Blackjack is still one of the most popular table games at online casinos. It was popularized after the 2008 hit movie 21, which glamorized the game and opened many people’s eyes to the possibilities at the tables. However, there are several aspects of blackjack gameplay that need to be made clear before you unleash yourself on the tables.
The game has one of the lowest house edges
It’s fair to say that we play table games like blackjack to let our hair down, lose our inhibitions, and have fun. You’ll be pleased to hear that blackjack is a table game that gives you the best possible chance of making your bankroll go further – especially compared with other classic table games like roulette, craps, or poker.
If you sit down at a single-deck blackjack table, the house edge is only 1.5%. This means that for every $100 you wager, you are statistically likely to receive $98.50 back. Bear in mind the house edge does increase when more decks are added to a game of blackjack, as this increases the variables.
Insurance bets aren’t worthwhile
Insurance bets are offered to players as a means of protecting you against the dealer having blackjack. It is offered when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. Risk-averse players may consider taking the insurance bet when it is offered. This will give you a 2:1 return should the dealer have blackjack, helping you to break even overall.
However, this play is a losing one in the long term. The return on investment (ROI) from an insurance bet is negative overall. You’ll lose more units taking the insurance than going without and taking your chances that the dealer doesn’t have one of the 15 remaining cards in the deck worth ten.
You don’t need to score 21 to win a game of blackjack
If you aren’t au fait with the rules of blackjack, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to score 21 to beat the dealer in a game of blackjack. The 21 figure is only a benchmark. Your hand cannot total more than 21, but it’s entirely feasible to score 18 and still beat the dealer’s hand – particularly if the dealer busts.
Blackjack is a game between you and the dealer – no-one else. Although there may be other players at your table, all that matters is the value of your cards and the dealer’s.
Blackjack strategy cards are a ‘thing’
Many newcomers to the game of blackjack are unaware that there is a perfect way to play your hand in every scenario at the table. There are blackjack strategy cards available that teach players how best to play their hand depending on the dealer’s up card. It’s an excellent starting point for any beginner.
Better still, strategy cards aren’t frowned upon by brick-and-mortar casinos and you can obviously use them when playing online at home. Over time, these cards will help you think for yourself at the blackjack tables, as the strategy will become increasingly familiar. You’ll know the best hands to double down and split, as well as the best hands to surrender and cut your losses.
Not every blackjack table is the same
Last but by no means least, it’s important to beware that not every blackjack table you sit down at will abide by the same playing rules. There are a growing number of blackjack game variants, including blackjack switch, free bet blackjack and many more. Be sure you know what the dealer can and cannot hit or stand on before playing, and make sure you understand any new side bets before giving them a try.