Want to play a casino game that lets you be in charge? Then blackjack is your game. Compared to many other casino games, there is a fair amount of skill involved in blackjack. That makes it an appealing game for may people. Before you can start playing, you need a top casino site offering Blackjack. Below we list some of our UK top casinos for blackjack and some strategy tips to help you win. New to blackjack? You will also find a beginner’s guide sharing the game’s most important rules and information.
The birth of Blackjack
What is it that makes Blackjack such a loved game? I’d say there are 3 aspects to it. One, the social part of standing around the table with your friends. Second, it’s relatively easy to play the game so you can relax. Third, it’s the game that sparks the imagination because it’s one of the only casino games based on skill and not on luck.
There is much debate as to where and who created Blackjack, but it seems to go back to France. Here it was invented in the casinos around 1700. Different versions of the game were created in earlier years, but none of them as popular as the French invented it. Back then it was called Vingt-Et-un, which means 21. The game traveled to the United States by way of the European immigration in the 1800s. That was the beginning of what is today’s most renowned casino game. In 1931, gambling became legal in Nevada and thus Blackjack could gain more ground easily. Nowadays, it’s not just a prominent casino game but it’s also played online by players around the world. Online casinos offer different variations of blackjack, it’s a game that keeps evolving for centuries and that will continue to do so.
The popularity of Blackjack
The popularity of playing Blackjack in online casinos has been such that the makers of the game and software keep coming up with improved versions. Not only do the graphics of the game keep on getting better, but you can also comfortably play it from your phone. But that’s not the only thing, perhaps more importantly is that online casinos have come up with a live version Blackjack. That means that you get the charm and thrill from playing in a real casino from the comfort of your couch.
How to play Blackjack?
Like I mentioned above, Blackjack comes in different versions and therefore the rules and process of each will vary slightly. But today we’ll only get into the most known one of the Blackjack games. This game is played with a 6-deck or 8-deck “shoe”. That’s a funny word for the device you’ll see on the blackjack table that spits out the cards. Blackjack, like most other casino games, comes with a very specific order of the game. Beginning, play, and end. Below we’ll write out in a concise manner what the different steps are.
Blackjack uses the standard pack of 52 cards, but in most cases, a total of 312 cards is used (a 6 deck game). Beating the dealer is objective of the game, you do so by getting as close to 21 as possible without exceeding that number. That means that the most valuable cards you can receive when the game begins are a combination that gets you 21. The ace gives you the freedom to add the meaning of either 1 or 11. Face cards count for 10. Players now place their bet, which he should do by laying out chips on the table. You can place bets from as little as 2 or 5 dollars to a maximum of 500. The dealer will shuffle the cards at the right time, which he is reminded of by the plastic card he’ll find in the set.
The most elementary of all: in the order to play Blackjack you’ll need to buy chips to take part in the game. After you’ve done so, you place a wager. In order to start the Blackjack game, each player receives 2 cards. Players receive these cards face up and the dealer keeps one card in hand which is face down and one with the face-up. The one which is face down is called the hole card. The ultimate value you could receive at this first deal is an ace with a 10 point card. The odds aren’t large, but it’s definitely possible.
The dealer is called ‘the house’ and like usually with casino games, the house has a slight advantage in comparison to the player. In blackjack that happens through several rules that are in favor of the dealer, for example, the fact that the player always has to act before the dealer.
The game gets interesting at the moment where the players have to decide whether they’ll “stand” (which means not asking for another card) or “hit”. The latter word, “hit” means to be asking for another card in the hope of getting closer to the count of 21. To summarize, a player may stand on his 2 cards or ask for more cards. But caution is needed, this amount needs to stay under 21. If the amount on the cards exceeds 21, you’ll lose and you’ll see the dealer collecting your bet.
Blackjack is a game of skill, not luck. That’s why learning the basic skills and tactics of the game is essential before you start playing. Part of understanding the basics is understanding the different combinations Blackjack has.
Like I briefly mentioned above, the highest value you can have in Blackjack is if the first 2 cards you receive are an ace and a 10 card (this could be a picture or the number 10). This combination comes to an exact amount of 21 and this is what we call a “natural”. You’ll get paid out on the spot if you have a natural and the dealer doesn’t. The exact amount you’ll get is 1.5 the amount of the bet you’ve placed. In case it’s the other way around, when the dealer has a natural and none of the players has one, he’ll immediately collect the bets of everyone. In the case that both the player and the deal have naturals, you’ll find yourself in an even situation where the player takes back his chips.
Split pairs and Double
Your most ideal situation is hitting a Natural combination, but not bad either is so-called ‘Splitting pairs’. This means that if you have two cards from the same ‘range’, you can treat these as two separate hands. Similar cards would be two sixes or two jacks. Now you’ll be playing with two separate hands, but do keep in mind that when you split you are required to place another bet of the same value. In the case your two similar cards are two aces, you only receive on a card. Last but not least there is the option of doubling down. You can do this when the cards you’ve been dealt are a total of 9, 10 or 11.
