Blackjack – Detailed Guide 

Blackjack is super fun and easy to play! Learn the rules of this casino game and get useful tips and pro strategies in this full guide.

Blackjack is one of the most popular table games at real money casinos in the Philippines and around the globe. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s available at virtually every online casino as well. But unlike other casino classics, blackjack isn’t entirely a game of chance. Instead, implementing a good strategy goes a long way in boosting the chances of winning. So, the better you understand the rules of the game, the higher the chances you succeed. Hence why we’ve put together this simple guide to walk you through all the basics. Moreover, you’ll get some useful tips, too.

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Blackjack Throughout Time

Unfortunately, the origins of blackjack are still a mystery. However, there are several theories out there that researchers seem to debate over. The most popular one is that the game comes from French casinos and came to be somewhere around the 1700s. Back then, there was a card game called 21, or “Vingt-et-Un” (Twenty-One) in French. 

On the other hand, others believe that the Romans came up with the game. But whichever way it really was, blackjack began spreading quickly and made it to America in the 18th century. By the next century, blackjack evolved into several different variants that we still play today and became even more popular.

Blackjack Guide

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack has fairly simple rules and involves a single 52-card deck. The objective of the game is to achieve a hand worth 21 or as close to that as possible. Moreover, you aim to get a number that is greater than your opponents’ but not greater than 21. If your hand’s value exceeds 21 then it’s an automatic loss. However, it’s actually harder than it seems because you only get to see one face-up card of your opponent. So, when you receive a card you can either stand or hit but the point is to stay below 21.

Basic Blackjack Glossary

Much like any other casino game, blackjack comes with several special terms that any player must know about. Here are the basics:

  • Bankroll – Your bankroll is the amount you have available at the casino to gamble with. 
  • Burn card – The first card the dealer places face down on the deck is the burn card. 
  • Bust – To bust means that your or the dealer’s hand goes over 21.
  • Cold deck – A shoe is a cold deck when it spews out bad cards that make the players lose. 
  • Multideck – Most blackjack variants make use of more than one deck of cards in a shoe, hence multi deck. 
  • Surrender – If you’re dealt a bad hand you can choose to surrender (or give up), however, you’d only recover 50% of your initial stake.
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Popular Variations in the Philippines

Because blackjack has been around for so long, there’s quite an array of variations players can enjoy. In the Philippines, gamblers most commonly choose: 

Blackjack Switch

In a blackjack switch game, players must make at least two bets of equal size. Blackjack switch then gives you the ability to exchange those cards between hands. Moreover, the cards are dealt face-up but the caveat is that a dealer 22 is a push rather than a bust.

Free Bet Blackjack

Free bet blackjack gives players the ability to split, as well as double down one time on each hand for free. If the hand wins, the original wager and the free wager are paid. But if the hand loses players lose only the original bet.

Spanish 21

In Spanish 21 after the player places a bet and receives their cards, there are two choices. So, they can either split their pair of hands or continue with two hands. If the player gets another pair, there is an option to re-split.

Super Fun 21

In super fun 21, a player can either hit or double-split aces. Additionally, after a failed double down, the player can surrender. But surrender is only available after the player hits. Moreover, any pair can be split up into four pairs including aces. 

Most Liberal 21

Most liberal 21 gives a player the ability to double down on 2, 3, or 4 cards. This changes a player’s double down strategy, especially on soft hands and 9s. In addition, the player can also split the pair an infinite number of times. If a player can make a six-card hand without busting automatically wins.

War Blackjack

War blackjack is similar to regular blackjack. The only difference is if the player decides to make a war side bet. If you make the war side bet it pits the player’s first card against the dealer. 

Face Up Blackjack

Face up blackjack gets its name from the difference in how the dealer’s cards are dealt. In face-up blackjack, the dealer’s hole card is face-up.

Double Attack Blackjack

Double attack blackjack is similar to Spanish 21 but there are no 10s in the deck. Moreover, when you see a dealer’s door card you can double bet. The game also offers side bets or “bustit”s. 

How to Play 21

RNG-Based Blackjack vs. Live Games

When you play at a real money casino online, there are two kinds of blackjack games you can choose from. First, there is software-based blackjack that uses RNG, or Random Number Generator software to work. So basically, the software itself is the dealer and therefore you are playing against a program. Of course, results are still random and unbiased but if you miss paying against real people then live games are for you. In live dealer games of blackjack, you get to play against an actual dealer that handles the cards.

Player-friendly House Edge

If you are using a basic playing strategy in blackjack, the house edge is around 0.5%. This figure simply shows how much of an advantage the online casino has over players. But it can go up or down, depending on your skills.

Common Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack is one of the skill-based casino games, and means there are a lot of different blackjack strategies and tips, that can help you to improve your games and increase your chances to win.

  • Surrender – Surrender is when a player folds a blackjack hand before drawing a new card. 
  • Splits – When you have two identical numbers in a hand, you can split them and play each like a separate hand. 
  • Double – Doubling down is placing an additional bet equal to your initial bet in return for an extra card. 
  • Hit/Stand – Hit when you want the dealer to give you an extra card. Stand when you want to hold the card at hand and end your turn. 
  • Soft/Hard Totals – A soft hand is when a player is dealt two cards and one is an ace. But a hard hand is when a player is dealt two cards with no ace. 
  • Card Counting – One of the most famous and useful strategies to use when playing blackjack is card counting, it’s not easy to learn and master but if you do, this strategy can greatly increase your chances to win.
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Pro Tips for Online Blackjack 

Blackjack is not just about luck, in fact, implementing a strategy and some extra tips can change the outlook of your game. So, in addition to using a strategy to play, our pros advise:

  • Play games with liberal rules. 
  • Learn a basic strategy. 
  • Use a strategy card. 
  • Avoid making the insurance wager. 
  • Ignore other players. 
  • Avoid progressive strategies. 
  • Don’t believe you are due to win. 
  • Don’t play on tables that use a continuous shuffler. 
Blackjack Strategies

Playing On-the-Go

If you love playing blackjack and your phone but are short on time or always on the go, playing mobile blackjack is the answer. Fortunately, most online casinos in the Philippines nowadays offer mobile-friendly versions of blackjack so you can play from your phone or tablet wherever you go.

Real Money Gaming vs. Free Play

You can play blackjack with real money or for free at most top online casinos. The difference between the two is that when you play with real money you can also win real cash. Not to mention the thrill of the risk, which is so exciting. But if you want to practice a strategy first, test a new title, or just enjoy a risk-free game then you can play for free with demo mode, too. However, playing for free also means you don’t get to take home any winnings.

Time to Play

Blackjack is one of the most popular and easiest casino games to play. Moreover, understanding the rules and using a strategy in the game can greatly increase your odds of winning. So now that you know how to make the most out of your experience, all there’s left to do is start playing. But for that, you’ll need a great gaming destination, so why not head to our casino reviews library? There you’ll find more information about the top online casinos on the market in the Philippines today.

FAQ

Yes, by playing blackjack with the right strategy your chances of winning increase.

One of the best strategies you can use when you want to play against a live dealer is to go for a game with a lower house edge.

Yes, if your online casino is mobile-friendly, you can play blackjack on your phone.

Blackjack house edge can be as low as 0.5%. Without taking full advantage of a basic playing strategy, the house edge can increase by 1.5% taking the house edge to about 2%.

A single deck blackjack table is better than a multiple deck table because they are easier to count.

Online blackjack and live blackjack are not the same. While live blackjack is a type of online blackjack, online blackjack can also be software-based.

If the dealer and the player have a tie, all bets are fully refunded.

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