Category Archives: Gambling

How to Get Started with Sports Betting

Football or SoccerBy We Digitize

Since you enjoy blackjack, you might also be interested in trying out sports betting. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to get started and how to take your blackjack knowledge into sports betting.

As an already experienced gambler, you have great preconditions to become a successful sport better. Sports betting is a game of knowledge, ability of prediction and gambling strategy. They all need to be combined to be successful.

As a blackjack player, you already have at least one of these three golden talents: insights on gambling strategies. Many beginners in sports betting go into the betting as sports fans and place their bets without great gambling knowledge. But to be a successful sport better, your knowledge of the sport is not enough.

You need to know when to take a risk and when your chance of winning is getting too low. With your blackjack experience, you have the skill of logical thinking and mathematical gaming training, which will give you an advantage over other sports betters, who rely purely on their sports insights. So, let’s take that advantage of your blackjack skills and stimulate your potential as a sports gambler with a few tips on how to get started with sports betting.

Set a budget

Few major results come from beginner’s luck. You need the training to become a winner. And that means you should be willing to accept some mistakes in your learning process. So, start by setting a budget of what you are willing to put at risk. The money should never be more than you can afford to lose.

In the beginning, your main focus should be on learning, so start with a low budget. Then each bet should be based on a low percentage of your total budget – let’s say 2 percent of the total budget. Then your whole budget isn’t ruined by a goal in the final minute that will change the result. As you become more experienced you can upscale your budget and make higher wages, while still sticking to the 2 percent rule.

Ping-Pong or Table Tennis

Don’t just bet on everything

One of the keystones to successful sports betting is to gain knowledge about your sport and predict winners, losers, or other results. So, you need to do your research to rely on something more reliable than your stomach feeling. Stick to one sport that you might already be following. Stay updated on relevant news, results, players’ shapes, and every other aspect that might influence the result you are trying to predict.

Pick the right bookmaker

The different sports bookers vary to a big degree in terms of odds, bonuses, special boosts, or which games they offer. But it isn’t difficult to gain knowledge about the different betting sites. You can visit an online betting guide that will show you all the best, licensed online betting companies. Furthermore, you can read about the latest betting news and get information about bonuses or other advantages. It will also inform you about special gambling regulations in your home state, so you are on top of the local gambling laws.

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How Anyone Can Become Good at Blackjack

Becoming Good at BlackjackBy Giovanna Martins

It’s always useful to know how to play the most popular card games. After all, you never know when you’ll be at a social gathering or another scenario where you have to play a hand. At that point, wouldn’t it be handy if you felt reasonably confident that you will come out on top? Of course, it would. On that front, there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is most people don’t know how to play blackjack well. The good news is anyone can learn how to play well —including you. In this blog, we’re going to run through some key tips that’ll put you on the right track towards blackjack success.

Learning Strategies

You can’t expect to win at anything if you don’t know how to play the game. Before you begin playing, make sure you read up on the card game. If you’ve never come across the game before, then this will involve reading up on the basic rules — you can learn as you play, but that’ll slow the game down. And in any case, it’s not complicated, so it won’t take you long. From there, you’ll want to read up on how to win at the game. You can follow the basic strategies, which will at least ensure you perform better than most players, before diving into more complex blackjack approaches later on down the line. As with most things in life, a little bit of reading can go a long way!

Play as Much as You Can

There’s an upper limit to how much you can learn just by reading about blackjack, however. The real knowledge comes from playing — and the more you play, the better blackjack player you’ll become. You never need to look far for a game of blackjack. If your friends aren’t interested in playing, pay a visit to your local card club, or try your hand at an online casino. The best way to learn is by putting your skills to the test.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Of course, even if you’ve read up on the game and begin your blackjack career well, there’s always the possibility you’ll make mistakes. In fact, it would be weird if you didn’t make mistakes. Committing errors is not a problem in itself — it can help you in the long. The real problem will be if you don’t learn from your mistakes. If you can pick up on the things you’ve done wrong, then you’ll avoid making them in the future — and thus become a better, more robust player, too.

Playing Blackjack

When to Risk It/When to Walk Away

If there’s one thing that undermines a blackjack player’s performance, it’s when they don’t know when they should continue playing and when they should walk away. It’s best to take a logical, smart approach to blackjack. That means, wherever possible, remove the emotional element from your game. It’ll only distract you. If you can play the game based on the criteria you’ve set yourself, then you’ll be more likely to win — or at the very least, you’ll be less likely to have any regrets.

Have Fun!

