Blackjack Online – Popular Strategies and Different Versions of the Game
Blackjack is one of the most popular card games on the planet. Millions of people play this game on a daily basis, either at a land-based casino establishment or casino blackjack at an online website. On the whole, blackjack rules are simple. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer – more often than not, you play alongside others, but you do not compete against other players. The sole objective: to score as close to 21 and hope that the dealer goes bust. Blackjack’s simplicity and accessibility, with the famous card game available at every online casino, are just two reasons why it is has been so successful over the years.
Furthermore, the game is incredibly easy to understand. Every card has a value. Numbered cards from two to 10 carry their pip value whilst all face cards are worth 10. Aces are interesting; the player can choose whether to use it as a one or 11. If you are dealt the King of spades and an ace, you would use it as an 11 to score the perfect 21; this is called a blackjack or a natural. If dealt an ace and a low numbered card, you may be more inclined to use it as a 1 unless future cards dictate otherwise. If you go over the 21 mark, you are bust and lose that particular round.
All of the players at the blackjack table are dealt their cards before the dealer. The dealer must reach the total of 17 before deciding to stick – punters will want to score as close to 21 as possible in order to maximise chances of winning. In the event of a tie, known by card players as a ‘push’, the player does not typically win or lose on that particular hand. If the dealer is given blackjack on the first two cards, the dealer wins. It may sound tricky, but it is actually one of the easiest card games for new players to learn. Various guides on how to play blackjack and other casino games are universally available to card enthusiasts.
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Blackjack UK: History of the Game
As previously mentioned, blackjack is one of the most popular card games on the planet, but its origins are unknown. The first mention of blackjack or Twenty-One, another name for this famous casino game, can be found in a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes – with an estimated date of 1601. With that in mind, it is fair to assume that the game 21 was invented in the 17th century. Many believe that the game was popular over in Europe, specifically France and Spain, before taking the United Kingdom by storm.
Over the last two centuries, the UK have followed the United States when it comes to casino games. Twenty-One was introduced to America by French colonists and it quickly developed into one of the most played card games on that side of the Atlantic Ocean. Once gambling houses started to grow, Twenty-One took prominence as THE game to play when visiting а casino. History tells us that some of the bigger casino establishments in Nevada and New Orleans offered bonus payouts in order to stimulate interest. With some rewards based on exact card combinations alone, jackpot winners were rare, but United States casinos were keen to keep casino blackjack tables on the floor.
We are now in the 21st century – otherwise known as the technological era. Card players are able to partake in blackjack games online for money, as well as simply playing for fun at a number of establishments. Virtual casino environments are getting more and more popular, with players taking advantage of various offers and promotions to maximise profit.
With a few different variations of the famous card game available to punters, the transition from land-based establishments to virtual card-playing is only going to grow. The ability to play blackjack online from the comfort of your own home or on the move appeals to younger card gamers, especially those who work unsociable hours but still enjoy playing blackjack and other casino games.
Traditional 21 fans might not like it, but card gamers must embrace this shift to the digital environment. Online gaming is at an all-time high in the United Kingdom and casino lovers should enjoy the freedom and accessibility that these services provide. With over 10 blackjack tables available for users at the click of a button, playing cards and reading up on the latest blackjack tips has never been easier.
As advanced technologies become readily available to online casino environments, blackjack shifts from traditional in-house tables to digital will become even clearer. The old-school casino environments over in America may survive but the smaller, local venues in the United Kingdom may suffer at the expense of an enhanced virtual experience. Unfortunately for older fans, that’s just the way it is.
Different Versions of Blackjack Online
With over 100 different versions of blackjack, there are too many variations for players to read up on before searching for the best online casino for blackjack UK. Instead, we take a look at some of the biggest and most popular versions of the game – these are the kind of versions you will find at most United Kingdom online casinos.
- Spanish 21
In a nutshell, this game offers players the chance to double down any number of cards. Furthermore, in case of a tie, the player blackjack ALWAYS wins, but implementing that rule comes at a cost of having no 10 cards in the deck. In short, the only way to get a perfect blackjack – or 21 – is by drawing a face card and an ace. Meanwhile, there are sometimes payout bonuses for five or more card 21s, 6-7-8 straight 21s and 7-7-7 21s. It can get fairly complicated with so many permutations, but it adds excitement for blackjack aficionados.
- Double Exposure Blackjack
Punters using blackjack basic strategy have an advantage here as they are able to see the first two cards of the dealer’s hand. The dealer puts his initial two cards face up – which gives players an early advantage when trying to estimate which cards are coming next. Blackjack is a game of the past and the future; regular players may prefer this type. However, be warned: blackjacks pay even money, but players lose on tied hands. No insurance buys are available nor can punters surrender, bringing a greater element of risk to the game.
- Increased Number of Decks
Depending on the level of your game, some blackjack games can have as many as eight decks involved. This is harder for punters who are into blackjack card counting; the sheer number of cards in the deck makes it very difficult indeed and real online blackjack players may fall short in their pursuit of making money here. Be very careful indeed. Smaller decks are easier to keep track of, but the flow of the game can be affected. With shuffling occurring on a regular basis, avid blackjack players may prefer to get involved in a game with multiple decks in order to keep things ticking over at a faster rate.
- European Blackjack
When looking for the best online casino for blackjack UK fans, keep an eye out for European blackjack. Popular with most digital environments, this is one of the more exciting versions of the famous card game. It differs slightly from classic blackjack in the way that the cards are initially dealt; two cards are dealt to players face up, whilst one of the dealer’s cards is face-up as well. The dealer’s face-down card, otherwise known as the hole card, is not dealt until the player has made a choice on how to play. This introduces another element of blackjack odds and excitement for both the card game novice and the expert.
