All posts by Michael Dalton

Michael Dalton is the editor and publisher of the Blackjack Review Network and former editor of the quarterly newsletter Blackjack Review. As an authority on the game of twenty-one and a professional level card counter, he has appeared in public on very few occasions. "It is ironic", Dalton remarks, "that to be successful with one's book and writings you have to publicize yourself, which is contradictory to everything that a player must do to be allowed to win at this game." Michael Dalton is retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after 30 years working in Space Shuttle launch activites, avionics, software development and project management. He is a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Space Science and a Master of Science degree in Space Technology. Besides the space program, blackjack, and poker, his other interests include the martial arts, playing the Scottish bagpipes and managing the BlackjackReview.com web site. He can currently be found enjoying his semi-retirement... You can follow Michael Dalton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bjrnet.

New Everton Boss Rafael Benitez Ready to Fight for Merseyside Club

Rafael BenitezBy Sophie Kreimer

New Everton manager Rafael Benitez has said he is not worried by the prospect of becoming the head coach of Merseyside club Everton and insisted remarks made about the Goodison side while Liverpool boss was made a very long time ago.

The Spanish tactician became the first former Liverpool boss to become the manager of Everton when signing a three-year contract, while he is only the second boss after William Edward Barclay to have both sides on his resume, and he was one of Betfair’s risk free offer for the summer before signing for Everton.

There were few oppositions to the appointment of the former Chelsea and Liverpool manager, with Police at Merseyside investigating, after a threatening banner that reads “We know where you live, don’t sign“, but the Spaniard said he has experienced a positive response near his home at Merseyside.

To be fair, the Evertonians around my place are quite happy and very supportive. Even the Liverpudlians accepted it was an opportunity for me to come back to the Premier League,” the tactician said in his first press conference as manager of Everton last Wednesday.

About the banners – we can talk about one, two people. You never know. It’s better to think about positives, how a lot of people were encouraging me to do well.  Football is quite emotional and everybody will have their opinions. For me, it’s a challenge, a chance to do well in the Premier League and show everyone we can compete.

I was convinced when I decided to say yes, or even decided to start talking. It’s not something I’m scared of, it’s the opposite. I want to win, I want to do well. That is to be competitive for me, to be ambitious.

The new Everton boss managed Merseyside giants Liverpool between 2004-2010 Premier League seasons, and during his time at Liverpool, the 61-year-old tactician described Everton as a small club after a derby game back in 2007.

Asked during the presser about making this comment, Rafael Benitez said: “It depends on the context. It was a long time ago. You are fighting for your club and that is what I will do now. I will fight for Everton.  I will try to do my best every single game. I am really pleased this club is getting bigger and bigger.

The Spanish tactician confirmed Duncan Ferguson will be one of his assistants alongside Francisco de Miguel Moreno. Antonio Gomez, a midfielder in Rafael Benitez’s Real Madrid youth side, will be Rafael’s first-team coach as well as a senior analyst.

Benitez added, “Duncan is an Everton legend and has a great experience. He will be vital for us with his coaching expertise and understanding of the players.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Benitez was also asked about his summer transfer targets, but would not be drawn on naming any player when KalidouKoulibalyand Denzel Dumfries were named.

Benitez said: “The reality is that when you go to any club the manager has an important opinion, but you have to work in the context that you have a director of football, the board, and financial restrictions.  I’m quite happy with the commitment of the lads, they’re training really well. I think we can improve things, and if we can add players that are good for us, that’s the objective.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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Playing the Casino and Chances of Winning

Finding a game to play in a casinoBy Adam Walker

While online casinos have evolved quickly over the years to deliver an experience better focused on the customer experience, the truth in the background still remains that the odds are always somewhat tilted in favor of the house. After all, it is how the casinos make money. Players looking to win will always follow some general rules and strategy too.   Whether it be sticking to certain game providers such as Pragmatic Play or to certain games that provide the best winning chances it is always a challenge for the player. If you’re looking to play the odds at the casino, however, there are many games that are better than others.