Finally, be sure to have fun when you’re playing! This will both help you to have a good time and help you to become a better player. We become good at the things we love, and if you’re not having fun when you play, then it’s unlikely you’ll dedicate the time needed to become a good player. This is especially important in the early days, but you should be enjoying blackjack no matter how long you’ve been playing.

PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay
PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay

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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.

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.

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.

Blackjack Variant Round-Up

Blackjack by Michael GodardBy Shaun Smith

Although the primary objective of getting a 21 or as close to it as possible remains the same, the casino game of blackjack has many variations. Some of these have strikingly different rules from the standard blackjack, too.

Let’s look into the top variants in detail here and check which one(s) may be more suitable for your style. Make sure you understand the rules and changes each variation has in order to adapt your own strategy.  Percentages shown are approximate and assume blackjacks pay 3 to 2 unless otherwise noted.  Percentages will also vary depending on the number of decks used.

European Blackjack

Undoubtedly, one of the most widely played blackjack variants in the UK, European Blackjack is a popular blackjack variant. The main difference of this variant is in the rule that the dealer does not receive his hole card till the players have made the playing decisions. European Blackjack poses more restrictions on the players too. An example is the prohibition of dealer peek or surrender. The house edge is slightly higher at 0.66% compared to the 0.4% of the standard blackjack with Soft-17 rules. Doubling is allowed on 9, 10 and 11 only. Doubling after split is allowed but re-splitting is not allowed.

Las Vegas Strip Blackjack

Las Vegas Strip Blackjack is one of the most popular blackjack variants in Las Vegas casinos. With a lower house edge of 0.35% to 0.36%, Vegas Strip blackjack is very similar to the American blackjack rules. It stands out by virtue of its dealer peek rules as dealer peek is allowed only on ace. Additionally, doubling is allowed on any 2 cards and the dealer stands on Soft 17, like in American Blackjack. The game derives its name from where it is played, The Vegas Strip, which is basically a 4.2 mile (6.8 km) stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard, outside the city limits.

Spanish 21

The Spanish 21 variant of blackjack is more popular in Australia and Malaysia. It was first introduced as Pontoon in 1995. The primary difference of this variant is that it is played with 6 decks of cards and the 10s are removed from each deck. Players, after being dealt the initial two cards, continue to receive cards till they decide to Stand. Spanish 21 is a popular variant because it offers a wide range of side bets including insurance. The house edge of Spanish 21 is between 0.42% to 0.85%, depending on the number of decks and whether the dealer hits Soft-17. The variant is flexible in terms of rules and playing actions. Doubling, doubling after split and surrendering are all allowed. Re-splitting is allowed up to 4 hands including Aces.

Super Fun 21

Invented by Howard Grossman, Super Fun, as the name suggests, is a fun variant of the blackjack game. Popularized around 1999, it is widely played in live casinos or in online live dealer blackjack. The house edge of Super Fun 21 is slightly higher at 1.2% to 1.5%. However, the game variant is quite flexible in terms of rules. Doubling, doubling after split and surrendering are all allowed. Re-splitting, on the other hand, is allowed up to 4 hands including Aces. Super Fun 21 is played with 1, 2 or 6 decks of cards and dealer peek is allowed on Aces and the Face Cards.

Double Attack Blackjack

The Double Attack Blackjack is an interesting variant of the blackjack, played in land-based casinos but not available in online casinos. The main difference of this particular blackjack variation is that it is played with 6-8 decks containing 48 cards each as the 10s are removed from the deck before the game begins. Double Attack Blackjack offers some other favorable rules for the players. For instance, there is a side bet called Bustit. Then, the insurance payout is higher than it is in standard blackjack and most importantly, the players can double the bet while seeing the dealer’s door card. The house edge of Double Attack Blackjack is about 0.62%.

Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack is a variant in which the dealer’s cards are all exposed. There is no hole card and that’s why the name, Double Exposure. Double Exposure Blackjack differs from the standard blackjack in terms of the payout also, which is 1:1 as opposed to the 3:2 payouts. This particular blackjack variant does not allow insurance and forbids the players to push if the dealer has a tie. The dealer wins on every push till the dealer and the player have a natural blackjack. The house edge of Double Exposure Blackjack is at least 0.67% and the dealer has the option to Hit or Stand on Soft 17.

Progressive Blackjack

Progressive Blackjack is a blackjack variant combining classic blackjack with progressive side bet options. This variant is played with 6 decks of cards, reshuffled after each round. As the side bets have a significant role to play in progressive blackjack, the game starts with a house edge of 37.94% and decreases as additional bets are placed. The rules are a bit stringent when compared to the standard blackjack. As such, in Progressive Blackjack, dealer peek, surrendering, doubling after splits are not allowed. Doubling, however, is allowed on hand totals of 9, 10 and 11. The dealer stands on Soft 17.

Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch is a more distinctive variant with different rules and game play. This variant was created by the renowned casino games inventor, Geoff Hall. In Blackjack Switch, each individual player places a side bet, apart from two identical wagers. First, he is allowed to bet on two hands and then he can switch the second cards with one another, which is optional. Another interesting feature of this variant is that the dealer’s 22 is not a bust but a draw or push. This, however, is only when the player does not have a natural blackjack. The house edge of Blackjack Switch with an optimal strategy is about .6%. The game variant is relaxed in the sense that re-splitting is allowed up to three times for players.

Free Bet Blackjack

Another blackjack variant invented by Geoff Hall, Free Bet Blackjack stands out with some distinctive features, very different from the everyday blackjack we all know and love. The most notable feature among these is that while splitting and doubling, the player does not need to risk his own money most of the time. Another distinct feature of the game variant is that the dealer’s 22 is considered a push instead of a bust. This rule is the same as that of Blackjack Switch. Free doubles are allowed on hard totals of two cards of 9, 10 or 11 alongside the regular ones just as free splits are allowed on pairs except 10s. The house edge of Free Bet Blackjack is between 0.6% to 1% and it is generally played with 6 decks of cards.

Face Up Blackjack

Face Up Blackjack, as a variant, is different from the standard blackjack in terms of the dealer’s cards. So, in Face Up Blackjack, which is also known as the Double Exposure Blackjack, both the dealer’s original cards are dealt face up. The game play and the player’s decisions obviously change based on this rule. However, most of the other rules of the variant remain the same. Doubling, splitting and surrendering are all allowed. The house edge is about 0.67%.

So, this sums up the prominent blackjack variations and their striking rules as played in different parts of the world. Some variants are more on the fun sides whilst others are very much played in high-end luxury casinos alongside standard blackjack tables.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Godard

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21 Blackjack tips to increase your enjoyment of play and chances of winning

Dealing BlackjackBy Damien Sabaca

Blackjack is one of the most played games in the casino both offline and online. Here are 21 helpful blackjack tips to get the most fun out of your casino visit.

1. Know what you are getting into

It’s obvious, but it’s important to be familiar with the rules of blackjack – also known as blackjack. In addition, it’s more than helpful to be aware of terms like splitting and doubling (“double down”). So it’s a great place to start by reading a blackjack game guide.

2. Play at an online casino with a tasty bonus

New players often receive a pleasant welcome bonus at online casinos. Therefore, look for a reliable gambling site, which not only offers blackjack, but also has a nice welcome bonus on offer.

3. Know your limit and play accordingly

This is actually a general tip that should be followed in any casino game: never play with money you can’t afford to lose. After all, gambling should remain fun. We therefore recommend that you set yourself a limit before you start playing. Find out how much money you can afford to lose and use it to play cards in the casino for real. Set aside, for example, fifty dollars to play with and stop when you’ve lost or won this amount.

If you find that you have trouble setting a limit for yourself and/or frequently go over it: seek help in time. Many licensed casinos have assistance programs where you can go with a gambling problem. They will refer you to the authorities that can offer the necessary help. More information on responsible gambling can also be found here.

4. Choose the right table

With all this in mind, it is also important to sit at the right table in the casino. There are blackjack tables with different stakes: ranging from ten cents (online only) to thousands of dollars. So if you’ve set yourself a fifty dollar limit and you’re playing at a table where you have to bet at least 25 dollars, then – in the worst case scenario – you’ll only be able to participate in two rounds.

5. Always follow basic blackjack strategy

Blackjack can be played in a variety of ways, with different strategies: ranging from the extremely simple to the rather complex. By using good tactics, you not only minimize the house advantage of the casino, but also significantly increase your own chances of winning. The most efficient strategy in blackjack is called basic  strategy

6. Practice makes perfect

We recommend you practice a lot, if only because as a player you have quite some influence on the outcome of the game. At least, more so than with some pure luck games, such as keno and slots. It pays, therefore, to do a lot of training and to put the aforementioned basic strategy into practice. Many online casinos give you the chance to play for free with fake money via free games: so take advantage of this. Practice makes perfect, after all!

7. Never pass at eleven or below

With a point total of 11 or lower in your hand, you can never play yourself to death: going above 21 (also known as ‘busting’). Passing at such a value is extremely awkward and minimizes your chances of winning. So let the dealer give you at least one new card.  With a nice hand of 11, you will most likely want to double down!

