Blackjack is the classic game of 21 that has been played pretty much ever since the invention of a deck of cards; requiring the player to get as close to 21 with their hand of cards without going bust and without the dealer getting closer, online blackjack carries with it the same principle as the original game. In its most basic form, you simply have cards draw, and the addition of their value counts to your total, you bet on the hand, and if you’re successful in beating the dealer, you’re paid by the house.
Some versions – particularly of online blackjack – have different options within your hand and often have side bets to make things a little more interesting. These days, online blackjack is one of the most popular casino games at online and mobile casinos, and even sites that are mostly slots heavy and have few table games will still tend to carry one or two variants of the game – it’s just that important to so many gamblers.
Online Blackjack Has the Edge
There’s no doubting that online blackjack’s popularity owes not only to players’ love of the original game, but also because of the added quality produced from digitising the game. The game – even at traditional casinos – has obviously enjoyed mass appeal, but there’s something about playing it on a computer or smartphone which seems to make some players even fonder of the classic card game.
For one thing, there’s the obvious benefits from playing with a computer dealer with online blackjack, where an algorithm is deciding the outcome of the game, and where there’s no room for humans to make errors or slow the game down. There are many variants of the game which will sell themselves purely on the premise of being a quick draw game, where you can play as fast as you’re able to keep up with. Moreover, there are variants of online blackjack which allow you to play with multiple hands at once, often up to five or six, meaning you can make money fast (and if you’re super smart, you could even have a better chance of working out the likelihood of the next cards working in your favour).
Arguably, the ultimate benefit of playing online blackjack is the opportunity to play the game on the go on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile gambling has become huge over the last 10 years, and although mobile slots have been the big headline at most casinos, online blackjack has been quietly enjoying a resurgence on smaller screens, as players enjoy the game from wherever suits them. Obviously, developing a mobile version of the game throws up a whole host of new challenges to developers, including how to fit all the betting options onto smaller screens, and how to display the table, but there’s no doubting that players love accessing the game on mobile devices, and will continue to do so long into the future.
Online Blackjack Variants
One of the best parts of playing online blackjack versus the traditional casino version of the game is that instead of simply playing the most basic version of the game, you can enjoy any one of a number of different variants of the game, which take advantage of the digital nature of online blackjack to offer new options for your hand and niche bets to increase the thrill and enjoyment of the game.
Side bets are the most common augmentation to online blackjack and these can include anything from something as simple as a bet on the first two hands in your hand matching in terms of colour, suit or value, all the way to a wager on what kind of poker hand you can make with your first two cards in your hand, and the cards in the dealer’s hand. These bets tend to be completely separate from the main online blackjack meaning that even if you lose the main game.
These side bets and other variations are a huge draw for many players to online blackjack, who feel like their game experience would be improved with the addition of extra ways to make money off the game.
Are Online Blackjack Live Dealers All That?
One of the more ironic things about online blackjack is how, in an effort to improve the game for online players, developers looked backwards at the old style of brick and mortar, real life casino blackjack for inspiration. If you don’t know what live dealers are yet, then you’re in for a treat! While the video versions of online blackjack are all well and good, and decent enough for a casual flutter, if you want a real casino experience, you want to use live dealer, who are real dealers with real tables and wheels, linked to players around the world via video. The real life outcomes of their spins decide the winning number in the online game.
However, the big question remains – are live dealers really good for online blackjack players? Sure, they make everything feel a little more realistic, and give you someone to rile against if you’re unlucky, but the game feature has been dogged by accusations of cheating ever since it was introduced a few years ago. Some high profile examples have exposed this supposed cheating with some pretty convincing video proof, in cases where it seems to show the dealer has some idea of what the next card is, or what it’s likely to be.
You might think that any kind of online blackjack is open to the house fiddling – after all, couldn’t they just make it so the computer always deals in the house’s favour? Well, any licensed online casino has to put its games through independent checks to ensure that the games’ algorithms and random number generators are all as random and as fair as they claim to be. With live dealers, however, there’s no way to ensure they are always behaving honestly, so you might want to think twice before playing with them.