Hit or Split? Authoritative Ranking of the Best Blackjack Tables Online

The game of Blackjack is where the bad boys of the casino come to play.  Admired by all and dreaded by the dealers, Blackjack is the game that they make the movies about. Blackjack players are those elusive characters with fantastic mathematical problem solving skills, for a point of reference watch Rain-man, The Last Casino, 21 or Breaking Vegas.

These iconic films have built up a fantastic mystique around this relatively simple game by making the stakes very high and dangerous. Today, online Blackjack is one of the most popular games in online casinos and is available in a number of variations.

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Blackjack variations

Blackjack variations, popular in online black jack casinos include:

The Rules of Blackjack

The rules of Blackjack are simple and do not take long to learn. The game, in its simplest form, uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. In most modern land-based or online casinos the game uses anywhere between 2 and 8 decks, all loaded into a special device known as the shoe.

The dealer draws single cards from this shoe as he deals them to players sitting around a semi-circular table. In online Blackjack, cards are released from the shoe automatically.

In Blackjack:

The name of the game in Blackjack is to get a total of 21 or as close as possible and more importantly closer than the dealer.  If your hand exceeds 21 this is known as a bust, meaning you lose.

Blackjack odds of bust
To start the game or round, you have to place a bet. The table will usually tell you what the minimum and maximum bets are. Once you’ve placed your bet the dealer begins to deal two cards to each player at the table.

Players are usually dealt cards face up while the dealer’s cards are one face up and one face down. Then its all down to you, to make strategic decisions based on the total value of the two cards that you have been dealt.

There are three basic choice that you can make:

  1. Hit – You ask the dealer for another card to increase your total
  2. Stand – You choose to stay with your total, if less than 21, in hopes that the dealer busts
  3. Split – If you receive two of the same card values (two 5’s, two 8’s two jacks etc.) you can split them into two separate bets. The second bet will be equal to your first bet.

The dealer is also bound by certain rules in Blackjack and after each player has decided to Hit, Stand or Split, the dealer must then draw until his total reaches 17 or more. The dealer must stand on any total of 17 or higher.

Odds in Blackjack

The house actually has a less than 1% edge over an experienced Blackjack player. The House Edge percentage can be even further manipulated in a variety of ways which is known as Blackjack strategy.

The House Edge. In Blackjack, the player has to complete play before the dealer needs to. This means that there is always a higher chance that the player will bust, before the dealer even has to finish his cards.

In this way, even if the dealer busts, the player has already lost the hand and the house wins. This is the main way in which the house manages to win more often than even the most skilled players.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

To counteract the House Edge, players have various ways and tactics of playing the game of Blackjack to improve their chances in each round.

In basic Blackjack strategy, the fact that the dealer shows you one of his cards means that you are able to make a few basic strategic decisions, based on what you can actually see and what you can deduce.

If you were to always assume that the dealers face down card was of a value of 10 (10, king, queen, jack), then the face up card should tell you what your next move should be.

If, for example the dealers face up card value was 7, then you could safely assume that his total would be 17. Remember, the dealer must stand on 17 or higher.

In this case there is a good chance that the dealer will draw too high and bust. If your hand is 17 you should be safe standing.

Top 5 Blackjack Tips:

  1. Stand on 17 or higher
  2. Never split 10’s
  3. Always split 8’s (the total of two 8’s is 16, considered one of the worst hands in Blackjack)
  4. Always play within the limitations of your bankroll
  5. Understand and implement basic Blackjack strategy on every hand

The world of Blackjack is interesting, exciting and varied. One can clearly see why it remains one of the most played and most popular of all casino games in both land-based and online casinos.

Don’t forget to checkout our extensive list of recommended Blackjack casinos for Canadian players, with special Canadian-only bonus offers, play in CAD and with favorable banking for Canucks!