Blackjack is a well-known game that most people with even a casual interest in gambling and/or card games have heard of. Nevertheless, even the most seasoned of gamers are likely to have questions about it. The following list of questions and answers in our Blackjack FAQ are the most common burning questions out there.
1) Where does Blackjack come from?
There does not appear to be a consensus on the origin of Blackjack, but most converge on it originating in France in the 18th century as the game vingt et un (French for “21”). From there, French colonists brought it to the New World in North America and it took off in the 1930s in Nevada. Over time, numerous variations grew and will likely continue to over time. Check out our Blackjack Games page to learn more about these.
2) Of all the casino games out there, does Blackjack really offer the best chances for beating the house?
Generally, yes, this is true, provided that players follow the optimal strategy for every game. The actual odds for players naturally vary between Blackjack types. Follow our advice to maximise your chances to win.
3) What is the best strategy to win at Blackjack?
The answer to this depends on the type of Blackjack being played and the specific table rules. See our Blackjack Games page and others for more information about this.
4) If players have the advantage if following the ideal strategy, then what’s to stop everyone from playing and making a lot of money?
This is a common misconception – players don’t in fact have an advantage when playing perfect basic strategy. What it does is minimise the casino’s advantage, sometimes to only a few tenths of a percent. To gain an advantage over the casino, the player typically needs to count cards or obtain more information by other means, such as hole carding.
Three factors affect one’s likelihood of winning money at Blackjack – bankroll, skill, and risk. One needs a large initial bankroll to quickly win considerable amounts of money. In terms of skill, yes, it is possible to win; however, it’s one thing to know the strategy and how to count cards and another to implement it on the fly without diverging and under scrutiny from the pit boss. Finally, if all is done correctly, the edge is still very slight and even with a big bankroll the expected average winnings are not enormous.
You may also be asking why casinos offer the game if skilled players are able to gain an edge. The answer is that only a small percentage of people are able to put into effect the ideal strategy hand in and hand out, along with counting cards at the same time. Plus, it’s also important to remember that it’s likely that a casino’s winnings from many poor players more than offsets the winnings of relatively few good players.
5) Is card counting legal and will it give me an unbeatable edge?
Yes and no. Card counting is legal, but it is much easier to say than it is to do. In most instances, if one can count cards proficiently then the advantage over the casino is between 0.5% and 1.5% of the amount wagered, depending on the circumstances and rules of the game. Still, even with that advantage, it is common to lose money playing Blackjack while counting cards. Card counting and basic strategy are skills that allow you to win more than you lose over the long term, not every time you play.
6) How do I know which variation of Blackjack is best for me?
That depends on you and your preferences! Take a look at our Blackjack Games page to learn a bit more about what’s out there. You can also try various free versions to see what works best for you before trying it online with money on the line or at a brick and mortar casino. One of great things about online gaming is that gamers can try just about any type of game for free and no sign-up before deciding what’s best for them.