Tag Archives: online casinos

When do Online Casino Dealers Check for Blackjack?

By John Crawford

You might think that checking for blackjack is a largely universal process but, as a matter of fact, there are two ways that blackjack dealers can check for blackjack and offer insurance to their players. These rules aren’t just exclusive to land-based casinos either, they can be adopted by live dealer casinos too.

Blackjack - Pexels

Checking for blackjack is something that happens via high-definition (HD) live streams at slotscalendar.com blackjack casinos which also offer a string of live-streamed blackjack game variants, including Blackjack Surrender. These two scenarios for checking blackjacks are ingrained in the gameplay of all kinds of live blackjack, but all too often players are unaware with how their dealers are required to handle their own hole cards.

To offer some clarity on the rules for checking blackjack with live casinos, we’ve gone into more detail on the two possible scenarios you could be faced with:

The “no peek” blackjack rule

The “no peek” blackjack ruling is synonymous with most European land-based and online casinos. If the dealer pulls an ace from the deck as their up card, they will immediately ask players at the table whether they would like to take insurance. However, they will continue to deal cards to all active players at the table, allowing them to make decisions on their hands such as splitting or doubling down before a dealer’s blackjack can be revealed. Lasvegasadvisor.com discussed this and revealed that the “no peek” rule results in the house having a greater edge over players worth 0.62%.1)Editor note: See comments.  The ENHC rule is worth 0.11% to the house. A rule that is still bad for the player.  The 0.62% is for the entire casino (house) edge over the player for this example. That’s because the house can take the player’s additional chips for splitting and doubling down, on top of their original bet, before a dealer’s blackjack is announced.

The US-style blackjack rule

Wherever possible, players should try to find live blackjack tables that abide by the US-style “peek” rule of checking blackjack. In most US online and land-based casinos, the dealer will peek at their face-down card before players are given any cards. If the dealer does have blackjack, they will display it to the table and immediately take all the original bets from the players. This can save you money and prevent you from committing to doubling down or splitting a hand in the no-win scenario of the dealer having blackjack.

Blackjack - Pixabay

It’s a similar case in live blackjack with surrender too. Some live casinos will allow players to surrender their hand if the dealer’s up card is an ace and their other card is drawn face down. In other cases, live casino dealers may only draw one card face down for themselves, with the other remaining in the deck until all players have decided how to play their hands. In this instance, players will be offered what is known as “late surrender”, crucially offered after the dealer has checked for a possible blackjack. The issue of surrender is a hot topic on quora.com among players, reinforcing the challenge of rules not being the same in one casino as the next.

Ultimately, the rules on live casino dealers checking for blackjack and offering insurance will depend on whether your chosen live casino adopts the European or US blackjack format. It’s a good idea to be mindful of this before you sit down at a live dealer table, so that you can plan for both eventualities.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1.Editor note: See comments.  The ENHC rule is worth 0.11% to the house. A rule that is still bad for the player.  The 0.62% is for the entire casino (house) edge over the player for this example.

What it Takes to Pull off the Blackjack Lifestyle

By Mark Gant

The casino scene has long been lauded of one of glitz and glamour, with many of the biggest and most famous casinos in the world becoming millionaires’ playgrounds. Of all of the forms of casino players, however, few are held in such high prestige as the blackjack player.

Poker players can be scruffy and play against fellow poker players, those on the slot machines sit and wait for jackpots, and roulette and craps are all about the thrills of luck. Blackjack, however, is one person taking on the casino directly, using skill and strategy to come out on top.

Thanks to movies like 21 and the James Bond movie Licence to Kill, we know that blackjack players dress well, are intelligent people, and are incredibly suave. Licence to Kill may be rated as one of the worst James Bond movies, but it still showcased the legendary agent flexing his intellect at the blackjack table for the first time in the movie franchise.

So, we’re going to break down how you can pull off the blackjack style: from attire and persona to becoming the peoples’ champion at the table.

Appearances matter a great deal in blackjack

Blackjack Appearances

As we all know, the right fashion sense can take you a long way. Luckily for blackjack players, the classy casino scene all-but demands that its attendees dress well. When it comes to men’s fashion, the suit is often the epitome of hot looks, which helps anyone trying to achieve that blackjack lifestyle as the suit is the go-to getup for blackjack players.

Wearing a nice-fitting suit automatically gives you a confidence boost, as does wearing your best dress for such an occasion, which is needed for a blackjack player. The persona of someone who frequents glamorous venues is that of confidence, being somewhat smug in your superior ability of the card game, and, of course, being as suave as humanly possible.

Nail all of this, and you’ll almost be ready to hit the tables, look the croupier right in the eye, and set about taking on the casino. There’s just one more key skill-set that you need to hone: your blackjack skill.

You need to be able to walk the walk

Playing Blackjack


As you would assume, a key part of living the blackjack lifestyle is sitting at the table and taking on the casino. You can look and act like a legendary blackjack player as much as you’d like: but if you can’t play the game, you can’t pull off the lifestyle. 1)Of course, if you are a proficient card counter you don’t really want to look like a legendary blackjack player. 🙂

For most novice players looking to hone their skills and then live the blackjack lifestyle, going into a big or even a small casino can be daunting. You’re effectively putting your reputation on the line early without knowing the ins and outs of the game. This is why so many people turn to online blackjack Canada online as there are many different games, bonuses to use for additional game time, and all the games can be played from your phone or computer.

A lot of one’s blackjack ability comes from experience and practice, which is very easy to gain now that blackjack is such a prominent online game. Playing blackjack online in games with varying deck counts in the shoe works as good preparation for the in-person experience.

