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HOW TO PLAY: Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular casino table game in the United States. The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer. The winner is the player that gets as close to 21 without going over. Twenty-one is reached by adding up all the cards:

  • 10s and face cards are worth 10 points
  • Aces are worth 1 or 11 (the player decides)
  • Other cards count as their numerical values

Any hand totaling 22 or more is considered a bust and automatically loses. A tie is a push, meaning the player will have his bet returned as if the hand never occurred.

A natural blackjack is an Ace and a 10-value card. This hand pays 3-2, or 150% of the original bet.

Blackjack is a game of skill, whether it’s played live or online. There are mathematical advantages and disadvantages with any move. It is important to make the proper play in all situations—when to hit, stand, double down, split and surrender.

Before you play online, check out the rules for individual casinos’ games.

Live Blackjack vs. Online Blackjack
The major difference between live and online blackjack is the speed. Online blackjack players may be dealt as many as 100 hands per minute. This is because a computer deals the cards. There is no need for shuffling or for a live dealer, which takes extra time per hand.

Other differences between live and online blackjack include:

  • Minimum bets are often lower online. Many have $1 minimum bets, compared to $5 to $25 and more in live games.
  • Online blackjack rules are more liberal than live blackjack. Standard blackjack games online pay 3-2 on a dealt blackjack, compared to 6-5, in many casino in the U.S.
  • Surrender is more common online.
  • Split rules are more player-friendly in live games. Players can usually split up to four hands in a casino, while blackjack sites are likely to only allow splitting once. Aces may be re-split in live games, but not online.
  • Side bets are more common online, with some sites offering five separate side bets.

Card Counting
Blackjack experts have learned how to beat the house through counting systems. This can add as much as 1% to a player advantage. This skill takes years to perfect, but is not useful to online blackjack players, because online casinos re-shuffle after every hand. This actually benefits players that do not count as the first hand dealt out of the deck has the lowest house advantage.

Online players would be advised to use Basic Blackjack Strategy (https://www.888casino.com/blog/blackjack-strategy-guide/) because that provides the player with the lowest house edge.

Game Selection
Casino resorts often spread just a handful of blackjack games. Most of these games offer traditional rules with different limits. Finding blackjack variations can be difficult at a casino. On the other hand, online casino sites spread games like Super Fun 21 and European Blackjack that are difficult to find in brick-and-mortar casinos.

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