Blackjack has long been known as the world’s most popular card game. Simple, easy to play and involving both luck and a great deal of skill, 21 online games have taken the modern world by storm. With one of the lowest house edges in the casino, coming in at as low as 0.05% if you play the game wisely, blackjack is recognized as one of the best games on the casino floor for skilled players looking to beat the house and cash in big.
The history of 21 casino games
While the exact origins of blackjack remain unclear, it’s earliest written reference can be found in an early 17th century tale by the author of the infamous classic novel Don Quixote, Manuel de Cervantes. In the story "Rinconete y Cortadillo", Cervantes depicts a pair of low life rascals running cons on the street using a deck of cards. They play, and cheat at prolifically, a game known as “veintiuna”, which conveniently is Spanish for 21. While the story itself is more about depicting the contrasts of street life in 16th century Seville, at the height of Spain’s conquest of the Americas, the mention of 21 games gives us a written starting point for the history of what we call today blackjack.
By the time 21 games made their way to the Americas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, it became customary for saloon and bar owners to incentive people to play by offering a special reward. If players managed to reach 21 using the ace of spades and a black (clubs or spades) jack, the win would pay out a phenomenal ten to one… and hence the name blackjack was born.
Today, phenomenal payouts of ten to one for blackjack are long gone, but the fundamentals remain the same. Blackjack is played against the dealer, not the other players. The first one, dealer or player, to reach 21 without going over takes the win. While it sounds simple and is on its face, blackjack is actually a complicated game of strategy in which knowing when to hit, that is, take another card on the way to 21, or stand, that is, refuse to take another card, based on the dealer’s visible hand, makes all the difference. Raising your bets at the right time in blackjack, when the odds are in your favor and the house edge essentially neutralized, can lead to astronomical wins, which is why blackjack has long been the intelligent card players favorite casino game.
Different types of 21 online games
Today around the world and here at CoolCat Casino, you can find a number of different forms of blackjack that offer up different betting scenarios and chances to win, including: Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon, BJ + Perfect Pairs, Super 21, European Blackjack and more; each contributing with their own particular rules and variations to take the excitement of regular blackjack to a whole new level. Many of these 21 casino games are difficult to find, but at CoolCat Casino we've put together an entire section devoted to providing only the best 21 casino games with the most advanced, digital sound and state-of-the-art video graphics available today, for your joy, thrills, fun, entertainment and profit.
Some of the most popular of the seemingly endless variants of blackjack you’ll find available to play for fun or real money at CoolCat Casino include:
• 21 Blackjack – the most traditional version of blackjack. You beat the dealer to 21 and the dealer must hit on a soft 17 (for more information of what a soft and hard 17 mean, please see below).
• European Blackjack – in this variant of blackjack, you are not allowed to split 4s, 5s or cards valued at 10 but you can split aces, you are allowed to double down after a split and the dealer stands instead of hits on a soft 17.
• Face Up 21 – unlike more traditional forms of blackjack in which the dealer’s second card is dealt face down, in this version both the dealer’s cards are face up, the dealer wins ties and blackjack pays even money.
• Suit ‘em Up 21 – this version of blackjack offers players greater chances to win. If you can match the suit of your two starting cards you win extra cash even before the game itself starts.
• Super 21 – this variant adds a twist with insurance, which pays two to one, blackjack pays even money, and the dealer must hit on a soft 17.
Blackjack strategy tips
As a game of strategy as much as luck there are a number of important things to keep in mind no matter which variant of blackjack you decide to play. The first, and most important blackjack strategy tip of all is, in the words of the immortal Kenny Rodgers, “you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em”. In other words, knowing when to hit, stand or surrender in blackjack is the key to playing a winning game.
In light of the odds, you should always stand in the following situations:
1. on a hard 17 or higher hand. A “hard” 17 means any hand of 17 or more when the ace counts as one instead of 11. 2. when the dealer shows a two, three, four, five or six and you have a hard 13, 14 or 15. 3. when the dealer shows a four, five or six and you have a hard 12. 4. when you have a soft (when the ace counts as 11) 19 or higher. 5. when you have a soft 18, as long as the dealer doesn’t have a nine, ten or ace.
Keeping the odds in mind, you should always hit in the following situations:
1. when you have a hard 11, i.e. the ace counts as one and not 11, or lower. 2. when you have a soft, i.e. the ace is counted as 11, 17 or lower.