If you want to experience the glitz and glamour of the blackjack lifestyle, you need to nail the look, the persona, and, most importantly, the card game itself.

Photo 1 Source: Pixabay
Photo 2 Source: Pixabay

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1.Of course, if you are a proficient card counter you don’t really want to look like a legendary blackjack player. 🙂

Blackjack: Still the Most Played Table Game at Scandinavian Online Casinos

Playing BlackjackBy Mark Gant

Blackjack has been one of the most enduring casino games ever invented. Instead of being overshadowed by high-tech games in the online casino era, it has continued to reign supreme. Blackjack is popular because it is easy to learn, but players can gain a level of mastery which can improve their chances of winning. Scandinavia is a growing sector for the gambling industry, with a lot of developers targeting players there. The fact that blackjack is still the most played table game at their online casinos suggests that the classic card game will carry on going strong for many years.

There are various casino portals in Scandinavia which recommend the best sites to play at in terms of bonuses and what games are on offer. Comparison sites such as these tend to advertise what the majority of players are looking for, and the fact that there is a heavy focus on blackjack shows how popular the game is in the region. Some review sites put people’s enduring love for the game down to its simplicity. The rules of the game are described by norgecasino.com in 9 steps, outlining just how easy it is for anyone to play the game with minimal knowledge.

Online casinos in Scandinavia aim to attract players by offering deposit match bonuses. This free money can be used to play table games, with blackjack being one of the most commonly played offerings. Judging by some of the other bonuses, slots are also hugely popular in the region. Many of the sites that aim to bring in Scandinavian players have free spins bonuses along with the deposit matches.


NetEnt is one of the biggest developers in the business, and the dominant studio is from Sweden. The rise of the company which creates online casino software has helped draw more attention to the growing market in the region. The company, which has developed technology for the industry since 1996, has recently stated that one of its main focuses moving forward in 2020 will be to improve its live casino offerings. This includes live links to blackjack games with real dealers, which are designed to bring the real-world casino experience to players in their own homes.

Sweden has been ahead of the times in Scandinavia when it comes to legislation, and has been the most open of the countries in the region when it comes to gambling online. But in Norway and Finland, the legalities surrounding online gaming have been slightly stricter. Laws are becoming less stringent, though, as the governments have realized that a large section of the population want to play at online casinos. This is another reason why developers are targeting players in the region with their offerings.

The fact that live casino developments are the main focus for casino software developers shows just how popular blackjack is in Scandinavia. With there being few actual land-based casinos, players need to get their fix by playing online. Blackjack is the most popular table game due to its simplicity, but also because it is one of the most exciting offerings to play.

Photo Source: Pexels

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The Mind in Card Games

Why Blackjack and Poker are More Similar Than You Know


by Sam Williams

Stu Ungar 1997 WSOPWhile blackjack and poker may look like two completely different games, there are many similarities between the two. Not only are both games grounded in mathematics and odds, but they also require players to learn on the job through experience. They can both be highly exhilarating, and some players would even attest that the attributes picked up in either game can be transferred to the other.

A number of famous blackjack players, including members of the MIT team from Bringing Down the House, have gone on to achieve success in poker. Well known poker players, such as Stu Ungar and Andy Bloch, have also been renowned for their blackjack skills.


Hossein Ensan played his pocket Kings well to win the 2019 WSOP Main Event

High Level of Competition

To succeed in either blackjack or poker, players need to have a competitive edge and a strong desire to win. In blackjack, players only face off against a dealer. But when the stakes are high and the casino employee is the one person standing in the way of victory, players need to use their will and determination to bring that person down. This could be compared to heads-up play in poker, which comes about at the end of a tournament when everyone else has been eliminated.

In a huge poker competition like the World Series of Poker, a player would have to get the better of hundreds of others to make it to the final table against the remaining survivors. In 2019 when Hossein Ensan won the Main Event, there were 8,569 entrants to start with. Obviously, the Iranian-German player didn’t need to beat every single one of these people, but he did need to stay in the game while the numbers were whittled down.

When it got to the final stages of the competition, Ensan’s experience became more like a blackjack game. The tournament, which tests players’ endurance as well as their poker skills, came down to Ensan against Dario Sammartino in the final stages. This type of heads-up game will appeal to blackjack players who are used to taking on a single opponent in a battle of wits.

There are some differences, however. In blackjack, players must get the best hand in order to win. But in heads-up poker, players usually try to bet big and steal the huge blinds in each hand, regardless of what cards they are holding. Indeed, in this type of play, it rarely comes down to a flop. In the final hand, Sammartino admitted that his bluff didn’t pay off and that Ensan had outplayed him. The 2019 champion had a pair of kings while the Italian was left with a busted straight. Sammartino took a chance and failed, similar to a blackjack player opting to hit and then going bust.

Basic Skills are the same in Both Games

When you think about poker and blackjack on a basic level, a lot of the same skills are required in both games. To be able to play either, at least a rudimentary knowledge of numeracy is essential. In blackjack, it is crucial as players are constantly calculating their hand’s total value and working out which card would bust them. In poker, advanced players need to calculate their pot odds to determine whether to call or bet. They can also use mathematics to count their outs. This refers to the cards they need to potentially make a winning hand.

Interpersonal skills are quite important in blackjack, as players need to interact with dealers regularly. They are even more essential in poker, as conversation can often be used as a way to garner information about someone’s hand. Players need to be expert socializers who can spot small psychological cues such as a slight change in the tone of an opponent’s voice. Daniel Negreanu is well known for being highly adept at this.

