Common Questions About Online Blackjack Games
Few casino games are as iconic as blackjack, and mobile blackjack gaming makes it one of the most accessible online options available. If you fancy loading up some action on your smartphone, check out our mobile blackjack gaming guide before trying to bring the house down.
How to Play Blackjack Online
Firstly, you need a mobile phone. You then need to sign up to an online casino venue such Paddy Power, William Hill or Leo Vegas. If you review your options wisely, you should be able to grab a nice stash of bonus cash to play enough rounds to get to grips with the basics, hopefully bank some winnings and decide if it's a joint you want to stick with.
Once you've loaded up a table and placed a wager, your goal is to beat the dealer by trumping the value of the house's hand. In essence, your aim is to form a hand with a value as close to 21 as you can. The risk comes in the form of your hand being beaten by the dealer's, or by busting (going over 21). Let's look at the rules of the game in more detail.
Understanding Blackjack Rules
To start a round, you put a bet on the table – for example, 1.00 per hand. The house deals you two cards and also deals themselves a hand. If there are multiple players, the dealer hands out the cards from left to right. As mentioned earlier, the aim is to achieve a hand score as close to 21 as possible – with 21 being 'blackjack'. You win, draw or lose the game by playing your hand against the dealer's.
The blackjack deal
Your cards are dealt face-up, with the dealer's first card visible. If the house's face-up card is an Ace, you have the option to take an insurance bet of half your wager, against their possible blackjack. If the dealer does have a blackjack hand, then you lose your original bet, but get a payout of 1:1 from the insurance.
Based on your initial two-card hand, you can choose to take another card ('Hit') or hold your hand ('Stand’). Strategy dictates that you should generally stand when the point value of your hand is in the range of 16 to 21. The risk of busting out is too high. Equally, if you hold 11 or less, hitting is recommended. You can hit multiple times, with a close eye on the dealer's up card to guide your decisions.
Once every player has decided to take a stand (or busted), the dealer shows his whole hand by flipping his second card face-up. One key feature is that the blackjack dealer has to draw until they have a hand worth 17 or higher. While this can lead to a high-scoring hand for the house, it also raises the risk of busting by going over 21.
If your score beats the dealer's, then you get paid out at 1:1, but lose the round if the dealer has a higher-value hand. If the dealer busts, you also win the round with the same payout awarded. If you get dealt a blackjack hand, then you get paid out 3:2. The round is voided if you and the dealer both have a blackjack. If you and the dealer end up with the same score (not blackjacks), then this is a ‘push’ and you receive your wager back.
Before hitting the table, it's vital to know the value of cards in the game. Cards of any suit from two to 10 are simply worth the number on the card – so a two of diamonds or clubs has a value of 'two'. Jack, Queen and King have a value of 10. Finally, the Ace can have a value of either one or 11, depending on your hand combination – creating 'soft' or 'hard' hands. This last concept is very important when it comes to understanding blackjack strategy:
- Soft hands | This is any two-card combination that features an Ace (like Ace and Two for a 'Soft 13'). You can't bust on a soft hand in one hit, you can only improve your score. You choose to use the Ace as a one or 11.
- Hard hands | This is a two-card deal that doesn't contain an Ace (such as a two and 10 for a 'Hard 12'). Unless the total is very low, hitting on a hard hand runs the risk of busting.
Extra key features
Two exciting features of blackjack add variety, excitement and potentially bigger rewards to mobile blackjack:
- Double down | After the initial deal, you can double your original wager. You then get to hit one card, before standing.
- Splitting | Most blackjack games let you split a dealt pair into two separate cards and bets. You then receive another card for each hand before playing through the round.
To play strategically to reduce the house edge, simply find a basic blackjack strategy chart. This will help guide you to make professional-style moves, by cross-analysing your hand versus the dealer's.
Finding the Best Blackjack Casinos
There are a stack of high-quality options when it comes to finding the best mobile blackjack casinos – including PartyCasino, Leo Vegas, New Bet, Casumo and Casino Cruise. In addition, the big bookmaking names such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power can all be trusted to deliver quality to whatever tech you're playing on.
How to Choose Online Blackjack Sites
All the leading blackjack websites offer generous signup bonuses and free-play options, so it's risk-free to take a few for a test-run. These bonuses and promotions are always worth looking out for, especially if you have a handful of sites you know you enjoy playing at already.
Best Online Blackjack Games
There are a wide variety of blackjack variations in online casinos. For example, classic blackjack is played with one to eight decks and delivers authentic 21 gaming, while progressive blackjack contains an element of increased risk and reward with the stakes raised in pursuit of progressive payouts. If you're looking to bring the excitement of land based casinos to your computer or smartphone, live blackjack with real dealers is the way to go.
European blackjack has a twist in the deal. The dealer's second card is only revealed when the player has chosen how to play their hand, and you can double down on hand totals of 9, 10 and 11. Other top online blackjack games include Spanish 21, Blackjack switch, Vegas strip blackjack and Pontoon. It's advisable to start with classic or European blackjack, master the basic strategy and then delve into the more exotic options.