The latest way to play blackjack online is to play blackjack live online against a live dealer. We look at the terminology used when playing blackjack live online.
When playing blackjack live online players are first wager there bet and then they are dealt two cards. Players then get an opportunity to improve the count. They may also alter their bet in the following ways:
Pairs, two cards of equal rank, may be split into two separate hands, each with a bet equal to the original bet amount. If you split your hand, the first subhand is dealt a second card, and you are permitted to stand or hit one or more cards to improve the count. Once you stand on your first subhand, your second subhand is dealt a second card, and you are then permitted to stand or hit on that hand.
Split Aces are an exception. When you split a pair of Aces, each subhand receives exactly one more card with no option to you to hit further. Further, a count of 21 with the two cards in a subhand of split Aces is not considered Blackjack, and will lose to a croupier’s Blackjack. Subhands may not be resplit.
After the first two cards are dealt, you have the option to ‘double down’, which means you wager an additional amount equal to your original bet and then receive one more card only on that hand.
You may also double down after splitting a pair, except in the case of splitting Aces – Split aces are only permitted a second card only.
If the croupier’s up card is an Ace, you may obtain insurance, which is a wager of a sum equal to one half of your original bet. If the croupier draws a Blackjack, the insurance pays two to one. If the croupier fails to draw a Blackjack, you lose your insurance. You may obtain insurance even if you have blackjack. Generally, for the best odds, blackjack players choose not to take insurance.
The House Strategy
Unlike the players, the house has no choice in whether it hits or stands on its hand.
The house MUST:
Hit cards until the count is at least 17.
Stand on a soft 17.
(This is one of the most advantageous rules in blackjack – Casinos that allow the dealer to draw more cards with an ACE 17 hand, give an extra few percentage point advantage to the house)
A Blackjack, a two-card 21 not arising on a split, is paid at 3:2 as long as the croupier does not also have a Blackjack. If both you and the croupier have a Blackjack, the bet is considered a push.
A Blackjack beats any three-or-more-card 21.
All other winning bets are paid 1:1.
You bust and lose your bet if you exceed a count of 21.
A croupier/player tie is called a push, and neither wins nor loses.
By Susie Green
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How to Play Blackjack Live Online – the basics