Blackjack, or 21 as it is also commonly known, is one of the most popular table games at any casino, both on and offline. It’s easy to understand, quick to pick up and doesn’t rely on complicated strategies. Now, Irish players can enjoy countless variations of this game online, play virtual games against a computer or even play against a live dealer from the comfort of their homes! Read on to find out all there is to know about online blackjack.
Best Irish Casino Sites to Play Blackjack Online in 2019
There are many online casinos in Ireland that offer blackjack. They all have their pros and cons and we do our best to only pick the very best ones for you. We do that by ensuring that our recommended casinos meet strict security, game selection, bonuses, payment options and support criteria. With this in mind, here are the best Irish casino sites that offer blackjack in 2019:
How to Play Blackjack Online
Playing blackjack online is precisely the same as playing in a land-based casino. Whilst the basic rules of the game will always be the same across games; each variant has slightly different variations in the rules which you will need to look at so as not to get caught out.
Blackjack Table Layout
The blackjack table layout is the same, whether in virtual or live form, though the former is significantly smaller. The table is a semicircle and usually covered in green felt. This gives the table a classy look, but those of you who are paying attention will know that there are markings on the surface. Usually, this is where the various payoffs are printed for parts of the game.
The surface will also have information such as the insurance bet, the rules that the dealer will be following (remember we said there are different rules in different versions!), the betting line, logo of the casino and even the betting positions of the other players. This latter aspect is often missing on virtual games simply because there are no other players.
The general blackjack rules are simple – reach, but do not exceed the value of 21 to win. Things are a little more complex than that though as players can still win even if they don’t reach an exact value of 21. What is needed to win is a hand that is higher than the dealers.
So how do we get these cards? Each player is dealt with two cards. Players have a look at their cards, and it is at this point that players can choose to keep their cards, fold, or ask for yet another card in the hopes that this will increase their score to the required 21.
Each of the cards has a specific value assigned to them. The cards with numbers are simply the number that is on their face. Picture cards, the Jack, Queen and King are all valued at 10. The Ace is either a 1 or 11 and players can choose which value it is, depending on what suits their game.
There’s some terminology in blackjack that can come in handy when trying to win:
- Hit – asking the dealer for another card
- Stand – happy with the cards in hand and does not need another from the dealer
- Bust – when the value in a player’s hand is greater than 21
- Soft hand – a hand that holds an Ace doubling as 1 or 11
- Surrender – the player decides to give up half the bet only after the dealer checks for blackjack
The Dealer’s Hand
Things are a little different for the dealer’s hand when compared to the player’s. For the player, both cards are dealt face up on the table so that everyone knows what they are. For the dealer though, only one of these cards is placed face up, the other is face down so that no one can see it. This means that a player’s decisions are based solely on what that second card might be – players only found this out once every player at the table as acted – placed a bet, bust, surrendered etc.
The dealer also has to play by specific rules depending on the table they are occupying. It’s important that players read the dealer’s hand in order to know what rules they will be playing so that they can make use of this information to try and win.
How to beat the dealer
If you plan on trying to win in blackjack, it’s imperative that you know what the different rules are that the dealer must abide by. Firstly, the dealer has to hit whenever they hold two cards have a value of less than 17. There’s an exception when the dealer holds a soft 17 which is when the dealer has an Ace and Six. Of course, there are still different rules on different games, so pay attention.
The dealer is also not allowed to split or double down, and this can’t be changed no matter what actions the players at the table have taken.
In order to beat the dealer, beginners can use the rule of 10 – automatically assuming that the card they can’t see is a ten. You should also make all your bets and actions fully dependant on what the dealer shows in that first card. If they have a picture card (valued at 10), we can assume that they’ll have a value of 20 if we follow the rule of 10. It’s unlikely you can beat that so surrender could be a good option.
If the dealer has a weak (low-value card), then you really might be in with a chance to cash in. Doubling down is always an option to cash in on this weakness, but if you’ve got a hand that could bust (like 14), then you’re better off playing it carefully and hoping the dealer busts instead.
How to Win at Blackjack
When it comes to winning at blackjack, as well as knowing the rules, it can help to get acquainted with some of the betting strategies around. As this is a game that requires some skill but also a healthy dollop of Irish luck, players should keep in mind a betting strategy to stay in the game as long as possible.
The Martingale system sees players doubling a bet after every loss. Once a win is made, players simply stick to the same bet. The idea is that players won’t lose in the long run. However, blackjack isn’t an even money betting game, which is where this strategy would work best. Also, if you were to have a losing streak, the bankroll can disappear pretty quickly.
When it comes to online games, Irish players are treated to a whole range of options in both the virtual and live genres. These games have different gaming options and include classic blackjack games, progressive, European, Spanish 21, Switch, Vegas Strip and Pontoon.
Whilst all of these have the same basic rules, each has something else to make them stand out. You should test out some of the different versions in the best online casinos Ireland has to offer and see which game you prefer.