Tag Archives: online blackjack

Blackjack: What’s in a Name?

BlackjackBy Jason Bingham

There aren’t many card games that, while essentially being the same, have quite so many names as blackjack. There’s “Vingt et Un” which alludes to its supposed French origins, and “Twenty-One” for its English equivalent. Then there’s “Pontoon” which is another name for a bridge – but not related to the other card game at all. This allegedly caught on during the First World War among soldiers playing the card game in the trenches.

But perhaps the most fascinating stories of all come from the many different uses there have been of the name blackjack over the years, not to mention how it got the name in the first place.

The most popular theory of its derivation comes from when it was first introduced to the United States, although the precise timing is uncertain with some accounts stating it was in the 19th century and others claiming it wasn’t until the 1930s.1)For more information about the history of blackjack visit BlackjackHistory.com.

As the story goes, casinos and gambling houses saw the potential of the new game and wanted to maximize its appeal. So a rule was introduced that any player scoring 21 with the ace of spades and a jack of spades or clubs would get a bonus pay-out of 10 to 1. Even after the bonus rule was dropped, the name still stuck.

Of course, there are very different kinds of casino bonuses available today – as one can easily discover by visiting a site like Bonusfinder New Zealand. Many of these need as little as a $1 deposit to claim them and to start playing both online and live blackjack. Some of the casinos featured are even targeted specifically at New Zealand and one in particular, Captain Cook’s, has interesting connections to a number of other uses of the word blackjack.

One of the more sinister meanings of blackjack refers to a weapon carried by sailors consisting of a length of woven rope with a lead weight at the end, carried ashore as protection in case of trouble – quite possibly involving disputes over card games. Other nautical meanings also include a tar-covered barrel containing beer carried on ship as well as being another word for the skull and crossbones “Jolly Roger” flag carried on pirate vessels.

Pirate Flag

While it’s likely that many sailors did use to while away long hours at sea playing cards, there’s no way of being 100% certain whether this is where the derivation of the name originated.

Another, land-based theory comes from the time of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98 when thousands ventured into the wilds of Alaska in the hope of making their fortune. Blackjack is the popular name of the mineral zinc blende (ZnS), often found in the vicinity of silver and gold deposits. The theory is that this also then became the popular name for the highest-scoring hand in the game amongst the prospectors of the time.

Whichever of these derivations is correct, it remains the case that the game is as popular today as it’s ever been, arguably thanks to its elevated online profile. This also means that innovative versions are being constantly introduced with different rules and ways of playing but, as yet, there seems to be no new names to get used to!

PHOTO CREDIT: Blackjack by Adrián Pérez
PHOTO CREDIT: Pirate Flag by Rusty Clark



1For more information about the history of blackjack visit BlackjackHistory.com.

Are there Differences between Real and Online Blackjack?

Online Versus Live BlackjackBy Alex Hotch

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games online. It has its basic rules and provides new players the best introduction into the world of gambling. Today, players can play the game online from the comfort of their homes or in the traditional casinos. This post looks at the differences between blackjack online and live blackjack. 

How Does Online Blackjack Work?

There are many ways you can play online blackjack. You can choose to download a casino app to access the game or visit a casino website with blackjack titles in its game lobby online. With online blackjack, you do not need to have anyone around you. Most casino websites use software that randomly draws the order of the deck. 

Many industry authorities monitor and oversee the reputation and legitimacy of the software. Since it is the software that does the job, players do not have to deal with the problem of someone else setting the cards against them. The advantage of this is that the house edge for online blackjack is usually reduced. 

It is often much lower than its live counterpart, which means your chances of winning at online blackjack increases. You can also explore many variations of the game at online casinos than the real game arena. The only downside to playing blackjack online is that you would not experience the ambiance of the traditional casino. 

If you also choose a disreputable casino site, you may be scammed. You can easily avoid this by researching a casino before you sign up with them.  Some things to look for are:

    • Is the casino licensed and regulated by a recognized licensing authority?
    • Is the casino audited regularly by an approved third party?
    • Is the casino operating legally in an online gambling jurisdiction?
    • Does the casino use certified security technology to protect data?
    • Does the casino encrypt all financial transactions?
    • Does the casino provide fair and transparent terms of use?
    • Is there a privacy policy explaining how personal information is used?
    • Is customer support available and responsive?
    • Is there any history of non-payment or treating customers unreasonably?

How Does Real Blackjack Work?

Playing real blackjack offers a different experience from online blackjack. With live blackjack, you can find yourself playing alongside other players. Your sitting location at the table game should be part of your game strategy. You have to consider the cards that are drawn for other gamers during your decision-making process

Having other players around can provide a unique advantage. Many live blackjack players like to take their positions at the right-hand side of the game table to enable them to view the draw more clearly. When more cards are removed from the pack, you are likely to make smarter decisions in your game. You also get the feeling that the game is fair as you can see the cards being physically drawn. 

