Real Money Blackjack Guide


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Comprehensive Online Blackjack Guide

There’s no question about it: the best way to learn how to play blackjack for real money is at an online casino. Our blackjack guide will teach you the basics.


Play Online Blackjack for Real Money

With a history that dates back to the late 16th century, blackjack is one of the oldest casino games still played today. Back then, it was called veintiuna (Spanish for 21) and it followed the same basic premise as our modern-day version. The name “blackjack” didn’t arrive until the game made its way to the United States, where casinos offered 10 to 1 bonuses for hands comprising an Ace of spades and a Jack of clubs or spades. In the end, the bonus didn’t stick, but the game did; it appealed to people who liked to play table games strategically. Over time, blackjack became the No. 1 table game in casinos across North America.


For live blackjack online in Canada, there’s no better place to play than right here at Bodog Casino. We offer several blackjack variations, including the hard-to-find versions of blackjack—Single Deck included. All of our online blackjack versions offer the full 3:2 payouts for landing a natural, so no matter what type of blackjack you like best, rest assured you’ll get a competitive version here at Bodog.


Different Types of Blackjack Games

Anyone looking to play blackjack online should check out the nine versions available in our casino. You’ll find everything from Classic Blackjack to Zappit Blackjack, and they can all be played for real money payouts. In the following list, we’ll outline each and every one of them, starting with the classics.


Classic Blackjack</a >

Best played on a desktop, our Classic Blackjack (six decks) has the look and feel of an authentic blackjack table found in a brick-and-mortar casino. Play up to three hands per round, with each hand letting you bet between $1 and $500. Surrender is an option.


Classic Double Deck Blackjack</a >

Another member of our Classic Blackjack suite, Classic Double Deck Blackjack also replicates the brick-and-mortar casino look with its blue felt table top, which your chips and the shoe are placed upon. As the name suggests, this version uses a two-deck shoe, which contributes to a lower house edge. The Dealer stands on soft 17.


Classic Single Deck Blackjack</a >

It’s getting harder and harder to find Single Deck Blackjack these days, but we’ve held onto it with our Classic version. Bet up to $300 per round, and enjoy being able to double any two cards and split Aces. The Dealer hits soft 17 in this game.


Blackjack</a >

The best online blackjack for mobile is our new version of blackjack, which uses six decks like the Classic variant. In this game, the screen adjusts as you progress through the round, creating a streamlined user experience. In the settings, you can choose between three uniquely-styled playing decks and background colours for the ultimate custom experience. Play up to three hands per round.


Double Deck Blackjack</a >

Our Double Deck Blackjack also provides a more streamlined user experience than the Classic suite, with all the same online blackjack rules. The Dealer stands on soft 17, and the betting minimum and maximum range from $1 to $250. There’s no surrender option in this version.


Single Deck Blackjack</a >

We have two versions of Single Deck Blackjack in our casino. The non-Classic variant has smoother gameplay, which works well with small screens. Blackjack pays 3 to 2, and the Dealer is required to hit soft 17 hands.


European Blackjack</a >

It may not feel like there’s much difference between regular Blackjack and European Blackjack, but there are a couple of key differences to keep in mind. The first deal gives you two cards and the Dealer one upcard. You must complete your turn before the Dealer gets a hole card, meaning he doesn’t “peek” for blackjack when he has an Ace.


Perfect Pairs</a >

Shake up your blackjack routine by incorporating side bets into your game. In Perfect Pairs, you can bet between $1 and $500 on the Pairs side bet, which wins when you get dealt a pair right off the hop. The more exact your pair, the better you get paid.


Zappit Blackjack</a >

Get rid of those pesky 15, 16 and 17 scores by zapping them. They’ll be replaced with a fresh new hand. The only catch is that the Dealer busting with a 22 is considered a push—not a loss.


Blackjack Basic Strategy

Beginners looking to learn blackjack strategy don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The optimal move for every blackjack hand can already be found in a strategy chart. These charts compare your hand score with the Dealer’s upcard, and display the best move to make according to experts.


Charts aside, when you play blackjack online for real money, you’re mostly looking to build a score of 17 or higher with hard hands, and 19 or higher with soft hands. But there will be times when standing on a score of 12 is optimal, depending on the Dealer’s upcard. Knowing when to do this will result in more earnings when you play blackjack online for money, so we’ll outline the scenarios that call for a more passive approach.


