Blackjack: A Game By Many Names
It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games in the world, and is one that you should be able to quickly and easily find at any reputable land-based or online and mobile casino. It’s easy to get the hang of, but a challenge to master. It’s none other than blackjack, which goes by many names in different countries, and is also commonly known simply as ‘21’. This classic casino game is one that is renowned the world over, and while some say winning the game is all about luck, others will argue that it’s a game of skill. Either way, the winning potential of this game is phenomenal, and all it really takes it getting a better hand than the dealer, and hitting as close to 21 as possible. When we scoured the worldwide web for the best online casinos NZ has to offer, we found a number of versions of blackjack, each one a beauty to behold, created by names like Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and more. Whichever one (or more) you choose to go with, the few tips we have over here for you could come in handy.
Beat the Dealer
At its heart, the point of blackjack is, as we have already mentioned, to beat the dealer and get a hand that is as close to 21 (but not over) as possible. One common variation of the game sees an extra deck being used so as to prevent players from ‘counting cards’ and trying to trick the game. In a standard game, the cards numbered from 2 to 10 are worth their designated values, while the King, Queen and Jack are all worth 10, with the Ace being worth either 11 or 1. The Ace’s value is determined by what works best with the rest of the hand to create the most favourable result.
To start off every game of blackjack online or in land-based casino, you need to place your bet. Once you’ve placed your bet using casino chips, the dealer will deal himself a single card (or two, depending on the version of the game you’re playing) and the same for you. Depending on the total value of your cards, you can decide whether to ‘hit’ (get another card) or ‘stand’, which will see the dealer giving himself another card. This is where you have to do some thinking: if the total of your cards is a long way from 21, it’s a good idea to hit. If you’re quite close to the desired total and don’t want to take a chance, you stand. Simply put, whoever’s total is closest to 21, wins. A standard rule in blackjack is for the dealer to stand the moment his total is equal to or above 17.
In many variations of blackjack you can also opt to ‘double down’ and double your stakes while getting dealt another card, or ‘split’ if you’re holding a pair of same-value cards. Splitting involves dividing your hands into 2 new hands of 1 card each, and then getting an additional card dealt to each new hand. The blend of chance and strategy is what makes blackjack so intriguing, what has fascinated players for hundreds of years and what still captivates them at casinos online. You can’t do anything about the cards that you are dealt, but you can decide what move you want to make once you’ve seen them.
Another important rule is that, if the dealer’s first card is an Ace, you have the option of taking ‘insurance’. This is essentially a bet that his or her next card will have a value of 10 and, ultimately, complete a perfect score of 21. Taking insurance on half of your bet means you will still break even, even if the dealer wins. Once you’re satisfied with your cards and have elected to stand, the round ends and your hand is compared with the dealer’s. If either you or the dealer holds a total of 21 exactly, it’s known as ‘blackjack’ and wins immediately. If you’re lucky enough to land blackjack online, you get an incredible payout of 3:2!
If no one is holding blackjack, you can still beat the dealer and win a 1:1 return in 1 of 2 ways if your total is under 21. In this case, the dealer’s hand must add up to more than 21, or less than whatever your hand is worth. If you play your cards right – pardon the pun – you can get the blackjack house edge at your favourite online casino down to 1% or even less.
Any online casino that’s worth signing up for will have blackjack in its repertoire, and probably a fair number of versions at that. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t stress. We’ve done the hard work for you and found some of the best online casinos NZ has to offer, each of which is jam-packed with various games like online pokies, table games such as blackjack and much, much more. Give one (or more) a go, and try your hand at beating the dealer in the classic game of blackjack, today.