Understanding the Variations of Blackjack

One of the best aspects of playing Blackjack is the fact that the rules of this game are so easy to master. Thanks to this simplicity, it is also easy for players to pick up the rules of the game’s many different variations.

The Blackjack industry is full of different versions of this beloved game, and each one has unique rules and betting structures to keep you entertained.

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10 Surprising Facts about Blackjack

While you’ve likely tried your hand at blackjack, how much do you really know about this incredibly popular casino table game? Here are 10 surprising facts about blackjack!

1. Blackjack is Highly Rewarding

Most casino games have a house edge which cannot be easily overcome, but this is where blackjack differs. Card counting, while tricky to master, is just one of the ways to beat the house edge of the casino when playing blackjack.

2. The House Edge of Blackjack is Below 1%

The house edge is defined as the average amount you’re expected to lose per bet, but in blackjack the house edge is less than 1% provided you’re playing in a game with a few decks and the standard 3 to 2 payout for blackjack.

3. Card Counting Works

Card counting is a proven system of beating the house edge in blackjack and while it is frowned upon at land based casinos, it’s not actually illegal. Owing to the effectiveness of this system, there is plenty of information on learning the method.

4. Your Decisions Matter in Blackjack

While the majority of casino games are based on chance, blackjack (and poker of course) is one of the few casino games where the decisions you make affect the outcome and your chances of winning.

5. Blackjack is One of the Oldest Casino Games

The first known mention of blackjack is in Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote which dates back to the 17th century – much older than online pokies Australia! The decks of cards used aren’t like we know them today, but the goal of the game is to get to 21 without going over.

6. Aim to Beat the Dealer

While the goal is 21 without going bust, the truth is that you should focus more of your attention on beating the dealer. As long as you have a higher number than the dealer, without going over 21, you’ll be successful.

7. Blackjack is the Most Popular Casino Table Game

Blackjack, craps, and roulette are 3 of the most popular casino table games worldwide, but blackjack is arguably the most popular of all owing to the necessary use of strategy which is an attractive aspect to players.

8. Video Blackjack Offers Less Desirable Odds

While video poker is a great alternative to slots, video blackjack is not a great alternative to table blackjack as it offers far less desirable odds than the original.

9. Side Bets in Blackjack Offer Less Desirable Odds

While the insurance side bet in blackjack may seem like an attractive prospect, the house edge on this bet is close to 7%! Considering that your standard house edge is closer to 1%, side bets quickly become less attractive.

10. Other Players Can’t Affect Your Chances

The fact of the matter is that other players cannot affect your chances of winning when playing blackjack. You’re playing the dealer, not the other players and their mistakes cannot affect you, so there is no need to alter your blackjack strategy.

4 Celebrity Blackjack Players

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games, played online and in land-based casinos throughout the world. While some tout it as the card game for mathematicians, intellectuals and those who are drawn to the allure of beating the house, blackjack is really a card game that anyone can play!

It’s not just card savants, maths geniuses and mere mortals that enjoy playing Bingo for money and other such games that are attracted to the adrenalin-pumping action of blackjack. Celebrities who have cash to burn are well known for seeking out different avenues to turn their money into thrill-inducing experiences.

So it comes as little surprise that there are a host of famous celebrities who seek out the exhilaration that one can only find at the blackjack table. Listed below are four celebrities from the world of film and sports that can’t resist the appeal of blackjack:

1. Matt Damon

It was during his time doing research for the film Rounders that Matt Damon first became interested in the fast-paced and high stakes world of blackjack. His best friend Ben Affleck (featured next on the list) may have had something to do with his fascination with the game and he has since become a notable player around the blackjack table.

These bosom buddies are regular fixtures at high stakes blackjack tables in Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos. One of their more infamous gambling escapades occurred at a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida where the duo raked in close to a million dollars in a single night.

While there’s no denying that Matt Damon has picked up some tips from Ben Affleck, the Good Will Hunting star has continued to up his game and is rumoured to have gambled using Bitcoin which is said to have made him a fair bit of profit.

2. Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck’s love for high stakes casino card games is no secret. The Academy Award-winning actor is known for his poker prowess, showing his skill in 2004 when he won the California Poker Championship. However, it is Affleck’s love for blackjack that has drawn the most attention from the public, especially when he’s teamed up with close friend, Matt Damon.

It was reported that Ben Affleck was kicked off the blackjack tables at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino when he started winning too much (a reported $95,000 in a single sitting). The star later admitted that he had dedicated a massive amount of time learning card counting and expert blackjack strategy.

3. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was the most prolific professional golfer of his generation before a very public fall from grace due to his personal affairs. His prowess extends off the golf course and he is known to enjoy high stakes blackjack games at the Bellagio and MGM Grand Resort where he enjoys VIP treatment and credit rumoured to hover around the $4 million mark.