When you have a 16 or below and are deciding whether to Hit or Stand, consider how likely the Dealer is to bust. Low cards (Six and below) are particularly risky for the Dealer since he’ll need to draw at least two more cards (when Dealers hit on soft 17). When the Dealer’s at risk of busting, it makes sense to hold back and stand on low scores such as hard 12 to 16.


That being said, hitting and standing are just two of the tools at your disposal. Doubling and splitting will also be the right move to make a lot of the time. These times will be outlined in your chart, but in general, doubling is ideal when you have a hard 10 and 11, and splitting is better than holding onto Eights, Nines and Aces.


When you’re ready to play blackjack online for real money, be sure to get a chart that is designed for the specific version of blackjack you’re playing. Some recommended moves change depending on the number of decks in the shoe and the soft 17 rule.


Blackjack Advanced Strategy

Advanced blackjack players take things further than simply memorizing strategy charts; they often incorporate card counting techniques into their game as well. This advanced strategy involves keeping track of the volume of 10-value cards that remain in the shoe. Based on this knowledge, AP players adjust their play.


Why are 10-value cards important? A shoe rich in Tens means you have a greater chance of landing Blackjack. Yes, Dealers also have a stronger chance of getting Blackjack, but they don’t get a premium 3:2 payout for it; they simply get your bet. The Dealer also doesn’t get to use the Double Down option, which doubles the bet and payout, and is extra valuable when the remaining shoe has a lot of Tens in it. When you double down, you only get one final card added to your hand, so it’s best used when aiming for a Ten-value card—hence why blackjack charts suggest doubling on scores of 10 and 11. On the flip side, a shoe rich in low cards means worse outcomes for your double downs and far fewer Blackjacks. This is why knowing what remains in the shoe gives blackjack players an edge.


Fortunately, you don’t need to memorize every card that passes through the table to get into card counting. The basic High-Low technique simply assigns tags to three groups of cards: low, medium and high cards.


Low Cards (Two to Six): +1

Medium Cards (Seven to Nine): 0

High Cards: (Ten to Ace): -1


The technique involves adding and subtracting each card that passes through the table in what’s known as a “running count.” For example, if a Seven (0), Eight (0), Two (+1), Ace (-1), and Queen (-1) pass through the table, you’d have a running count of -1. If you’re playing Single Deck Blackjack, the running count is your true count and requires no further calculations. But playing with multiple decks means you must divide the count by the estimated number of decks that remain in the shoe in order to establish the true count.


While it is possible to practice calculating the running count while you play online blackjack for real money, it’s not possible to use the information to guide your play. For counting to work, you need to be able to get through a certain number of rounds before the shoe is shuffled, and with online blackjack, the shoe is shuffled after every round.


Welcome to our comprehensive online blackjack guide. We welcome players of all skill levels here. Even if you’ve never played blackjack before, you’ll be up and running by the end of this article. At a very basic level, blackjack is a table game played with cards that pits you against the Dealer in an attempt to build a hand with more points—up to a maximum of 21. People have been playing different versions of this game since at least the 16th century, and possibly earlier. It’s now the most popular casino table game in existence.


Blackjack’s popularity can be attributed to its balance between skill and luck. As more and more casino games emphasize the latter, players who want strategy can feel confident that blackjack will give them the casino experience they want. The skill element became very obvious after Edward Thorpe published Beat the Dealer in 1962. All of a sudden, regular players were using Thorpe’s techniques to make a killing at blackjack tables. While it wasn’t a good time for casinos, it did cement blackjack’s popularity with the public.


Bodog Casino is the best place to learn how to play blackjack. In this blackjack guide, we’ll discuss the rules of the game, differences between single and multi-deck versions, and the importance of strategy. As you learn the ins and outs of blackjack, you can practice with any of our nine blackjack games for free on Practice Play mode, or for as little as $1 a round on Real Play mode.


Understanding Online Blackjack Rules

When it comes to blackjack rules, there are universal rules and rules that are specific to the version you’re playing. In this online blackjack guide, we’ll discuss the universal rules used in our casino, but be sure to check the game-specific ones before launching a real-money blackjack session; these can be found in the game menu.


