Online Blackjack is very similar to its land based counterpart, which is played in casinos around the world. There are a few important exceptions, however: the "shoe", or device that holds cards to be dealt, is electronic, which means there is no stoppage for shuffling; some online casinos have different rules concerning how "Blackjacks" or "naturals" are paid out; and finally, table limits for online casinos are typically lower than land based tables, although for high rollers, the house can make special provisions if necessary.
As with land based blackjack, knowing basic strategy is absolutely paramount. Online casino blackjack moves much faster, and in many cases it is only you against the dealer. As a result, you don’t get to see as many cards as a land based game where there might be up to 7 players at a table. Instead, cards are rapidly dealt to you and the dealer, and the show down takes place after that.
Since online blackjack is "fast", we recommend that you take is slow. Buy in with $100, and play $5 bets. This gives you 20 hands, and if necessary, funds to double down or split your pairs. If you lose you first $100, drop down a notch to an $50 buy in, and play $1 hands instead. Increase your bets if your bankroll increases. Don’t play with scared money.
Also, be sure to note the specific payouts and game rules at the online casino for blackjack. Some will offer a variety of games, for example: "Super 21", "Vegas strip Blackjack", "Spanish (or Rummy)", or "Atlantic City down town". Some versions, which feature progressive jackpots for special hands (i.e 7-7-7 off suit or 7-7-7 of same suit) require a separate ante/bet in order to qualify for the jackpot. We recommend ignoring these bets. It actually decreases your odds of winning over the long run if you have to bet more of bankroll each hand. Also, observe policies regarding payouts for "naturals" or blackjacks. Some casinos, especially those offering "Spanish 21" game, will pay out immediately for 21, but remember in this version of the game all the "Pip 10" (non-face 10 value cards) are removed. In other games, if you make 21 on the deal, you have to wait to see if the dealer has 21 before getting paid. In this case, if you tie, you get nothing.
Insurance betting is also considered a bit of a sucker’s bet. In some cases, it may be a wise move if the dealer is showing an Ace and little or no face cards can be seen on the table. This means that the probability that the dealer has a face card is slightly higher. Aside from this exception, don’t waste your time with insurance bets. Insurance betting requires up to 50% of your first bet, and if you lose the insurance bet but win your regular hand, you only break even. The other possibility is worse: if you lose your insurance bet and your regular bet, you wind up losing an extra 50% to the house!
Know basic strategy – it is by far the best way to gain an edge in the game. The following is a great chart to use as reference.
H=Hit, S=Stand, SPL=Split, Y=Surrender, D=Double Down
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