Over the past decade, online casinos have gradually grown from a fringe area of interest for devoted gamblers to a mainstream pastime for the masses. This growth saw a significant spike in 2020 during the period when land-based casinos closed their doors and millions were sitting at home looking for ways to pass the time.
The influx of new players was seen across Europe, the USA and especially Canada, where land-based casino gaming is especially popular and the public was eager to try the online alternatives. As you can see by looking at https://www.gambleonline.co/en-ca/casino/games/blackjack/, the bonus offers and promotions tend to steer new gamers towards slot games. However, as the influx has slowed and gamers have used up their free spins and special offers, many have turned to traditional table games, and specifically, to blackjack.
The world’s most popular casino game
Blackjack is consistently ranked the most popular game among land-based casino players, even above the scores of slot games that clamour for their attention. And now a similar story is starting to emerge online. What is so special about blackjack? In short, it checks all the right boxes for casino gamers:
- It’s simple – everyone knows the basic rules of blackjack. Hit or stand, but don’t go over 21 or it’s game over.
- Low house edge – even if you only go into the game knowing the basics and you hit, stand and split pairs according to gut feel, the house edge is less than three percent.
- You can make a difference – unlike roulette or slots, which are entirely down to chance, strategic blackjack play improves your chances of winning.
Basic blackjack strategy
If you’ve yet to try blackjack in a casino, that final point should give you food for thought. Spend a couple of hours memorising some basic blackjack strategy rules and you can immediately reduce the house edge to about one percent. Go deeper, and you can bring it even lower and almost level the playing field.
There are numerous online guides to basic strategy for blackjack players, so we will not go into them in depth here. Suffice it to say that basic strategy is all based in solid mathematical probabilities. It sets forth the optimum decisions to make on whether to hit or stand, whether to split a pair and whether or not to double down, based on the cards in your hand and the dealer’s upcard.
An eye-opening thing about basic strategy is that it changes your perception of blackjack. Most of us would say the game’s objective is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. However, basic strategy defines the objective as to beat the dealer’s hand. This is an important distinction, because if you were simply aiming to “get as close as possible to 21” you would probably not consider standing on 12. Yet if the dealer’s’ upcard is 4, 5 or 6, that’s the optimum call.
Blackjack is simple yet fun and if you devote a little time to basic strategy, it’s a game that gives you a better chance than most of upsetting the odds and beating the house. No wonder it is so enduringly popular!