In blackjack, your main objective is to beat the dealer. To achieve that objective, there is an actual mathematically proven strategy to do so. This is called the Basic Strategy and it’s essential if you want to guarantee steady wins while playing Blackjack. Over the years this Basic Strategy has continuously been refined. Computer simulations have helped to create the perfect flawless tactic. The experts say that if you 100% follow this strategy, it’s in your power to reduce the house edge to 0.5%.
The Basic Strategy is a chart telling you exactly what move to make. It bases itself on the first 2 cards you get in comparison to the dealer’s card. This basic chart is handy, but it only covers decisions to make based on the first 2 cards. So as you can imagine, its power is limited. Therefore you also need to learn exactly what to do afterward.
The aim of using the basic strategy obviously is to win. But it’s not just for that purpose that you’ll benefit from using the chart. Other than maximizing your winnings, you also reduce your chance of busting. Or in some instances minimize losses. It’s a fact that when playing any casino game, the house will always have a slight advantage over you. Otherwise, they would be out of business pretty soon. We won’t explain the technicalities of the chart here, but it’s worth doing your own research to get a better understanding.
Live dealer blackjack
Want the live-action of blackjack from the comfort of your home? Then you will like playing live dealer blackjack. A blackjack casino site needs to be backed by seamless software. It’s only that way that you get to experience the game in high quality. Why is that important? Because you will be dealing with the dealer and the other players, and you need the software to be reliable and great quality. Live dealer rooms let you chat with other players while at the same time keeping an eye on the action. Most live blackjack sites offer a variety of tables, some of which are low-stake, high-stake or even VIP. It really depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to spend.
Mobile blackjack sites
If you want to play blackjack on your mobile phone, that’s totally possible. All you need is a reliable, fast internet connection and great blackjack site that is optimised for their mobile users. Luckily most UK casino sites have a good mobile casino to play games like blackjack. The quality on your desktop vs. mobile phone is the same, the only difference being that your mobile likely has a smaller screen.
Although most sites have a perfectly optimised site for mobile browsers, some players favor apps. Graphics of games often are superior on an app versus a mobile phone. They usually also run faster than playing games on your browser. If you choose to download the app, you can easily do so in the Apple or Google Play store. If you put on the notifications, they might also send you a nice bonus deal or promotion every once in a while.
New blackjack casinos
Blackjack is one of the classic casino games, which means that you can play this game on almost every casino site. It’s true, however, that new casinos usually have the most up to date software. That means if you were to play a game of blackjack on your phone, one of the newer UK casinos is a great choice. You might also consider playing blackjack at several different casinos because when you sign up for an account, you are given a nice bonus. The blackjack sites we feature here on British-casinos.co.uk are a good mix of new options and older UK sites. What they have in common is not just a good selection of blackjack games, but also an optimized mobile phone experience.
Free blackjack games
If you aren’t too familiar with blackjack and would like to give it try, one of the free blackjack games is a good place to start. The UK casinos we feature on this site offer a selection of free games to play. Whether it’s a new video slot or table games like roulette or blackjack, you can usually find a free game. These games allow you to learn how the game works and maybe work on your strategy. Because you don’t need to deposit money to play these games, you also can’t win money. What do you have to do to play games for free? Sign up for an account at the casino of your choice and then you can start, no deposit required.
Blackjack software developers
Blackjack being a traditional casino game, you might wonder, why is it important which developers are the best? The way any game is ‘developed’ has a lot of influence on the way you experience the game. Simply put, if the developer makes an excellent game you have a seamless playing experience! So for blackjack, which developers, in particular, stand out?
NetEnt is one of the most important casino developers out there. They’re known for cutting-edge technology and always implementing the latest technology innovations in their games. Why is this important for a game of blackjack? In particular, if you’re looking to play live blackjack, you need the fastest and best technology. When you play blackjack at a NetEnt casino you can be sure to have great playing experience.
Casino developer Evolution Gaming might be best known for its edgy, innovative video slots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also cater to a great blackjack experience. On the Evolution platform, you can find a good variety of low and high-stake games, VIP tables, live options and more. They also have some interesting twists on blackjack, for example, a so-called blackjack party, which basically is a festive atmosphere to play in. You know, in case you want to change things up a little!
Playtech likes to spice up a classic game, which you can see if you look at their blackjack assortment. Aside from classic options, they offer some interesting variations. One popular concept is the one of Buster Blackjack, which lets you win from a side bet if the dealer goes bust. They also have a solid live dealer assortment, although not as big as for example NetEnt.
It’s long been clear that Microgaming software is almost unbeatable. They offer games backed with lightning-fast technology, which is particularly important if you want to play a game of live blackjack. What else does Microgaming have to offer in terms of blackjack? They have a good number of alternative blackjack titles, for example, Atlantic City Blackjack. This is a fun little change-up because it lets you place an insurance bet if the dealer’s first card is an ace. Many players, including myself, appreciate it when a casino offers