Blackjack tops out the list

Blackjack is the undisputed top game if you’re looking to improve your chances of a win. Often tipped to be anywhere around 50% with a percentage either side, it’s understandable why it has remained a player favorite. You’re not competing against other players to increase your chances of losing, and in some instances what other players get can even help you, and with rules that are easy to understand it’s a game that’s accessible to a huge number of players too. If you’re looking for the best odds, blackjack will be the game for you. In general, the house has about a 1 per cent chance (or less) in advantage at most casinos. Depending on the rules of the house, the overall probability of winning a hand in blackjack is about 42.43%, with a tie at 8.48% and the chance of losing at 49.09%. You can see why it remains so popular.

Slots are at the other end of the scales

While the odds are never publicly stated, it’s well known that slot machines typically sit on the lower end of the winning percentage. While some consider online casinos to be more fair than their offline counterparts, these games still round out in the lower percentages for winning and have even been touted as the lowest winning percentage game per time played of all casino titles. Some countries are issuing change that could lead these to be more player favored, but the lack of control and randomness certainly don’t help, and for many are a game that should only be played for enjoyment, and not in the hopes of securing a big win. The return to player is known as the RTP and it is calculated from 1 to 100. Most slots are between 92-97% and you should always look to play at slots that are offering 96% or above but this can be difficult, considering many do not advertise this. Despite the odds being out of favor for players, it still remains one of the longest standing and most popular casino based games and this is not set to change anytime soon.

A mix of games in the middle

Games of chance often float around the middle for most, with some that move more toward the blackjack odds than the slots odds and others not so much.   Many of these games like craps and roulette offer very much the same where they’re easy to understand and easy to play, making them much more accessible to new players with odds that aren’t terrible either. Some of these games often lend themselves to different wagering strategies too, so if you’re looking to try what has worked for others than these may be a great testing ground especially with low limit options too. The chances of winning at roulette obviously changes based on how you are playing but if you are simply going for red or black then it is 46.37% through American roulette and 48.60% on European roulette.1)In general, there are two forms of roulette – American (38 numbers with two zeros) and European (37 numbers with a single-zero).  The house advantage in American roulette is about 5.26% while European roulette is about 2.7%.  It is obviously better to play this game with European rules.  Players will also occasionally find some variations to these rules.  Casinos have even offered triple-zero roulette which increases the house advantage above 7%… ouch!!!!  If you are interested in the possibility of advantage play in roulette check out Arnold Snyder’s article published in 2012. The odds will of course change drastically if just going for certain numbers. Then for craps the odds of winning are around 50 per cent and the house is believed to have an edge of around 1.4 per cent (pass and don’t pass line), putting it in line with the other games on offer across the casino floor.  Odds wise, craps is by far the best casino game for the players besides blackjack.

Ultimately playing at a casino is always a gamble, but doing whatever you can to increase your odds of winning can certainly make your playing experience much better too. This is why you should always do your research before playing and then play the game that best suits you!

Photo Credit: Pxhere

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1In general, there are two forms of roulette – American (38 numbers with two zeros) and European (37 numbers with a single-zero).  The house advantage in American roulette is about 5.26% while European roulette is about 2.7%.  It is obviously better to play this game with European rules.  Players will also occasionally find some variations to these rules.  Casinos have even offered triple-zero roulette which increases the house advantage above 7%… ouch!!!!  If you are interested in the possibility of advantage play in roulette check out Arnold Snyder’s article published in 2012.

Blackjack for Beginners: A Short Guide

Face Down Blackjack ??? By Takuma Tanaka

When it comes to casino games, blackjack is one of the most famous card games out there. This game started back in the 1700s, in France, based on what a lot of experts believe. It was originally known as ‘vingt-et-un’ which simply translates to ’21’ in the French language.

The game came to the US as French colonists started coming here. It got its momentum in the country during the 1800s due to the popularity of legal casinos in New Orleans. Blackjack got even more popular during the 20th century thanks to establishments in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. However, even now it wasn’t known as ‘blackjack’ and there were no standard regulations. Blackjack got its standard regulations only when gambling was fully legalized.

So, now that you know a little blackjack history, let’s go over a basic blackjack tutorial for beginners interested in playing it.

The Rules of Blackjack1)Complete rules for the game of blackjack can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.

While there may be some more detailed rules depending on where you play, these are supposed to be easy blackjack rules that can form a beginner’s guide to the game. To play blackjack, you need at least one standard deck. The suit of the cards is not relevant in blackjack and it’s a game that depends on the values. You should note that face cards are worth 10 points and aces can be either counted as 1 or 11, based on what you need.