4. Dana White

UFC president, Dana White has been quite vocal about his love for high stakes blackjack.

He has been reported bragging to the media to have won as much as $5 million playing blackjack, an amount which he says requires him to bring his own trash bags to carry his winnings out the door.

The Best Blackjack Players of All Time

Blackjack certainly isn’t the most difficult casino game to learn and you’ll likely find success by just following the rules, but these legendary blackjack players weren’t satisfied with the idea of a ‘likely win’ and aimed to master the game instead. These players honed their skills to such a degree that they became professional blackjack players and have gone down in history as runaway successes. Here’s how they did it.

Bryce Carlson

Bryce Carlson started playing blackjack in the 1970s and became a professional player by exchanging tips with other legendary players. Not only was he a professional player, but he also authored a book entitled Blackjack for Blood in order to help others master the game and developed the Omega II Blackjack Machine and later the Omega II Blackjack Casino in order to help him analyse the game to improve his play.

Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp isn’t only a legendary blackjack player, but also a professor of mathematics and a hedge fund manager. In his constant pursuit of mastering blackjack, Thorp developed his own card counting technique which allowed him to keep track of the cards played in order to determine the cards remaining.

Thorp then took his knowledge to the masses by authoring a book entitled Beat the Dealer.

Arnold Snyder

In a classic rags-to-riches tale, Arnold Snyder so longed to become a professional blackjack player that he studied an incredible variety of publications on mastering the game.

Snyder trained by playing low stakes blackjack – though not through online betting – and developed a technique which combined card counting and shuffling style in order to gain an advantage over the house. His first book, The Blackjack Formula, set his career as a casino game author and he has written several books since.

Russ Hamilton

Russ Hamilton’s initial interest in casino games began with poker, but he switched his focus to blackjack upon moving to Las Vegas. It’s here that he teamed up with other professional blackjack players in order to play in tournaments.

After introducing a tournament called ‘Elimination Blackjack’, Hamilton’s popularity grew and the tournament transitioned to become the ‘Ultimate Blackjack Tour’ which was televised on national television for 2 seasons.

Don Johnson

Most well-known for winning $15 million at 3 Atlantic City casinos over 6 months, Don Johnson had a legendary hand which started off the winning streak. On a $100,000 bet, Johnson received two 8s which he split and then received a further set of 8s which he split once again.

The dealer then dealt 3 twice and 2 twice and Johnson doubled down on each hand. The dealer held 2 cards totalling 15 and finally drew a 10 setting Johnson on a 6 month winning streak.

Ken Uston

Ken Uston was introduced to card counting by Al Francesco after a chance meeting at a party and he became an incredibly successful professional blackjack player.

Using his skills as a mathematic strategist, Uston was a notorious card counter and author of several books on card counting and beating the house edge.

Mobile Blackjack Guide

Blackjack, the famous card game that has been a staple of just about every casino to have ever existed, has changed the gambling world in more ways than we can imagine.

It proved that slots doesn’t need to be the top of the pile of gamers, and that a card game can become an international phenomenon.

Today, blackjack is available in just about every format imaginable, from a small table game at the local casino, to an online tournament with thousands of other participants.One of the forms of blackjack that has really been blowing up in recent years is mobile blackjack. Being able to play your favourite game from the convenience of your smart device is popular, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Today’s smart phones and tablets can do just about anything we need them to. From chatting with friends, managing emails, even checking what’s going on in Australian sports betting, the latest flagship Samsung or iPhone can do it all a hundred times over.

It makes sense, then, that one of the largest gaming industries in the world would make one of their most versatile games available for players on the go, in the form of mobile blackjack.

The Benefits of Mobile Blackjack

One of the biggest advantages of having a mobile version of something is that it’s available to us no matter where we are.

As long as we have battery life and an Internet connection, we can enjoy our favourite pastimes, often without even getting out of bed. This is one of the greatest benefits of having blackjack on your smart device.

Mobile blackjack is also often the most advanced version, even if it’s found on other platforms.

Having been designed for the touch screen, and having all the benefits of the desktop version plus a few extras, it makes sense to have at least one mobile version on your phone.

Mobile blackjack also often allows for in game pausing, live text chat among other competitors, and the ability to deposit and withdraw money on the fly.

Playing Mobile Blackjack

There are two main versions of mobile blackjack. The first is a dedicated application that is downloaded on to your device of choice.

This is a custom-build platform and is designed to work on a touch screen, meaning that everything is laid out for a touch environment, making it much easier to work.

These kinds of versions will also often come with direct links to the main casino, and will include access to your account, as well as various banking methods.

The second comes in the form of simply loading up the blackjack site on your phone. The size of the site will automatically adjust to the size of your screen, allowing you full use of the game no matter what device you use.

