Blackjack Rules

To help further expand your knowledge of blackjack, we are now going to look at the rules. We will also look at the blackjack online variants, the best blackjack casinos in Ireland to join and what betting moves there are within the game to help improve your chances of winning.

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What is the Objective in Blackjack?

blackjack-rules-guide blackjack-rules-guide

Blackjack is a very simple game that can be played with more than one player at the table. The card game objectives are simple. The challenge is to gain a better hand than the dealer which must not go beyond the score total of 21. The closest to this total is the winner.

Blackjack allows players to make certain moves within the game so that additional cards can be used to reach the goal of 21 or as close to as possible without going bust (Bust: the terms for going over the 21 total).

How to Play Blackjack?

Blackjack is a fantastic card game that comes with many rules on moves that can be utilized by players and can be played with multiple decks and members at a table. Though there is a bit of information to take in, once you have the basics, blackjack clearly becomes the easiest card game to play inside any online casino

All blackjack games begin with the players making a wager. This is the process for both virtual RNG games and live dealer tables.

Once your bet is placed, the dealer or game will deal the cards from the shoe. You will not know how many decks are in the shoe unless the game specifies, for example, Single deck blackjack.

You will receive two cards, from which you will build a hand if required to score a point total close to or on 21 where possible. Once you have performed your actions, the dealer will turn their own hand to reveal if they have gone bust, or if they need to ‘hit’ to get closer to and beat your total.

The game is essentially played in 5 easy steps.

    1: Make a wager

    2: Dealt your hand

    3: Try to get close to a total of 21 not more

    4: The dealer reveals their hand

    5: The winner is confirmed

Card Values

We begin with the card values. All the cards in the deck hold their face value when playing blackjack.

2 to 9Face Value of the Card
10, King, Jack, and Queen10
Ace1 or 11

Picture cards such as jack, queen, and king are scored as 10.

The Ace card can either count as a 1 or 11.

The suit of the card plays no role in the game like it does when playing poker. Blackjack is a numbers game and you can build your hand with these cards as you like as long as you do not go bust!

Bust, as stated before, is when a player’s hand exceeds the value of 21. The dealer can also go bust which can lead to a player winning, even if they have a very low scoring hand.

The blackjack game comes with the terms hard and soft hand.

A hard hand is one that doesn’t contain an ace or if the ace is in the hand it is scored as 1 by the player. A soft hand is where the ace is used as an 11-score value.

Placing Bets and Dealing

The process of playing the game is the same across all variants and gaming formats found online. This is the beauty of the rule and proof of how simple the rule of play is. Once you play one game of online blackjack, you will know how to play them all which is a strategy in itself.

Making your wager

At the start of play, you first select the chip value you want to bet with. Chip values don’t really change across all tables unless you specifically playing a low or high stakes table. The chips you select are placed on the table and when your decision is final you can then press the ‘Deal’ button.

Dealt Cards

Pressing ‘Deal’ then confirms to the live dealer or game that you are finished with the bet and can be dealt the cards. You will receive two cards face down, whilst the dealer or game has their own two dealt with only one card face down. Remember, by seeing the up card, you can use this as a strategy, which we will come to later.

Decision Making

Now you have your hand, it is time to decide if you need further cards to progress closer to a total of 21. If you have already received an ace card and a card valuing ten, then you already have 21 because aces can be 11 in what would be a soft hand. If this is the case, you get a put out of 3 to 2 for a blackjack 21.

If your hand is not that of 21 and much lower, then you can incorporate the available blackjack moves.

Hit, Stand, Double Down and Split

Thankfully, if your hand sucks, you can enact these following moves to help you better the hand you hold and the value of your score so you can beat the house and win real money from the game. these following moves are in themselves a strategy to better your odds against the house edge. The house edge being the percentage advantage the casino has over the game and player before anything is played.

Hit: To HIT is to indicate that you would like to be dealt another card. The Hit is free and you can ask for as many as you need to complete the challenge of getting as close to 21 as possible. If you hit and go bust, you lose.

Stand: To STAND, you are indicating to the dealer that you do not wish to make any initial move or further move to your current hand and that you are passing the game over to them to determine who the winner will be.

Doubling/Double Down: To Double or Double Down as commonly referred to, you are doubling your initial bet and with that asking the dealer for one more additional card. Most strategies play on the double down move and many will advice to always double down on a score of 11 because you can never go bust because aces can be scored as a 1.

Split/Splitting: To Split or Splitting cards, is to divide your hand, each card becomes the base of a new pair. You will increase your wager to perform this, so you essentially have two hands against the dealer’s one hand. In some blackjack variants, you can double down after a split.

So, these are your moves and as you can see it adds a completely new dynamic to the game that allows you to be strategical and tactical about how you play to win, rather than leaving everything do to chance. Which, incidentally, leads us nicely onto betting insurance, just in case you feel lucks not on your side.

Side Bets (Insurance)

With some blackjack games, there is an additional option to wager on, insurance. The option of the insurance bet is deemed a side bet and this judgement call can be made when viewing the dealer’s face up card. If the dealer is holding an ace, the insurance bet might be offered to players.

Agreeing to take the side bet, you must put up a wager that is equal to half the amount of your original bet. What this means is if the dealer wins you break even as your main bet will have failed and the side bet on insurance will come in.