Another common attribute for poker and blackjack players is discipline. They need to be able to endure runs of bad luck without changing their strategy. For example, a blackjack player may be sweating as they play a Martingale technique or keep losing in a high plus count and keep losing. The stakes are getting higher each time, but they need to remember that if they do eventually win, their losses will be cancelled out. In poker, bad beats often cause players to go on tilt. Less experienced players can let this sort of emotion lead them into bad decisions going forward.

Stu Ungar was highly gifted at poker, blackjack, and gin rummy

Players can Train for Both Games by Limiting Active Learning

In both blackjack and poker, there is a vast difference between a beginner player and an expert. The best players in the business possess a number of abilities that they have refined over time in order to maximize their chances of winning. If the games were simply about luck, how could you explain why Ungar was considered to be among the best in the world during his time as a player? In addition to being highly capable in those card games, the three-time WSOP winner was also the greatest gin-rummy player in the world.

It is true that players can train their brains in order to be better than average at card games. But, according to poker psychologist Jared Tendler, Texas Hold’em and Omaha players shouldn’t act as though they are cramming for a test by filling their heads with more information that they can use. Poker mental strategy is about reviewing hands and concepts that you already know and being clear about what you want to improve on. This is referred to as limiting active learning, making sure that you work directly on the essentials. This advice can also be applied to blackjack.

In blackjack and poker, players are able to learn from the mistakes they have made in the past. By failing in one game, they can assess what went wrong and work on ways to do it differently in the next game. So, training for games shouldn’t be about cramming with as much knowledge as possible, but about reviewing and analyzing past experiences.

Blackjack players who want to improve their skills and get beyond basic strategy could try their hand at poker and may find that they are already quite good at it. The endurance and competitiveness that dominates Texas Hold’em could then be transferable to the blackjack table.

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Best Online Card Games 2020

By Gytis Miliauskas

Live Dealer BlackjackThere will be many people playing inside online casinos during 2020. Many will be experienced and have played online before and many who are brand new to casino gaming and playing for the first time. We all have our own favorite games that we love to play, but many will also see the new year as a chance to make a few changes and try something new. Of course, it is human nature to stick with what we all know and love, but trying out new games can enhance your experience inside a casino. If you have a number of different games at your disposal, you can choose the game based on your mood or any opportunities you might find when you log on.

From slot games to card games, table games and video poker, there are dozens, if not hundreds of choices for players looking for something to play. While most games are simply a game of chance, some have an element of skill attached to them and it is those games that often attract great interest from players as they try to beat the casino.

YieldEDITOR NOTE: This article is written with the gambler in mind. If you enjoy gambling for the sake of gambling, online casinos have so much more variety and possibilities than the largest land based casino could ever have. Many online casinos are still not available to players in the United States and all players should investigate any new casino before depositing any monies.  Note that card counting is essentially impossible online but that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities for advantage players.

Card Games

Those looking to try and win over the casino and use skill while gaming will often turn to card games. These offer you the chance to make decisions that will directly impact whether you win or not. They are used by many players alongside other types of game, for example, if you want a challenge then play a card game. If you want to relax and not think too much then try a slot game.

What is the Best Online Card Game for 2020?

While it has been a big favorite with players for many years, blackjack remains the best online card game to play in 2020. The game offers you the chance to play something that combines skill with the luck of the draw when the cards are dealt.

The reason why many people love this game is that you are gaming and relaxing while playing it, but it also makes you think and work out what you are going to do next. The idea of the game is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over, and it is your decisions that will set the target for the dealer to beat.

For those that want to try something new in 2020, adding blackjack to your online game portfolio and playing it alongside other titles is a great way of testing yourself. When you want to relax and enjoy gaming without having to think too much you can head to the slot titles you know and love, but when you want something different and you want to test yourself you can try out blackjack.


Example Online Blackjack Games From SmartCasinoGuide.com


A Blackjack Guide

The goal of blackjack is, of course, to beat the dealer. You do this by trying to get closer to 21 than the dealer. Ties push and you are paid extra for a natural blackjack, which is a ten valued card and an Ace. If you hit your hand (take another card) and go over 21 you automatically lose, even if the dealer subsequently busts and goes over 21.

The game of blackjack adds an element of skill because you need to decide when to stick with the hand you have and when to hit, double or split your hand to improve your odds. For example, if you have 15 you are 6 away from 21, is that enough for you to put pressure on the dealer and win, or do you need to hit and get another card, in the hope it is six or less.

Your decision will be heavily influenced by what the dealer’s up-card is.  That is where basic strategy comes in that will help improve your odds.  It is these decisions that you need to make on every hand and the big reason why this will remain the best online card game in 2020.

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How to Maximize Daily Expected Value in Blackjack

By Sebastian Mat

Cigars and Playing CardsBlackjack is as much a game of skill as it is of chance, and this is one of the reasons why it has consistently remained so popular. From measuring your bet to calculating the odds and far more, the elements which make up a good strategy are wide and varied.

In this article, we want to look at how you as a player might balance all of the available factors so you can maximize the daily expected value you can get from the game. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a better gaming experience.

Defining Value

Before we can even think about helping you pursue the best value, we first need to be able to define exactly what, in your mind, counts the most. For some players, value is all about being able to place a wide range of bets, from small bets to huge investments. For others, the value lies in being able to enjoy the experience for as long as possible, regardless of the winnings on the table.

In order to move on, you need to decide what counts as your value. Some of these tips might not apply for your game style, or in other instances, they all might be equally important.

