Blackjack is the most popular casino card playing game in the world. Thus, it comes as no surprise that players have gravitated toward playing their favorite gambling card game online. Many online casinos now include blackjack among the array of casino-style games they offer.
Brick-and-mortar casinos face stiff competition from the online blackjack industries as many people see the benefits of playing their favorite card game online. The rules of online blackjack are relatively the same as playing blackjack in a casino. There are several innate differences and ways to approach playing online blackjack that differ from traditional style blackjack.
Blackjack is a comparative card game pitting the player against the dealer. Therefore, players at the table are not competing against one another, but playing against the cards the dealer is dealt. Blackjack is played with one or more deck of fifty-two cards. Each card is given a point value. The point value is determined by the number or face of the card. The suit of the card is not relevant when determining the point value. The number of the card signifies the point value of the card. For example, a two is worth 2 points; a seven is worth 7 points, and so on. The jack, queen, and king are each worth 10, respectively. The ace can either be worth a single point or 11 points, whichever is more beneficial to the current hand that a player has been dealt. This applies to both traditional blackjack and online blackjack. The object of the game is to beat the dealer. This can be achieved a few different ways:
The first way is to get dealt two cards that add up to 21 points. This is called blackjack. This hand is where the game derives its name. To get 21 points, the card combination must be an ace and a face card.
The second way is to reach a final score that is higher than the dealer’s final score without exceeding 21.
The final way is to let the dealer draw additional cards until his or her hand exceeds 21, while the player’s hand remains less than 21.
To start the game, the player or players are dealt an initial two-card hand and add together the value of their cards. Once the player has received his or her cards, he or she will most likely either “hit” or “stay”. When a player hits, he or she is dealt another card. The point value of that card is added to the combined point value of the original two cards. The goal is to get to 21 without going over. In blackjack terms, going over 21 is referred to as “going bust”. The dealer does not have the same options as the player. The dealer has to take hits until the value of his or her cards total 17 or more points. Thus, players win if they do not bust and have a total that is higher than the dealer’s.
All of these rules apply to both traditional and online blackjack. At the same time, traditional and online blackjack differ when it comes to strategy. In traditional blackjack, although frowned up and often banned by casinos, card counting strategies can be implemented to improve a player’s edge over the house. Card counting refers to any system that keeps track of the cards that have been dealt to better predict what subsequently dealt cards will be. Betting strategies and varying wagers accompany card counting as well. In online blackjack though, card counting is not possible. This is because the online dealer isn’t actually handling cards and isn’t collecting the discarded cards as play progresses. Instead of cards being collected as they are discarded, the program reshuffles them back into the virtual deck. The fact that the cards are reshuffled means that you can’t count cards, one of the innate differences of online blackjack.
The inability to count cards does not mean that statistical strategy cannot be applied to online blackjack the same way it is applied in a traditional setting. This type of strategy takes into consideration the mathematical probability of every outcome for every combination of cards a player is dealt. This type of strategy is of too comprehensive a scope to be covered in a single article, but online gambling resources and many blackjack books offer charts showing what option to choose in any given scenario. Armed with a sound strategy, a player can limit the magnitude of an edge the house over him or her. Keep in mind, though, that the house does, in fact, have an edge, and the longer you keep playing the greater the chance the house will come out on top.