If you’re playing the game in an online casino, you will need to buy some chips. For online betting sites, you can just use your credit or debit card. It’s best to check out some reviews on PikachuCasinos about places where you can deposit money with your credit card. This will help you start your blackjack journey without having to worry about how to make deposits.

The beginning of blackjack happens when at least one player makes a bet. The dealer gives two cards to each player and keeps two for themselves. The idea is to get as close to the number 21 as possible with the cards you have. The one who is closest to 21, or allows the dealer to bust, wins the round and takes the payoff.

To determine this, the dealer asks each player what they would like to do. The players can take one round to decide their move. These possible moves are:

Stand – When a person decides that they want to keep their current hand and not take a new card.

Hit – When a person decides that they want to take an additional card.

Double Down – When a person decides to place an additional bet on the hand and receive only one more card.

Split – When a person has two cards that are evenly ranked. If they decide to split, they can play two hands, each with one of the original two cards, and place an additional bet.

Surrender – When a person decides to forfeit the game, losing half of their bet.

Understanding the ‘House Edge’

When it comes to a casino blackjack table, the ‘house’ or the ‘dealer’ will always have an edge.2)This is not entirely true.  Ask any card counter. 🙂 Check the rule variations section of the Encyclopedia of Blackjack to see how the rules of the game affect the house edge. There are many reasons for this but the most important one is the ‘bust rule’. If one of the people competing against the house decides to take another card and their total gets over 21, then they ‘bust’. This means they leave the current round automatically. What this leads to is lesser competitors for the house as the dealer goes last in every turn. So even if the dealer loses, they lose only to the remaining people which means that they are always successful against whoever got busted in the round.

While this may seem like the dealer has all the advantages in blackjack, you can also learn some tricks about how to be successful. There are many factors on blackjack tables that can lead to gambling success so be sure to go through them. All of this is what makes blackjack games so much fun for people around the world.

Some Basic Etiquette in Blackjack

While you may find all the instructions to play blackjack, there are some unwritten steps that gamblers should follow to maintain the etiquette of the game, like:

  • using one hand to pick up cards.
  • making sure that your bets are visible to the dealer.
  • not putting your cards under the table or out of sight.
  • using hand signals if it is possible.
  • not touching your chips when they are on the table.
  • being respectful to others on the table.

Blackjack

Tips for Winning at Blackjack

When it comes to blackjack tips for beginners, a lot of people want to know how they can win real payouts. The best strategy that players can use is to count the cards. This essentially means keeping an eye on which cards come out of the decks in the first hands and then determining which ones are left. This way, you will always know the ones that have been dealt and better decide the right move to play against the dealer. While this is not always liked by casinos, it’s a good way to play the game and thwart the higher house edge.

It’s also recommended that you choose a blackjack casino after going through its regulations carefully. Be sure that you understand all of them and there are no hidden terms and conditions. Another thing you can do is see the body language of the dealer. You can try and determine the value of their hand and figure out whether you should stand or hit with your own hand.

Conclusion

So, now that you have gone through this short blackjack for beginners guide, you should be able to begin your own games. Whether you decide to play in a physical casino or join online blackjack games, you will have a lot of fun with this game. You can make your own mini blackjack basic strategy chart based on this introduction and begin dominating the tables. When you keep practicing, there will soon come a time when you will be able to give others stiff competition even with a small card hand.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Complete rules for the game of blackjack can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.
2This is not entirely true.  Ask any card counter. 🙂 Check the rule variations section of the Encyclopedia of Blackjack to see how the rules of the game affect the house edge.

5 Keys to Success in Playing Blackjack

Riffling the CardsBy Poppy Summers

Blackjack is one of the most popular table games out there because it relies both on luck and skill. Unlike many casino games that rely solely on luck, blackjack relies on skill, and if you know how to play blackjack, you can increase your chances of winning drastically. A professional blackjack player can win some serious money in a single night, but it takes training and a correct strategy to win. Today, we are going to take a look at some basic blackjack tips you can use to play successfully and win.

Learn Blackjack Basic Strategy1)Complete blackjack basic strategy charts can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.

