The Ins and Outs of Blackjack
Within the digital and land-based gambling industry, blackjack has long been one of the most popular card games among players. Unlike poker, for example, the activity that originates from France has become a favourite because of its relative simplicity. It’s no secret that poker requires analysis, research, and an in-depth understanding to be successful, and it can often take a long period of time to get to grips with the strategic pastime.
As such, that’s why increasing numbers of players are turning to blackjack. The game that dates back to the 1700s has undergone numerous alterations over the past few decades, but its foundations remain unchanged. That said, what do new players need to know about modern-day blackjack? Well, let’s look into a few blackjack basics, such as rules and strategy.
The Differences Between Playing Online and in a Land-Based Establishment
The online casino industry has achieved new levels of popularity following the rise of digitalisation. It’s no secret that the industry’s most popular table games initially captivated player interests at land-based establishments. However, many of them are now easily accessible across a whole host of online platforms. Naturally, there are many differences between playing at web-based operators and in-person.
One reason why some players prefer playing in land-based casinos is because of blackjack’s social side. Although the game is played between the bettor and the dealer, real-world versions typically allow as many as seven players to play at one table. Replicating the high-stakes environment of a real-world casino in an online space isn’t a straightforward task, and it’s even trickier for online operators to mirror land-based establishments’ social nature.
However, there are, of course, numerous benefits to playing online. First and foremost, players can play from the comfort of their own homes and via their phones. As such, bettors don’t have to spend significant amounts of money to visit the Las Vegas Strip for a few games of blackjack, for example. The 4.2-mile-long stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is a must-visit location for casino lovers, but regularly visiting the destinations isn’t sustainable for many bettors, this is mainly due to costs and location. This is especially relevant for those that live in the United Kingdom.
Not only that, but players can also immerse themselves in free and real-money blackjack variants at online operators. For those seeking to get to grips with the French game, an increasing number of platforms offer free blackjack, allowing players to perfect the pastime’s rules without the risk of losing money. Furthermore, this presents the ideal opportunity for bettors to try new strategies and different blackjack variants. There are many ways to play and it’s important for each individual to find the best strategy for them.
Types of Hands and Strategies
There are two types of hands in modern-day blackjack variants. Those playing online or at a land-based establishment will either have a hard or soft hand. Thankfully, this is all that players must learn, which is a testament to blackjack’s straightforward card system. The differences between the game’s hand types are subtle, and they depend on drawing an ace and its value relative to the hand.
According to Smart Gaming, a soft hand is a hand that contains an ace, and that the ace counts as 11 and not one. For example, if players draw an ace and a four, their hand will be a soft 15. The reason for this is that the ace is always counted as 11 as long the players’ hand hasn’t surpassed the sought-after target of 21. Bettors should double down if their soft value sits at 17 or less because taking another card and going beyond blackjack alters the ace’s value to one.
On that note, that’s where hard hands come into play. A hand becomes hard when the ace’s value must be one, or the hand in question doesn’t feature an ace. Casino Report states that this hand type is far riskier than soft alternatives. This is due to the fact that the safety of altering an ace’s value is no longer an option. For example, if the dealer hands a player two eights, they opt to twist and get an ace, that card can only take the hand value to 17, as 27 would bust.
There’s something of a myth regarding land-based and online blackjack that ‘Five Card Charlie’ is an unwritten rule of the French game. While some variants may embrace this rule, online lobbies will rarely use the Five Card Trick. Depending on a selected lobby’s ruleset, a hand total of five cards can beat a score of 21, but only if the dealer doesn’t have blackjack (two cards).
At land-based establishments, dealers predominantly use between six and eight decks of cards. However, if you’re playing at home, then a couple of decks will suffice. There are no rules regarding the required deck type, so players are free to use whatever brand they like, including pop-culture-inspired Game of Thrones and Star Wars playing cards.
Everything That You Need to Know!
Make no mistake about it, blackjack isn’t a straightforward game, and strategy alone won’t get you over the line. The luck-orientated pastime has more depth than many people imagine, and that’s why it’s of utmost importance to understand the basics prior to joining various web-based or land-based tables. With much-needed knowledge of the basic rules, card values, and hand types, bettors are equipped to delve into the blackjack world and target success.
Image source: unsplash