The idea of playing Blackjack can be daunting especially if it’s the first time in your life you are attempting to play this strategy based card game. Nevertheless it’s a game that has been popular for centuries and it is something you have to try at least once.
Playing blackjack for real money can be scary but luckily you don’t have to start out playing the game with cold hard cash from the get go. With the escalation in the games popularity many variants have been created and as such many game software developers have opted to create free versions of the game to help players learn strategy and improve their skills before attempting to play with the big dogs.
The best part of playing free blackjack is that you get to enjoy hours of free entertainment without risking your bankroll. The free blackjack variants require nothing but your time, attention and focus. It’s a chance to learn blackjack skills in a safe and care-free environment.
Why Free Blackjack Is Next On Your List of Must-Plays…
When it comes to Blackjack, especially playing free variants of the card game online the pros will always outweigh the cons. There are endless reasons to play free blackjack games among which is the biggest is the fact that you won’t lose any money.
Pros of Free Blackjack
For the love of the game: With blackjack being such a challenging and competitive game it’s always fun to play whether it is for free or real money.
Learning to play: New players especially get to benefit from free games as it is the perfect learning environment and it makes the game a lot less intimidating. It gives you the opportunity to learn the rules as well as how to bet using chips without the added stress of possibly losing money.
Upping you strategy game: As you play free games you get to learn the intricacies of playing and betting which can be quite expensive if you do it playing real money games. Playing free games allows you to try different techniques and strategies to find what works best for you before you move on to real money blackjack variants.
Discovering what gives you pleasure: With blackjack being such a common game popular among the masses you will feel tempted to try it but that doesn’t mean you will like it. In fact you might end up getting frustrated and hating it which is why playing for free is the best way to get started. It allows you to get a feel for the game and decide whether it is worth continuing or something you need to leave for the pros.
The Only Con of Free Play Blackjack
Basically there is just one and that is that winnings won’t be credited to your account. So even if you manage to get the perfect hand you won’t receive the winnings it could’ve paid out in a Real Money Blackjack game.
A Swift Journey Through Blackjack History
Blackjack has been around for centuries in fact many believe blackjack’s roots came from the French game, vingt-et-un (pontoon), which started in the early 1700’s. Blackjack only made its way to America in the 1800s and wasn’t met with much enthusiasm at first.
It was so unsuccessful at first that casinos were forced to change the rules of the game and offer a 10-to-1 bonus if the player’s first two cards were a jack of clubs or spades paired or the ace of spades. This was done purely in hopes of motivating more people to try and play the game.
Did you know? The game was later on dubbed ‘Blackjack’ because of the 10 to 1 bonus and the cards required to receive that bonus. It truly is amazing how such a popular name can come from something so simple.
When blackjack was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 more casinos started adding the game to their game selection. Again the rules had to change but this time it included lowering the house edge which as you know today is incredibly low. After this was implemented more and more people started to participate in the game.
During this time no one ever attempted to try and add a strategy to their gameplay. It was only in 1956 when the first people started working on a strategy. Then there were also those who attempted to learn how to count cards as early as the 1940s to help them win at blackjack. Dr Edward O. Thorp was the first to write a book on counting cards in Blackjack. His book became a bestseller and players from far and wide made a point of reading his book to learn the skill that could help them outsmart the casino.
For this very reason casinos were once more in a position where they had to change the game rules. The new rules included players not being able to split aces or only being allowed to double down on two cards that totalled in 11. The new rules didn’t last very long as this resulted in the majority of players deciding against playing the game which forced the casino to revert back to their traditional blackjack rules.
The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen… In 1956, Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Canty, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott developed the first real blackjack strategy. Their work was recognised worldwide and they were inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame nearly half a decade after their work was published in the Journal of the American Statistical Society.
Luckily there was an alternative option and that was to change the way the game runs. Instead of just using one deck of cards some casinos started using four decks per game and even introduced dealing shoes. Thorp’s book might have been too intricate for many to follow but it did help boost the popularity of blackjack. It was also a main reason why certain changes were implemented in the gameplay.
