this strategy to be too much as it requires MI5 levels of focus, remember, as you’re counting the cards you need to be playing the game as normal.
Rather than trying to identify the cards in their current form we’d recommend you assign values on these cards — it makes it easier to keep track of them all on the table. Trying to keep track of each number/jacket will only confuse you even more, so try to establish a system that allows you to create your inventory seamlessly. Try giving each card a name of some kind, this will help you a lot, trust us.
If you’re trying to count cards as a beginner, then we’d recommend you keep track of the ace specifically. The ace is a card representing both the number one and the number eleven at the same time, this means that the card holds a lot of power in that it can cause you to hit 21 a lot easier or bust just the same. Start with the ace and work your way up to some of the other cards in the deck.
UNDERSTANDING BLACKJACK CHARTS
Strategy charts are almost just as complicated as counting cards, if not more. Charts were created by computers that have simulated a lot of casino games of blackjack. The computers were able to identify what players should do in all situations, encouraging players to hit, split or whatever when the time comes/calls for it.
These charts will need to be memorised — in the same way, that cards in the deck should be counted. Sites recommend that you memorise phrases in your head to keep track of everything as it plays out in front of you. Focus is an integral part of this strategy in the same way that it is if you’re counting cards too.
Once players have learned some of the more basic charts, it’s encouraged that they learn some intermediate charts too — in some cases, you might need to switch between charts as you play depending on decks and how the dealer is looking. Surrender — the ability to switch out the first two cards dealt for new ones — only when you’re 100% sure that the other cards handed to you are going to give you a better starting point.
Players should only split when the first two cards are a pair of if you have two cards that, when combined, equal ten. If you find that you’re still sceptical, ask yourself this: can I double? Doubling often leads to you winning the hand nine times out of ten. It’s worth noting that some establishments don’t let you double on certain hands, so be sure to get this sort of information beforehand.
These charts might look overly complicated at first glance, but you need to realise that these charts cover essentially every game you’ll play. You need to respect the chart and pay very close attention to the dealer’s upwards facing card as well as the hard totals. There’s plenty of YouTube videos out there that go over these charts in greater detail — go look at those if you’re still stuck.
BLACKJACK RULES: HITTING OR STANDING?
Blackjack is a very basic game on paper. The game begins with the dealer handing out two cards to each participating player. You are then expected to place your bets accordingly — you do this using game chips rather than cash. Once all the bets have been taken, the dealer will then place two cards in front of them, revealing one while the other lies face down. As we’ve mentioned, you sometimes have the chance to surrender your cards at this moment.
Each card represents the value, of some kind. The ace is one of the best cards on the table since it not only represents the number one but the number eleven also. Card suits have no meaning in blackjack, meaning the total of any hand will be the sum of the card values in hand. The more cards you have in your deck, the harder it will be to not bust, which is why you need a happy medium of low and high-value cards.
At this point, the player must decide on whether or not they want to stand, hit, surrender, double down or split. Each of these choices will alter the game for you in some way. To hit is to ask for yet another card to add to your collection, to surrender is to obviously ask for new cards on the beginning hand, doubling down should be reserved for killer hands (you can only double down once the first two cards have been dealt), and splitting will take two identical cards and will play them as separate hands.
There is another option for you, which is to simply stand. To stand is to tell the dealer that you’re happy with the hand dealt and don’t want another card. You can stand as often as you like, but we’d advise only doing that if you have around 17 or more in your hand. Asking for another card when you have 17 will only cause you to bust (to go over 21), and to bust is to hand your money over to the dealer basically.
Next, the dealer will make his/her move last and must land on the number 16 or less and stand on 17 through 21. You see, the dealer is trying to hit 21 themselves, that’s the game. When playing you should never hand your money straight to the dealer, you telling them what you’re going to do with your hand will tell them how you want to proceed; it’s just bad etiquette, and it could get you the boot.
HOW TO COUNT CARDS IN BLACKJACK
Counting cards isn’t as easy as it seems, you’ll need to assign value to the jackets/number on the cards as they’re presented to you. Remember, getting caught counting cards can get you banned, so count quietly and methodically if you’re going to do it. Beginners should focus on one or two cards specifically — such as the ace which stands as both the number one and the number eleven. If you want to learn more about counting cards, read the above section on it.
BLACKJACK TOURNAMENTS AROUND THE WORLD
Blackjack tournaments are nothing new, in fact, they’ve been around just as long as the game itself, the only difference now is there is a lot more money up for grabs! These tournaments promote big cash prizes to those who can successfully beat the dealer and all other players around them. Hundreds upon thousands of pounds can be won at these tournaments.
Keep in mind that these tournaments are played by some of the most skilled blackjack players in the world — especially the tournaments with the massive cash prizes. These tournaments will have strict rules attached, meaning you will definitely not be allowed to count cards. Rules are made to be broken, which is why we can guarantee veteran players will count cards here; they’re just too good at it to not get caught.
HOW TO PLAY ONLINE BLACKJACK
In recent years technology has allowed us to do some pretty breathtaking things, including take the game of blackjack and make it even more accessible/fun to people across the globe. Online versions of blackjack are just as intense as the real deal, if not more thanks to some of these games having jackpot elements to them outright.
All reputable online gaming developers gave a blackjack game in their catalogue, and that’s because they understand the importance of such a game for the masses. Online versions of blackjack can be played anywhere and at any time (thanks to the mobile versions of these games especially).
Some of these games feel like real life, which is perfect for those who don’t want to get up and haul themselves over to a casino to play. Honestly, if you want to hone your blackjack skills in the comfort of your own home with little downside, check out some of these online blackjack games and be amazed.