To start, you and the Dealer get a two-card hand. The first card dealt to the Dealer is placed face-up, and the second one (the hole card) is placed face-down, providing partial information to base your decision on. You may notice that this isn’t the case when playing in Europe, which is why our European version of Blackjack doesn’t include a hole card.


As the player, you always act first, choosing one of several actions to try to create a competitive hand. Once finished, the Dealer moves systematically, taking additional cards until he has at least 17 points. If anyone exceeds 21 points, they lose automatically, which is known as busting.


The point system is as follows:

• All cards between 2 and 10 have face value. For example, a 6 would be worth 6 points.

• Face cards are worth 10 points.

• Aces are worth 1 or 11 points. They start with 11 points and convert to 1 point in order to prevent busting.


In general, you want to aim for a score of 17 or higher; however, when the Dealer’s visible card is a Six or below, you should stand with a score that’s lower than 17. When you have a soft hand, things get a little trickier.


A soft hand contains an Ace that’s worth 11 points. It’s “soft” because it can still be converted to 1 point, at which point, you have a non-convertible hard hand. When you have a soft hand, you should be more aggressive because if you go over, instead of busting, your 11-point Ace will revert to a 1-point Ace. That’s why basic strategy recommends shooting for 18 and above with most soft hands.


In order to build your blackjack hand, a number of tools are at your disposal. You can add points by requesting another card (Hit). The “Double” action doubles your bet and gets you one final card, which is a great option when you have a 10 or 11. Splitting involves taking your initial two-card hand and dividing it into two individual hands—something that’s possible only when you have a pair. Last but not least, some versions of blackjack let you forfeit the round and retrieve half your wager (Surrender). This option is only available right after receiving your two-card hand. In other words, you can’t hit and then surrender.


Blackjack Single Deck, Double Deck and More

In our casino, you can play blackjack with one, two, and six decks. The number of decks in the shoe affects house edge and strategy. To help you understand why, we’ll discuss the theoretical impact of card removal on the remaining shoe. For each version of blackjack, the removal of a single card has a different level of impact on the remaining shoe. For example, when playing Single Deck Blackjack, if you see an Ace pass through the table, you know the remaining shoe has three Aces instead of four. This impact is diluted when you play a six-deck version of blackjack, as there will be 23 Aces remaining instead of 24.


When all else is equal (and the Dealer hits on soft 17), playing with just one deck has a house edge of 0.046%. Double Deck Blackjack has a house edge of 0.393%, and Six Deck Blackjack has a house edge of 0.618%. These figures assume basic strategy, a continuous shuffler, the player doubling after a split (and doubling any first two cards), the option to re-split up to four hands, and a blackjack payout of 3:2.


As you can see, playing with more decks in the shoe increases the house edge, which is why six-deck versions have more liberal rules. For example, only in our six-deck version of blackjack can you surrender your hand and bet up to $500 per round.


Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack strategy is as simple as finding a chart that dictates the optimal move for every hand. All you do is compare your score on the first column with the Dealer’s upcard in the first row. The best possible move is listed in the chart. Be sure you’re using a blackjack chart that’s appropriate for the version of blackjack you’re playing. There are charts specific to the number of decks and the Dealer’s response to a soft 17. Only after mastering basic strategy is it possible to explore more advanced techniques in blackjack, counting cards included.


Hit & Stand

First and foremost, a blackjack strategy chart tells you when to hit and stand. You may be surprised to learn that there are some scenarios where standing on a score as low as 12 is the optimal move.


Splitting Pairs

When you look into blackjack strategy, you’ll find three charts: one for hard scores, one for soft scores and one for splitting pairs. The most split-worthy pairs are AA, 88, and sometimes 99.


Double Down

Most people know that doubling down is the best move you can make when dealt an 11, but are you aware of the seven soft hands that should be doubled—depending on the Dealer’s upcard?


Online blackjack is the ideal training ground for new players. Unlike in land-based casinos, there’s no pressure to keep pace with the fast-action of a bustling table. Play at your own pace—even if that means taking the time to consult with a chart before making each move. Even the most seasoned blackjack players had to do this at the start of their journey, so you’re not alone. Good luck at the tables and enjoy the process.



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