EDITOR NOTE: Expected value (EV), as defined in Dalton’s Encyclopedia of Blackjack, is the theoretical outcome per wager and a measure of how much the player (or casino) can expect to lose (or win) in a particular game.  For a basic strategy player, your EV is usually negative.  Card counters and advantage players strive for positive EV when playing.  This article looks at an alternate definition of EV from the gambler’s perspective.  For the gambler, EV can be a combination of how much one enjoys playing, the ability to play longer, the quality of bonuses and comps given, etc.  To someone who is not an advantage player (AP), expected value has nothing to do with a theoretical return on investment.

Bang for Your Buck

For players who wish to spend a long time at the tables, it can be difficult to track down the experience which is best catered to you. Even in the cases where you can find a table which enables low bets to be placed, not all are created equal.

Take a regular brick and mortar casino for example. For these locations, you’ll be playing with your money all day, and this can limit even the most contained spenders. Compare this to the online betting opportunities available which often come with enormous bonuses. These bonuses like deposit matches are found on many websites and can keep you engaged on the service’s dime far longer than any older casino could manage.

If you’re in it for the long-haul, note that online casinos will always have the edge in this regard.

Learn Your System

Chips and CardsWhile we can’t recommend turning to card counting as a way to get ahead, at least in this instance, we absolutely recommend becoming familiar enough with your systems that they become second nature. Every player has their own tendencies, but those who wish to really make their mark are those who understand the statistical realities of the game.

There are a lot of different strategies you can use here for multi-deck, double-deck and single-deck. Players already intimately familiar with the game will undoubtedly already have their preference for game type picked out, but even in this case, it can be a good idea to widen your horizons.

In some places, your preferential type of blackjack might not be available, so being able to rely on a strategic fall-back can ensure a more sustained level of play.

If you do use blackjack strategy cards, then we understand it can be annoying to have to consult them every time, but after just a short while these concepts and numbers will easily become second-nature.

The Miscellaneous

The final component we need to look at is the surrounding environment of where you choose to play. Our environment often affects our mental state, so uncomfortable or frustrating surroundings can cause us to lose focus, or otherwise growing tired prematurely.

It’s not just decoration and noise which needs to be taken into account either, as food availability, comfort, and fellow players also need to be considered. Some players out there might be lucky enough to live in areas with a lot of options from which to choose, which can be great for these random elements.

For the rest of us, it can be useful to instead create our own little corner haven for online play. Remember, live casino games are also available online for those after a more visual experience.

Only by examining all of these aspects together should you be able to generate some idea of how you might get the best daily value out of your blackjack experience. If you’re not yet sure or haven’t experienced all that this world has to offer, then it might be a good idea to go and see some of these options for yourself.

Wherever you settle, there are no wrong answers. Do what is right for you, and your experience will be all the more valuable for it.

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Blackjack Side Bets

by Simon Beasor 

For many players, the attraction of blackjack is the simplicity of the rules and the bets placed.  However, for some, these are a big disadvantage of the game. Some players are not satisfied with the even money game and want a little more excitement, and potential profit, from their game play.  This is why many casinos now offer blackjack side bets to enhance the action and add some variety to the game play. 

Blackjack side bets, such as insurance, are often shown on the table
Blackjack side bets, such as insurance, are often shown on the table

Blackjack has been played for centuries, with the first mention of ‘trente-un’ appearing as early as 1440. Players back then could never imagine how competitive the world of casinos, both brick-and-mortar and online versions, would one day become. Blackjack side bets are a way for casinos to attract new players with new ways to win at the oldest of card games.

What is a blackjack side bet?

These bets are predictions based on the initial cards dealt to the player and the dealer. They have nothing to do with the main game, and there is no skill or strategy involved, although it is theoretically possible to count cards to make your predictions more accurate. For most players, however, it is simply a matter of guessing which cards will be dealt.

Blackjack side bets offer a far greater potential return than the main game, but they also come with a much higher casino edge. In the main Blackjack game, the bet pays even money, or 2:1, for a blackjack, with a casino edge of just 0.5%. Side bets, on the other hand, can pay anything up to 5000:1, but the casino edge is also significantly higher, often over 10%. So, while you may win more in the short term with side bets, over time you will inevitably lose.

Typical side bets

The side bets available will vary from casino to casino, but here are a few of the more common varieties of wagers.

  • Insurance – This side bet covers the player against the dealer making blackjack if their card on show is an ace. You bet half your stake, and it pays 2-1 if the dealer does indeed have a blackjack.
  • Perfect Pairs – This bet predicts that you will be dealt a pair with your first two cards.
    • 5-1 for a mixed pair of the same value
    • 12-1 for a matching color pair
    • 25-1 for a perfect pair of identical cards
Two red eights would pay 12-1 with a Perfect Pairs side bet
Two red eights would pay 12-1 with a Perfect Pairs side bet
  • 21+3 – This bet predicts the combination of all three upturned cards from the player and the dealer.
      • 5-1 for a non-consecutive flush
      • 10-1 for a non-suited straight
      • 30-1 for three of a kind
      • 40-1 for a straight flush
      • 100-1 for three identical cards
  • Over/under 13 – This bet predicts the total value of the player’s cards will be more or less than 13. It is an even money bet, with the house collecting all bets if the sum is exactly 13; however, some casinos take bets that pay around 6-1 for this outcome.
  • Royal match – This bet predicts the suited cards in the player’s hand and returns 25-1 for suited kings and queens and 5-2 for other suited cards.
  • Lucky ladies – This bet predicts that the total of the player’s cards will be 20. It pays 4-1 for an unsuited 20, 10-1 for a suited 20, 25-1 for a matched and suited 20 and 200-1 for two queens of hearts. This increases to 1000-1 if the dealer has a blackjack.
  • Super sevens – This bet predicts that the player will be dealt sevens and pays 3-1 for one seven, 50-1 for two mixed sevens, 100-1 for two suited sevens and 500-1 if the third card is also a seven. If all three sevens are the same suit, you will hit the jackpot with a 5000-1 payout. (Note—some casinos will not deal a third card if the dealer has a blackjack, so check their policy before placing this bet.)

