Blackjack – The complete guide to Blackjack on South African online casinos

Whether it is its simple premise or the fact that it is considered a classic casino game, Blackjack continues to be one of the most loved and popular online casino games at live and online casinos. Affectionately referred to as ‘21’, Blackjack is enormously popular among new and experienced players alike. Many of the leading casinos around the world and on the internet feature at least one form of blackjack game, while others boast a selection of blackjack variants that cater to a broader range of players. Our guide to blackjack tells you why this remains one of the best online casino games today.


Blackjack Game History

Like many casino games, the exact history of blackjack remains mostly unknown, although there are many theories out there claiming its origin. The leading theory is the blackjack was derived from a Spanish game called twenty-one. This game is said to be first mentioned way back in the 1600s in a novel by Miguel de Cervantes, a writer best known for the legendary Don Quixote, often considered as the ‘first modern novel’ and one of the best literary works ever written.

The name ‘blackjack’ comes from the United States based on the gameplay at the time. To win a substantial payout, players must have the ace of spades or a black jack. This feature was removed in later versions of the game, but the name stuck.

The Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack rulesOne of the biggest advantages of playing blackjack is that the game is quite easy to learn. In fact, many people consider blackjack to be one of the easiest table games available, especially when compared to classics like craps and baccarat. What’s more, there are several strategies and techniques available to improve your gaming experience and enhance your chances of winning. These range from simple techniques to more complicated strategies.

Whether you’re playing blackjack at a land-based or online casino, the general rules remain the same. That said, there are different game variations that each feature some unique or different rules, but these will vary based on what version you are playing.

The premise of the game is simple – beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 as possible with the card you are dealt without going over. During gameplay, you have a number of betting options, game actions and techniques available to enhance gameplay and your overall chances of winning. Some of these include hitting, standing, splitting, insurance, doubling down and surrender. All of these techniques and betting options will be explained in more detail below.

Blackjack is played against the dealer, so the aim is to beat his hand in order to win. To do that, you must accumulate a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over, or going bust. If your hand is 22 or more, you lose the game immediately. However, any other number of 21 and under means you have a chance of beating the dealer’s hand.

Counting the points is easy as each card has a value. For example, all numbered cards are valued as such, while all face cards are worth 10 points. The Ace represents either 11 or 1 depending on what works best for your hand.

Once you place your bet, the dealer will deal your hand by setting cards face up. The dealer also receives two cards, although one card faces up and the other faces down. Once the cards are on the table, the players have the option to hit or stay depending on how close the cards are to 21.

A big reason why this game is so popular is that it offers good odds against the house and the potential to earn some serious rewards. The game is often played with a standard 52-card deck although this may differ based on the game variants available. That said, hand variations are huge.

Blackjack Actions

Blackjack is a game of chance, but some skill and strategy are involved to really enhance your chances of winning. Therefore, the results are based on luck but also on the actions you take during gameplay. Here are some of your options:

Hit – Since the game is played using 52 cards, the chances of landing a good hand on the first round are low. Hit allows players to continue receiving new cards until you are satisfied with your hand.

Stand – Once you think your hand is strong enough to beat the dealer, you stand. This means you accept the hand and do not want any more cards. After you stand, you will reveal your hand, and the dealer will announce the winning bets.

While deciding whether to hit or stand may seem like an obvious decision based on the hand you have, it is actually one of the hardest decisions in the game. Most online blackjack strategies are developed based on this one decision alone, as hitting continuously could cause you to go bust sooner or later. Therefore, it is important to understand this process before betting for real money.

Double down – This is a move in blackjack allows you to increase your bet two times if you decide to stand after receiving one more card. This is a good option to increase your wins if you think your hand is strong.

Some blackjack strategies worth mentioning include:

Split – You can split two cards of the same value into two hands.

Surrender – Players can surrender if they believe the dealer might have the upper hand. This results in the player winning or losing only half the bet.

Take Insurance – Players can take insurance if the dealer’s card is an ace and before he checks the other card. This side bet acts as a player’s insurance in case the dealer has blackjack. That said, pays out 2 for 1 and many experts would not advise using this option as it usually results in more spending than winning.

Blackjack Strategy

There are a few good strategies available for blackjack to increase your chances of winning. Most of the strategies are designed to minimise your losses in the long-term and can be used across different blackjack variations. A good tip would be to choose a blackjack game with the lowest house edge, increasing your advantage over the casino. If you’re looking to implement a blackjack strategy into your game, remember to choose one that works for you and your bankroll. Strategies are based on mathematical decisions that have been used to create a set of rules of gameplay. These rules tell you what action to take and when. Remember that using a strategy does not guarantee a win; it simply helps you make the best decisions during gameplay to improve your chances of winning.

Blackjack Variants

Due to the popularity of the game, multiple variants have been developed over the years. When you decide to play blackjack for real money, you will need to decide what type of game you want to play. The most popular options are American and European blackjack. While both these versions use the same basic premise and rules, there are slight differences that you need to understand before playing.

American Blackjack

In this version, the dealer is dealt two cards at the start of the game. One card is facing up and the other facing down. American blackjack also uses 6-8 decks of cards. Players have the option to double down on any total and after splitting and make the last surrender.

European Blackjack

Here, the dealer is dealt one card at the beginning of the card and another when the players are done betting. Two standard decks of cards are used. Players can only double down on values of 9, 10 or 11. Splitting can only be done once on a 10 value or face cards. The game does not have the option to make a last surrender.

