This article looks at the hugely popular game of blackjack. It’s found at most online casinos and is a staple of land-based casinos too. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of the game and show you how it’s played. When you’ve finished reading, be sure to have a go at some blackjack games yourself at a Kenyan online casinos. Pit yourself against the dealer and see who gets the closest to 21 without going over 21!
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History of Blackjack
Blackjack is believed to have originated in France around the beginning of the 18th century. The earliest known version of the game was called ‘Vingt-et-un’, which is French for ’21’. It was slightly different to the blackjack games that are played today, though it still had the core objective of getting as close to 21 as possible.
French colonists took the game to North America, where it caught on and quickly became popular. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the game started getting called ‘Blackjack’. When the game was legalized in Nevada, there was a special 10:1 payout for getting an ace of spades and a black jack (i.e. a jack or spades or clubs). Even though this payout was soon discontinued, the name ‘Blackjack’ stuck.
When online casinos first started appearing in the late 1990s, many online blackjack games also launched. Over the years, providers started creating new and exciting blackjack variants to give online players even more games to play.
Basic Terms You Should Know
- Bankroll – Your bankroll is your gaming budget.
- Blackjack – If you receive two cards that together are worth 21, this is a blackjack.
- Bust – Going bust is where your hand is worth more than 21. If this happens, you’re out of the game.
- Hard Hand – This is a hand where if you hit, there’s a chance you’ll go bust.
- Hit – One extra card is added to your hand.
- Insurance – A side bet you can place if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. It pays out if the dealer’s face-down card is worth 10, giving the dealer 21.
- Push – This is when the game results in a tie, i.e. your hand and the dealer’s are worth the same amount.
- Soft Hand – A hand that includes an ace valued at 11 that can be valued at 1 instead. If you hit on a soft hand, you won’t go bust.
- Split – If your hand contains two cards worth the same, you can split your hand in two.
- Stand – You keep your hand as it is and add no more cards to it.
How You Play Blackjack
Blackjack is a card comparing game that usually uses six or eight standard decks of cards that are shuffled together. Your hand is played against the dealer’s hand. Your objective is to get closer to 21 than the dealer, but without actually going over 21. In this game, you get to make decisions that can help you win, though there’s a risk as your decisions may result in a loss.
To start with, both you and the dealer are dealt two cards. One of the dealer’s cards is dealt face-up so you can see it. In blackjack games, the cards 2-9 are worth their face value. Aces are worth 1 or 11 and 10s and royals (jacks, queens and kings) are all worth 10. If you first two cards add up 21 (i.e. you have an ace and a card worth 10), you win, providing the dealer doesn’t also have a hand worth 21.
If neither player has a starting hand worth 21, it’s your turn to act first. There are several things you can do with your hand:
- Hit – One extra card is dealt to your hand.
- Stand – You decide to receive no new cards and effectively end your go.
- Double Down – You double your bet, hit once and then stand. You can only double down when there are two cards in your hand.
- Split – If your first two cards are of the same value, you can split your hand in two and play with two separate hands going forward.
- Surrender – This action is only available in certain games. You essentially quit the game and have half your bet returned to you.
Once you’ve finished carrying out actions, it’s the dealer’s turn, providing your hand still isn’t worth more than 21. The dealer then reveals their face-down card and has to keep hitting until their hand is worth a certain number or more. Then, the dealer stands, providing their hand hasn’t gone over 21, and the two hands are compared.
If your hand is worth more, you win. If the dealer’s hand is worth more, you lose. Should both hands be worth the same, it’s a tie.
A side bet that you may want to consider placing is the insurance bet. You can place this if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. The bet pays out if the dealer’s second card is worth 10. The bet is best avoided, as its chances of winning aren’t that great.
There are quite a few different versions of blackjack that can be played at online casinos. The standard version of the game follows the basic rules and uses six or eight decks of 52 cards. Some of the most common variants are listed below:
- Single Deck Blackjack – As its name suggests, this version uses just one deck of cards.
- Blackjack Switch – In this variant, you play with two hands and can switch cards between them to help you win.