A shot in the dark

At the end of the day, the cards you are dealt in blackjack are no more predictable than the final resting slot for the ball in roulette. This means that side bets are just as much down to chance as picking a number at random from 1-36.  But if you are after a little extra fun on the side of your serious blackjack strategy play, then they could be just what you are looking for.

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Four Commonly Misplayed Blackjack Hands

By Alex Tester

In blackjack, a lot of players make some pretty significant mistakes. What might seem like a “common sense” play is actually a pretty serious misplay if you consider the odds.

Here are four commonly misplayed blackjack hands that you should avoid.

Taking insurance                  

While you might feel tempted to take an insurance offer when the dealer reveals an ace, you should resist the temptation. The logic behind this play is that there are four cards (10, J, Q, K) that will give the dealer blackjack. If the face-down card is one of these, you will be able to regain your original bet.

So why exactly is this a bad play? Well, the odds are actually in the dealer’s favor by a significant margin. If you choose this option, there is a much bigger chance that the dealer actually doesn’t have blackjack.

In this situation, you are much better off turning down the even money insurance bet. Instead, you should try for the 1.5x win.

6 of clubs5 of heartsNot doubling on 11 vs 10

If your dealer is showing they have a 10, there is a good chance they will also have another one in the face-down position. If you have an 11, the chances of getting a 20 or a 21 are significantly higher than the chance the dealer has a second face-down 10.

While you might think that doubling down when the dealer has 10 is a counter-intuitive strategy, according to comparison site CasinoGuide, you are actually playing to the odds. Let’s say you bet £10 and hit your 11. In this situation, you will win 56% of your hands according to the statistics. If you doubled your bet amount for £20, you will win this bet 54% of the time (remember that doubling means you only receive one more card, and then automatically stand).

Since there’s a small difference in these bets, it wouldn’t hurt to double your bet, as you’d get a significantly higher return for just 2% less of a chance of winning.

Jack of hearts6 of clubsStanding on a 16 vs 7

In this situation, drawing a small number such as a 2 or a 3 can significantly increase your chances of winning. You should always hit on a 16 when you are playing against a dealer with 7. You might get lucky and hit a low enough card to get you the win. This will improve your odds to the point that it should mitigate your losses over time.

The following is a good rule of thumb to follow: An 18 against a dealer’s 10 is somewhat better than a 16, whereas an 18 vs a dealer’s 7 is significantly stronger.

8 of clubs10 of spadesStanding on a soft 18 vs 10

While you might feel like an 18 is a hand you can’t improve on, this is not always the case. While an 18 may bring you a win more often than not, the odds are not necessarily in your favor.

For example, against a dealer’s 10, the odds are not on your side. If you were to stand on a soft 18 in this situation, over time, you would lose more hands than you would ever win.

This is also true if you were to hit, but you wouldn’t lose quite as much. This means you should be brave and give yourself the best chance of winning: always hit on that soft 18.

Practice, practice, practice

Being good at blackjack can take time. You need to have an acute understanding of the rules and you need to be able to estimate the odds on the fly. Or just use a blackjack strategy card.

A great way to practice and refine your strategy is to play online blackjack games at live dealer casinos that allow you to experience the fun atmosphere and face-to-face interaction of the game, within you own home. Away from the pressure of being in a real casino surrounded by experienced gamblers and impatient dealers, you can take the time to get comfortable with your own blackjack strategy.

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PRESS RELEASE: John Terry and BK8 Development

John Terry

It should be known by now that the Chelsea FC’s best captain, John Terry has agreed on a deal to be BK8.com’s brand ambassador. Besides that, John Terry has become BK8.com’s first ever brand ambassador. The deal and appointment were announced on February 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

John Terry appointment news has leaked out as soon as Entourage Sport & Entertainment, John Terry’s commercial agent has agreed to collaborate with Samson Sport Consultancy. 

In an interview upon his appointment as BK8.com’s brand ambassador, he said “I’m excited to begin this partnership with BK8.com! They share my great passion for football and I’m looking forward to playing a role in their many future plans to promote the brand to new and existing players throughout Asia.”

In the agreement, BK8.com will own the authority and rights to use John Terry’s image in all kinds of marketing campaigns and advertising platforms regarding BK8’s businesses all across Asia.

Throughout the past 3 months, John Terry has been a part of several BK8’s marketing campaign. For example, Chinese New Year Ang Pao campaign and BK8 Thailand Songkran campaign. It was proven that John Terry’s appointment has significantly helped BK8.com to grow its brand visibility. In the recent Songkran campaign that was targeted to regions in Thailand, BK8 Thailand has gained a great number of traffic to their site. We believe with the addition of John Terry, BK8 will have even more room to grow and develop as the best online casino in Asia.

John Terry is by far the best and most successful captain for Chelsea FC in the club’s history. He is leading every player in his position who have played for Chelsea FC in terms of titles achievement and also football stats. John Terry has led the Blues to accomplish amazing achievement by winning a UEFA Champions League title, 3 League Cups, 1 UEFA Europa League title and also 5 Barclays Premier League titles.

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How to Choose a Real-Money Blackjack Casino

by Julia Beyers

Blackjack CasinoIntroduction

We have designed this ultimate guide for all blackjack lovers looking for trusted online websites to play this game for real money. It’s a difficult task to find the best one, so read through the following information to learn the basics of blackjack, and get valuable tips on choosing the casino of your dreams. We will also provide you with some of the most reliable casinos that we found on AllHighRollerCasinos.Com. So, sit back, relax, and let’s go!