So, the rules of blackjack might sound quite simple and straightforward on paper – draw cards and get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. The dealer does the same thing, however, the dealer must play by strict rules of the house. If you’ve ever played blackjack, you already have a general idea of ​​what the game is and what basic strategy you need to follow. A successful player knows that the more people are at the table, the better it is for the house. If there are many players, the dealer is more likely to get at least some money out of it, so your goal is not to be the worst one at the table.2)In actuality, your goal should be to beat the dealer.  To begin with, you need a good knowledge of the game and a mastery of basic strategy. You can find some of the best $1 deposit online casinos by going through the reviews on LeafletCasino. Casinos are presented in the review, usually offering many games that are great for beginners. Practice in the low-bet game, understand how the game works, when to stand, hit, double or split, and you will be more likely to succeed. 

Know the Table Rules3)Complete rules for the game of blackjack can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.

There are many variations of blackjack out there, and each one offers something special. Players tend to enjoy the classic single-deck blackjack variation more, but you can also play other variants of this game. The same goes for the tables – each one might have different rules and entry conditions. You can go and see reviews of popular websites like the Zodiac casino and see what types of blackjack are available there. As a game, blackjack is quite tricky, and there are tons of hidden catches in it, so you must be wary of those and proceed with caution. You need to be really confident in what you are doing to play it right, and once you are, you can go to a casino website and play. Successful blackjack players are confident, and they play hard to put some pressure on the dealers and make them uncomfortable. You can also play live dealer blackjack online, which is the closest thing to an actual casino experience.

Find a Friendly Dealer

Well, let’s make this clear straight away – the dealer is not your friend, even if they act friendly. Their ultimate goal is to win money off you, so you cannot really call a dealer your friend. However, there are dealers you might be comfortable playing with and those you are not. The goal here is to choose whatever is comfortable for you. If you are looking for politeness, you can go to Toronto casinos that are famous for their respectful treatment of the customers. There are no specific tips here – just pick whatever feels right for you can keep on doing your thing. Just remember, there are no friends in real money blackjack – everybody wants to get some cash, and you are the one with your pockets full.

Dice, Cards and Chips

Know Your Limits and Play Smart

This does not only concern blackjack – you need to be smart about any kind of entertainment in the casino. Poker, slots, roulette, baccarat – all of those have inherent risks in them. All the different casino card games have their risks and pitfalls, and you must always be smart about the choices and bets you make. You must be cautious because the intent of the game is to make you lose money – well, that’s obvious, and your goal here is to play well enough so that you would not lose the money. There are many tips for blackjack, and you can study them all including card counting, making blackjack side bets, learning the basic betting strategy, and whatnot. All of that will be helpful only if you know when to stop and play smart. You must have a separate budget for the night, the amount you can afford to lose without getting in trouble.

Decide in Advance What You Are Willing to Risk

Gambling is all about evaluating the odds, and you must also evaluate the odds of getting the results you want. How much cash are you willing to risk? How much can you afford to lose? These are important questions you need to answer before you even start gambling. Cards can be tricky, and you must be really careful. Remember, people lose their cash quite often, and some might go down a downward slope losing their property, family, and even life. What are you willing to risk? The good rule is to set up a budget for a week or a month and never go over it.

Conclusion

Gambling is tricky, and there are tons of ways for you to increase your chances of getting that jackpot. The best one, of course, is to practice more and more and try to get better at it. Try free gambling first, get really comfortable, then go for the low-bet lobbies, and move from there to increase your potential take. The most important thing here is to be reasonable and not risk more than you can afford to lose.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Complete blackjack basic strategy charts can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.
2In actuality, your goal should be to beat the dealer.  To begin with, you need a good knowledge of the game and a mastery of basic strategy.
3Complete rules for the game of blackjack can be found in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack on this site.

Modern Day Blackjack Developers Should Remember Atlantic City Blackjack When Marketing Their New offerings

Playing BlackjackBy Anna Lucas

The game of blackjack is evolving, whether traditionalists care to believe it or not. It has had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the internet gambling scene and is competing with other highly progressive games such as slots when it comes to attracting players. When developers come up with innovative ways of playing the game, they need to bring in as many players as possible. Looking back in history will give game creators some good ideas about how to market their original offerings, with the introduction of Atlantic City blackjack in 1978 being a landmark event in the timeline of the card game.

What is Atlantic City Blackjack?

Atlantic City has long been one of only a few places in the USA in which gambling was legal. But the New Jersey city didn’t earn that status until the late 1970s, which was way after Las Vegas had boomed in popularity and become a major gambling hub. Blackjack had been played in the Nevada city for decades, and the best players in the world would flock there for the most prestigious games.