Other types of blackjack variations include:

Progressive blackjack – Very similar to standard versions of the game except it comes with a progressive jackpot attached. You will play based on the variation’s rules, with the only difference being the bigger jackpot on offer. Access to the progressive jackpot will usually involve an additional bet, but all other rules are typically the same or have slight variations.

Spanish 21 – Spanish 21 is played with 6-8 decks but with all 10-value cards removed. This increases the house edge, which makes it better for experienced gamers or high-rollers. The game also allows the dealer to look at his hole card. Last surrenders and insurance are also available in this version.

Atlantic City blackjack – This version uses 8 decks, and the dealer is also allowed to peek at his hole card. The dealer can also stand on soft 17. Other options include last surrender, re-splitting and insurance.

Vegas Strip blackjack – This version is very popular online and is similar to American blackjack. It is played with 4 decks. The dealer can peek at his hole card and stand on soft 17. Other options include doubling down, split and re-splitting up to 3 times.

Super Fun 21 – This version uses a single deck of cards but sticks to the standard blackjack rules. It is another popular option at online casinos.

Live blackjack – All variations of blackjack can be made available in a live format at online casinos. This is a blackjack game that is played live and streamed to your computer anywhere in the world. All blackjack rules and gameplay apply. The live game features live dealers, live players and real-time action.

Blackjack Tips

There are some helpful tips that players can use when playing blackjack for real money. These tips are meant to encourage players to play an enhanced and rewarding game of blackjack and do not guarantee wins.

Always split 8s and Aces – While many experts have differing options on what pairs should be split, most can agree on these two. If you land two Aces, you have two possibilities for blackjack or at least two soft hands. Two 8s add up to 16, which is not a very strong hand, and there is a good chance of busting.

Never take a risk to get 19 or more – The odds are that you can only really beat the dealer with 17 or even less. This is especially true if he is showing 8 or less. If you land 17, stand or wait for the dealer to bust.

Don’t use insurance – Many expert players advise against using insurance as they believe you end up spending more than you win. In terms of odds, there’s a 4 in 13 chance that the dealer lands blackjack if he’s showing Ace. This means that you have a 9 in 13 chance of losing your bet.

Advantages of Playing Online

There are many reasons why players should play blackjack online instead of visiting a land-based casino.

Convenience – This is the most obvious advantage. Online casinos allow you to play your favourite blackjack game anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to travel anywhere, get dressed or leave the comfort of your home. You can log in any time of the day or night from your computer or mobile device.

Bonuses and Promotions – Because of fierce competition in the market, online casinos offer incredible bonuses and lucrative offers to registered and new players, none of which is available at land-based casinos. Also, there is no waiting around and no queues at online casinos.

Game Variation – Online casinos usually offer more options for blackjack and other games. Brick-and-mortar casinos always have to consider space, which is something online casinos never have to worry about. This means that online casinos usually have a wider variety of games on offer, from slot machines to table games and more. You will never be bored at an online casino.

24/7 Customer Support – Most online casinos feature around the clock customer support using various methods. It is easy to get in touch with a support agent as top websites will even feature a live chat function on the site available 24/7.

Comfort – You can play in the comfort of your home and not have to deal with any potential annoyances from the public.

Play Blackjack on your Mobile Device

Many blackjack versions can be played on mobile devices. All the best titles from leading software developers will be optimised for use on Android, Windows and iOS mobile devices. These games will be designed to adapt to the smaller screens of your smartphone or tablet and be completely touch-friendly. This enhances your gaming experience as you can simply tap the options you want and easily drag your chips to the table with little hassle. What’s more, the graphics and sound effects are on par with its desktop counterparts. As long as you have a stable internet connection and a compatible device, you can enjoy top-class blackjack games while on the move.

Our Expert Conclusion

There’s a reason blackjack is considered one of the best casino games in the world. Its simplicity and inclusive rules and budget make this a game for everyone. New players can enjoy the action of the game just as much as experienced players using the most complicated strategies and techniques. Online blackjack has only increased the game’s popularity and made it available to a whole new generation of players. Mobile gaming has opened up this market even more. Thanks to modern technology, blackjack will be around for many more years to come.

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FAQs for Blackjack

✅Why is it called Blackjack?

Blackjack is a popular casino game often referred to as 21. That said, the name blackjack was derived from the special bonus that could be obtained in past versions of the game. This bonus is obtained after receiving a combination of an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus has since been removed from all modern versions of the game, but the name stuck.

✅Is card counting illegal?

In technical terms, card counting is not considered illegal. Card counting is not considered cheating, but casinos do have the right to deny service to anyone they think is using special tricks or techniques to gain an advantage.

✅Why do casinos change dealers?

There are a few reasons why casinos change dealers often. As dealers are human beings, they need breaks, and they change for the end of their shift. They also change when someone at the table is winning too much. These changes are a matter of casino policy in case there is someone at the table that the dealer knows. The dealer must be impartial to all players, so they are often rotated. That said, some casinos do not change their dealers at all.

✅What are the basic rules of blackjack?

Blackjack is considered one of the most exciting and simple casino games. The goal is to beat the dealer’s hand with a hand closest to 21 without going over. You are dealt two cards, both facing down, and the dealer is dealt two cards as well – one facing down and the other facing up. You must use your hand to take certain actions that will result in a better hand than the dealer.

You have the option to hit or stand as well as several other options, including doubling down, surrender, taking insurance, splitting and more. Once you reveal your hand, it must beat the dealer’s hand, or you lose. You will bust if your hand is over 21, which means the dealer wins regardless of his hand.