Blackjack is the classic casino game – and one of the most popular in New Zealand. Kiwis avidly flock to the game because it is one that, if played correctly, gives the “house” the narrowest advantage or “edge”. That’s because success in blackjack is not just about blind luck. It’s a matter of strategy – techniques and tactics you can learn to master and exploit.
The list below highlights some of the best vetted New Zealand sites for playing Online Blackjack in 2018. They offer a range of stakes and the option to practice for free before wagering real money.
Online Blackjack can be played against a computerized “house” or live via webcam. When you play blackjack live, you face a real human dealer and share the table with other real-time players. It’s all real and more entertaining than any simulated experience. You can meet the other players and the lovely dealers who run the show.
The rules for Blackjack are simple. Blackjack is all about getting dealt a hand with a total combined card value exceeding that of the dealer, without going over the 21.
A round of blackjack starts when you choose how much to wager. This initial bet is called the “ante”. The minimum and maximum bets allowed vary from table to table. Typically, the minimum is between $1 and $5, while the maximum is between $100 and $200.
After you’ve decided how much you want to bet, you will be dealt two cards by the dealer. The dealer also takes two, with the second card face up for all to see. After you get your two cards, calculate their combined value by adding the individual values of each card. The value of an Ace can be either 1 or 11, while face cards are worth 10 (along with the ten card). Other cards, of course, have the value of the numbers that appear on them.
The combination of a card with the value of 10 plus an ace has a special status of being a “blackjack” and an automatic winner — unless you and the dealer both get blackjack in the same round, in which case the round is consider a “push” or “standoff” and no money is lost or won.
The same holds true for other cases where your total card value equals that of the dealer.
If neither you nor the dealer gets blackjack, then the round proceeds beyond the first two cards.
There are six different play options that you can choose after the initial deal in your quest to beat the dealer and win the hand.
As a player, you are at a disadvantage because you have the first chance to go bust and automatically lose, even if the dealer busts their hand later in the game. That is the house’s essential edge.
After you have completed your hand, made your moves and hopefully haven’t busted your hand yet, it is the dealer’s turn to draw. The dealer must draw cards until their combined value is at least 17. When the dealer has 17 or more, no more cards can be drawn.
If your combined total is more than that of the casino, you win the value of your ante, essentially doubling what you wagered. If you have a blackjack, and the dealer does not, you will receive your ante back plus one and a half times (150%) its value. As noted, equal values result in the house winning.
When visiting one of our approved casinos, you will find that an abundance of variations on the classic game of Online Blackjack. The disparities are usually relatively small and easy to learn, but you do need to study up on the subtle differences so you will have a better chance to beat the odds. Many players enjoy trying out the variants, and we recommend checking some of these entertaining alternatives to the basic game.
The game is played with 8 sets of cards. But the biggest difference in Double Exposure is that the player immediately sees both of the dealer’s cards. This removes some of the mystery and strategy, simplifying your choices. As in classic blackjack, you need to hit 21 or get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. In Double Exposure, blackjack pays only the value of your ante.
The rules of European Blackjack briefly: In European Blackjack, you play 6 game cards. The Dealer must stand on soft 17 (an ace and any number of cards that have the sum 6) The player may only double down on a hard hand consisting of a total value of 9-11. The player must double after a split. The player loses his total bet, including after any double or split, if the dealer gets blackjack.
In the Atlantic City variant of blackjack, the dealer must draw to all totals of 16 or less, and stand on all totals of 17 to 21. Players may double down on any initial hand and split any initial pair. While doubling after a split is allowed, re-splitting is not. Only one card each is allowed on split aces. Blackjacks pay 1 1/2 to 1 (150%) and insurance on a dealer Ace pays 2 to 1.
As you start playing blackjack at a new online casino, you should definitely accept the welcome bonus that most operators offer for the game. However, while all online casinos have welcome bonuses, not all of them allow you to use it on blackjack, so read terms and conditions carefully. In addition, many casinos have a play-through requirement, which mandates that the welcome bonus must be played on slots or other chance games rather than of games that are affected by player strategy, blackjack being one of them. While it won’t be worth trying to run after your wins on these bonuses, they do provide excellent real-life practice on real money blackjack, especially with Live Dealer games, which almost never let you play for free.
On the other hand, some casinos will have special bonuses for table games – it can be in the form of welcome bonuses, but more often than not, the most exciting deals are the promos offered for returning players. Other than the usual bonuses, there might be extra prize-winning options added to a game, where players can win prizes even if they don’t win that particular game.
Before you begin to play blackjack for real stakes, it’s a great idea to study up on the statistics concerning the best way to play your hand. You quickly can become an expert at calculating the odds for various hands and therefore what are the optimal moves at any given moment.
New blackjack players typically have questions about the nuances of blackjack play. Here are some of the questions most frequently asked, and some answers which we hope will be helpful:
An ordinary game of blackjack is played with one or more set of 52-card card games. There are thus no jokers in blackjack. At casinos, up to 8 card decks are used to make life more difficult for players who are adept at counting cards. Much has been written about card-counting, and the practice has often been depicted by Hollywood. Suffice it to say that the practice is discouraged by casinos because it improves the player’s odd, but it is not always easy to detect counting!
Experienced players know that blackjack is much more than just pure dumb luck. There are many tips to help you get more out of your game and improve your chances of winning:
Since blackjack is not just about dumb luck, smart players stand a much better chance to win. In fact, blackjack is the casino game that gives the least benefit to the house. Consider how classic blackjack stacks up against other casino alternatives:
|Blackjack||0.28% (Las Vegas Rules)|
|Video Poker||0.5% – 5%|
|Pokies /Slots||5% – 17%|
Might that explain why casinos typically promote pokies so heavily?
The saying goes that the card counting is simple to learn, but takes a lifetime to master. You must be very good, have an exceptional memory and plenty of practice to make it work. If you possess those three talents, however, there is a big advantage to the players in counting cards, and therefore no love lost among casino operators for gifted card-counters. The art of counting cards consists of four simple steps:
The question, naturally, is whether you can use this technique in online casino. After all, while real-world casinos are invariably equipped with high tech cameras monitored by hawk-eyed spotters of card-counters, no such supervision exists in the privacy of your own home. (At least we hope not!)
So certainly you can try counting cards to the best of your ability, but take into account that most online blackjack games electronically “shuffle” the cards after each round, which makes it practically impossible to gain any practical benefit from counting cards.
Still, there are casino operators and blackjack variants which advertise using an 8 deck rotation without intermittent shuffling like their real-world counterparts. There is software that counts cards for you, although its usefulness online is dubious for the reasons mentioned. But certainly you should keep your eyes open and seek any edge that may improve your chances to beat the house. All is fair in love and blackjack!
There is a reason that insurance companies prosper, and casinos too. The odds are calculated in advance to be in their favor. In blackjack, for half the value of your ante, you can buy “insurance” if the dealer’s open card is an ace. The dealer then checks for a blackjack and if so, you must have been dealt a blackjack of your own to win. Otherwise, you will only win 2: 1 on your insurance and you will get no other winnings or losses. Insurance improves the house’s edge to 7.4%, so the odds says that taking what amounts to a side bet is usually not worth it, unless you are like Hollywood’s “Rain Man” and absolutely certain that the dealer’s hole card is a 10!
Last updated December 31, 2017