When casinos first opened in Atlantic City, owners knew they had to do something different to attract customers and encourage them to play. They opted to freshen up the rules of blackjack and offer their own variant of the game. This helped to give them their own identity as well and set casinos in Atlantic City apart from those found in Vegas.

Casino owners decided to introduce a liberal new rule called the early surrender. It meant that players could cut their losses when they had a bad hand and improve their chances of making returns overall. When blackjack first got its name, casino owners had done something similar. They offered much-improved odds on hands that consisted of blackjack and a black ace. Neither this rule nor the early surrender rule in Atlantic City lasted long, but they both served their purpose of alluring players to the tables.

Now one of the Most Popular Variants

Despite dropping the early surrender feature, casinos in Atlantic City decided to tweak the rule set slightly so that their offering still had a unique identity. Some of the different rules include dealers having to stand on a soft 17, and dealers being able to peek at their hole card and reveal a blackjack if they have it.

These minor rule changes are favored by players because they save money from unsuccessful splits and double downs.1)In many European casinos, the dealer waits to take a hole-card until after the players have played out their hands.  This has the unfortunate effect of players losing on their double downs and splits if the dealer reveals a blackjack. The fact that the Atlantic City version is so prevalent at online casinos shows how it is now nearly as famous as the Las Vegas variant. Players usually have a few Atlantic City options to choose from, with games like Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series and Atlantic City Multi-Hand being standout offerings. These games were created by Microgaming, a company with a rich history of producing top-quality content for the online casino industry.

VR Blackjack Could Use a New Rule Set

With virtual reality expected to be worth $12.2 billion by 2024, it is reasonable to assume that the technology will permeate the online casino industry. Indeed, Microgaming has already developed a VR Roulette offering, and developers like NetEnt have been working on VR slots. VR will likely become a bigger feature of online casinos when the hardware goes mainstream and is more accessible for the end-user. At this point in time, there is no doubt that blackjack will get a VR makeover. This is because it is one of the most popular casino games ever, and it has always adapted to changes.

When VR blackjack first comes about, it could help if developers and operators offer an exciting new rule set to get players interested in the beginning. This could come in the form of providing improved odds, and it could act to encourage more people to buy into VR.

Judging by how famous Atlantic City blackjack is today, it was a wise move of casino owners in the late 1970s to offer their own rules. Operators in the modern age should learn from this as they release advanced variants. It could help the VR industry to explode if online casinos do something like this.

Photo Credit: Pixels

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1In many European casinos, the dealer waits to take a hole-card until after the players have played out their hands.  This has the unfortunate effect of players losing on their double downs and splits if the dealer reveals a blackjack.

How Do U.S. Blackjack Tournaments Work?

Blackjack TournamentsBy John Isaac

Blackjack may be best known as an iconic table game found at pretty much every casino on the planet, but there is more to the classic card game than the single player experience. Although many aspects of blackjack come down to chance, players like Stu Ungar and Bryce Carlson have shown that it is possible to rise to the top through skill. Therefore, blackjack tournaments are growing in popularity in the US. They separate the amateurs from the seasoned pros and give players a chance to earn recognition for being the best in the business. Here’s all you need to know about U.S. blackjack tournaments.

Tournaments Go Beyond the Everyday Rules

Anyone interested in taking part in a blackjack tournament first needs to get to grips with the general rules of the game. The best way to do this would be to read a detailed online blackjack guide such as the one found here. Not only does it take a deep dive into the basic rules of the game, but it also discusses the variations that can be found online. After mastering those elements of the game, players should look to find out everything they can about how the dealer has to act in any situation.

By knowing the foundational concepts of blackjack, players can develop strategies that help improve their chances of winning. A lot of these rely on memory and knowing exactly how to act in any given situation. For instance, seasoned players will be aware of what they should do based on their hand and the dealer’s up-card in any scenario. Tournaments exist to let these players test their skills in the most competitive situation possible.

What is the Tournament Format?

Having a strong understanding of blackjack is essential, but players should be aware that the tournament version of the game differs greatly. On top of that, different casinos will have their own rules as to how the competition will play out.

