Play Blackjack for Free and Find the Best Real Money Blackjack Sites

You can also choose between three different styles for the deck of cards, and use toggles for sound, music and labels. To keep track the player starts at zero, adds one to the total every time a low card is played and subtracts one from the total when a high card is played. Once the bets are placed the dealer will move their hand across the table from their left to their right signalling that no further bets can be placed. Unfavorable Deck - a deck with remaining cards favoring the casino, not the player. The dealer will automatically give each card a second card. We thoroughly research each online blackjack casino to be sure it has the best graphics, highest payouts, great bonuses and is safe and secure for your protection.

Blackjack Terms, Jargon, and Slang

Introduction

The dealer's hand receives its first card face up, and in "hole card" games immediately receives its second card face down the hole card , which the dealer peeks at but does not reveal unless it makes the dealer's hand a blackjack. Hole card games are sometimes played on tables with a small mirror or electronic sensor that is used to peek securely at the hole card.

In European casinos, "no hole card" games are prevalent; the dealer's second card is neither drawn nor consulted until the players have all played their hands. Cards are dealt either from one or two handheld decks, from a dealer's shoe , or from a shuffling machine. Single cards are dealt to each wagered-on position clockwise from the dealer's left, followed by a single card to the dealer, followed by an additional card to each of the positions in play.

The players' initial cards may be dealt face up or face down more common in single-deck games. On their turn, players must choose whether to "hit" take a card , "stand" end their turn , "double" double wager, take a single card and finish , "split" if the two cards have the same value, separate them to make two hands or "surrender" give up a half-bet and retire from the game. Number cards count as their natural value; the jack, queen, and king also known as "face cards" or "pictures" count as 10; aces are valued as either 1 or 11 according to the player's choice.

If the hand value exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it are immediately forfeit. After all boxes have finished playing, the dealer's hand is resolved by drawing cards until the hand busts or achieves a value of 17 or higher a dealer total of 17 including an ace, or "soft 17", must be drawn to in some games and must stand in others.

The dealer never doubles, splits, or surrenders. If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands win. If the dealer does not bust, each remaining bet wins if its hand is higher than the dealer's, and loses if it is lower. If a player receives 21 on the 1st and 2nd card it is considered a "natural" or "blackjack" and the player is paid out immediately unless dealer also has a natural, in which case the hand ties.

In the case of a tied score, known as "push" or "standoff", bets are normally returned without adjustment; however, a blackjack beats any hand that is not a blackjack, even one with a value of Wins are paid out at 1: Many casinos today pay blackjacks at less than 3: Blackjack games almost always provide a side bet called insurance, which may be played when dealer's upcard is an ace.

Additional side bets, such as "Dealer Match" which pays when the player's cards match the dealer's up card, are sometimes available. After receiving an initial two cards, the player has up to four standard options: Each option has a corresponding hand signal. Some games give the player a fifth option, "surrender".

Hand signals are used to assist the " eye in the sky ", a person or video camera located above the table and sometimes concealed behind one-way glass. The eye in the sky usually makes a video recording of the table, which helps in resolving disputes and identifying dealer mistakes, and is also used to protect the casino against dealers who steal chips or players who cheat.

The recording can further be used to identify advantage players whose activities, while legal, make them undesirable customers. In the event of a disagreement between a player's hand signals and their words, the hand signal takes precedence. Each hand may normally "hit" as many times as desired so long as the total is not above hard On reaching 21 including soft 21 , the hand is normally required to stand; busting is an irrevocable loss and the players' wagers are immediately forfeited to the house.

After a bust or a stand, play proceeds to the next hand clockwise around the table. When the last hand has finished being played, the dealer reveals the hole card, and stands or draws further cards according to the rules of the game for dealer drawing. When the outcome of the dealer's hand is established, any hands with bets remaining on the table are resolved usually in counterclockwise order: If the dealer's upcard is an ace, the player is offered the option of taking "insurance" before the dealer checks the hole card.

Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack and is treated independently of the main wager. The idea is that the dealer's second card has a fairly high probability nearly one-third to be ten-valued, giving the dealer blackjack and disappointment for the player.

It is attractive although not necessarily wise for the player to insure against the possibility of a dealer blackjack by making a maximum "insurance" bet, in which case the "insurance proceeds" will make up for the concomitant loss on the original bet. The player may add up to half the value of their original bet to the insurance and these extra chips are placed on a portion of the table usually marked "Insurance pays 2 to 1".

