Online blackjack, like the classic and traditional blackjack, is also known as 21 or pontoon. When playing online blackjack, players compete against the dealer to get 21 points or a number that is closer without exceeding 21. Hence it is also called blackjack 21.
More so, it is one of the fast-paced casino games loved all over South Africa – from the sun-soaked shores of Durban and Cape Town to the buzzing Jozi city. The game is very easy to understand, and especially exhilarating when you wait for the reveal of the card that may make you a little richer.
Whether you are already a blackjack pro or are just starting out at an online casino, our guide is a must-read.
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How to Play Online Blackjack Real Money South Africa
First, here are some of the reasons why you should try your hand at online blackjack:
- The rules are easy to follow.
- The goal is clear.
- You have more control over the game as you choose what to do next.
- It is a favourite casino game both locally and internationally, so knowing how to play blackjack well will work in your favour, no matter where you are.
- You don’t need a big bankroll to play for real money.
- Most casinos offer different variations of blackjack and not just the standard game. The different variations allow you to master the various alternatives of the game, and play it with slight twists.
Online Blackjack Basics for SA Players
The goal of online blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as possible, without going over (bust).
The casino game begins with the dealer handing out two cards for you and two for him/her. One of the dealer’s cards faces up (the ‘up’ card), and the other card faces down (the ‘hole’ card). After you have a look at your cards and the dealer’s up the card, you can make a decision whether to stand, hit, double down, split or give up your hand by surrendering.
The game moves between you and the dealer until someone wins or loses.
Card Values for Online Blackjack 21
|Ace||Either 1 or 11|
|Other||The indicated card value|
Best Real Money Online Blackjack Variations
Online Blackjack is a relatively easy game to follow which is why it is easy to build different variations of it. Here are some of the most common blackjack variants as well as the basic rules of each game.
European Online Blackjack
- There are two decks used in European Blackjack.
- The dealer stands on a soft 17.
- A blackjack hand is a hand with an ace with the value of 11, and any other card with a value of 10. This blackjack hand beats any other hand with a value of 21 as it is the best hand.
- A player is only allowed to split once.
- A player may split like cards with a value of 10 (example: a King and a Queen).
- If the dealer has an ace, he/she may not look at his/her cards to see if he/she has blackjack. When this happens, it is known as a peek.
- A player may only double down on hands with a value of 9, 10 or 11.
- If both the dealer and the player have blackjack, it is a tie and no one wins. The players can get his wager back. This is also known as a push.
Atlantic City Online Blackjack
- The Atlantic City Blackjack game is played with eight decks.
- A player may double down on their first two cards, and may split their hands three times to play a maximum of four hands at the same time.
- You are allowed to a late surrender.
- You are allowed insurance.
Classic Online Blackjack Gold
- Playing Classic Blackjack requires five decks. The dealer then combines and shuffles them at the beginning of each game.
- The game is played one hand at a time.
- A player cannot double down after a split.
- The dealer stands on 17.
- The rules do not allow players to give up their hand by surrendering.
- A player may double down on the first two cards with a hard value of 9, 10 or 11
Gold Bonus Online Blackjack
- This version of online blackjack is played with two number of decks.
- The rules do not allow players to give up their hand by surrendering.
Top Online Blackjack Rules for South African Players
The rules for online blackjack are simple and easy to follow. So, if you want to improve your online blackjack game, read on.
- If you bust or surrender, you lose, and the game is over.
- Likewise, if the dealer busts or surrenders the game is over, and you win.
- If you and the dealer do not bust, the person with the highest hand wins.
- The numbered cards retain their face value.
- The value of the King, Queen and Jack is at 10 each.
- You choose the value of the Ace, as it can have a value of either 1 or 11, depending on your choice.
- Any pair of cards which consists of an ace and a 10 is “blackjack”.
Best Online Blackjack Tips to Win
- Remember the actual goal of blackjack is not to get 21 but to beat the dealer.
- Choose a variation of online blackjack you are comfortable with and know well.
- Concentrate on the game to make the best decisions.
- Do not play blackjack intoxicated because this will probably limit your concentration and ability to make decisions.
- Know your bankroll limit and stick to it, unless you are playing free blackjack games.
- Always check the dealers up card before making a decision.
- Hit on a hard eight or less.
- Hit on a soft 15 or less.
History of Blackjack
- There are many theories as to where online blackjack began. Two methods most blackjack players seem to agree on is that the card game originated in Spain in 1440, and in France in the 1700’s. The Spanish influence came from a game known as ‘Trente-un,’ which translates to thirty-one. This game had a mention in the literary classic Don Quixote. The French influence stems from the game known as “vingt-et-un,” which translates to twenty-one. Another influence comes from the Italian game called ‘seven and a half’ which is believed to have started the concept of going ‘bust.’
