Blackjack Basics

Here at Spin Palace we’re all about making sure you have the best online playing experience possible, which means we do more than bring you the finest games, we also show you exactly how they work.

Blackjack has been enjoyed since the 18th century, and is the worlds most played card game, beating even poker in the popularity stakes. It’s said that Blackjack is an easy game to play, but one that takes time, practice and strategy to master. At Spin Palace we provide the option of playing for free or for real money, giving you the chance to learn more about the game, test out strategies and refine your skill, all before you make a deposit.

To learn a little more before you try Blackjack for yourself, read our guidelines to the game below.

The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack’s predecessor was a game called Ving-et-Un, which means Twenty-One in French. Today, Blackjack is still often called Twenty-One, and the point of the game is still to get a hand total of 21, or as near as possible without going bust, and beating the dealer along the way.

When playing Blackjack online you’ll generally be playing against the dealer only, rather than against other players too. This makes the game faster than when enjoyed in a land based gaming venue, and increases your chances of winning as you can play more hands over a shorter period of time.

To kick off the game you’ll need to place a bet on your hand winning against the dealer’s before the cards are dealt. After your bet is in, you’ll be dealt 2 cards facedown, as will the Dealer, except one of his will face up, giving you an idea of what type of hand he may have.

After everyone has seen their cards, you can choose to draw another card, which in Blackjack is known as Hit, as you try reach your target of 21. If you want your hand to remain as is, you can Stand, and if you want to separate your hand into two as you have two cards the same, you can Split. After you’ve decided what you want to do, the Dealer has to take cards until reaching a hand total of at least 17. When everyone is Standing, all cards are revealed. The rules governing whether your hand or the Dealer’s wins are as follows:

• Both totals under 21: Higher hand wins
• Both totals over 21: House wins
• Tie below 21: Player keeps his bet
• Natural 21/ Natural Blackjack: Hand made up of a Royal and Ace Card. This wins the round automatically and yields the highest return in the game – a whopping 3:2!

In Blackjack the Jack, Queen and King are all worth 10 points each, whilst numbered cards represent their face value and the Ace can be either 1 or 11, depending on the other cards in your hand. The online casino software will calculate totals automatically, but if you want to use even the most basic of strategy, you’ll need to understand what each card is worth and how it could affect the outcome of the game.

Strategic Blackjack Refinements

Unlike slots or Roulette, Blackjack is one of the few casino games where using strategy can influence the outcome and increase your chances of a winning result. The use of strategy also allows for players to reduce the house edge successfully. Basic Blackjack strategy relies on a player knowing when to Hit or Stand and this is worked out in terms of probability, as there are a finite number of cards in the deck. If 4 of those cards are out of play, working out what is in the dealer’s hand and what the likelihood of receiving a specific card is, is a little bit easier.

Although there are numerous different styles of Blackjack, with over 40 different variants available online, the premise of the game and the strategies remain largely the same. Traditional variants include Atlantic City, European or Vegas Blackjack, whilst there are plenty more contemporary options to enjoy too. Blackjack tournaments, Live Dealer and progressive jackpot games are also readily available, and there are single and multi-hand options to suit all skills levels.

Developing your Blackjack strategy and game plan can be a lifelong journey, and one that you’ll enjoy from the very beginning. As you play more and discover the many online resources for helping you with your tactics, your insight, appreciation and your winnings will keep growing.

To start with, choose a simple version of the game; check out the strategy tables displaying the odds of every possible hand and what bets to place based on what you are dealt. From there, you can move on to more complex strategies, and after that, the sky’s the limit!