Another move to bear in mind is the Surrender. If you do not like the hand you are dealt, you can surrender the game losing half of your wager.

Blackjack Hands Comparison

Before we discuss a bit about the odds, payout, and winning hands, it is important to raise the subject of the house edge. Blackjack is the fairest of all casino games. How it is played, and the rules give the casino a house edge of only 1.47%, this is a tiny fraction compared to other casino games like poker and roulette.

Back to the game… and if you have a hand you are satisfied with, you will turn play over to the dealer. They will turn the face card over to reveal their total. Now, if you have, for example, 19 and the dealer holds 13, you do not automatically win. The dealer is able to hit to try and beat you. Even in some variants, the dealer must hit on any soft 17 hands they hold.

Only until the dealer either busts or betters your total will the result of the game determine the winner.

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Top Blackjack Variants in Ireland

There is no one single game of blackjack, it’s a wonderful concoction of many gaming variants. Like slot machines, blackjack offer ups different games, ways of playing, and ways of winning. There are a number of variants online that can be played as either an RNG virtual game or as a live blackjack game. As mentions, the core rules of how to play are the same for all blackjack games, 21 is always the goal to achieve a firm win. As you will see, these variants just offer a little gaming twist here and there.

We share with you the more commonly played variants that you can find at the best Irish casinos onlinebest Irish casinos online.

Blackjack Switch

With this blackjack variant, you start the game with two hands of blackjack, and you will go on to choose to switch the top of each hand if you believe it will better the two-hand set. If you have played blackjack before you may have wished this was possible before and that it could be advantageous, but nope! Because of this and just as you will get with free bet blackjack, the dealer can push all bets if they land 22 and only payout on even money. This is so far removed from blackjack, but the game has its fans.

Free Bet Blackjack

This variant of blackjack you can save your money when doubling down and producing splits on the hand. The variant allows you to perform these moves for free. The game will still pay as if you have wagered so there is no loss to this alteration. This is, however, to good to be true because the house will not give away real money so easily. In exchange for this bet option, the dealer can push all bets over 21.

European Blackjack

Is European Blackjack the original game that started all of this off? Well, the argument is there to be had, but let us tell you more about this gaming variant. First, this is a blackjack game played with 6 -decks, knowing the deck number doesn’t really matter, card counting online is impossible to execute despite no one seeing you doing it. If the dealer lands blackjack, the player loses all bets, and you cannot perform a spit with matching pairs of 4, 5 or cards with 10 value. You are able to split on aces and you can also double after a split. This is a variant where the dealer must stand on a soft 17 hand.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

With Vegas Strip Blackjack, the rules are similar to European Blackjack in that the dealer must stand on a soft 17. You can double down after splitting, but you can also split up to 4 hands! You can perform a spit on aces once only and you can split 10-value cards, even if the face cards are different It’s a game that is both available as a live and virtual feature.

Spanish 21

The Spanish 21 always beats the dealer’s 21. This variant allows the dealer to either hit or stand on a soft 17 hand. You can also action a late surrender move to end the game and retain half your wager. The only cards in play are 2 to 9 and Ace, all 10-valued cards are removed from all decks used to play this blackjack variant.

Live Blackjack

Playing live blackjack is not a variant of the game but more a format of it because it gives you access to all the different variants of blackjack but on live dealer tables. One of the most common names you will see linked to live casino gaming is Evolution Gaming, they are the world’s leading software specialist when it comes to developing live stream gaming. Players in Ireland can experience their 11-time award-winning service throughout all the casinos in our top 10 list.

At each live blackjack table can you select your camera angle and communicate with the table dealers via live chat. It is immersive gaming like no other. It’s only a matter of time until this becomes a Virtual Reality norm, where live games are played with avatars.

The gaming titles available under blackjack by Evolution Gaming include:

  • Speed Blackjack
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  • Power Blackjack
  • Salon Privé
  • Blackjack Party
  • VIP Blackjack

Blackjack Rules FAQs

What are the basic rules of blackjack?

The basic rules of blackjack require you to reach a total of 21 from your hand but not go over. you will start the game with two cards, if the value totals 21, you win, if the total is low, you can perform moves in the game that allow you to add more cards or produce additional hands against the dealer to help you reach 21 and win.

The moves you can make include Hit, Split, and Double Down. these core rules are the same across all blackjack variants.

Is playing blackjack online the same as when playing at a land-based casino?

Yes, the rules are the same, the real difference is the option of games you have. Playing online allows you to access to two differenet gaming formats. You can play virtual blackjack games or live dealer games on real tables that are streamed via webcams. The increase in options come from the variants. Land-based casinos just stick with regular blackjack. Online you can access dozens of variants like European Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack and many, many more. So, playing is essentially the same with rules and winnings, you just have more games online to win from.

Why is playing blackjack online better?

Yes. The numbers support this with more online memberships than reported numbers that go into land-based casinos. Playing online is more convenient, you can access Ireland's top online casinos from a mobile smartphone, you can access live games and virtual machines. You can also get blackjack casino bonuses to help you play and win. It is fast, instant and available when you want to play.

Can I play Live blackjack form Ireland?

Yes. From our site, you can access many great casinos and all of them offer you live blackjack games that can put your skills against the live dealers. You can join more than one online casino that hosts live blackjack but check the reviews to find which operators give you the complete blackjack package.

Author: Orla Byrne,

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