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Online Blackjack is Always Ready for You

Blackjack has long been a favourite casino game.  When you play at a land-based casino, you may have to wait for a table to open up.  You may have to wait for the table in your betting range to open up.  You may not find a blackjack table with your favourite variation of blackjack.  There are more than 50 variations of blackjack and each has its devoted fans.

None of these annoyances occurs when you play blackjack online.  The top online casinos may offer all or most of the 50+ variations.  Mobile casinos also feature blackjack although fewer variations are available on mobile.  Another element that affects players’ enjoyment of blackjack on mobile is the graphics on the small mobile screen.  Blackjack for iPad is the standard for modern mobile blackjack.  iPad blackjack utilizes its exceptional graphics technology to make the game as realistic as if you were playing in a bricks-and-mortar casino.

The Basics of Blackjack are Quite Simple

The dealer deals two cards to every player and to herself.  Players play before the dealer plays.  Players try to hit 21 points but, if you go over 21, you lose automatically.  You lose even if later on the dealer also goes over 21. 

Thus, you have to decide whether to take a card (called to hit), or not to take a card (called to stick).  Point cards are worth their face value; the ten and royal cards are worth ten points; the ace is worth either one or eleven points.

So, if the player has twelve points, he may decide to stick hoping the dealer will bust, go over 21.  The dealer must hit with 16 or fewer points and must stick with 17 or more points.  The decision to hit or stick often depends on the dealer’s card that is showing.  There are complicated charts telling players what to do in all situations.  These charts are not foolproof; they rely on the odds of improving your hand versus the possibility that you may go over 21.

Ancillary Decisions are a Big Part of Blackjack Variations

Players have several options in many hands.  Here is a short rundown of them:

  • Doubling down.  When a player has 9, 10, or 11 points, it is often good strategy to double down: you double your bet and receive one card.  There are times when doubling is absolutely the best strategy and times when it is profoundly erroneous to do so!
  • Splitting.  If you have two cards of the same point value, you can split them.  That means, you double your bet and now play two hands created out of one.  In some blackjack variations, you can split again if a card of the same value is dealt to one of your new hands on the next card.  In some variations, you can double down after splitting.
  • Insurance.  If the dealer is showing an ace, and you fear that she may have 21 with two cards, called appropriately, blackjack, you can buy insurance.  To buy insurance, you add half of your original bet.  The dealer then looks at her down card to see if she has blackjack.  If she does have blackjack, you lose your original bet but win 2-1 on your insurance bet.  This means that you break even on the hand.  If dealer does not have blackjack, you lose your insurance bet and the hand continues like any regular hand.  Insurance is generally considered a bad bet based on the odds.
  • Surrender. If you feel that you are overwhelmingly bound to lose this particular hand because of the points you hold and the dealer’s visible card, you can surrender.  If you surrender, you lose half of your original bet.

An Overview of Blackjack Variations

Some blackjack games allow multiple splitting and some don’t.  Some offer insurance and some don’t.  When a player has a natural blackjack, 21 from the first two cards, he wins automatically in some games but in others there is a draw, if the dealer also has 21.  Sometimes the dealer must hit with soft 17, an ace and a six.  In other games the dealer must stick with soft 17.

In some games, when the dealer shows a 10 point card, she peeks to see if she has blackjack.  If she does, she wins against every hand except another blackjack.  This saves players from splitting or doubling down in the face of a 21.

Blackjack can be played with one or more decks.  It becomes harder to make an educated guess regarding the next card as the number of decks increases.

Some Very Odd Blackjack Variations

  • In Double Exposure Blackjack both of the dealer’s cards are exposed.  This gives the player a huge advantage but, to compensate, dealer wins all ties except when both the dealer and the player have blackjack in which case the player wins.
  • Pontoon is the British name for blackjack and it has some unusual rules as well.  Both of the dealer’s cards are face down.  The player must hit with 14 or less.  The dealer must stick on all 17 counts.  Players can double down with more than two cards.  A blackjack is called a pontoon.  Even after splitting, a player can get a pontoon, unlike in regular blackjack where a 10 point card and an ace is simply considered 21, not blackjack.
  • In Blackjack Switch, you play two hands against the dealer’s one.  You can switch the two top cards of your hands.  This variation of blackjack has the highest payout of all, over 99%!

Blackjack Appeals to the Cerebral Side in us All

In blackjack we have to think before our next move.  Unlike poker, where you have to outsmart your opponent and bluffing is a major part of the game, blackjack appeals to our ability to understand the odds and make the play that is more likely in the long run to earn us a nice profit.

The exceptional modern graphics we enjoy when we play blackjack online on our PC or when we play online blackjack for iPad, make the game even more fun, interesting, and exciting!