Blackjack play options
Doubling Down: doubling down in the variants of blackjack that allow it means giving you the chance to double your original bet if you think you can hit 21, i.e. blackjack, on the next card. With face cards all equaling 10 as well as ten’s counting as ten most of the cards in a blackjack deck will equal ten. That means when you show 11, it’s time to double down. Professional blackjack players know that doubling down at the right time is simply the best way to exponentially increase your winnings at the blackjack table and beat the house.
Split: knowing when to split is a fine art in blackjack. In most traditional variants of the game you will be given the opportunity to split if you are dealt two of the same card. Splitting means you separate the identical cards into two separate hands. This doubles your original bet. The key to successfully splitting is knowing the fundamentals, for example, never, never split a winning hand. If you are dealt two tens, splitting is a bad idea. Keep the 20 and see how it plays out. On the other hand, say you end up with two eights. A total of 16 is a terrible place to be in blackjack, as it’s too low to stand well and too high to hit without the risk of going bust. As most of the cards in the deck equal 10, splitting two eights means you’ll end up with a statistically reasonable chance of having two 18s in the end, which is a very strong hand.
Insurance: in many variants of blackjack today if the dealer shows an ace, you’ll be given the chance to buy insurance. Insurance is in essence a side bet. To take it means you are betting that the dealer’s next card will count as 10 (as do most of the cards in the blackjack deck) and you’ll get paid out 2:1 for the effort. Using insurance well hedges the loss of your original bet in the event the dealer gets blackjack.
The differences between online 21 games and brick and mortar casino play
The fundamental difference between playing blackjack games online at CoolCat Casino versus playing 21 games in a traditional brick and mortar casino comes down to something called a random number generator.
In a classic casino in Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City or Macau, different blackjack tables will use varying numbers of decks of cards. This allows professional blackjack players to card count, a practice that is not technically illegal, as it’s considered a form of advantage play, but almost always frowned upon by the casinos. Casinos set their own internal rules and if they catch you card counting you’ll be shown the door in a hurry. Historically, card counters and card counting teams, like the infamous MIT team fictionally depicted in the movie “21”, have been able to beat the casinos out of millions. To counter the advantage card counting gives intelligent players casinos have come up with elaborate detection systems starting with the dealers and pit bosses all the way up to teams of experts studying ongoing play from eye in the sky cameras to weed out card counters and blacklist them from the brick and mortar casino world.
Conversely, random number generators (RNGs), are a complex algorithm that ensures that each hand played is a unique event, i.e. the deal is random, so card counting is simply impossible.
On the other hand, one of the great advantages of online casino blackjack play at CoolCat Casino is the simple lack of distractions. Forget the screams and laughter arising from the tables around you, the annoying if not potentially hostile players on either side of you, the sneering dealer, the flashing lights, sirens and pounding background music. Playing blackjack online at CoolCat casino means you can concentrate without distractions on your game. As we mentioned before, blackjack is a game of skill as much as luck and focusing on playing well, knowing when to hit, stand or surrender, can make all the difference between a strong winning session and walking away a looser, despite your luck.
Live dealer blackjack
In today’s world of online blackjack games more and more casinos are starting to offer what they call live dealer online blackjack. Much like a video chat, these blackjack variants offer a live dealer standing at a table in a recording studio in some corner of the world, dealing real cards. In essence it’s a hybrid version of the game residing somewhere between the experience of a traditional brick and mortar casino and playing 21 games online at CoolCat Casino. Unlike playing blackjack games online at CoolCat, in live dealer games the dealer, usually a good looking scantily clad woman or handsome mad, becomes the distraction. Sure, you don’t have the level of distractions you’ll find on an Indian or Las Vegas casino floor, but don’t be mistaken, the live dealer online experience is intended to make you take your eye off the metaphorical ball when playing blackjack.
CoolCat Casino downloadThere are many ways to play and win at CoolCat Casino. Playing online via your web browser offers you a fine selection of cutting-edge 21 online games but using the download casino is even better. With the CoolCat download casino, in but a few minutes you’ll be granted access to the complete selection of CoolCat games, over 220 in total. Our download process takes only a few seconds and it will install our web-based software on your computer, so you can access all the fun and games anytime, day or night at the click of a mouse.
On the other hand, if you choose to play from your browser and you won't need to even go through any installation: an internet connection is all you'll need to win amazing casino prizes and enjoy the best time on the web with our free collection of blackjack games. Play all the best CoolCat casino games real money at home on your PC, or on the go with our fully optimized mobile casino, perfect for your tablet, iPhone, iPad, android or windows enabled mobile device.
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