- Atlantic City Blackjack – This variant is played with eight decks of cards and allows surrendering. Hands that have been split once can be split again.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack – When playing this version of the game, four decks of cards are used but surrendering is not allowed.
- European Blackjack – Usually played with six decks of cards, European blackjack doesn’t allow for splitting a second time or surrendering.
- Perfect Pairs Blackjack – This runs in the same way as standard blackjack, except it introduces an optional side bet that pays if your first two cards are a pair.
Online VS Live Blackjack
Most blackjack games at online casinos are animated. They’re entirely digital and are usually themed to look like traditional casino games. Live dealer casino games, on the other hand, are completely different. These are actual, real-life games that are played with a croupier and are broadcast in real-time from a TV studio or casino venue. You can take part in live games from the comfort of your own home. These games are a lot more interactive and sociable than animated ones because you can chat with the other players and even the croupier as you play.
Blackjack’s House Edge
One of the reasons blackjack is such a popular casino game is that it has a very low house edge. The lower a game’s house edge is, the less of your money you should lose as you play. Blackjack’s house edge is very low, though it can vary depending on the version of the game you’re playing. For most blackjack games, the house edge is around 0.4%-0.5% or even lower.
The main strategy to use when playing blackjack is the basic strategy. This involves looking at a card that tells you what is the best move to make based on the version of blackjack you’re playing and what cards you and the dealer have. There are strategy cards for just about every possible version of blackjack.
When it comes to splitting, it’s recommended that you always split a pair of aces. There are several cards worth 10, so if you have two hands with aces in them, you stand a good chance of getting 21 by splitting the two aces. Splitting cards worth 10, 4 or 5 is not advised because of the low chances of winning.
Useful Tips For Playing Blackjack Online
When playing any kind of casino game with real money, you should always come up with a budget and stick to it. Spend your money sensibly and don’t spend money that you can’t afford to lose. Also, don’t go chasing your losses and never assume you’re going to win.
When it comes to looking for somewhere to play blackjack online, make sure you choose an online casino that’s safe and reliable. Do some research to see what ones are best for you. Compare things such as game collection, accepted payment methods, customer support options, mobile compatibility, and security. You should also take into account casino bonuses and promotional offers. You can always check how we review online casinos here.
Like other online casino games, blackjack can be played on mobiles. Most blackjack games have touchscreen-friendly versions that are compatible with many different smartphones and tablets. To play blackjack on the go, your device needs to be connected to the internet. The games run in instant play and there’s usually no extra software or downloads required.
Playing BlackJack For Free vs Playing For Real Money
Before you start playing blackjack for real money, it’s a good idea to play for free. By doing this, you can get used to how the game works without having to risk your money. At most online casinos, you can play for free once you’ve got an account set up.
Playing at real money casinos has its advantages, too. There’s obviously the fact that you can win actual money and the excitement that comes with potentially making a profit. When playing with real money at a casino, you can also take advantage of bonus offers, which can be quite generous and can give your balance a welcome boost.
Blackjack is a fun and entertaining casino game that’s all about beating the dealer to 21. It’s easy enough to play and while it involves some luck, you have to make decisions that can help you win but can also cause you to lose. You’ll find blackjack games available to play at most online casinos in Kenya. Try the game out for free then give it a go with real money when you’re ready to take on the dealer! Don’t forget to use basic strategy cards to boost your chances of winning.
Using a basic strategy of Blackjack can help you win. However, the cards cannot guarantee you a win.
The basic strategy is regarded as the best strategy to use when playing Blackjack live, as it tells you what move is statistically the best one to make.
Yes, there are lots of blackjack games that are playable on phones.
The house edge varies depending on the game you’re playing. For most games, it’s very low indeed, which is what makes blackjack one of the most popular card games.
Many players prefer single deck blackjack because it has a lower house edge than multi-deck black-jack.
Live games follow the same rules. The only difference is that they’re played with a real-life croupier and gaming equipment, whereas online games are entirely digital.
Nearly all online casinos have at least a few blackjack games available to play.