Online gaming is constantly evolving with changing fashions and new technological innovations. Mount Gold online casino is right at the forefront of that innovation, with new games appearing all the time. Yet the most popular casino game of all is one that has been around for almost 400 years and has changed very little in all that time. The essential blackjack rules are understood by everyone, and most of us have known how to play blackjack for longer than we can remember. it’s one of the reasons the game has been a constant in such a changing world.
Having said that, however, blackjack is a perfect example of a game where there is more going on than initially meets the eye. Blackjack strategy starts out with the basics but can get mathematically complex the deeper you go with it. Before you even think about basic strategy, however, it is important to be crystal clear with regard to blackjack rules. If you learned how to play blackjack at the age of five and have not played since, you might just need something of a reminder before you start playing one of our online blackjack games.
Before the deal
There are decisions to be made before the cards are even dealt, and the first is whether to play at a live blackjack table with a real human dealer on webcam, or at an automated one. It’s purely up to you, but we would always recommend the live tables for the most authentic and immersive blackjack experience.
When you sit down at the virtual blackjack table of your choice, your first decision is how much money to bet. Keep in mind that some blackjack variations incorporate special jackpots that can only be accessed if you make the maximum bet.
Dealing the cards
When you have placed your virtual betting chips, you and the dealer will each be dealt two cards. Yours are face up, while the dealer has one face up and one face down. Cards are scored according to their face value and all picture cards are worth 10. Ace is worth 11 unless it would take your total over 21, in which case it is worth 1.
Objective of blackjack
Most people assume the objective in blackjack is to score 21 or as close to it as you can without going over. Blackjack strategists will tell you that is the wrong way to look at it. We will save a full discussion of blackjack strategy for another time, but a core part of it is to understand that winning is really about doing one of two things:
1) Scoring higher than the dealer without going bust
2) Remaining in the game when the dealer goes bust
You will see in our blackjack strategy guide that it is sometimes the right decision to stand on a score as low as 13. If we followed the “as close to 21” definition, that is something we would not even consider doing.
Playing the game
If we disregard the additional side bets that are available in some blackjack variations, there are four options open to you during blackjack play:
- Hit – the dealer will give you another card. You can hit as many times as you like, but you will be out of the game if your score goes over 21.
- Stand – finalize your hand as it is.
- Split – if you have been dealt two cards with the same value, you have the option to split them and play each as a separate hand. This also means you will need to double your stake.
- Double down – if you are dealt a good hand and you think it will be a winner, you can double your stake before deciding to hit or stand.
The dealer’s turn
Once you have gone through the above process, you will either have decided to stand or you will have gone bust. If the latter is the case, the hand is lost and your game is over. If you are still in the game, the dealer’s downcard is revealed. The dealer does not make decisions on whether to hit or stand. Another card is dealt if the score is 16 or less, otherwise the dealer stands.
Deciding the winner
The perfect blackjack hand is an ace and a 10 or picture card. This is called a “natural” and beats any other hand, including a score of 21 made up of three cards or more.
If the dealer goes bust, then you automatically win. Otherwise, the highest score determines the winner. If you and the dealer score the same, it is known as a “push,” and your stake will be returned. In most blackjack games, a win will earn you even money, with a 50 percent bonus on top for a natural.
Now you have completed our blackjack rules refresher, why not pay a visit to one of the dozens of blackjack tables at Mount Gold casino? Good luck!