Blackjack is a widely popular card game. This fan-favourite casino game is also referred to as twenty-one and offers fast-paced gambling sessions. Thanks to its high popularity, blackjack is featured at almost every land-based and online gambling facility. Therefore, players from India can find it both in top Indian brick-and-mortar casinos and online casinos that welcome Indian players.
Blackjack is special because it comes with various rules and payouts; it offers numerous side betting options and exciting gambling sessions. Hence, regardless how many times a player plays this game, each session promises a unique and thrilling action. Nevertheless, the one thing that never changes is the way to win the game – beat the dealer’s hand!
So, before anything else, players must know what is the main objective of blackjack, how the gameplay unfolds and what are their options during the game. Thus, let’s tackle all of these issues prior to moving on blackjack variants and betting options.
- Namely, the objective of blackjack is to win the game by scoring a better hand than the one the dealer has. This is achieved by making calculated and well-thought decisions once you receive your first two cards. However, prior this decision, the game starts with the dealer dealing you two face-up cards and dealing themselves one face-up and one face-down card. At this moment, the player chooses their next step, which can be hit (request another card), stand (don’t request another card), double (double the initial bet), split (split a pair of identical cards) or fold (quit the game and lose the initial bet).
- Once the player makes a decision, the dealer acts accordingly and afterwards reveals their cards. Once both the player and the dealer are done playing, the winner is determined using their hand strength. The strongest hand is called blackjack and its count is 21; the winner is the one whose hand is 21 or the closest to 21. As soon as the winner is determined, the player either loses their bet or wins a predetermined cash prize. The game ends.
Blackjack Rule Variations
One of top blackjack’s features is the fact that the game may have numerous rule variations that result in lots of blackjack variants. Therefore, the dealer usually stands on soft 17, but there are variants that make them stand on all 17s or hit on 17s. There are also rules that restrict the player’s options; for example, sometimes players are allowed to double down only on certain hands or split only once per game. Another bonus related to the player is the option to surrender; namely, games with lower house edge allow player to surrender and keep half of their initial bet, whereas other variants don’t offer this option.
Standard and Side Betting Options
Depending on the blackjack variation a player has chosen to play, their betting options may differ. Therefore, the most standard bet is the initial bet placed in order to enter the game; this one has a 1 to 1 payout if the player wins the game. However, if the player hits a blackjack, they usually receive a better 3:2 payout.
Another often accepted bet on blackjack is the insurance bet. The insurance bet pays 2:1 and, just like the name suggests, it’s often placed as a back-up strategy in case the dealer hits a blackjack. However, this bet has pretty high house edge and usually it is not recommended to players.
Other than these two common bets, blackjack players can place a wide range of side bets depending on the variant. One of the most popular side bets is the perfect pair bet that rewards players whose two cards are of the same suit and the same rank. There are mixed pair and coloured pair side bets as well. Other popular side bets include Lucky Lucky, Crazy Sevens and 21 Magic.
Optimal Strategies for Winning Blackjack
Passionate blackjack players are well familiar with the optimal blackjack strategy charts that guide players once their first two cards are revealed. Thus, even though the exact optimal strategy may change depending on the exact rules applied to the game, there are certain things that players should have in mind.
For example, players are always recommended to stand on hard 17-20 hands. Similarly, they should always stand on soft A,8 and A,9 hands. Hitting is a good option when the player gets a hard 5-8 hand, regardless the dealer’s card. When it comes to pairs, players should always stand on a pair of tens and split a pair of eights. Doubling down is usually recommended on hard 11 when the dealer reveals a card between 2 and 10.
Playing Blackjack at Online Casinos
Players from India shouldn’t be surprised that playing blackjack online is a bit different than playing it in land-based casinos. Namely, when playing online the outcome of the game depends on a random number generator, whereas in casinos the dealer is the one that deals and shuffles the cards. Nevertheless, this doesn’t affect the fairness of the game since online casino software are tested in order to make sure that each result they provide is 100% fair and unpredictable.
Another difference can be found in the fact that usually one player plays on a single table rather than several players against one dealer. This provides more personal gambling experience to players from India. It should be noted that online casinos usually feature lots of blackjack variants and thus players can try them all without changing gambling facilities or spending large amounts of cash.
Other than that, the rules and the gameplay of online and offline blackjack are pretty much the same. Players can see the table limits prior to joining the table and take part in the game by hitting the appropriate buttons on the screen (hit, stand, double down etc.). When released by established providers, online blackjack runs smoothly, plus it boasts with nice design and realistic sound effects.