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Online Blackjack - Twenty-one, Vingt-et-un, Pontoon


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The object in Blackjack is to get a higher number of points than the bank without going over 21 (Blackjack). Each card is assigned a point value corresponding to its number, with the exception of face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) and Aces (Ace: Either one point or 11 points, up to the player; Face Cards: 10 points). You receive two cards,  the bank a single open card. Once all players have been dealt their desired number of cards, the banker receives cards until he or she reaches a total card value of 17 or more.

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Blackjack, the most widely-played card game in the world, is played with six packs of standard cards consisting of 52 cards each (a total of 312 cards). In live casinos the dealer traditionally sits behind a table in the form of a half circle surrounded by up to seven players (Pointeure). The house edge in Blackjack is relatively low in comparison with other online games. For optimal playing strategies it only amounts to approximately 0.475%. In contrast, the house edge in European Roulette is around 1.35% and in even higher in American Roulette with 2 x Zero.

Gameplay

First, participants place their bets on the table. Nearly all online casinos set minimum and maximum betting limits, typically between $ 1 and $ 500. Afterwards, each player is dealt a card face up. Then each player receives a second card, with the exception of the bank. The first player to the left of the dealer can request more cards with the words “card” or “hit” until he or she decides their score has come close enough to 21. Players can also increase their bets by using options such as insurance, double and split (see below). By saying no cards, rest or stay, players indicate they do not wish to receive any more cards and the next player has their turn. If a player receives a card which increases their total amount of points to above the maximum, they are automatically eliminated (bust). When all the players have their cards, the dealer is dealt a second card. If the dealer has a total of 16 points or less, he or she must draw another card. However, with 17 or more points the dealer must stand. For the dealer, Aces always count as 11 points. You win if:

  1. The bank overdraws (meaning the dealer’s points amount to more than 21).
  2. You draw more points than the bank and your opponents while remaining under 21.

In both cases you receive winnings worth as much as you bet (odds of 1:1 or “even money”). If you held a Blackjack in your hand and the dealer didn’t, you are paid out 3:2. If both you and the bank have a Blackjack (a situation known as a “stand off,” “push,” “tie,” “en cartes” or “égalité”), you receive your bet paid back out but no winnings.

Insurance

If the dealer’s first card is an Ace, you have the opportunity to enter into a side bet on the dealer receiving a Blackjack (“insurance”). To do so, you just need to place the corresponding bet on the “insurance line” on the table. If the dealer receives a blackjack, your insurance bet is paid out 2:1. If no Blackjack is made, your bet is lost. Our tip: never make insurance bets unless you can count cards! The casino always has an advantage.

Double

Once a player has received their first two cards, he or she may double their bet and receive exactly one final card. Attention: At some online Blackjack tables, doubling is only allowed if the total value of the first two cards is 9, 10 or 11 points.

Split

If your first two cards have the same point value, the hand can be split. In this case, the bet is also doubled and for every split hand, the value of the original bet must be placed again. Afterwards you can play each hand separately. The only special case is if you receive two aces. If this occurs, you may only receive one more card for each ace. If the next card or card is also an ace, you may receive yet another card. If you receive a Blackjack with a split hand, this will not be recognized as a Blackjack but rather simply as a hand with 21 points, as a Blackjack must always be made with the first two cards. Attention: many casinos do not allow re-splitting hands that have already been split. Usually it is also not allowed to double split hands.

Hard Hands and Soft Hands

Were you dealt a hand without an Ace? Or did you receive an Ace, but can only count it as one point? If either of these situations apply, then you are playing a so-called Hard Hand. This means that if you are dealt a 3, a nine and an Ace, you receive a Hard 13. With a Soft Hand, you play with one or more Aces worth 11 points. An example of this would be a card combination made up of an Ace and an 8 (Soft 19). To minimize the bank advantage, you should know exactly when to receive more cards and when not to. To do so, you need to be familiar with the basic strategy of hard and soft hands, which you can find here on BonusBonusBonus under Blackjack Strategies.

Important Tips for Online Blackjack Players

  • Two Aces: always split
  • Two 8’s: always split
  • Two 10’s: never split
  • Two 5’s: never split
  • If the player receives a total point value of 12 and the dealer’s card is worth 2, 3, 7 or a higher number of points, the player should receive another card.
  • If the player receives a total point value of 12 and the dealer’s card is worth 4, 5, or 6 points, the player should not receive another card.
  • If the player has a total amount of points between 13 and 16 and the dealer’s card is a 6 or less, the player should not receive any more cards.
  • If the player has cards between 13 and 16 and the dealer has a 7 or more, the player should request one more card.

History of Blackjack

Blackjack first emerged around the year 1700 under the name Vingt-et-un in French casinos. “Vingt-et-un” means “21” and from the beginning, this was also the number to reach without going over it. In the German-speaking world, the game became known as 17 and 4. About 100 years later, American casino owners brought the French game into their casinos, where it at first found very little interest. In order to attract customers to the new game, some extras were added. Players were rewarded with payouts of 10:1 if their hand included a Ace of Diamonds and a Black Jack (Jack of Spades or Clubs). These amazing payouts have since disappeared but the name stayed. During the Second World War, Blackjack was spread throughout Europe by American soldiers. Nowadays, with the popularity of the internet, the number of Blackjack players has risen into the millions worldwide.

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