Online blackjack allows players many different options not available at traditional casinos such as playing against other...

Blackjack also known as 21 is an extremely popular game played in casinos all over the world. The basic idea behind this classic game is very simple. The aim is to receive cards to the value of 21 but not exceed that number and beat the dealer who also acts as the house. Whist learing the basic rules of blackjack are simple, mastering the game and its various strategies is not.

How to play:

Players are initially dealt two up-facing cards by a dealer which are visible to all players at the table. The dealeralso receives two cards, however the second card is dealt facing down. Only the dealer is able to view this card. This is generally referred to as the 'hole card' .Players are then able to make a number of choices with regards to the hand that they have been dealt. 1. A player may opt to take another card; often referred to as 'hit'. 2. 'stand' or 'stick' with their hand and not receive any more cards until the game is complete. 3. 'Double down' which allows the player to place an additional bet in return for one more card but no more. 4. Providing that the first two cards dealt were of the same value, the player has the option to 'split' the cards in two and place an additional bet. The player now has two hands each independent of each other. 

The highest hand possible is 21, hence the name. Players who receive 21 in the form of an Ace and a royal card is called 'blackjack' and is accompanied by an extra bonus normally a Three-to-two pay off instead of the regular even money. The player needs to beat the dealers hand in order to win. There is however a dealer handicap in that they have to draw to 17 and it is this that is the base many strategies are based on.


A very basic strategy for novices goes as follows. Every time a player loses a hand for instance $5, next hand they play should be 10$. This way the player insures that he will always recoup his losses once he wins. However, this basic technique insures no loss and is not geared towards winning.

'Advantage play' is an advanced technique which is intended to give the 'edge' to the player by using personal skills such as counting, observation etc. A good example is 'card counting'. Card counting involves predicting the number of high cards left in the deck by 'counting' the number of high cards that have been dealt. The more high cards dealt from a pack the less high cards which are favourable to the player there are left in the pack. By upping wagering accordingly, players can increase their odds of winning.

'Shuffle tracking' is another good example of advanced blackjack technique. By following 'clumps' or 'groups'of cards when being shuffled, a player can place higher bets when a card grouping contains high cards. However, this is an extremely difficult technique to learn and only really used successfully by the most perceptive of players. 

Variation of the game:

Most casino blackjack types are generally very similar due to the similar nature of casino play and the play of the 'house' against the player. A notable addition over the last decade is the increasing online blackjack. Online blackjack allows players many different options not available at traditional casinos such as playing against other, group play and special tournaments. Players are also able to play 24/7 from the comfort of their own home.