Beating the System – Tips and Strategies
Each variation of the game has a slightly different blackjack strategy when it comes to attempting to beat the dealer. The ultimate aim for players is to win money by scoring as close to 21 as possible – preferably with a perfect blackjack score. However, that isn’t always the case, and players will have to make quick decisions based on knowledge of the deck and cards already played. We look at just a few of the main blackjack strategies.
- Basic Strategy
This can be used when playing with four to eight decks at any given time, the dealer hits a soft spot on 17, a double IS allowed after a blackjack splits, and only original bets are lost on dealer blackjack. There are a few permutations involved when following basic strategy, but these are relatively easy to follow once you’ve got used to them. This will not be relevant in every blackjack game, so be sure to know which casino blackjack online game you are playing in before adopting this strategy.
- Composition-Dependent Strategy
Moving away from basic strategy, players can use this particular system when considering the precise composition of any given hand and not just the points total. Sometimes it is worth taking an additional hit at the demise of the dealer’s hand in order to strengthen your position, even if it enhances the risk. Simple mathematics will help blackjack online casino players to use this strategy effectively – though card game experts have suggested that the difference in expected reward is small, especially when you add more decks into the game.
- Advantage Play
A high-profile card game for advantage players since the technique came to prominence in the 1960s, advantage play is an attempt to win using memory and visual observation skills. There are three main types of advantage play: counting cards, tracking shuffle techniques and identifying concealed cards. Although generally legal, casinos may blacklist individuals if these strategies are successful over a longer period. Operators reserve the right to restrict players – whether at a land-based venue or online blackjack casino users. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantage play strategies:
Every card is given a number. Players with strong memory skills can keep track of which cards have been and gone, and which have yet to be dealt. When the deck is hot, blackjack punters put big money down. When it is cold, the player hits the table minimum. You must be focused solely on every single card that comes out of the deck, and it is easy to lose the count. However, the rewards are unprecedented in the casino blackjack world. Incredibly, the house tends to have a 1% edge over players using basic strategy, but counting cards flips the edge to 2% in favour of the player.
Not the easiest technique to follow but shuffle tracking can swing the advantage of casino blackjack in favour of the player. Essentially, it involves the tracking of card groups during play, following them all the way through and the shuffle and then playing once the cards come into play the next time around. Visual estimation is required, but casinos may find this more difficult to detect since the actions of a player are usually unrelated to composition.
Identifying Concealed Cards
Players can profit by identifying cards from wear marks – this technique obviously cannot be used at online casinos. Distinctive marks on the cards in casinos can be remembered, but this is becoming rarer in the modern era. A card shuffler is used in many of the bigger establishments, and that has helped to slow this strategy down. In your local pub, maybe you can get away with this but not for any big payout events.
Play Blackjack for Real Money: Major Tournaments
Major tournaments are still predominantly played in traditional casino environments, but there are some online competitions that attract big numbers. With the chance to win huge sums of money, blackjack tips, and real online blackjack casino environments are vital for players to improve to a high standard. Some of the biggest blackjack competitions in the world have lucrative prize funds on offer to the winner, and some punters practice for years before entering these events.
Playing 21 from the comfort of your own home at a digital casino is one thing but then going up against thousands of competitors is another. Playing in smaller competitions first is an absolute must or else risk jumping into a competition with a hefty buy-in and falling at the first hurdle. Casino blackjack tournaments are not for the faint-hearted and professional blackjack players will know every trick in the book to mentally affect their rivals – even though you are not playing against them directly.
From Danny Ocean to James Bond
The Ocean’s series is an absolute must-watch for any card game and casino fans. Hollywood icon George Clooney plays Danny Ocean and leads his gang of crooks, alongside Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, to do a few ‘jobs’ in Las Vegas casinos. Blackjack is key on more than one scene in these films, with the famous card game taking centre stage during a major plot to hit one of the big Nevada establishments. With the game prominent in such a popular movie with people all over the world, it can only be viewed as a positive for blackjack as a game and as a spectacle – watching Ocean’s 11 may convince punters to play blackjack online before heading to a land-based environment.
James Bond helps to show off all the glitz and the glamour of land-based establishments. In more recent times, virtual casino environments have gone about trying to emulate this style – the live casino blackjack games offer online punters a genuine casino experience. Okay, it might not be Pierce Brosnan playing cards in Monte Carlo, but the virtual casinos are now a viable place to go in order to get your blackjack fix. As technology continues to develop, gambling companies and casino websites will spend more money on visual effects for loyal players using these blackjack and card game rooms.
Online casinos have yet to make a major impression on Hollywood just yet, but we have seen snippets from time to time. We see Ben Campbell, a mathematics MIT student applying for Harvard, studying a blackjack casino guide in the film 21. Ben and a few school friends visit Las Vegas in a bid to make money from counting cards – one of the ‘strategies’ discussed above. Online venues could learn a lot from basing a few of their rooms on specific movies; they have been able to base slot games on films and television shows so surely it is only a matter of time before you can play blackjack in a virtual version of Caesars Palace.
Real Online Blackjack: Enjoy Yourself!
Above all, have fun whilst playing the best online blackjack casino games. Enjoyment should be the top priority for all card gamers, and there is no exception when it comes to this game as well. With a number of ways to mix up your digital iGaming experience, punters can find some of the most exciting and entertaining casino blackjack games available to UK customers at the click of a button.