Play Blackjack Online For Real Money UK
Blackjack is one of the most beloved UK casino games due to its simplicity; the rules can be easy to grasp, and players can quickly pick it up.
Today, we are going to cover everything you need to know about blackjack, whether you’re a complete beginner or have some blackjack experience under your belt already. We will go through how to play blackjack, basic strategy, the different blackjack games available, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this online casino favourite.
With numerous blackjack games available here at Kong Casino, this page could help you quickly get to grips with the game. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
How To Play Blackjack Online (Beginners Guide)
Playing blackjack, also known as 21, can be very straightforward. It’s you against the dealer, and the aim is for the cards you hold - your hand - to be closer in total value to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without going over 21.
Firstly, the dealer deals 2 face-up cards to each player sitting at the table (the other players do not concern you, as it is only each player against the dealer) and then deals themselves 2 cards, one face-up and the other face-down.
You look at your cards and add the values up. Most of the cards hold the values they show. For example, cards 2-10 are all worth the same amount as is shown. However, the face cards/royals, K, Q and J, are all worth 10. Aces are different; they can be worth 1 or 11, and it is up to you how you decide to use them.
Once it is your turn, the dealer will ask if you wish to receive another card or stick with the ones you have. This is where you will compare your total to the dealer’s showing card and decide whether the dealer is likely to have a hand closer to 21 than your current hand when they turn over their face-down card.
If you wish to receive an additional card, you can call “hit” or “twist” or tap the table; this card is then added to your hand’s total. You can hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over 21, this is called “going bust” and means you lose. If you wish to stick with the hand you have, you can call “stick” or “stand” or wave your hand horizontally, and your turn ends.
Once all players have played their turn, the dealer overturns their face-down card. Any players that are further from 21 than the dealer at this point lose. If a player is closer to 21 than the dealer, the dealer must draw additional cards in an effort to get closer than the player or go bust. If the dealer ends up closer, then the player loses, but if the dealer goes bust, then the player wins.
The above was just a brief beginner’s guide on how to play blackjack. Some additional rules apply in blackjack. Here are a few of them:
The dealer shuffles and then cuts the deck by placing the plastic insert card somewhere in the bottom half of the deck. The whole deck is not used to make it more difficult for card counters, so a reshuffle occurs once the plastic insert is reached.
When dealing the cards, the dealer gives every player and themselves a face-up card. Then, they go around the table again, giving each player a second face-up card, but the dealer takes their second card face-down.
A hand that does not contain an Ace is called a “hard” hand. A hand that contains an Ace and any card other than a 10 is called a “soft” hand.
You can decide whether to use the Ace as an 11 or a 1. If you hit and the hand would be bust whilst counting the Ace as 11, then you simply count the Ace as a 1 and continue from there.
A hand consisting of an Ace and a card with a value of 10 forms a blackjack (with the Ace counting as 11) and is called a “natural” or “blackjack”. If you have a natural and the dealer does not, then you receive a 3:2 payout.
If the dealer has a natural, they collect the bet of all players that do not have a natural.
If the dealer and a player both have a natural, this is a tie (also called a “standoff”), and the player keeps his bet but receives no additional winnings.
If your first two cards are the same, you can split them to be 2 separate hands and receive an additional card for each hand. The original bet applies to one hand, so you must place an equal bet on the newly formed hand.
The hands are treated as if belonging to two separate players; you play one hand - hitting and standing as normal - and then you play the second hand. The dealer awards winnings or takes the bet of each hand as if played by separate players.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Having a strategy when playing blackjack can help you to make the most of the hand you are dealt. The following is considered basic blackjack strategy and deals with generally accepted tactics for what to do in response to the dealer’s face-up card.
If the dealer’s face-up card is a strong one (i.e. a 7-10 or an Ace), then you should keep hitting until you reach a total of 17 or more. But if the dealer’s face-up card isn’t so great (i.e. a 4, 5 or 6), then you should stop hitting once you reach 12 or higher. Finally, if the dealer’s face-up card shows a 2 or 3, then you should aim to keep hitting until you reach 13 or higher.
If you have a soft hand - one that contains an Ace - then the generally accepted strategy is to keep hitting until you reach a total of 18 or higher. This is due to the fact that you can risk going higher as you can always change from counting the Ace as an 11 to a 1.
For splitting pairs, you should always split a pair of Aces or 8s as these can be good numbers to draw to. You should also never split a pair of 10s, a pair of 5s or a pair of 4s. This is because keeping the two 10s as a value of 20 is a strong hand that is difficult to beat. You shouldn’t split the 5s or 4s either because 10 and 8 are both ideal numbers to add to, as you could potentially end up with a strong hand.
There are more intricate blackjack strategies out there, but the above is essentially considered the basic principles to stick to when first playing. However, it is important to remember that the casino always has the edge in any casino games, so there is no foolproof strategy to ensure you win.
