Play against the Dealer’s Hand
The next question you are probably wondering is how you play against the dealer’s hand. That is definitely not an easy one, but with our help, you will probably find out quite a few interesting things about how defeating the dealer in an informed and smart way is always an option. Whether you are learning how to play blackjack online for money or want to defeat the casino in person, these pieces of advice will apply.
Learn the Ropes of Blackjack
So, what do you need to do here? It’s all very simple. You need to follow the basic blackjack strategy, optimised mathematically to help you achieve the best results over time. This strategy has been devised by people with the help of computers over a million simulated plays, making it very easy to predict optimal paths and routes to great gameplay. If you choose to follow a basic strategy, you will eliminate the guesswork from your decision-making process.
How Are Hands Settled?
If you stick to a basic strategy and play your hand based on one of the options provided to you in this strategy, there will be one of three things happening.
- Stand Right After You Are Dealt Cards – The strategy may spot that your hand is already strong enough, and there is no need to take any further action.
- You Have Formed a Hand Successfully – Because your hand needs some work, you have decided to play something right away, whether this is hit, split or double down.
- The Player Hand Has Busted – The last option is probably the least favourable one, but it happens. You may have just busted your hand or have been forced out of play because you know your hand is weak, and the best route to follow here is to surrender. Now, there are some things to note in the dealer’s behaviour and etiquette as well.
Right, so now it’s time to take what the dealer has to say. When you learn how to play casino blackjack, you will probably want to know what to expect from the dealer. So, if the dealer has 17 or higher, they won’t take any action. This is an important tell-tale sign to look out for. After all, if the dealer isn’t making a move, you should be vigilant about what to expect next. However, there is something else here. The dealer may choose to hit, which means they have a hand strength that is lower than 17, meaning 16 or lower. So, where does this put you then? With the information you have collected, you can adequately respond to the dealer yourself. Not only that, but you would also get to react. Remember, a dealer may not split or double down, nor surrender, as it turns out. However, keep in mind that the dealer may have a soft 17 and hit, which will vary on the casino. As you learn how to play 21 at casino, you will hear about soft hands. Those are the ones that contain an ace. An ace can be either a 1 or an 11, which makes it hard to predict on occasion. Remember, however challenging the cards or hands you are playing against; the dealers are not allowed to deviate from the rules that the casino sets for them, giving you a powerful formula for success.
Payouts Follow with Winners Collecting Their Share
So, from this point in, either of two things may happen to the dealer, and they are both perfectly normal and expected. The dealer may bust or form a hand. Let’s take a closer look.
- Should the dealer bust, it means that you immediately collect your money. Dealers simply do not bust too often, so keep this in mind.
- If the dealer forms a hand successfully,the game will then proceed to the well-established sequence. Here, you will have to decide how to outsmart the dealer, or rather - find out what the dealer is most likely holding. Since dealers do not bluff, it’s best to play to mathematically optimised strategies instead. Whoever has the higher card will simply win - simple as that.
When the cards are revealed and results are announced, the winners will collect their share, and a new round may begin. You may quit the game whenever you want and rejoin at any point after, provided there are enough free spots, and you meet the minimum buy-in requirement.
Different Versions of Blackjack
When you play blackjack online for money, you may notice that blackjack classic is not the only variation out there. As it turns out, there are many other variants you would want to try. Thankfully, some tutorials will make this process so much simpler for you. Still, we have decided to guide you through some of the more popular variations out there.
Doubling After Splitting (DAS)
In this version of the game, you can simply double down after you split. It’s that simple. Some casinos will allow DAS while others will not. The bottom line is that DAS is very advantageous, and the player definitely stands to benefit from that rule.
Re-Splitting Aces (RSA)
In this version of the game, you get to enjoy a mechanic known as splitting and re-splitting your aces. Essentially, you will be allowed to re-split your aces if you have already split a pair of aces. This means that you stand to play with up to four hands, giving you a very serious advantage in terms of the total information you have. Keep in mind that when you learn how to play blackjack and win, some scenarios may prove rather challenging. Playing with four hands at the same time is one of those. Remember that you cannot double after you have split an ace or take additional cards. Since the aces are quite powerful, you are already running a very big chance of hitting 21 anyway.
6 to 5 Blackjacks
When you play online blackjack for real money or attend a live casino, it may be best if you avoid the 6:5 blackjack tables. Here, the blackjack payout has been adjusted to 6:5 instead of the traditional 3:2, which is clearly to the detriment of players and doesn’t add much value to your regular gameplay.
