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Online Video Blackjack

Online slot machines may be very popular, but the number one table game at both land-based casinos and those online, is blackjack. Players gravitate to blackjack because most everyone has played the game at some time with their friends. Unfortunately, the game is deceptively simple, which means that thinking you know what you are doing can be costly. If you haven’t played before, learn some easy rules on how to play blackjack before you risk any money!

Once you have mastered some of the rules and terminology of blackjack, you might want to learn a bit more by moving on to basic strategy, which should keep the house odds very low. In fact, with standard rules for doubling down and splitting, the house edge is only about 1%. That’s better than other games like roulette, or craps, and just another reason why blackjack is so popular.

The rule variations at blackjack will have an impact on your overall success, because rules like re-splitting a pair of aces and doubling down on any two cards are helpful for the player. Restrictions like doubling down only on 10 or 11, or no re-splitting of aces hurt the player.

In land-based casinos, players may find “21” games on video machines like Game King, but these games are often a poor replacement for a regular blackjack table game. Aside from several play restrictions, a blackjack usually pays even-money, instead of 3 for 2, and that makes the game very house-friendly. You will have a tough time having any success on a game that pays even-money or 6-to-5 on blackjack, as some table games do.

Fortunately, software programming for online play is much more sophisticated than that used in the Game King machines. Online video blackjack can be a very good game, with only about a half-of-a-percent edge for the casino. You’ll play the game on what looks like a regular blackjack table, with your chips stacked-up on the rail, and separate buttons to make each move. Take your time, there’s no hurry.

You may have to choose a starting bankroll, but once the chips are on the table, you choose a chip size (amount) and each time you click on the Bet circle (or on the chip), that size chip will be wagered. Don’t worry, no cards will be bet until you click on Deal. If you make the wrong bet, click on chip in the wagering circle and it will be removed.

Once you click on Deal, the cards will be dealt. Don’t go too fast; make sure you choose the next click correctly. You’ll be able to Hit or Stand, or take Insurance if the dealer has an ace-up. If the hand warrants, you may also be able to click on the button for Split or Double. If you split a hand, it has to be finished first before you move on to the second. Make sure you click the correct button for that first hand, you can’t correct a mistake!

You’ll also find many styles of blackjack, with single and multiple decks. Read the rules for games like Double Exposure (where the dealer wins pushes!) and Spanish “21” before your play, because each has important options you might not know about.

Random Number Generator

A typical blackjack game in a land-based casino uses a single deck, double deck, or six decks of cards. A single deck is best for the player. Online video blackjack may be offered in the same varieties, but sometimes there is no mention of how many decks are used. And, there is no mention of when the deck, or decks, is shuffled. This means you can’t count cards at video blackjack.

You can find very good games, you just have to accept the fact that the video game isn’t really dealing cards from a shoe; it is dealing virtual cards with the use of a Random Number Generator, or RNG. When you push the deal button, the computer uses a complicated algorithm to choose the next card dealt.

To understand the RNG, think of a standard shoe with all the remaining cards in it. Instead of dealing the next card to you, the virtual game randomly chooses a card from anywhere in the shoe and deals it. That’s the simple explanation. And, you should know that most video blackjack games use eight decks, and the cards may be shuffled after each hand, after two or three hands, or the shuffling may also be random – again chosen by the RNG. Don’t fret; it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Playing Online Video Blackjack

The game of blackjack you find online is probably pretty good. You’ll often find that the video game offers double-down on any two cards, re-splitting of aces, splitting of multiple hands up to three times (giving you four total hands), double-down after a split, and even insurance and possibly surrender. The trick is to play correctly, because the speed of the game is considerably faster than live games.

You may have the option of a single-player game, or multi-player game. When you start, you might want to play alone, just so you feel better about taking more time than the other players, but don’t worry, they are likely to be computer-generated, and not real anyway. But, the tiny, tiny edge you might gain from seeing more cards on the layout (you might want to sit at the last spot so you can see all the cards played) could have a minor impact on your win/loss, and you’ll play less hands per hour.

Choose a table limit you are comfortable with, bet small to begin with, and see how it goes. Take advantage of all your split and double-down options, and perhaps play for Free Money to begin with, instead of risking Real Money.

Another consideration when playing online is the casino you play at. Stick with established, well-known names, like Jackpot City, Bovada, and Lucky Red. And, choose a casino that offers a nice Welcome Bonus. You’ll have to read the terms and conditions to see if blackjack counts towards clearing a bonus, but if it does, that’s a nice extra to have. And, many online casinos offer Complimentary Play, or added bonuses for loyal players. Although the rate of exchange per bet may be small, if you spend any time at all playing online you might as well get the best deal possible!

You may also find that your chosen online casino offers Live Dealer Blackjack. That’s worth looking into, as it is real blackjack played from a real shoe of cards (usually 8-decks), and you might even be able to chat with the dealer as you play. In this case, watching the cards that have come out each hand can be helpful. Remember that the live rules and the video (virtual) blackjack rules are likely to be different, with slightly stricter rules on the live game.

A final note to remember is that you can play online for real money. If you do, treat it like real money. Budget for entertainment and enjoy yourself!


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