Online Blackjack - galacasino

Online Blackjack

What is Online Blackjack?

Blackjack is a simple card game where the players play against the bank rather than each other. It is probably the most popular casino card game in the world and comes in many variants.

The aim of the game is to get a higher value hand than the dealer, without going over 21. Because there are so many variations, it is fair to say that the name blackjack refers to the group of card games that share this basic objective, rather than one specific game.

The name itself is believed to derive from a variant that no longer exists. When the game first came to America in the 1800s, casinos offered a special payout of 10:1 if the player made a 21 consisting of an Ace and the Jack of Spades, the black Jack. This was in order to encourage players to try the new game.

This payout was dropped pretty quickly, but the name blackjack stuck, and refers to both the game and a hand with a value of 21. 

What are the types of blackjack?

There are many types of blackjack on offer in land-based casinos, and even more in online casinos. Here we'll list the most common blackjack games.

Classic blackjack

Classic blackjack is believed to be the closest to the original game of Vingt-Un, which was mentioned in literature as far back as 1602 ("Rinconete y Cortadillo" by Miguel de Cervantes). It is played with eight decks of 52 cards, and you can read the rules here.

American blackjack

American blackjack refers to a group of games that share similar rules.These can be played with 2 to 8 decks of cards, and you can find out more here.

European blackjack

European blackjack is similar to American blackjack in that it uses between 2 and eight decks of cards. However, the rules, which you can read here, are much more restrictive for the player.

Vegas Strip blackjack

This is the variant that is most commonly played in Las Vegas. Its liberal rules on splitting, doubling and surrendering, which are detailed here, give the player better odds than European or classic versions.

Blackjack switch

Blackjack switch is a newer version of the game that was patented in 2009. Basically, the player is dealt two hands instead of one, and can switch the top cards between hands. To find out more about how it evolved and how to play, click here.

Blackjack perfect pairs

Perfect Pairs is another newer variant of blackjack that offers players the opportunity to place a side bet on whether their initial hand will be a pair.

Spanish blackjack

Spanish blackjack, also known as Spanish 21, is a fast-paced variant of the game with some unusual twists, including the removal of all tens from the packs. You can find out how this affects the game and how to play here.

What are the simple blackjack rules?

While each variant of the game comes with its own twist, simple blackjack rules all cover the same situations. Below is a list of basic blackjack rules and some variations.

  • The aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand without the player’s hand exceeding a value of 21.
  • Numbered cards are worth their number, Face cards are worth 10, and an Ace can be valued at either 1 or 11, whatever makes a better hand.
  • Players start with two cards. In European and Classic blackjack, the dealer only receives one card. In other types, they receive two, one of which is dealt face down.
  • Players and dealers can "hit", meaning ask for another card. Players can always hit; the rules governing when a dealer can hit depend on the type of blackjack you are playing.
  • Any hand that goes over 2 “busts” and the other party wins, except in Spanish blackjack.
  • An Ace and a 10-value card make a natural blackjack, which beats any other combination of 21.
  • When doubling, splitting and making an insurance side bet are allowed depending on the version of the game being played. These terms are explained below.

What does insurance mean on blackjack?

Insurance is a side bet that can be made when the dealer is showing an Ace. It costs half the original stake, and the player is betting the dealer will get a natural blackjack. If this happens, the player loses their main bet, but receives a 2:1 payout on the insurance bet.

What does blackjack double mean?

Experienced players, when they receive certain value hands in blackjack, double, meaning they double their original stake and get one more card. This can be a risky move and must be based on both the value of the player’s hand and the dealer’s card.

What does split in blackjack mean?

A split in blackjack means dividing your hand into two separate hands. This can only be done when the hand is a pair. Rules regarding exactly when a player can split, and what value pairs can be split, vary significantly from version to version, so be sure to clarify this before you start playing.