The industry of online gambling is wide-reaching as it slowly yet effectively attracts more players from land based casinos. There are thousands of websites which offer various games from all-liked shiny slots to skill-demanding poker to luck-driven lotteries. Online casinos attract millions of users all over the world because of great convenience and comfort. Online players can enjoy favorite games without spending their bucks on trips to Las Vegas or Macau.

To understand the industry scale, let’s check the comprehensive study by Financial Times, which reveals intriguing data. According to it, there were 51% of the UK gamblers, who accessed casinos via mobile phones and tablets in 2018. At the same time, the UK Gambling Commission revealed that it had issued 888 licenses for online operators. And it’s only one country out of 193 UN members!

Things will look even brighter for web-based casinos, Juniper Research claims. In its recent report, the team predicts that there will be 61 million online gamblers who will bring casinos more than $1 trillion revenue in 2022. Without doubt, a solid portion of this money will come from blackjack tables.

Blackjack 101

Let’s start with the very basics. This section will be especially useful for newcomers who don’t know how to play blackjack or want to discover something new. Further, we want to guide you through the major rules of traditional blackjack versions and reveal some extra game variations available at online casino websites. It’s obvious that basic rules are similar for both brick and mortar and web-based gambling facilities but additional options may vary, so pay attention to games you choose. Without further ado, welcome the blackjack 101 course!

Key Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is a card game where gamblers confront a dealer. Basically, all players and a dealer blackjack get cards from the common deck (there can be from 1 to 8 combined decks), calculate their scores, and compare them. The main objective here is to get the total value of as close to 21 as possible. Hands with 21 always win, though you always lose if you exceed this amount. The game combines 50% of luck with 50% of strategy and math.

Ultimately, the classic version features three stages. During the first one, participants wager money, then they receive two cards each, and define scores. Gamblers can see only their hand cards and one dealer’s card while others are hidden. Finally, each player can make a move: to hit (take a card), to stand (do nothing), to double (double the bet and take one extra card), to split (separate cards to create two hands) or to surrender (return half of the bet and end the game). Knowing these rules is enough to start gambling, but we will cover more hints and strategies later.

Remember also the rules related to cards’ values:

● Aces can cost either 1 or 11 points depending on other cards
● All face cards cost 10 points
● Number cards cost as much as indicated on them

If you want to know more about specifics of blackjack casino games, check the related articles in Wikipedia or Dalton’s Encyclopedia of Blackjack. This huge encyclopedia covers everything from the origins of the described game to the least known exotic variations.

The Game’s Versions

Gambling websites list different variations of blackjack to meet the demands of different users. Some of them stem from the early brick and mortar casino offerings, while others are modern inventions. Usually, you will find from 2 to 10 versions on a single website. Below are the most popular ones (we mention only variations from the classic version). Note that the mentioned types are also available as live dealer games.

21 Caribbean

Aces count as 1 only, and the winning hand is slightly different as you have to build a three-card combo with an ace and two 10-valued cards.

21 Face Up / Double Exposure

In this variant, both of the dealer’s cards are exposed to gamblers. Some exotic versions require that all participants show their cards, as well.

21 Match Play

This game is played without 10-valued cards. Instead, you can make use of several bonus hands which vary across casinos.

21 Spanish

In addition to removing 10s, this variant has extra rules:
● Gamblers can surrender anytime
● Gamblers can surrender after double down
● Gamblers can increase bets at any hands
● Gambler’s 21 beats the dealer’s 21

21 Super Fun

Here, the player’s 21-valued hand also beats the dealer’s one. Plus, participants can split hands 4 times – the hand with 6 cards and the total value of 20 win automatically.

Five Hand

As the name suggests, this variation lets you have five hands simultaneously, instead of only one. Be aware that it’s a pretty challenging game though!

Free Bet

All bets placed during splitting or doubling down are protected. It means, you don’t have to wager additional money for these actions, but in the case of a win, you will get a double prize. However, the dealer’s 22-valued hand pushes all other hands except 21s here.

Perfect Pairs

This one introduces extra side bets. You can wager on getting a mixed pair (just numbers), a colored pair (numbers and colors) or a perfect pair (numbers and suits).

Single Deck

Obviously, the game features only one deck of 52 cards. It’s easier to count them and the game itself is more profitable as it has the lowest edge among all versions.

Switch

In Blackjack Switch, players get two hands and can exchange two upper cards within them freely. Similarly to Free Bet, the dealer’s 22 push other combos except for blackjacks.

Suggestions for Beginners

Extending our introductory section, we would like to give some general hints to newbie online gamblers. If you are a seasoned punter, feel free to skip this part and proceed to advanced strategies.

The very first hint is simple: don’t play for money if it’s your first blackjack run. There are hundreds of casinos which offer demo plays with virtual tokens, so try them to get the idea. Learn about the rules, terms, strategies, and features.

House edge is probably the most essential concept to be aware of. It defines how much money the casino gets from each bet on average. For instance, the game with a 5% edge means that the website wins $5 from each $100 bet. Despite the number is rounded and each particular bet can bring different return to a casino, we recommend choosing projects with the lowest edge to guarantee the maximum potential profit for you.

Check some of the blackjack features and how they affect payouts:

Extra splits. If you can split the already divided hands, you will decrease the house winnings.
A number of decks. The fewer of them are used, the lower the casino return will be.
Payouts. The 3:2 scheme is a safer choice, because 6:5 or even 1:1 options increase the edge.
Split aces. This one also boosts your revenue and reduces the casino’s one.
Surrender. This feature increases your payout significantly.