Just like in a poker tournament, players begin with the same amount of chips in a blackjack competition. In most blackjack tournaments, players must pay a buy-in at the start, but after that they use the chips that are already in play. In other words, they don’t need to stake any more money after the buy-in. Players don’t play against the house in this format. Instead, they play against each other. The winner of the table over a certain number of rounds then goes on to play winners of other tables in a knockout-style arrangement.

How do you Win a Blackjack Tournament?

The winner is the last person standing at the end of the tournament, after having defeated the other players. The way to prevail in one of these events is to go into it with a clear strategy. For example, you may want to place smaller bets in the earlier rounds to watch your opponents take each other out first. Alternatively, betting big in the early stages could be the best way to develop an unbeatable stack. Being able to adapt depending on the other people at the table is the key to victory.1)For expert tournament strategies be sure to check out books such as Stanford Wong’s Casino Tournament Strategy.

Where Are the Best U.S. Blackjack Tournaments Held?

The USA is the birthplace of the modern blackjack game we know and love today, and it is home to the biggest and best tournaments in the world. Las Vegas hosts some of the best-known options, where players compete for grand prizes that often exceed $100,000. These tournaments are considered the elite events on the blackjack calendar and are up there with the World Series of Poker in terms of prestige.

If you’re looking to take part in a blackjack tournament, it would be best to try your favorite online or local casino first. These events are becoming more popular, and a greater number of places are beginning to offer them. Find a tournament with a buy-in that suits you, and prepare to play your best game.

Blackjack tournaments use the general rules of the game, but the main twist is that players face off against each other rather than the dealer. This is an exciting way to play, and it also represents a prime opportunity to test your skills.

Photo credit: Pexels

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1For expert tournament strategies be sure to check out books such as Stanford Wong’s Casino Tournament Strategy.

What Does the Future Look Like for Blackjack – Does it Need to Evolve?

BlackjackBy Lucas Wilson

When the online casino industry first emerged, blackjack was one of the initial games to be digitized. This was no surprise, as it had been among the most popular casino games for the best part of a century up to that point. However, as the online gambling scene has grown, technology and games have progressed. Now, it feels as though blackjack may be at a turning point, where it needs to evolve to stay relevant.

Blackjack Has Stayed Popular for More than a Century

The amazing thing about blackjack is the fact that it is still the world’s most popular card game after all these years. Even during the poker boom when Texas Hold’em threatened to usurp it, blackjack stood strong and remained one of the go-to games for online casino players.

There is a good chance that blackjack can continue to stay popular, attracting players well into the future thanks to its simplicity and the thrills it provides. On the other hand, though, new casino-playing generations could be in search of more advanced offerings. For this reason, there are some ways that blackjack could be brought forward with technological advancements.

The Evolution of Slots is a Model that Could be Followed

Few casino games have evolved more than slots over the years, and developers have constantly striven to push things forward in this genre. They are by far the most popular casino game, and often feature on the home page of online casinos as a way to entice players. For example, when you look here, you’ll see that the main draw for this site is the wide variety of games available. They include titles based on famous characters like Sherlock Holmes and historical options with Egyptian themes. Naturally, games like blackjack remain a permanent fixture when it comes to online casinos.

Game lists like this highlight how there is so much variety in the slots industry to suit a wide range of players. The themes are there to appeal to different people. Also, because of the competition, progression in technology comes thick and fast. Blackjack developers could think about using themes as a way to make their games alluring to a greater number of people. What’s worked for slots up to now could easily be applied to the card game.

AR and VR Incorporation is a Must

Augmented and virtual reality are still expected to take the online casino industry by storm in the next few years, with analysts predicting a spike in the industry in 2023. It is expected to reach $142.4 billion by this time, indicating that it could be turning mainstream. Online casino games like blackjack could be enhanced by this technology. Perhaps players will be able to put on headsets and feel as though they are actually sitting at a blackjack table, playing the game.

While blackjack may not have changed that much over the years, there have still been a few key developments in the technology that have kept the game relevant. These have included twists on game-play and live streaming of tables. Blackjack will most likely evolve further in the years ahead, and developers may start including themes along with VR options.

Photo credit: Pexels

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No Download Blackjack

No Account CasinosBy James Smith

The rules of blackjack are simple. Almost every casino player knows them. At the start of a game, you receive two cards facing up. Your opponent, a casino’s dealer, receives one card facing up and another card facing down.