While apps are becoming more popular each year, size-adjusting games still carry their weight in the industry, and can be easily loaded on both smart phones and desktops.

The Future of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino card games, and it’s also one of the world’s oldest.

Historians believe that the modern version of 21 that we know and love today originated some time around the 1600s, and while it has undergone many changes over the years; the game is virtually the same as what our ancestors enjoyed.

Online blackjack was the next step in evolution for the game, and it’s inclusion into most online casinos saw it skyrocket in popularity, and become the most played card game in the world, and the second most played casino game behind slots.

With its growth in the online market, we can expect blackjack to be around for a long time yet, just like we can expect AFL premiership betting to be around too.

But what exactly does the future hold for our favourite card game, and how will it change in the coming years?

These are some of the trends that may affect blackjack in the coming future.

1. New Game Modes

Online blackjack is already dominating the market, but it’s biggest growth lies in the mobile industry.

New online casino platforms that can be played directly off of a smart phone or tablet means that people can now play the game from wherever they are. Like with all modern technology, change is inevitable, and we’re starting to see that in more traditional industries.

Many predict that blackjack will begin to spread out into new formats within the next few years. The traditional 21 version that we know might begin to fall away, but it’s difficult to predict whether it will actually occur.

2. Virtual Blackjack

Virtual reality is the hottest tech on the market right now, and while it’s biggest application is in the video game world, it won’t take long before it reaches the online casino sector.

There are some casinos that already have plans in place to begin developing popular games for VR. Many of these, such as blackjack, will allow the player to feel like they’re sitting in a real casino, and playing a round against other players in real time.

The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to the future of VR and online casino games. Right now, the closest thing we have to real virtual blackjack is some of the Android casino games that can be downloaded and then paired with Google Cardboard.

It isn’t as elegant as a proper VR headset, but it can give players an idea of what they can expect in the future.

3. Online Multiplayer Blackjack

When blackjack first hit the online market, it was very much a single-player game. But over recent years we’ve seen more and more people become interested in multiplayer blackjack.

This is essentially a group of people that can play against each other in real time, often with a live dealer managing the games.

It’s becoming more popular by the day, and is set to become the dominant form of blackjack for online players.

Playing in Blackjack Tournaments

Playing in a blackjack tournament means that you are playing against other blackjack players and not against the dealer like in a casino.  Everyone at the table begins with the same amount of money and all play the same amount of hands.  At the end of the round the player that has the most chips will win and go on to the next round and plays with the other winners.  In some instances the top two players at a table will go through.

Blackjack tournaments usually start off with many players which usually ends with around six or seven players who will compete for the championship.  The winner will usually walk away with most of the prizes while finalists will get some sort of reward.  The objective of a blackjack tournament, besides the big win is to have the most chips at the end of a round.  The majority of blackjack tournaments are open to the public while others are only by invitation.  There is almost always an entry fee to play.  Blackjack tournaments come in various formats.

Traditional Elimination

The most popular is the elimination tournament where players play against other players at the table, and each winner at a table will go through to the next round with the losers being eliminated.  Some tournaments will allow eliminated players to re-enter the tournament after paying an additional buy in fee, and although this differs to the action enjoyed in the sports betting NZ has to offer, it is just as exciting.

Accumulation

Accumulation tournaments or non-elimination as it is also known is where players play against other players at the tournament with the main objective being to win the majority of the chips after several rounds.  The leaders of the tournament are posted on a leader board so that the players can see what they still need in order to continue playing and overtake the current leaders.

Elimination

Tournaments with elimination is a format that was made popular a few years ago.  Ultimate Blackjack Tournaments (UBT) was televised in order to make playing blackjack tournaments not only more exciting for the players, but also for the viewers around the world.  With this format players who had the least chips after the following hands: 8, 16, 25 and 30 would be eliminated from playing.

Live-Money

When it comes to most blackjack tournaments the chips that are being played with do not have any value, but with live-money tournaments players have to buy their own chips that are then exchanged for cash at the completion of the tournament.  So when players put all their money in and bet the max they are actually betting their own money, so it is quite a risky option.

Mini and Major Tournaments

Mini-tournaments are usually hosted in land-based casinos and usually weekly.  Online casinos will often have daily blackjack tournaments.  The buy-in is low around $25 and will usually be completed in a day with a prize pool of around $2000.

Major tournaments will have higher buy in fees and may go on for more than one day.  The prize pool is usually large and can even go as high as six figures.  Casinos will usually have these major tournaments on a weekend where the players are given discounted accommodation, dining and free gifts.

Sit ‘N Go

Sit ‘n go tournaments will start once there are enough players at the table.  These tournaments have become especially popular when playing online.

Blackjack tournaments are not only a great way to enjoy blackjack with others, whether playing in a casino or online, but there are many opportunities to win some good money.  And of course blackjack tournaments create great excitement.