Blackjack has been in land based casinos for decades and was also one of the first games to take a spot in the very first online casinos ever launched. Of course the first online casino blackjack game was a classic standard version of the game. We’ve come a long way since then and now players are bombarded with interesting and different variants of the game.
The 5 Most Popular Free Blackjack Variants
There is no denying that classic blackjack provides heaps of fun whether you are playing for free or for real money. However over the years different variants of the game has been created to provide players with a chance to enjoy added side bets and exciting features.
1. Classic Blackjack
There are many variants of classic blackjack from top software developers such as Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt and others. The classic variant is the most basic form of blackjack and follows the standard rules. In most cases the classic blackjack game doesn’t come with a surrender option and makes use of between 2 and 6 card decks. The dealer also tends to stand on a 17.
2. Blackjack Double Exposure
This blackjack variant offers an interesting twist in which the dealer’s cards are exposed before you have to make a decision. This can be highly beneficial apart from the fact that the dealer wins all ties. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when both you and the dealer has a blackjack hand in which case you will receive your stake.
3. Blackjack Switch
This is a multi-hand blackjack variant in which you have to play with two hands. You’ll have to place tow stakes at the beginning of each game round and each hand is dealt two cards as per normal. During the gameplay you are allowed to switch one card from one hand to another. Some might think this makes it more advantageous to you as a player but with a slight change in the rules with this variant it balances out.
4. Perfect Pairs
This is a highly popular blackjack variant with a side bet. In this blackjack variant the side bet is won if you are dealt a pair (any pair). The pay-outs vary from casino to casino but any suited pairs generally provide the higher pay-outs.
5. Progressive Blackjack
While it’s worth a mention Progressive Blackjack is not a variant you can play in free play mode. The reason for this is because this blackjack game offers a growing jackpot pool prize which can only be accessed when played with real money. Nevertheless it is definitely a variant to consider when you finally plan to move from free blackjack games to real money blackjack games as it can be highly rewarding.
On another note… Playing popular games such as Blackjack for free keeps you grounded and reminds you of what gambling is really about. You should always play mainly for the fun and thrill of the game rather than trying to make big bucks. While blackjack is a strategy game it remains a game of chance.
Where and How to Play
The good thing is that most online casinos allow you to play certain blackjack variants in free play mode on their site. However if you’re not looking to get serious with a casino at this moment you can always opt to play the free blackjack variants loaded right here on GamblersPick. And if you still aren’t sure which ones would work best you can take a look at what the GamblersPick Community has to say about the blackjack variants. Players who’ve tried and tested many variants to find their perfect fit are always eager to share their experience as it can be quite difficult to get started from an unknown point.
But before you hop over to the fun free blackjack games we’ll help you out with a few tips on how to play blackjack.
The aim of the game: You’ll be playing against the dealer and your aim is to draw a hand with a value as close to or equal to 21. It gets rather difficult as you have to do so without exceeding the number and risk going bust.
11 Things You Need To Know To Play Like a Pro
You can continue hitting until your hand has a value of at least 17 if the dealer’s face-up card is a 7, 8, 9, 10, face card or an ace.
If the dealer’s face up card is between three and seven you can hit until your hand has a minimum value of 12.
Only hit until you have a hand value of 13 or more if the dealer’s face up card is a two or a three.
An ace and a five is considered a soft hand and if those are your cards you should keep hitting until your hand is 18 or more.
If your initial hand has a combined total value of 11 you should double down.
You should also double down if the dealer’s face up card is an ace, face card or 10 and your cards total 10.
With an initial card value of 9 you should only double down if the dealer’s face up card is a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
Split your hand if you have a pair of aces or eights.
Split your hand if you have pairs of 2’s, 3’s or 7’s…UNLESS the dealer is showing an 8, 9, 10, face card or ace.
Sixes should only be split if the dealer has a 2 – 6.
Hands should never be split when you have a pair of 4’s, 5’s or 6’s.