- All of these games involved the use of cards, decision making, and the main idea of trying to get as close to a certain number, without going over. These games then filtered over to America where the game got a name change to ‘blackjack’. The player whose hands consisted of an ace of spades and a blackjack will win a large sum. It was in America where new rules were added to the game and were only declared legal in the state of Nevada in 1831.
- In 1990 blackjack casinos were introduced, and in 1994 by Microgaming. Microgaming then combined forces with Cryptologic, to create safe online gambling software and financial transactions. The number of online casino sites rose from 15 in 1996 to 200 in 1997. Blackjack has a rich history which shows it was and still is beloved all over the world, and in South Africa, with its popularity status continuing to grow in 2017.
Blackjack Casino Terms
- Bust – this means you have gone over 21 and have lost the game
- The up card – this is one of the dealer’s cards that has to face up
- The hole card – this is one of the dealer’s cards that he places face down
- Stand – this action says that you will stay with the cards you have and will not take any more cards
- Hit – these actions say that you choose another card and may continue to hit until you bust or get a value which you opt to stand on
- Double down – this doubles your bet and allows you to take one more card only
- Split – an action allowed when you have two cards of the same value. To split lets you double your bet and split your hand, where each card forms the first card of a new hand.
- Surrender – this allows you to reduce your loss by giving up your hand and losing half the amount you bet if you feel you have a losing hand
- Insurance – a player can take insurance on hand if the dealer’s upcard is an ace. This is to protect yourself in case the dealer hits 21. Insurance is half the amount of the initial wager.
- Push – when the dealer and the player reach a tie, depending on the rules of that particular version of online blackjack, either no one wins, or the player wins
- Dealer peeks– the rules allow a dealer to see if he/she has blackjack if he/she has an ace or a ten showing, this, however, does depend on the variation of blackjack
- Hard value/hand – a hand without an ace or a hand where the ace counts as 1
- Soft value/hand – a hand with an ace that counts as 11
Online Blackjack South Africa FAQs
Just like with other online casino games, gamblers have questions about blackjack. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about online blackjack.
What is online blackjack?
Online blackjack is a classic casino game. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer by getting a hand as close to 21 as possible.
Can you play blackjack online for real money?
Of course, you can play blackjack online for real money at the best SA casino sites and win real cash.
What is the best online blackjack?
European blackjack, Atlantic City blackjack, blackjack gold.
How do you play blackjack for free?
By selecting the free blackjack option at a casino. The site will then give you free credits to start playing the game, all you need to do is select your stake and bet. There are many free online blackjack games to play at SA casino sites.
Is online blackjack rigged?
Not at all. Online blackjack games use a Random Number Generator (RNG) so the outcome is completely random.
Can you beat online blackjack?
Of course. In fact, one lucky player won R235 879 365 playing blackjack online.
Is it illegal to play blackjack online?
No. It is completely legal to play blackjack online at licensed and regulated South African casinos.
Can you play blackjack for a living?
If you want, then yes. Blackjack has pretty good odds and if you are really good at it you can play blackjack for a living.
Is there any real money blackjack apps?
Yes, like the ones we have on our list. Our recommended real money blackjack casinos are available as apps. All you need to do is download the casino onto your device and start playing your favourite blackjack real money games.
Can blackjack dealers cheat?
Not even. Blackjack dealers don’t cheat. Instead, they are monitored and they deal cards straight from an automated shoe.
Is playing blackjack online worth it?
Of course it is. Playing blackjack online is fun and very rewarding.
How do you win blackjack everytime?
First by learning how online blackjack works and following the best blackjack strategies to win.
Can you consistently win at blackjack?
You can once you understand the game, and by using our winning online blackjack strategies and tips.
Why do blackjack dealers always win?
Blackjack dealers don’t always win. They may win most of the time because they are pretty good at the game.
Why is online blackjack so popular?
Online blackjack is a popular game at brick and mortar casinos and it is now available to online players to play anytime and anywhere. Therefore, Blackjack is a favourite game as it also has the best combination of luck and skill. More so, the game is fun, entertaining and is a great game for beginners and blackjack veterans.
What is pair splitting in online blackjack?
Pair splitting can occur when you receive a pair that is two of the same card (for example: two eights). This then means you have an option to split such cards to form two new hands. The dealer will then deal two more cards which then doubles your bet.
What cards should I split in online blackjack?
Most online blackjack players agree that pairs of aces and eights must not be in a pair as each of these cards can be better in other pairs than together.
When should I hit and when should I stand?
This answer most often comes down to personal feeling and strategy, as it depends on the dealer’s hand.
What happens when the game is a push?
When a game is a push means that there is a tie between the dealer and the player. In this case, either the player wins, or no one wins.
What is the worst mistake in online blackjack?
The worst mistake players make is hitting on a 19 or 21. This is why it is important to concentrate on the game and think ahead to make sure you do not make this mistake as these are two of the best hands in blackjack.
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