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Live Blackjack

A little bit of Blackjack History

So you’re interested in playing blackjack, but you’re curious where this card game that players rave about originated? Before we look into the game rules, strategies and how to play the exciting game, let’s delve a little into the history of blackjack here at Slotzo.

Like many things in history, it’s not as simple as we may wish it to be, and the origins of blackjack are filled with debate and may always remain a mystery. However, historians do have some clues as to where blackjack originated as history is dappled with evidence of the games’ popularity throughout the world. One of the first times blackjack, as we know it was mentioned in literature, was when it was referred to as “twenty-one” – and this was in the early 1600s in a book about gambling cheats in southern Spain by Miguel de Cervantes. The book describes the game quite well so there’s no question that it’s describing the game of blackjack except it was an earlier version.

It’s not just Spain that wants to take credit for the invention of blackjack, however, a similar game was also known to be popular in the 1700s in France, but that’s not to say that it did not originate earlier, it’s just that there is no record of it before then. The French version was named “Vingt-et-Un” and resembled twenty-one in many ways. The French also coined a similar game with similar principles called “one and thirty” where instead of reaching a total of 21, you needed to reach 31 within three or more playing cards in a similar fashion to blackjack. 

There are some historians believe the game originated even further back in Roman times, and this isn’t hard to believe, as the Romans were known gambling lovers and were renowned for playing games with wooden blocks with Roman numerals on and it’s believed by several historians that the Romans played a version of twenty-one using these wooden blocks. But no matter who was the creator, blackjack as we know and love it thankfully because more widespread throughout Europe before making it over the pond to North America and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Nonetheless, we feel obliged to mention from the beginning that this is a game of strategy and winnings come through a slow process; if you are aiming to get big wins fast, then you should check out some jackpot games instead!

Blackjack Game Rules

Knowing the rulers of blackjack is essential to feeling confident playing and more importantly, winning! Here are the basic rules of how to play blackjack for casinos online to get you started:

  1. The game starts with players placing their bets followed swiftly by the dealer who will deal each player two cards and take two for themselves. One of these cards will be placed facing up, and the other placed facing down. 
  2. Each card is worth its face value and the picture cards are worth 10 and the ace card can be worth either 1 or 11, whichever the players choose when they play it. Forget about the suits in blackjack and only concentrate on the numbers. The value of a total hand is the sum of each of the card values, so if you have a queen of hearts (worth 10), a 2 of spades, 6 of clubs and 3 of diamonds, that’s a winning hand as you only regard the numbers. 
  3. Players can choose to stand, surrender, double down, hit or split when it’s their turn to play and the aim of the game is to get a hand that is 21 or less, and the closest player to 21 is the winner.
  4. The dealer is the last to play and they must have 16 or less and to beat the dealer you would need between 17-21.
  5. If you exceed 21, you lose! 

How to Play Blackjack Online

Now you’ve got a grip on the basic rules on the game you’ll realise that blackjack is quite a simple game to understand and no doubt you’re rearing to go! But hold your horses, keep reading to find out how to play the game before you dive right in as there are some important things you need to know before you place your bets. Also, make sure that you have a lookout at our casino promotions that exist to make your casino experience even better!

First, some basic blackjack terminology

Busting: this is where either the dealer’s hand or any players hand exceeds 21 and means it’s the end of the road for the hand. You can only win with 21 or less if your hand is higher than the other players and the dealers. 


Hard hand: a hard hand means a hand which doesn’t have an ace – or has an ace which has to have a value of 1 to prevent a player going bust. The ace is a great card to have in your hand as it offers flexibility as it can either count as 1 or 11, making it a unique card. 


Soft hand: unlike a hard hand, a soft hand is a hand that contains an ace which means you are in a position where you can’t go bust as the ace is a value of 1. 


Do you stand, surrender, double down, hit or split?


Hit means you want the dealer to “hit” you with another card to add to your hand. You would take this option if you need more to take you closer to 21. This is a move you’d want to take especially if you had a soft hand. In blackjack, you might see players hitting the table with their finger or tapping – this is to indicate to the dealer they’d like another card. 


This is when you have a pair of cards, for example, a pair of 4s, you could split these up. This gives you two separate hands with a count of 4 in each hand. 


If you’re happy with your hand and the total your hand is worth and want to stick to what you have, this is called a stand. You will see players doing this by simply waving their hand over their cards with their palm down to indicate they don’t want to make any change to their hand. This would be wise if you either had 21 or were close to it. 

Double down

Double down means you will draw one card and double your original bet. This is often only allowed once you have received your first two cards and before you draw another card. You’ll see players indicating to the dealer they want to double down when they place a betting chip adjacent to the initial bet. 


If things aren’t going to plan. You can surrender your hand and essentially forfeit the hand with immediate effect and you’ll lose half of your initial bet. However, this is only permitted in certain circumstances and the dealer decides if this is allowed by checking the cards. If the dealer holds a blackjack then this isn’t an option. Players will simply say “surrender” if they want to choose this option. 

Insurance bets

An insurance bet is essentially a side bet where players can bet that the dealer’s hole card will be worth 10 (either a 10 or a picture card). Players are able to make a side bet either equal to or less than one half of the original bet they made on their hand. If the dealer has a ten-value card in the hole, you will win the side bet and the odds of winning this side bet is 2-1, so it’s not bad as far as insurance bets go. 

Even money

Another style of side bet is an even-money bet, which the dealer can offer players when they have an ace showing and a blackjack hand – this side bet will mean that the dealer will give players even an even money payout before they check the down card. 

Blackjack Strategy to Win 

Now you know how to play, you need to know how to WIN. As in many casinos games that aren’t just purely down to chance, having a playing strategy that you play consistently can really pay off. 

There are multiple strategies, but the key is to be consistent with your strategy so that you start to see consistent results. Find a strategy that is right for you and your bankroll and stick with it and it’ll pay off over time. A basic strategist player who understands the rules of the game and the strategies amount standing, doubling and splitting during blackjack will have a lower house edge over an extended period of time, for example, 400 hours over the course of a year which an average of £10 bet, than a player that merely mimics the dealer and doesn’t employ a consistent strategy, so it really pays off to learn a strategy! 

Live Blackjack vs Online Blackjack

The debate rages on about which is best – live blackjack or online blackjack and there are numerous advantages for both. Online blackjack essentially simulates the live blackjack game and thanks to technology it can do so extremely well, although a lot of players still prefer the completely immersive experience of live blackjack. Many online casinos successfully bridge the game between the gap between live blackjack and online blackjack with live blackjack being streamed online which helps to make players feel like they are in a real live casino

If you’re looking for some of the best live blackjack games, you won’t need to look any further than Slotzo who offer plenty including Diamond Loyalty blackjack and Fortune Loyalty live blackjack. If, however, blackjack is not your favourite type of game – why not head to our slots games page instead?