Players with a blackjack may also take insurance, and in taking maximum insurance they commit themselves to winning an amount exactly equal to their main wager, regardless of the dealer's outcome. Fully insuring a blackjack against blackjack is thus referred to as "taking even money", and paid out immediately, before the dealer's hand is resolved; the players do not need to place more chips for the insurance wager.

Insurance bets are expected to lose money in the long run, because the dealer is likely to have blackjack less than one-third of the time. However the insurance outcome is strongly anti-correlated with that of the main wager, and if the player's priority is to reduce variation , they might choose to pay for this.

Furthermore, the insurance bet is susceptible to advantage play. It is advantageous to make an insurance bet whenever the hole card has more than a chance of one in three of being a ten. Advantage play techniques can sometimes identify such situations. In a multi-hand, face-up, single deck game, it is possible to establish whether insurance is a good bet simply by observing the other cards on the table after the deal; even if there are just 2 player hands exposed, and neither of their two initial cards is a ten, then 16 in 47 of the remaining cards are tens, which is larger than 1 in 3, so insurance is a good bet.

This is an elementary example of the family of advantage play techniques known as card counting. Bets to insure against blackjack are slightly less likely to be advantageous than insurance bets in general, since the ten in the player's blackjack makes it less likely that the dealer has blackjack too. The rules of casino blackjack are generally determined by law or regulation, which establishes certain rule variations allowed at the discretion of the casino.

The rules of any particular game are generally posted on or near the table, failing which there is an expectation that casino staff will provide them on request. Over variations of blackjack have been documented. As with all casino games, blackjack incorporates a "house edge", a statistical advantage for the casino that is built into the game. The advantage of the dealer's position in blackjack relative to the player comes from the fact that if the player busts, the player loses, regardless of whether the dealer subsequently busts.

The loss rate of players who deviate from basic strategy through ignorance is generally expected to be greater. Surrender, for those games that allow it, is usually not permitted against a dealer blackjack; if the dealer's first card is an ace or ten, the hole card is checked to make sure there is no blackjack before surrender is offered. This rule protocol is consequently known as "late" surrender. The alternative, "early" surrender, gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no-hole-card game.

Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Most medium-strength hands should be surrendered against a dealer Ace if the hole card has not been checked. For late surrender, however, while it is tempting to opt for surrender on any hand which will probably lose, the correct strategy is to only surrender on the very worst hands, because having even a one in four chance of winning the full bet is better than losing half the bet and pushing the other half, as entailed by surrendering.

With no hole card, it is almost never correct basic strategy to double or split against a dealer ten or ace, since a dealer blackjack will result in the loss of the split and double bets; the only exception is with a pair of A's against a dealer 10, where it is still correct to split. In all other cases, a stand, hit or surrender is called for. For instance, holding 11 against a dealer 10, the correct strategy is to double in a hole card game where the player knows the dealer's second card is not an ace , but to hit in a no hole card game.

The no hole card rule adds approximately 0. The "original bets only" rule variation appearing in certain no hole card games states that if the player's hand loses to a dealer blackjack, only the mandatory initial bet "original" is forfeited, and all optional bets, meaning doubles and splits, are pushed.

Each blackjack game has a basic strategy , which is playing a hand of any total value against any dealer's up-card, which loses the least money to the house in the long term. An example of basic strategy is shown in the table below, and includes the following parameters: The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations.

For example, if the above game used the hit on soft 17 rule, common in Las Vegas Strip casinos, only 6 cells of the table would need to be changed: A, surrender 15 or 17 vs. A, double on A,7 vs. Also when playing basic strategy never take insurance or "even money. Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size.

You can find information and advice on our Responsible Gambling page. It gives advice to UK players on the differences between the many different versions of Blackjack and where each of them can be played.

Blackjack is played with a standard international deck of cards with the Jokers removed, leaving 52 cards. Originally the game was played with a single deck.

However, as a counter measure to card counting , casinos introduced multi-deck games, based on the false assumption that if there were more cards in play it would be harder for the card counter to keep track of them all. As a result, Blackjack is now usually offered in either single deck, double deck, 4 deck, 6 deck or 8 deck variants.

It should be noted that there are exceptions in online casinos where far larger numbers of decks can be used than would be practical to manage offline. After the dealer has shuffled a player will be selected at random and asked to take the cut card — a coloured plastic card matching the playing cards in size — and place it at a random position within stack of cards.

The dealer will then move the cards above the cut card to the back of the stack. This technique is intended to demonstrate to the players that the dealer cannot have rigged the deck.