The moves you make are based on the values on your card and the dealer’s up card. You can stand or hit for more cards to get close to a total value of 21. If you go overboard, you lose. If your hand is better than the dealer’s, you win.

For a long time, playing blackjack online meant downloading software. It also meant playing the game against RNG1)RNG stands for Random Number Generator. software. Not anymore.

What is No Download Blackjack?

No download blackjack is a form of the game available online in an instant-play mode. There’s no need to install an app or download a program. Adobe Flash isn’t necessary, either. You access the game, hit ‘Play’ and get into action.

How do no download blackjack casinos work? Before Adobe Flash was ended on January 12, this year (2021), it was the main way casinos operated online. You had to install it or use a browser with Adobe Flash installed by default.

Post Adobe Flash, instant-play blackjack games run on HTML5. It’s a programming language that supports faster, high-quality streaming. And unlike Flash, players don’t need to install it to play games.

What are the Benefits of No Download Blackjack Games?

No download blackjack casinos are the future of the industry. Here’s why:

  • No need to download software to play blackjack
  • Supports all major blackjack variants
  • Supports high-quality, real-time live blackjack gaming
  • Available on all major devices and browsers
  • Makes mobile casinos more accessible
  • Available at all leading online casinos

With No download blackjack casinos soaring in popularity, blackjack will continue to be more accessible. Everyone can play the game on their favorite device, whether it’s an iPhone, Samsung phone or Windows computer.

And as mentioned, streaming blackjack in instant-play is faster, smoother and more efficient. It’s particularly exciting when playing the game against a human dealer and not RNG software.

Can you Play No Download Blackjack for Real Money?

Yes, you can play no download blackjack games for real money.2)Online gambling and gaming is illegal in many jurisdictions and users should consult legal counsel regarding the legal status of online gambling and gaming in their jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter what your favorite variant of the game is—Classic Blackjack, Spanish 21, Blackjack Switch, Vegas Strip, Pontoon or Perfect Pairs. Most real money online casinos support instant-play blackjack for real money.

You can also relish free to play no download blackjack. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of the no download gaming technology is that it makes it possible to create free to play online games.

No Registration Blackjack Games: What are they?

No registration blackjack casinos are exactly what they sound like. They are websites through which you can play blackjack without creating an account, also called Pay n Play. No need to reveal your email address, no need to give out your credit card number.

When you visit a no registration casino, you’re linked to a payment method, usually Trustly – where a registration happens in the “background”. A full guide can be found here. Goes, without saying that the Pay n play casinos do not require any downloads.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1RNG stands for Random Number Generator.
2Online gambling and gaming is illegal in many jurisdictions and users should consult legal counsel regarding the legal status of online gambling and gaming in their jurisdictions.

How Do Blackjack Rules in Finland Differ from Elsewhere?

Blackjack in FinlandBy Lucas Wilson

Blackjack remains one of the most popular card games in the world, with the same general rules followed in most countries where it is played. Yet, the example of Finland shows us that there are still some unique ways of playing the game.

Live Blackjack Rules in Finland

Playing in a land casino or other physical location in Finland or Sweden for the first time can bring a surprise or two, as the live blackjack rules here are set by the authorities. While the general aim of the game is still to try and get a better hand than the dealer without going over 21, the unique rules make it more difficult to do this.

The game is played with six decks of cards and the dealer doesn’t give themselves their second card until the players have concluded the actions on their hands. Players can double down on 9, 10, or 11 and can split hands but can’t surrender.

In this version of blackjack, the dealer has to stand on all 17s. You can’t double down following a split in Finland, although reports confirm that you can do this in the version of the game played in Sweden, where the rules are similar but vary slightly.

Online Blackjack in Finland

Thankfully there is an alternative, as the type of online casino in Finland offers now don’t have to stick to those live blackjack rules and uses more typical rules. If you prefer to stick with the live card game experience, you can try live dealer blackjack, with baccarat and roulette among the other games where a human dealer appears on the screen.

This means that Finnish players can choose from a wide range of blackjack variants that use the more traditional rules and lower house edge that we are used to seeing in other countries. Each game has its own rules listed on the site for you to read through and understand before placing your first bet.

BlackjackThe Main Issue with Playing Blackjack in a Live Setting

The rules we have looked at so far are all fairly standard and there is nothing to cause too much surprise to anyone who has played blackjack before. However, there is one significant rule that affects your chances of winning money in a land-based game.

