Basics of Blackjack
Play After the Deal
Blackjack is the most popular casino table game and has been for years.
Even though the popularity of all table games has declined over the past few decades as slot machines and video poker have exploded, blackjack is still in demand.
Like many casino games, blackjack has translated very nicely to online play—and there’s not a land-based casino in the world that gives you as many different ways to play blackjack online as Wild Casino. Whether you’re looking for a classic single deck blackjack experience, multi-hand blackjack play or one of the new variations such as ‘double exposure’ or ‘blackjack switch’ you’ll find it here.
If you need even more blackjack, you’ll find even more games in our live casino featuring our top flight team of professional dealers running the game via HD video.
One of the primary reasons for blackjack’s continued popularity is that it gives the player a fighting chance against the ‘house’. It’s a game that’s simple to pick up and learn but also offers strategies and tactics both simple and complex. A beginner can learn some basic strategy and will be able to be competitive even if it’s his first time. A more advanced player can assimilate a variety of advanced tactical strategies limited only by his imagination.
There’s considerable speculation and several competing theories about the origin of blackjack. The most likely scenario is that it was brought to the United States via New Orleans and spread from there.
As the commercial casino industry grew in Nevada and later in New Jersey, blackjack (called ‘21’ in casino parlance) became a staple. The game has experienced several booms in popularity (one of the most notable fueled by a ‘60 Minutes’ story on gambling legend Ken Uston) but otherwise it has maintained a solid player base in a rapidly changing casino environment. It’s hard to think of any casino experience being complete without offering blackjack in some form.
The fundamental rule set is extremely simple. With a few exceptions found in newer variations of the game, suits are irrelevant in blackjack. Aces are worth either 1 or 11 determined by which value produces the best hand for the player. The 2 through 9 cards are worth their face value. The 10-J-Q-K are all worth ten each.
Each player begins a hand by being dealt two cards with the objective being to get the highest numeric value hand possible without going over 21. All hands over 21 are said to have ‘busted’ and automatically lose. All hands dealt a value of 21 (a Ace and a ten value card) are known as a ‘blackjack’ and automatically win (once again, with a few exceptions). The dealer also deals two cards for himself, usually with one up and visible to the players and the other face down.
After players are dealt their first two cards play goes around the table from right to left. A player can ‘stand’ or ‘hit’. If he stands, he’s done playing and will await the result of the dealer’s hand. If a player opts to ‘hit’ he receives another card from the dealer. Once again, if he goes over 21 he goes ‘bust’ and loses. Otherwise he has the same choice as before—to stand or hit. There are a few more advanced options that vary from one game to another with the most common being the ability to split and ‘double down’ on certain hands.
Once the players at the table finish the process of hitting and are all happy with their hand it’s the dealer’s turn. Unlike the players, the dealer has no input on how his hand will be played. Typically, he must draw cards until he hits 17 or higher. If the dealer hits a ’21’ when he reveals his hole card he’s an automatic winner (unless you also have a ‘natural’ blackjack in which case it’s a ‘push’ or a tie). If the dealer goes over 21 all players that haven’t previously busted are winners. Otherwise, a player’s hand must be greater than the dealer’s hand to be a winner. If they’re equal, it is a ‘push’ or tie and the player receives his bet back.
The basic rules of blackjack or ‘21’ are nearly universal but beyond that there are a few options that a player must keep in mind when choosing a table.
The first consideration is the minimum bet per hand. This is a function of several factors including the target demographic of the property along with basic supply and demand. When the casino is busy, you’ll invariably see higher minimum bets. On a slow night during the week, the minimums will be lower. At our online casino, these factors aren’t an issue and you’ll find limits as low as $1 a hand whenever you want to play.
Another factor in choosing a table is the number of decks in play. As a beginner, this isn’t a huge concern but advanced players usually prefer games with fewer decks. The fewer decks in play the less significant the variance from hand to hand making the use of advanced strategies more effective. You’ll see games that are ‘hand dealt’ by the dealer or ‘shoe dealt’ out of a dealing shoe.
The most common number of decks are one, two, six or eight. Once advantage of a shoe dealt game with 6 or 8 decks for beginning players is less frequent breaks to shuffle up meaning that you’ll see more hands during your time at the table. Once again, this isn’t an issue online although you will find games that digitally replicate a different number of decks in play.
As a beginner, you want to keep it fairly simple but once you gain familiarity with the game you’ll want to seek out a table with ‘player friendly’ rules. There are also variations on traditional blackjack with unique rules such as ‘double exposure’ blackjack and ‘blackjack switch’.
Here at Wild Casino you can enjoy all of the following:
● Multihand Blackjack
● Single Deck Blackjack
● European Blackjack
● Super 7 Blackjack
● 21 Burn Blackjack
● Red Dog
● Pirate 21
Whether you are a seasoned Blackjack player or a beginner, you’ll be able to find the Blackjack game for you at Wild Casino. Go forth and have fun!