Real Money Blackjack
The game of Blackjack is offered in most online casinos and it’s also one of the games that are most popular. Since the game’s rules are quite simple, pretty much anyone can play it and enjoy it. It’s a fast paced casino game which actually gives the player a decent chance of making money from it.
Playing real money Blackjack online or in any casino requires that you have a certain skill and knowledge of the game in order to do it successfully. Practicing constantly and playing with real money allows you to learn and to build up your skills at this game.
The game’s rules are quite simple. The total value of the cards you hold should be as close as it is possible to 21, without going over it. While it’s simple enough to start playing, in the long run you have to follow a strategy in order to make money. Math skills can be quite important for this game and they can give you a small advantage, but it can be played simply by knowing what to do next, based on the two cards you’re initially dealt.
One of the reasons why Blackjack is so popular at online casinos is that the house edge is quite low, at least compared with other games you can find there. As long as you play the hands you’re dealt perfectly, the edge of the house can drop to 1% or lower, which when compared to the roulette’s 5.6% makes it a much better choice.
How it Works – The Basics
Once you’re at the Blackjack table you will notice that there are other players there as well, all competing with the dealer. They are not however your competitors in the game. Blackjack is played by two parties.
Each player receives two cards initially, whose values are added to get the total. The Ace is valued either at 11 points or 1 point, depending on the situation. The Jack, Queen and King are cards which are worth 10 points. The other cards are worth the number that is written on them. Once the cards are dealt, players can request a hit, meaning that they’d like another card. The winner is decided by comparing the values of the cards held by the dealer and the player. The one that has a total score that is 21, or less and closest to it, will win the round. If the score goes beyond 21 points, the owner of the cards goes bust (loses the round automatically). If the dealer goes beyond 21, the player wins no matter what his score is, as long as it’s up to 21 points. Since the Ace card has two potential values, it can influence the value of a hand. For example, when its value is 11, if the player gets a card that normally would take him over 21 points, the value will go to 1, meaning that the score remains below 21. This type of hand is called soft while a hand where there is no chance of a card value changing would be called hard.
According to the rules, the dealer is obligated to keep taking cards for himself until he reaches a minimum of 17 points (sometimes a casino will also accept a soft 17 for their dealers, where the value is given by a six and an Ace). If the player doesn’t bust and the value of his cards is closer to 21 than the value held by the dealer, he wins the game. When both the Blackjack dealer and the player get the same amount of points, it’s considered a push. In that case the round is neither lost nor won.
Player Decisions during a Real Money Blackjack Game
While playing a game of Blackjack, the player has a couple of options at his disposal, each with a name that should be known, plus a hand signal.
Hit is the word used to request an additional card. Its corresponding hand signal is either scraping the cards against the table when you’re holding them, or taping the table or waving your hand towards your body when they’re face up on the table.
Stand is used when you don’t want to take additional cards. You can signal it either by sliding your cards under the chips, or you can wave your hand horizontally.
Double down is an option available to players, allowing them to up their first bet, as long as they agree to Stand after they get one additional card. The maximum bet increase for the double down is 100%. This decision can be signaled by placing the extra chips next to the first bet, accompanied by pointing with one finger.
Split can be used at the beginning of the game, once the cards have been dealt. If the two cards that were received have the exact same value, the decision can be taken to split the cards and get two hands instead. Another bet has to be made for the second hand. Next, the dealer will separate the cards and add an extra card for each one. It can be hand signaled by placing extra chips in the vicinity of the first bet, but outside the box, after which you point, using two fingers which form the letter V.
Surrender is not always available, but some casinos have it as an option. If the player decides to do that, half his bet will be taken by the house. A verbal request needs to be made for it to happen.
Basic Strategy for Blackjack
What makes this game such a good choice for anyone that wants to play it is that it has math behind it and that there are basic strategies in place which improve your odds of winning significantly. The basic strategy devised for Blackjack takes the decision away from the player, telling him exactly what to do in each situation. Based on his pair of cards and on the dealer’s face-up card, the player will know what his next move should be.
When you read about the low house edge that exists with Blackjack, you should know that it’s there only as long as the player bets consistently the same amount and sticks to the basic strategy.
Blackjack is definitely a game that is recommended to someone that wants to get started playing at an online casino. Learn the rules of the game, study the basic strategy that should be followed in order to optimize your chances and get started.
Don’t forget, reading up on something and knowing it by heart is not enough. You should sign-up at a casino and start playing, betting small at first, while you learn the game and you get used to make decisions quickly.
Signing-up at an Online Casino
As with any other site, you have to register in order to start playing Blackjack for real money. The decision to sign-up for one casino or another shouldn’t be made lightly. Each one offers new players a sign-up bonus, which gives you extra money to use at Blackjack. Most casinos will double up the money you deposit with them after you sign-up. It’s usually offered for the first deposit only, so if you’re serious about playing Blackjack, try to max out the bonus by depositing the amount necessary to receive it.
Adding Funds to Your Real Money Account
Making a deposit at the casino can be done in a number of ways. If you already have an electronic wallet account at one of the major companies that offer this service online, you will probably be able to use it to deposit funds. Among the companies that are used by online casinos you will find Neteller, PayPal, Skrill/Moneybookers and Click2Pay, to name just a few. Making a regular bank transfer is another possibility, which will typically take longer, but it is the safer option if you decide you want to deposit a large sum of money.
If the options that were mentioned so far are not available to you, there are a number of other options which can be used, including the use of a prepaid card or a reloadable Visa card. Two known companies that offer this type of card are EcoCard and Entropay.
If none of the funding methods we mentioned are easily available, there is also the possibility to use MoneyGram, a money transfer company which has offices in pretty much every country in the world.