The cut card is then reinserted into the stack of cards by the dealer at a pre-defined position and when this card is reached this indicates the final deal of the game before the cards are shuffled. Where multiple decks are used, after the shuffle the cards will be placed into a dispenser called a shoe. This piece of equipment has two purposes: In fact hole carding is not illegal in the vast majority of jurisdictions.

If the dealer is poorly trained or sloppy enough to fail to protect their down card from being seen by a player at the table this is not the player's fault and the player is not obliged to look away to prevent themselves seeing the down card. If however the player uses any form of device, for instance a metal lighter to observe the reflection in, or an accomplice off table signals the information to them, this is cheating.

Hole carding is only legal where the player can see the card naturally from one of the player positions at the table. When playing Blackjack the numeral cards 2 to 10 have their face values, Jacks, Queens and Kings are valued at 10, and Aces can have a value of either 1 or The Ace is always valued at 11 unless that would result in the hand going over 21, in which case it is valued as 1.

A starting hand of a 10 valued card and an Ace is called a Blackjack or natural and beats all hands other than another Blackjack. If both the player and dealer have Blackjack, the result is a push tie: Each player sitting at the table places their desired bet in the betting circle directly in front of them. In most casinos if there are untaken betting circles, the players sitting at the table can choose to play more than one hand at a time.

The minimum and maximum bet size varies from casino to casino, generally with a ratio of 40 to between them. Once the bets are placed the dealer will move their hand across the table from their left to their right signalling that no further bets can be placed. The dealer then deals cards one at a time clockwise around the table, from the dealer's left to the dealer's right: In many places the dealer's first card is initially dealt face down.

The dealer's second card is used to flip the first card face up and then slid underneath the first card. The exact dealing protocol varies from place to place as determined by the casino management.

If the dealer has a 10 or an Ace face up players are offered the option to place an Insurance bet. If a player chooses to take insurance they place an additional bet equal to half of their original bet. This insurance bet wins if the dealer has Blackjack. The dealer now checks their down card to see if they have Blackjack. If they have Blackjack they expose their down card.

The round is concluded and all players lose their original bet unless they also have Blackjack. If a player and the dealer each have Blackjack the result is a push and the player's bet is returned. Any insurance bets are paid out at 2: If the dealer does not have Blackjack any insurance bets are lost and any players who have Blackjack are paid.

It is then the turn of the remaining players to take their actions. Starting with the player sitting furthest to dealer's left they have the following options:. The player can take this action after any of the other player actions as long as their hand total is not more than The hand signal to Stand is waving a flat hand over the cards.

Hit — If the player wishes to take another card they signal to the dealer to by scratching the felt beside their hand or pointing to their hand. A single card is then played face up onto their hand. If the hand total is less than 21 the player can choose to Hit again or Stand. If the total is 21 the hand automatically stands.

Double Down — If the player considers they have a favourable hand, generally a total of 9, 10 or 11, they can choose to 'Double Down'. To do this they place a second wager equal to their first beside their first wager. A player who doubles down receives exactly one more card face up and is then forced to stand regardless of the total.

This option is only available on the player's two-card starting hand. Some casinos will restrict which starting hand totals can be doubled.

Where the player chooses to do this the cards are separated and an additional card is dealt to complete each hand. If either hand receives a second card of matching rank the player may be offered the option to split again, though this depends on the rules in the casino. Generally the player is allowed a maximum of 4 hands after which no further splits are allowed. The split hands are played one at a time in the order in which they were dealt, from the dealer's left to the delaer's right.

The player has all the usual options: A player who splits Aces is usually only allowed to receive a single additional card on each hand. Normally players are allowed to split two non-matching value cards, for example a King and a Jack.

If Aces are split and the player draws a Ten or if Tens are split and the player draws an Ace, the resulting hand does not count as a Blackjack but only as an ordinary In this case the player's two-card 21 will push tie with dealer's 21 in three or more cards.

Surrender — Most casinos allow a player to surrender, taking back half their bet and giving up their hand. Surrender must be the player's first and only action on the hand. One of the reasons is because Blackjack has one of the best odds of winning and doesn't the strong house edge as other card games do. Practicing in Free play allows players to learn at their own pace and opens the virtual doors to a broad range of variations of this world famous game.

Each Blackjack game is thoroughly reviewed and includes the special features for every game. Players are automatically loaded up with generous credit balance to get started.

Chips values vary depending on the type of game chosen. Table Limits are clearly visible for minimum and maximum bets per hand. Play Blackjack for Free and discover your favorites and see for yourself how exciting counting to 21 can be!

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