When you learn how to play blackjack casino, you will hear about a rule known as “early surrender.” However, finding a game with this rule may prove a little challenging! As it turns out, early surrender has not been a part of blackjack since the 70s in the United States. The rule essentially allowed you to give in before the dealer checks for blackjack, but over the years, players and casinos have not found much merit in this rule, and it just fell out of play.
Alright, so you may find yourself playing a game where the cards are constantly shuffled, and we do mean all the time. This means that these casino shuffling machines will constantly shuffle the cards in the shoe as they are being dealt out, offering the “maximum level of randomness” and minimising any chance whatsoever to count cards. Players who learn how to play 21 cards blackjack often ask if they can count cards at land-based casinos, and the answer is yes, they can, but not when a CSM machine is involved for the obvious reasons.
Deck/Shoe Penetration (PEN)
This is a rather interesting concept that you would probably want to know if you want to learn how to play 21 blackjack yourself. The PEN refers to the number of cards that get played. All shoes have a cut-off card that is usually at least halfway across the deck. However, most casinos will try to keep the cut-off card a little deeper into the decks. This way, the odds of card counting are further reduced, even though an expert card counter can still make the most out of it. The dealer will get the cut-off card as a signal that the deck is running out at the rates set by the casino, and it’s time to reshuffle it all once again.
Single Deck versus Multi-deck
As you learn how to play blackjack in casino, you will often ask yourself some important questions. Which one is better, for one? Is it the single-deck or multi-deck blackjack? The majority of players will tell you that it’s the single deck, but there is another issue. Even if you can do one thing in one single deck game of blackjack, you may not be allowed to do it in another. What this means is that each title is unique. Multi-deck blackjack games, for example, are the golden standard, which means that you will find most of those.
Games That Do Masquerade as Blackjack
There is no doubt that blackjack is quite the popular game in the United States and beyond. Many people are trying to get the best of the house by counting cards. Finding out how to play black jack is a fun process, as you would get to study not just the rules but also find out how to beat the dealer. Listen, the blackjack nomenclature can be a little overwhelming - but just a little overwhelming at first. Anyway, learning the game and mastering how to beat the casino is not that difficult. However, trying to apply what you know about blackjack to one of the game’s doppelgängers could be a little counter-intuitive. Here are some games we would recommend avoiding in favour of the original.
Super Fun 21
For those of you looking for a single-deck blackjack game, you might be thinking about Super Fun 21. However, this game is a bit of a pretence, and we think you would be much better avoiding it altogether. You can surrender on any number of cards and double on any number of cards. While this sounds great, there is a downside to it - blackjacks pay even money, that is 1:1, which is not ideal as the best payout ratio you are looking for is 3:2, and without that, there is not much benefit to playing this game, to begin with.
Free Bet Blackjack
This is a cool version of the game; we will be the first to admit that. Imagine you had a free bet you can take and still get the payout as if you had staked your own money? This sounds like a gift from all-high, but it isn’t when you consider that in exchange for this seductive gift, the casino would simply allow the dealer to now go to 22 instead of 21. If the dealer hits 22, the bets are considered a push which can quickly deprive you of a victory. Better to avoid this game when you are learning how to play blackjack online for real money. It won’t teach you any lessons worth remembering!
Alright, so next on our list, we have Spanish 21, which is another iteration of blackjack - well, almost. The way this game works is very close to blackjack. It pays out 3:2 on blackjack, and it lets you re-double (that is, double down after you have already doubled once). This makes the versions such a tempting thing to try by yourself, and it should be had it not been for the fact that all the 10s are missing from the shoe. Without the tens, the whole thing is thrown out of whack, and you would definitely not try this version unless you approach it with a specific goal in mind. Even then, you ought to know that without the 10s you are in a very difficult situation indeed and we would recommend avoiding it altogether!
As you learn how to play 21 blackjack at the casino, you will definitely come across Blackjack Switch. This version allows you to switch cards between your split hands. Now, if you have played the game long enough, you have had many situations where you thought to yourself - if only I could transfer this card to the left and that one to the right. Yeah, that’s cool, but the downside is that the dealer gets a leeway all the way up to 22 points. Once again, the bets will be considered a push even if the dealer busts, so you got to probably avoid this one. It’s our honest opinion that you are better off focusing on the proven versions of blackjack rather than looking for some weird alternative.