At the end of the day, choose games with a few decks, options for splitting aces and surrender. Combined, these features can increase your odds by a few percent. Respectively, avoid unfavorable payouts, side bets, and exotic rules, especially if you haven’t mastered the game yet.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Now, it’s time to look at more advanced blackjack strategy types. Undoubtedly, they will be useful for newcomers and experienced players alike, so we suggest that you check them carefully.
As was mentioned above, blackjack results depend on both luck and skill. You can’t control luck, but you can still improve skills. By mastering blackjack in land-based or Internet casinos, newbie gamblers evolve into real professionals. Still, mindless plays are destructive.

If you want to figure out when it’s better to hit and when – to surrender, explore the next sections.

Hands’ Types

Put simply, there are two categories of card combinations:

Hard hand. Generally, any pair of cards without an ace. Hard hands with aces occur only when these cards are counted as 1.
Soft hand. A combo of an ace and any other card. In this case, an ace can be counted as 1 or 11, so soft hands are more flexible than hard ones.

You can choose various strategic moves, which we will reveal a bit later. For instance, soft 19s and 20s require standing almost all the time. It’s better to receive a soft hand because you have more options with it but hard alternatives can also be beneficial as they have related moves, too.

Cheat Sheets

Experienced blackjack players know that there are cool things called cheat sheets. They highlight how you should move under a specific scenario. You can find multiple guides for different game versions but the structure is always the same. While cheat sheets are intuitive, we have prepared some instructions on how to read them.

In any cheat sheet, you will see the “Dealer” title with numbers under it. This row represents the dealer’s visible card, where 10 also stands for face cards. You will also see “Your Hand” with all possible combinations. Pairs mean two-card combos, while single numbers show sums. At the intersection of the dealer’s cards and your scores, there are suggested moves which include standard hit, stand, double, split, and surrender, as well as extra points like surrender or hit, split after a split or hit, and so on. In general, you should just compare hands and do what the table says.

If used appropriately, cheat sheets can boost your game results significantly. For classic versions, they can reduce the house profit by 4-5%. That’s a lot.

General Strategies

Here, we don’t want to dive in too complicated mind games, so we will list four popular strategies. They work fine for real money games.

1. Wait for the dealer’s hit if he/she has 4, 5 or 6. The mentioned cards are pretty risky because they leave enough space for an extra hit. Most of the dealers with soft hands will attack trying to get close to 21. Note that you can double at this moment and earn more in the case of the dealer’s bust.
2. Split aces and 8s, but don’t split 10s. There are no exceptions. Always split aces and 8s because they are great basic cards for winning combos. Instead, never split 10s because they work better together. And of course, follow your gut feeling and look at the dealer’s cards.
3. Stand in the case of your own hard 17. With it, winning chances are relatively low as you are far enough from 21. Nevertheless, it’s not worth risking and grabbing extra card because math layouts aren’t in your favor.
4. Never insure. Some blackjack versions support the insurance feature. It allows participants to protect their bet if the dealer has an ace. If the house wins with 21, all insured bets will be returned. However, stats reveal that such outcomes are rare and you will only lose the price of insurance.

Plus, more strategic moves like Hi-Lo or Hi-Opt can be found in pro cheat sheets available on gambling websites.

Money Management

Another advanced hint is related to bets. First and foremost, play when you are sober, calm, and positive-focused. As you play for money, you should realize the risks and know what to do exactly. Such an approach can protect from dangerous addictions or significant losses during the gambling rush.

Also, try to develop a solid plan and stick to it. For example, set a money-loss limit to stop gambling after reaching it or take breaks regularly. You can also choose more complex strategies: betting schemes called Martingale, Fibonacci or Paroli but be warned that these strategies will not give you an advantage and can be dangerous to your bankroll if used to the extreme. Their efficiency isn’t proven but they may help if you need some guides.

Choosing the Best Blackjack Casino

Blackjack is a simple game and it can be mastered quickly with enough practice and proper strategic plans. The critical question related to online gambling for money is built around platforms to use. The market is now jam-packed with web-based and mobile casinos, so it’s difficult to find the most suitable one or, at least, a reliable one. Remember about these three primary indicators and you will be able to spot the best online casinos.

Licenses

Read, reread, write down, bookmark, send to friends, print, and add to reminders the following info: you should gamble via licensed casinos only! It’s really important as gambling facilities without licenses or certificates can host rigged games and steal your money or credentials. Always check the footer of the main page or “About” section to find current licenses which are marks of trustworthiness.

Usually, famous casinos have certificates from:

● The United Kingdom
● Malta
● Gibraltar
● The Isle of Man
● Belgium
● Denmark
● Estonia
● Costa Rica
● Curacao

New Zealand
, Canada, the United States, and South Africa also have local commissions so you should check their rules.

In addition, there’s a global organization called eCOGRA. It issues certificates, which prove that the games and RNGs are unrigged. The combination of a national license and an eCOGRA paper is a solid proof of reliability.

Software

The second thing you should consider relates to games. The chosen casino has to list at least one variation of blackjack with certain platform compatibility. Usually, there are three options:

1. Desktop. Install the casino’s client with a set of games to enjoy them from PC.
2. Instant play. Access games directly using Flash, Java or HTML5.
3. Mobile. Get games downloaded on your phone/tablet.

Make sure to choose the best gameplay mode. Also, pay attention to the types of games as not all casinos list the same versions, so you can be disappointed with the lack of your favourite Switch or 21 Spanish. Finally, check the quality of software to know that blackjack rooms are stable and you will not face a painful disconnect at the pure 21.

