Playing blackjack online casino style
If you’re like most NFL bettors, you’ve probably been tempted by the casino games offered at any decent sportsbook website. As in the traditional Vegas-style casino, a good assortment of classic games is offered. You should find slot machine games, roulette, craps and blackjack. In fact, the major difference between an online sportsbook’s casino games and those in play at any other iteration of gaming house is the favorable prominence given to blackjack.
Whereas blackjack tends to run second in terms of popularity, house intake and square footage at most Vegas casinos, this game is definitely no. 1 at sportsbook-centric websites. And to the blackjack-loving among NFL bettors is this page dedicated.
Blackjack: The basics
Surely you know the rules, but NFLbets will run through the basics briefly: Standard blackjack is played with at least one standard 52-card deck of cards, but internet casinos typically deal from a six- or eight-deck shoe which is reshuffled after every hand to further randomize the virtual cards and to effectively make card counting impossible.
Player and dealer are each dealt two cards with the object of the game to score as high a total score as possible without going over 21 (a.k.a. “busting”). Aces are worth 1 or 11 points, face cards are worth 10 and all other cards are scored by the value shown on their faces. In the standard variation, an ace and a face card is an automatic blackjack for the player, a win that pays off at a 3:2 proportion on the initial wager of the game.
Another standard rule in the game – and the entire modus operandi for blackjack, really – is the requirement that the dealer must stand on hands worth 17 or more points and must hit, i.e. take another card, on hands worth 16 or less. This rule often provides players the opportunity to let the dealer bust and thus win.
In the many variations typically available at a decent sportsbook website today – popular favorites include Spanish Blackjack (dealer stands on soft 17, doubling down on double down hands is allowed and bonus payouts on hands of 7-7-7 are in play), Pontoon (in which a five-card hand is second onl to a “pontoon” of Ace plus 10 or face card) and others – these rules are usually tweaked or augmented with progressive jackpots or side bets.
(Very) basic blackjack tips
Blackjack, as is famously known, offers the best odds in the casino: The house has a wee 0.9% advantage over the player and, with a little luck, coming out ahead is definitely possible. So how come so many lose so often? Following the simple strategies everyone knows (double down with 10 or 11 and dealer showing 6 and the like), keep in mind these attitudinal strategies that will get you even further along.
• Get a blackjack strategy card or “cheat sheet”. Look, blackjack just ain’t that complicated a game. Dozens of variations on the simple strategy card are out there, and they’re exactly the same (though some include the “surrender” and “insurance” options). When playing online, you can even leave a blackjack cheat sheet open or use a printed-out version.
• Play tight. We’re not talking “tight” as in “cheap” here, but rather as in “unwavering.” Once you learn a proper style of play that minimizes losses while exploiting opportunities, you must stick to it with no deviation; ignore that inner voice telling you “you’re hot” or that you “feel it” and stay the course. But how do you learn a good method to beat blackjack?
• Start small and set a maximum bet for yourself. Sure, the bit in Swingers in which our hero finally realizes his dream to play a $100 blackjack hand is memorable and hilarious. You know why? Because he lost and, in the process, screwed himself thoroughly. Funny when it happens to someone else, innit?
Same goes for later on in the game. If you suddenly double your bet just to “catch up,” the flip of a card could well put you 4x in the whole. Now what, high roller?
And the final tip? It’s the same as all the others…
• Play smart.
Online sportsbooks with blackjack
A number of NFL-partnered sportsbooks offer quality blackjack games in the traditional video game-style format or from live dealer casinos. Please see below for these sportsbooks to enjoy great blackjack action. All NFLbets-partnered sportsbooks have been audited by internationally-recognized authorities so as to ensure fairness of gameplay, sufficient randomness and proper customer service.
So pump up your sportsbook bankroll a bit before Sunday’s games at one of NFLbets’ favorite sportsbooks today!