This is because you lose if you get the same total on your cards as the dealer and they add up to 17, 18, or 19. Normally, this sort of tie would result in a push and you would get your money back, but in Finland, you lose outright. If you tie on 20 or 21, it results in a push. 

Some sources suggest that this rule change increases the house edge of blackjack to something close to 9%. Since this is usually one of the casino games with the lowest house edge, there is no doubt that the Finnish rules could be off-putting for anyone who is used to playing with other rules.

It is easy to get started as the game-play is very similar to the Finnish style, but the fact that you don’t lose on certain tied hands helps to improve your chances of winning. This means that the house edge drops back down to the sort of level players from other countries are used to seeing.

The way that online casinos now offer different versions of blackjack with rules that are more helpful to the player should ensure that this timeless card game becomes even more popular in Finland.

Photo Credit: Blackjack by Aidan Howe
Photo Credit: Blackjack by Erik Hersman

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What Makes Roulette Such a Great Game?

RouletteBy Debz Aiken

Whether you’re a casino regular, enjoy online gambling on the weekends, like a little bit of a flutter when you’re on your holidays or have never gambled in your life you’ve probably heard of and know how to play roulette. Roulette is one of those games that’s expected to be present in every casino, wherever you go – it’s a staple of the gambling world but what makes roulette such a great game?

There is a very obvious reason why roulette has become so commonplace in casinos and online gaming alike, and that’s because of its simplicity. Games like poker can be really hard to follow even if you’re used to gambling, and it’s often so intimidating that many people decide it’s not worth bothering. Roulette is easy to learn because there’s so little to it, and that makes it the perfect game to play if you’re a total casino newbie.

Unlike the game of blackjack, roulette is a pure gambling game and any strategy you might pick will still result in the same house advantage.1)In general, there are two forms of roulette – American (38 numbers with two zeros) and European (37 numbers with a single-zero).  The house advantage in American roulette is about 5.26% while European roulette is about 2.7%.  It is obviously better to play this game with European rules.  Players will also occasionally find some variations to these rules.  Casinos have even offered triple-zero roulette which increases the house advantage above 7%… ouch!!!!  If you are interested in the possibility of advantage play in roulette check out Arnold Snyder’s article published in 2012.

Learning The Rules

Much like blackjack, there are always ways to get more info on how to play – however it is an easy game to get to grips with.

The rules of roulette are simple – you have a wheel split evenly into alternate black and red slots. All of these slots are numbered, and all you have to do is place a bet where you think the ball will land. The odds are calculated based on what’s on the wheel, which means they’re never going to change and you don’t have to worry about them changing after each round.

For a beginner, the idea of odds can be terrifying – particularly in something like horse racing where horses drop out as the race gets closer so the odds change constantly, especially at the last minute. Roulette is seen as a beginner-friendly form of gambling because it’s so consistent.

Placing bets in roulette
Placing bets in roulette


Choosing How To Play

There are also so many options to bet on that you can take years to perfect your own personal strategy and there’s what feels like an infinite number of variations to try. Yes, you can just bet on what color the ball will land on, or whether it will land on an odd or even number (although obviously you’re not going to make much money from doing this), but if you want to make things more interesting (and increase the odds) you can be much more specific in the bet that you place.

You could bet on the number being in a certain range – even this varies because you can choose how wide you want to cast your net in terms of choosing actual numbers (like 1-18) or first 12, second 12, etc. You could even go as far as to only bet on specific numbers and you can choose these any way you like.

Roulette is a great game because it’s both simple and incredibly complex. Its simple rules and the easy to follow format make it perfect for beginners. Conversely, the huge variety of bets you can make and the infinite number of combinations to try mean that it’s just as interesting to someone who’s been a regular in casinos for decades as it is to someone stepping up to the wheel for the first time.

Photo Credit: Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels 
Photo Credit: Javon Swaby from Pexels

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1In general, there are two forms of roulette – American (38 numbers with two zeros) and European (37 numbers with a single-zero).  The house advantage in American roulette is about 5.26% while European roulette is about 2.7%.  It is obviously better to play this game with European rules.  Players will also occasionally find some variations to these rules.  Casinos have even offered triple-zero roulette which increases the house advantage above 7%… ouch!!!!  If you are interested in the possibility of advantage play in roulette check out Arnold Snyder’s article published in 2012.