Play Online Blackjack

Online blackjack in New Zealand ranks high on the list of popular casino games.  But why should you play blackjack online?

Advantage: Online Blackjack

Perhaps you haven’t thought about all the advantages you benefit from when you play blackjack online.  First, you don’t have to pack a suitcase and travel to a land-based casino.  Now, we know that New Zealand is a small country.  So, even if you can make the trip to a casino a one-day affair, there are often substantial travel costs.

Second, there are space limitations at a land-based casino.  You may find that the table you want to play at is full.  At some land-based casinos, blackjack begins at $5 so if you want to play for less, you’re out of luck!

Third, you may want to move between variations of blackjack.  Land-based casinos simply cannot provide tables for every variation of blackjack but some online casinos have more than 50 variations of blackjack.

Fourth, few players play only blackjack, as popular as it is.  When you play blackjack online, you also have hundreds of other games to choose from when you need a change of pace and you never have to wait for a game to open up.

How Can There Be So Many Variations?

So, now that we’ve convinced you that online blackjack is the best venue to play this great game, let’s learn a bit more about the game itself.

Before we get into details about blackjack variations, let’s discuss playing in Practice Mode.  Any good NZ online blackjack casino must have an area where you can play without betting.  This gives you the chance to learn the variations first-hand without risking any money.  After playing a game in Practice Mode for a while, you’ll surely want to play blackjack for real money.  The entertainment value of blackjack is testing your wits, powers of logical thinking, intuition, and luck against the house.  You do this when you have real money riding on the outcome!

Blackjack Basics

First you must understand the basics of how to play blackjack online.  When you play blackjack online, you use the mouse to make decisions.  It takes little time to get used to using the mouse to move chips.  The computer doesn’t know if you mistakenly click a higher denomination of chip than you wanted to gamble.  A little practice playing for free and you’ll already be an expert in using the mouse to indicate decisions.

Here are the most basic rules regarding how to play blackjack online.

Players First

Players must play first.  This gives the house an edge which it relinquishes somewhat when the dealer plays.  Your goal is to reach 21 points but not exceed that sum.  If you go over 21, it’s called to bust and you lose automatically.  When the dealer plays her hand, she has the same rule but if you bust first you lose no matter what happens to the dealer’s hand!

Since there are 16 cards that are worth 10 points, it stands to reason that you will often decline another card, or stand, when you have as few as 12 points showing!  It is very common for a player with 12 points to win when the dealer busts!  But it is not always good strategy to stand with 12 points.

When all players have played their hands, dealer plays.  The dealer must hit with 16 or fewer points and must stand with 18 or more points.  Usually the dealer must also stand with 17 points bit in some variations, the dealer hits with soft 17, a 17 with an ace counted as 11 points.  This is a big change in the most standard rules and there are many variations that have this rule.  Your strategy will change if you’re playing a game with this unique rule.

“Blackjack”

If you are dealt a 10 point card and an ace, you have “blackjack”.  If you reach exactly 21 points after taking a card or more, you don’t have blackjack; you just have 21.  Blackjack pays 3-2 and a regular win pays 1-1 so blackjack is far better than 21!  In some variations, if the dealer also has blackjack, the hand is a tie and neither party wins.  In other variations, when you have blackjack, you win automatically!  This is another major variation in blackjack.  The games where blackjack can be a tie if dealer also has it should give something back to the players in the form of a slight rule change in the players’ favor.   They might tout this special benefit as a blackjack bonus. If the online blackjack casino that you’re at doesn’t do so, at the very least change blackjack games.

Splitting Pairs

If you have two cards of equal value you can split them and play two hands.  You have to add another bet equal to the first one and then you play two hands.  A real blackjack bonus is when a variation allows you to split up to four times.  If dealer is showing an 8 and you have two nines, it pays to split hoping to beat the dealer with two higher point totals.  So, if you can split nines three times in this example, you may have a big hand!  Another important blackjack bonus is when the variation allows you to split any two 10-point cards even if they aren’t the exact same card.

Doubling Down

If you have a hand that you think can win with just one more card before you’ve taken any cards, you can double down.  You double your bet and receive only one card.  This is excellent strategy when you have nine or ten points or an ace which you can count as 11.  It may also be a good play if you have a very low count but dealer is showing a 6.  Then you can double your win if dealer busts.

Insurance

One more variation is called insurance.  If the dealer is showing an ace there is a good chance that she’ll have blackjack.  She offers insurance which is a side bet that you win if dealer does indeed have blackjack.  The end result of a successful insurance play is that you break even on that hand.

Enjoy Playing Blackjack Online

As we said, online blackjack in New Zealand is a simple game to learn but a game with many variables as well.  It certainly is a must to learn the unique rules that apply to any variation you wish to play.  Real money blackjack is a wonderful entertainment, especially when you are completely familiar with every variation.