Classic blackjack is the name given by UK online casinos to the most traditional and most popular game of 21. In this game of skill and luck the players compete against the dealer who represents the house. For those making the transition from land-based casinos to the virtual world there are a few differences to be aware of.
In classic blackjack games the object is to get closer to 21, without going over, than the dealer. To start, both dealer and player get two cards. The player’s cards are dealt face up and the dealer has one face up and the other hidden.
Aces count as either 1 or 11 depending which is most beneficial.
Kings, Queens and Jacks count as 10.
Number cards 2-10 retain their face value.
The different suits don’t matter.
If the cards you are dealt total more than 21’ you are ‘bust’ regardless of the dealer’s hand. If the dealer is bust you win the hand.
Betting limits do vary widely but most casinos offer both high and low stakes games, which make the classic blackjack game ideal for both the newbie and the more experienced player. The cards are shuffled after each game.
How to Play Classic Blackjack
In many cases classic blackjack is played with one deck of cards, including for example the Microgaming version. However, there are other variations including the Net Entertainment (NetEnt) version, which is played with six decks.
After you decide on your wager amount and have been dealt your first two cards you have two options – Hit or Stand. To Hit is to request another card from the dealer –you can continue Hitting until you are happy with your hand. To Stand is to be satisfied with your hand and stop receiving cards.
Some casinos offer their players helpful strategy charts which can be consulted at any point during the game.
Casinos have their own classic blackjack rules which apply to the dealer. One of the most common for classic blackjack is the point at which a dealer is instructed to Stand or Hit. For example a dealer must hit on a soft total of 17 or less and Stand on a hard total of 17 or more. These dealer rules will vary from casino to casino so make sure you understand them before you play.
A hard hand is one that does not include an ace. A soft hand does contain an ace.
Types of Bets Which can be Placed in Classic Blackjack
Split – if your first two cards are the same value you can split them into two separate hands by placing another bet of the same amount as the original one. You can then take additional cards for each hand. You can split up to three hands in some casinos.
Double Down – means your bet is doubled and is available on hands with a value of 9, 10, or 11. One further card is drawn and then automatically stands.
Push – when the total of both hands are the same it means nobody wins and your stake is returned.
Insurance – If the dealer’s visible card is an ace, you can put down an insurance bet – essentially a side bet gamble that the dealer will get a blackjack.
Surrender – some casinos don’t allow surrender strategies or certain types of side bets.
Payout rates will vary depending on the casino. In general if you beat the dealer with a higher combination you will win a 1:1 payout, which means if you bet £10 you will win another £10. With a winning blackjack you will receive a 3:2 payout. Winning insurance bets will usually offer a payout of 2:1.
Best Places to Play Classic Blackjack Online
Because classic blackjack is so popular, most casinos will have it as one of their table game options. While it’s easy to be seduced by glitzy promotions, take some time to research the detail. Yes newbie offers are an important part of the equation but look also at reputation, site security, customer service and how payouts are made. There are many online reviews, from real players, which will help with this.
Summary of Classic Blackjack
Classic, like many of the other blackjack variants is a game with one of the lowest house edges although in percentage terms it does depend on a number of factors including whether single or multi-decks are used. It does however ensure its continuing popularity.
Before you decide which casino is best for you, find one that lets you play free classic blackjack. It’s a great way to learn the rules without have the pressure of the real money option.
Most classic blackjack casino games can be played on PC, Android device and iPad and iPhone.