One of the major differences between playing the game online and playing it live is the absence of distractions. When you play a real blackjack game in a live environment, you will have many people playing with you. 

You also have to deal with the noise from the casino and with the free drink policies that come with many casinos; you are likely to be less sober at the game. With all these, your chances of playing poorly and losing increase.

Final Thoughts

The choice of whether to play real blackjack or online blackjack is up to you. However, you should weigh the pros and cons of both before you decide on the right one for you. The good news is that if you still want to have a feel of real blackjack, you can also play a live dealer blackjack game online. This uses video streaming technology to enable you to play with a real dealer online. 


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.




10 Tips To Increase Your Winnings At Online Blackjack

Aces - The best cards in blackjack!By Max Miller

A game of cards based on probability – blackjack comes with a fixed set of rules that every user must abide by.  While there are numerous strategies you can leverage when playing blackjack at a brick-and-mortar casino, they may not always work exactly the same way when you are playing online.

So, what can you do to improve your odds of winning at online blackjack?

In this article, we have put together a list of the best methods you can practice to win at a blackjack game online. All you need to get started with these tips is a little knowledge about the cards you hold and the dealer’s up card. And once you have that, you will surely be able to maximize your probability of winning and minimize the amount you might lose on a bad day.

After going through these tips, consider reading Unibet Casino Review and heading to their site to begin your gambling career. With the right amount of practice and some luck, you will have the best chances of winning at blackjack.

#1 – Consider All the Potential Chances

If you are an expert player, you already know that blind guesses are something you shouldn’t use when playing blackjack. Instead, what you should do is weigh your probabilities of both winning and losing before playing the game and pick an appropriate game with the best odds.

#2 – Be Careful With Unusual Rules, Side-bets and Options

Before playing, be sure you understand all of the rules of the house.   Some rules could be beneficial for the player but many are not.  Casinos like side-bets because there is a huge house edge.  It is generally good advice to avoid all side-bets in this game.

#3 – Choose the Most Lucrative Table

By researching the online casino you plan to play at, you will be able to figure out the tables that will give you the best odds and stakes. Depending on your luck, you might even be able to tap into the casino’s free game sessions that happen during non-rush hours. So, it is essential you research properly and find the right table to increase your chances of winning.

How's you luck?

#4 – Stick to Your Goals

Before you begin playing online blackjack, it is essential that you set a limit of how much you will invest in the game. Once you decide on that limit, you are not to spend even a penny more than that.  For instance, if you are on a losing streak, don’t put in more money in hopes of winning the game. Instead, your goal should be to earn back the money you lost without focusing on the profits. Even if you fail to get back your lost amount, never invest any more money.

#5 – Don’t Buy Insurance

Insurance is an optional side-bet that is offered in blackjack when the dealer has an Ace up-card.  With insurance, your probability of earning profits decreases significantly as the house edge on this bet can be as high as 7.5%. You are at the online casino to defeat the house. So, do not invest in a way to help the dealer prevent you from winning.

#6 – Leverage Splitting, Doubling, Surrender and Other Advantageous Rules

Splitting and doubling are two crucial rules of playing blackjack. When employed correctly, these and other rules will help you earn more profits and/or reduce your losses. Using proper blackjack basic strategy is a key strategy decision for players.

#7 – Choose the Right Casino With the Best Bonuses

The gambling industry is quite profitable. However, by not choosing a reputable casino, you might end up losing your money.  When looking for an online casino to play, choose one that is renowned for its blackjack games. Additionally, choose an online casino that offers great bonuses and/or incentives to users. Such offers will also put forward unique promotions to their loyal customers.

#8 – The Right Betting Strategy

Before you start playing blackjack, you need to have the right strategy in place. This may help boost your chances of earning profits considerably. If you consider using systems like Paroli or Martingale be aware that these are not advantage play techniques.  The casino will always have an edge over you.  The key advice here is to bet with your head – not over it!1)Editor note: This article was written with the gambler in mind.  Advantage players know that betting strategies alone will not get the money in the long run.  The best advice, however, for all types of players is still to bet with your head – not over it!

#9 – Make Sure the Dealer Stands on Soft 17

It is always vital that you play at a table where the dealer stands on Soft 17. This will positively impact your bankroll as the house’s edge will be minimized. It will also be easier for you to win in such cases.  The Soft 17 rule is an advantageous rule for the player and reduces the house edge by 0.2%.

#10 – Card Counting

Card counting is an advanced player strategy that can be used in any game that does not reshuffle after every hand.  By card counting you increase or decrease your bet based on the count and it will also give you opportunities to vary your playing strategy.  Card counting can minimize the house’s edge significantly if perfected and used properly.



1Editor note: This article was written with the gambler in mind.  Advantage players know that betting strategies alone will not get the money in the long run.  The best advice, however, for all types of players is still to bet with your head – not over it!

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



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.



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.

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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.

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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.

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