8. Never take out insurance

If you want to play the game smartly, it is wise to never take out an insurance policy. Insurance gives you the possibility to arm yourself against a blackjack from the bank. It sounds tempting to do, but it’s anything but: you have the odds completely against you. In short, a real loser bet.

9. Does the dealer have a seven or more: keep asking for cards

If the house on duty’s first card is a 7 or higher, you increase your chances of winning by playing until you have a “hard” total of at least 17 in your hands or a “soft” total of 18 or more. A hard hand is defined as a hand without aces or with an ace counting as 1, while a soft hand is a hand with an ace counting for 11.

10. Apply under no circumstances to a “soft 17”

If you receive two or more cards from the dealer at the beginning or later in the game that add up to a “soft 17,” it is not smart to pass. A soft 17 consists of an ace that counts for 11 and another card or cards. For example: A-6 or A-2-4.

But why shouldn’t I just pass with such a combination, I hear you think. Well, why do you think dealers should always hit on a soft 17? It has to do with the fact that the house advantage is then increased. So if such a thing applies to the bank, it certainly applies to you as well.

So what do you need to do? The following:

  • Double down: if the dealer has a 3, 4, 5 or 6 (2-6 in a single-deck game);
  • Ask for an extra card: if the dealer has a 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace.

11. Skip, at seventeen or more

Apart from the “soft 17”, it is best to pass as soon as you have a hard value of 17 or more in your hand. Statistically, this is when you have the best chance of beating the bank.

12. Take your loss!

When we lose, it is in our nature to go on full attack. Our reflex is often to go even more in, hoping to wash away the defeat more quickly. Wrong! Just take your losses. Playing in a casino is gambling and gambling unfortunately also means that you can fall flat on your face from time to time. Often, putting in extra money will only make the situation worse. A useful blackjack tip, which, by the way, applies to several games. 

13. Don’t get too emotional

As an extension of the previous blackjack tip, keep your emotions under control. Keep your cool, regardless of the outcome of the game and concentrate fully on the strategy to be followed. If not, you will irrevocably make stupid mistakes, which will be detrimental to your chances of winning. In short: switch off your emotions and stay on top of things.

14. Never separate two tens and fives

It is not really strong to split two tens. In fact, two tens brings the total points to twenty. This leaves only one better hand, which is 21. But the chances of getting this hand are minuscule. Beating two tens is therefore very difficult for the bank. So if you have a set of tens: skip a turn.  If you have two fives, treat it as a 10 and either hit it or double down.

15. Always split two aces and two eights

Splitting two aces or two eights, mathematically gives you the best chances to win. So if you have one of these hands, just split them.

16. Get rid of the superstition

Many blackjack players believe in the so-called hot and cold myth. This means that they prefer a table where they have already made a big pot (a hot table) to one where they have previously lost (a cold table). Not to mention other rituals of superstition.

If you are one of them: stop doing that. Although some people firmly believe that fate determines our lives (‘everything happens for a reason’), it is really pure coincidence that guides our existence. Something that also plays an important role in many casino games. Superstition is therefore quatsch: better concentrate on things you can control!  By taking these handy blackjack tips to heart, for example. 

17. Play short sessions

It is never good to play blackjack for too long. It can get boring or affect your focus, causing you to deviate from basic strategy and make unnecessary mistakes. We suggest you play short sessions and take a break: stretch your legs, change your mind or doze off for a while. Then, as soon as you start playing cards again, you’ll be fresh enough to beat the bank.

18. Delve into the literature

Blackjack is a game where besides chance, knowledge plays a crucial role. As a result, there are books full of tips and strategies to outsmart the casino. It is therefore worthwhile, as an enthusiast, to browse through a book on blackjack regularly: to gain new insights, or just to learn from the stupidities of others.

19. Surprise yourself with blackjack variants

Tired of the standard version of blackjack? Then consider one of the many variants of this card game on the market. The only thing that differs is the rules of the game. Once you’ve tried a variant, you’ll relive classic blackjack as a newbie. But a newbie with experience!

20. Opt for a live casino as well

Would you like to experience the atmosphere of a real blackjack table, but don’t feel like getting up from your couch to do it? Or do you just want to play blackjack in a different way than through a computerized program? Then it’s an idea to visit the live casino. Through your internet connection, you’ll be in live contact with a lovely female (or male) croupier, who will deal the cards at a real blackjack table.

21. Have fun!

After all these handy blackjack tips and tricks, you’re all set for a nice game of 21’ing. So, what are you waiting for? Have a great time! 

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