Play Different Blackjack Games
There isn’t just one form of blackjack out there; there are a couple of different blackjack games you can play. In this section, we will be discussing a few of them and what makes them unique. All of the variations mentioned below are available to play here at Kong Casino.
American blackjack is the most popular variation; it is therefore referred to as classic blackjack. This version is played by all of the rules listed above and is typically played with 8 decks of cards. You can also potentially double down on any combination of cards you are initially dealt.
Additionally, the option to surrender is available in American/classic blackjack. This is where you can fold your hand before drawing any additional cards, based only on your hand and the dealer’s face-up card. If you choose to surrender, you receive half of your bet back, and the other half is forfeited.
European blackjack is perhaps the second most popular variation after American/classic. It is largely the same as classic blackjack, just with a few slight differences. One is that European blackjack is typically played with 6 decks of cards rather than 8; however, this can vary. Another is that you can only double down when your original hand totals 9, 10 or 11.
Surrendering is not an option in European blackjack. Finally, in European blackjack, the dealer cannot peek at their face-down card prior to the end of all players’ turns, and the dealer flips the card. However, in classic blackjack, the dealer can peek if their face-up card is a 10 or an Ace to see if they have a natural/blackjack in order to fulfil any insurance bets placed.
Multi-hand blackjack is exactly what it sounds like; it’s blackjack, but you can play more than one hand at a time, typically up to 5 hands. The rules are the same as classic blackjack, so there’s nothing new to learn.
Each hand is treated separately; they are played and bet on individually. Unlike splitting a pair in regular blackjack, the bets do not have to be equal for all hands in multi-hand blackjack. You can bet different amounts on different hands.
Here at Kong Casino, we have multi-hand variations of both classic and European blackjack available.
Play Live Blackjack With A Real Dealer
With the increasing popularity of online live casinos, many prefer the convenience but miss a brick-and-mortar casino’s social aspect and atmosphere. This is where live dealer games come in.
Played online, it consists of a dealer at a table being live-streamed to an online casino where players can place their bets and make their decisions on whatever device they’re playing on. The dealer then responds in real-time to their decision, which plays out on the table.
A live chat function allows players to interact with each other and the dealer.
Here at Kong Casino, we have multiple live blackjack games available to choose from. For those that want to play online, blackjack with added immersion.
How To Win At Online Blackjack
To win in blackjack, you have to get your hand to be closer in value to 21 than the dealers, without going over.
There are strategies you could learn to improve at blackjack. Since it is a decision-based game, there is some skill required. The basic strategy outlined above can be a great starting point. However, it is still, ultimately, a game of chance. There is no way to know which card will show up next.
Although people try to count cards, casinos have methods to combat it. They do this by using multiple decks shuffled together in a shoe and only playing just over half of the shoe before reshuffling, making it more difficult to count cards.
What Does A Soft 17 Mean In Blackjack?
A soft 17 is where your hand totals 17, but one of the cards is an Ace. Therefore, it is a hand that adds up to 17, but if you were to draw another card, you would not go bust, regardless of which card you receive.
Is Blackjack The Same As 21?
Yes, blackjack and 21 are just two different names for the same game. Both refer to the card game you play to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust.
What Is The House Edge In Blackjack?
The house edge is not as straightforward in blackjack as it is in other table games such as online roulette because there are many factors that can affect the house edge, such as the number of decks used and the players’ experience and strategy. Therefore, the house edge in blackjack can be anything from 0.5% to 4%.
What Happens If You Tie In Blackjack?
This is also known as a “push” or “standoff”. In this instance, the player receives their bet back. No winnings are earned, but no money is lost.
What Is Pair Splitting in Blackjack?
Pair splitting is when the player is given a hand of two identical cards, they can then split these cards into two separate hands and receive two more cards to complete the two hands. The player must also place an additional bet that is equal to the original on the newly created hand.
Should You Hit On A 12 In Blackjack?
Basic blackjack strategy holds that you should stand on a 12 when the dealer is showing a 4, 5, or 6 on their face-up card, but you should hit when they are showing a 2, 3, or anything from 7 through Ace on their face-up card.
Is Blackjack Online Rigged?
Online blackjack is not rigged. Non-live blackjack games, like those without a live dealer, will use a Random Number Generator (RNG), which generates vast quantities of number sequences every second. Each of these sequences will correspond to a card; each time a card is drawn, it is randomly selected using the RNG. There is no way to determine which card will show up on either the player's or the dealer’s hand.
Can You Count Cards In Online Blackjack?
You can count cards in online blackjack, but it is incredibly difficult. Live Dealer blackjack, as mentioned previously, has a plastic card, so the deck is frequently shuffled when the dealer reaches this card.
Additionally, since non-live blackjack games are run by a computer program rather than an actual dealer, there are no physical cards to shuffle. Therefore, in online blackjack, the deck is usually shuffled after almost every time a new hand is dealt as it does not interfere with play.
Due to this, it is far more difficult to count cards in online blackjack.