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First, in our guide, you will learn how to read a blackjack betting table. The next section of our piece is dedicated to the three main strategies that players use today. Once we cover all that, we will touch upon the types of side bets and how you can make one. Then, we will provide you with details about the most popular online blackjack games. Finally, we prepared answers to the most commonly asked questions on the topic.
Blackjack Table Layout – A Guide to RNG & Live Blackjack Tables
Most live blackjack table layouts look similar, but there are a few key details to look for before you sit down. First, let’s look at the similarities. The shape is almost exclusively a half-circle where the players are seated at the arch, and the dealer stands on the other end.
The playing cards are placed in a shoe or a card shuffle which is placed left from the dealer. The discard tray is typically right from the dealer. Most often, there are seven spots for players at a table. Another feature unique to live blackjack is the bet behind that allows you to gamble on a player’s hand.
Things are slightly different when it comes to RNG blackjack tables. For example, there is no dealer or other players. Hence, it’s you against the RNG blackjack game. At the bottom, you can see the betting options and the in-play features. Above that are the table spots and the game rules.
Speaking of, the table rules must be listed on the blackjack table layout. Usually, those are printed between the dealer and the insurance line. Typically, the dealer must hit on 16 and stand soft on 17. Another important thing to look for is the table’s minimum and maximum bet size. Those vary from one real money blackjack table to another.
To sum up, the dealer stands on one end of the table with the cards and the players on the other. In front of him, you can see the table rules and insurance that apply on the table. The games you can find at the top blackjack casino sites follow the same basic principles.
Blackjack Strategy Table – Should You Use One?
So, we went through the layout. Now it’s time to look at the blackjack strategy table. Nowadays, there are quite a few, but for the purposes of this piece, we will solely focus on the two most recognised ones, namely the basic strategy and the composition-dependent strategy. It’s always a good idea to use a blackjack strategy table but if you are a complete beginner, you have to learn the basics first.
Basic Strategy To Reduce House Edge
Let’s begin with the basic strategy. First and foremost, this strategy minimises the long-term house advantages. In other words, the expected loss of the player is reduced. But before we go any further, here are the basic rules of blackjack that you must master first:
Take another card.
Take no more cards.
Double your initial bet and take one more card.
Split your cards into two hands from a starting hand if you get cards with the same value.
Lose half the bet and end the hand immediately.
The basic strategy was taken from a computer simulation. It all started when a person taught a computer how to play blackjack. Then, the computer found out which are the best decisions for a player through trial and error. Those will help you lose the least amount of cash to the casino over time. However, it is vital to know that the basic strategy does not overcome the house edge, it simply minimises losses.
To decide if this is the best strategy for you, make sure to check the number of decks, whether the dealer stands soft on 17 or not, and your double down options. For the most part, you want to stand on 16 or soft 17, to minimise the risk of going over 21. It’s also widely accepted to split two aces, but avoid doing this with two tens or any twenty.
Players tend to double down when they get a score of 21 and to hit if the total of their cards is under 16. However, you may want to choose different strategies depending on the blackjack variation or even situation. You can find more details about that in our blackjack strategy guide.
With a composition-dependent strategy, players can further reduce the house edge. Unlike the basic strategy, this one takes into consideration the composition of the hand, not only the point total. Moreover, those two strategies might lead to different outcomes, but the results are fairly similar.
The main advantage of a composition-dependent strategy over a basic strategy is that it reduces the house edge by 4 in 10,000 in a single deck game and by 3 in 100,000 in a six-deck game. Hence, it is best to use this blackjack strategy table at games with fewer decks. Note that this strategy is suitable for expert players.
Blackjack Side Bets
Typically, blackjack side bets don’t have much with the game itself per say. In a nutshell, you can bet on things that happen on the table. Let’s say that you think that the dealer will go bust; then you can put a wager on that. Most blackjack tables offer some of the following side bets:
Lucky Lucky: when a player’s and dealer’s card total is 19, 20, or 21
Perfect Pairs: when a player’s initial hand is a pair
Royal Match: when a player’s initial hand is suited, suited and connected, or a suited K-Q
21+3: when a player’s initial hand plus the dealer’s card makes a flush, straight, or three-of-a-kind poker hand
Lucky Ladies: when a player’s initial hand totals 20
In Bet: when a dealer’s upcard is in between the value of the player’s two cards
Bust It!: when the first card is drawn to the dealer results in a dealer bust
Match the Dealer: one or both of the player’s cards is identical to the dealer’s card
After learning the types of side bets there are, you might wonder how to place one. It’s super easy. For starters, find a blackjack game with side bets feature. There is a range of RNG or live tables that you can choose from. Such games usually have an in-play side bet features where you can place your bet. Furthermore, the blackjack side bets are displayed either on the felt or the left-hand side.
This might sound like a great idea to improve your winning odds, but sadly it isn’t. There is no statistical evidence that proves that you can win more by using side bets in blackjack. Of course, if you enjoy the thrill of playing blackjack with side bets, then we are not going to stop you. Simply be ware that this won’t change the odds in your favour.
Popular Blackjack Games Online
Nowadays, there are many variations of blackjack table games, you can find a variety of classic and modern versions of the beloved game at online casinos. In this next part, you will find some of the most popular blackjack card games including Perfect Blackjack Pairs, Blackjack Classic, and Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series, among others.
Classic Variations – Timeless Blackjack Tables
Online blackjack layout will slightly differ from one game to another, but for the most part is pretty similar, as we discussed earlier. That’s also true when it comes to classic variations of online blackjack which include American Blackjack or also known as Classic Blackjack, European Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, and Perfect Pairs.
Modern Versions of Blackjack
There are probably just as many modern blackjack versions as classic ones online. Game developers keep on releasing new and exciting blackjack games for players to enjoy. Some of our personal favourites are Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series, 21+3 Blackjack, and Blackjack Surrender. If you are curious to learn more on the topic, we recommend you read our blackjack variations guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
We did our best to cover the main points in our blackjack table guide. Hopefully, we have cleared the air and helped you decide where to play next. But before you go do that, we suggest you take a look at the frequently asked question on the topic.
1️⃣ Where to play blackjack table games?
Players can find many top-rated blackjack table games online. However, not every operator out there is legit. Hence, we recommend you play at the best blackjack casino sites. There, you can find classic and modern versions of blackjack created by leading software developers.
2️⃣ What is the size of a black jack table?
The typical live blackjack table layout is a semi-circular table with 7 spots for players and one for a dealer. Players are seated at the arch, whilst the dealer is on the opposite side. RNG blackjack tables do not have spots for dealers or other players, but you have have multiple hands.
3️⃣ What are the basic rules of blackjack?
If you are a beginner, we strongly encourage you to learn by heart the basic rules. The blackjack strategy table is based on a computer simulation which reduces the potential losses in any situation. You have to know when to hit, stand, split, double down or surrender before you start playing.
4️⃣ How to play blackjack at a casino table?
First, you will need to find a blackjack game that you fancy. Check the table rules and if you are happy with those, make a deposit and start playing. Besides betting on the game, you can place blackjack side bets on things like whether the dealer will go bust or not.
5️⃣ What are the most popular blackjack table games?
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games of all time. Hence, there are many variations of the beloved game. The most popular blackjack games online include a mix of traditional and modern variations like Perfect Blackjack Pairs, Blackjack Classic, and Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series.