Banking Methods

Last but not least, if you want to play real money games, you need to know how deposits and withdrawals work. These options vary across countries and casinos, so check the allowed money systems on official gambling websites. The most popular ones are:

● Bank cards
● Global transfers via the likes of American Express
● E-wallets
● Cheques
● Cryptocurrency

For different banking methods, casinos set different deposit/withdrawal limits – per transaction, per day, per month, etc. Be ready to pay fees, which also vary with the chosen method. Usually, the fastest options feature the highest fees and vice versa.

Insights into Blackjack Bonuses

Bonuses are a convenient tool, which casinos utilize to attract players. For example, you can multiply money with the deposit bonus, and get some free cash or free entries to tournaments. At first, it seems that bonuses are great for newcomers, who don’t have enough money to play big. Let’s say, you can deposit $50 and get a 100% bonus with an extra $50 for free. Some sites even reward new users with totally free money.

Still, all bonuses have a catch called ‘rollover’. After agreeing to the offer, you will have to bet significantly more money to be able to complete a withdrawal. Thus, the mentioned free $50 with a 40x rollover would require that you wager $2,000 before cashing out. Moreover, blackjack has a low edge, so casinos impose even stricter requirements.

We recommend checking the bonus privacy policy and the terms & conditions on the official sites.

Examples of the Leading Casinos

Finally, we are ready to introduce the best places to gamble online in 2019 where you can enjoy real money blackjack. The section is divided into two parts dedicated to desktop casinos and mobile applications. You might have already heard about one of the most popular blackjack casinos – Bovada Casino. If you are a newbie, it is worth checking it first. Here, we will list other big brands and give some characteristics.

Top-Rated Online Websites

Without further ado, enjoy the list of trusted casinos for desktops! They provide both classic and live blackjack games.

1. Betway Casino

A number of blackjack games: 68.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,300.

2. Jackpot City

A number of blackjack games: 31.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,600.

3. King Billy

A number of blackjack games: 56.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,130 + 200 free spins.

4. Mr Green Casino

A number of blackjack games: 13.
Maximum starting bonus: $115 + 200 free spins.

5. TonyBet Casino

A number of blackjack games: 49.
Maximum starting bonus: $10 without a deposit.

Mobile Applications

Additionally, you may be interested in mobile blackjack apps, so check them now! Some of these projects offer sports betting, too.

1. 888 Casino

A number of blackjack games: 5.
Maximum starting bonus: $100 without a deposit.

2. Casino.com

A number of blackjack games: 15.
Maximum starting bonus: $400 + 200 free spins.

3. LeoVegas

A number of blackjack games: 26.
Maximum starting bonus: $800.

4. Royal Panda

A number of blackjack games: 5.
Maximum starting bonus: $115 + 10 free spins.

5. William Hill Casino

A number of blackjack games: 14.
Maximum starting bonus: $400.

Running Your First Game

After you have chosen the best casino for online blackjack, you can actually start playing. Good research will point you towards reputable online gambling platforms with quality games, so make sure that you have spent enough time on it. Here’s a quick reminder on the key steps for running your first game.

Register and Set Preferences

Find a tab called “Register” or “Create Profile” to become a new user. Enter contact information in the required fields, set banking methods, and check available bonuses. During this step, check the data several times because typos may lead to issues with withdrawals later. If possible, turn on 2FA to increase safety and be sure that your account is protected.

Deposit Money

Unless the casino has provided free money as a bonus, you will have to deposit some money to start playing. Go to your profile and find a section dedicated to transfers or deposits. Here, you can link bank cards/accounts or wallets, set permissions, and perform first transactions. Extra confirmations for money deals are desired, too.

Choose the Game

To start playing blackjack, simply find this game on the website. Check which types are available and which ones are your favorites. Normally, blackjack rooms are located in “Card Games” or “Table Games” category where you will find various versions from Classic Blackjack to multiple 21 variations.

Get Winnings

Ideally, you will end up with some winnings. While it’s possible to leave the money in your casino account and continue playing blackjack, a lot of gamblers prefer to cash out a certain portion. For this, return to your profile and open the tab with money transfers. If previously connected banking methods support withdrawals, just make a transaction. Otherwise, you will need to add another option for cash-outs exclusively.

Other Noteworthy Hint

Check some useful hints to succeed in blackjack games:

● Look at the dealer’s card to understand how to act.
● Avoid first seats as there you will have the least time for thinking.
● Start with small bets to check how the game is going today.
● Don’t analyze other players’ actions as you don’t compete with them.
● Set time and money limits to avoid huge losses.
● Never gamble when overwhelmed with emotions or drunk.

A Word About Responsible Gambling

For the final section, we have prepared some info related to responsible gambling and, particularly, responsible blackjack plays. Most likely, you already know that the gambling industry is full of scammers, fraudulent websites, and rigged games which allow underage gamblers and insolvent users. These casinos have spoiled the reputation of the whole industry, so we beg to avoid them.

Play via trusted websites or use reliable applications. Remember about social responsibility. Just think how difficult it is to earn real money online and how easily illegal gambling platforms can steal it! It doesn’t take a lot of time to check licenses and read users’ reviews, but it can protect you and your close ones from potential huge losses and even addiction. Consider gambling as a hobby to enjoy it without harm.

Conclusion

Phew! It’s a pretty comprehensive guide, isn’t it? Feel free to bookmark it and return later to reread major takeaways. Firstly, make sure that you know the rules and have enough experience to gamble for money online. Then, choose a reputable casino with licenses and suitable banking methods. Lastly, remember about bonuses, their requirements, and gambling algorithms. Following these simple rules, you will be able to enjoy blackjack and earn money without issues. Good luck!

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