American Blackjack is one of the two main popular blackjack variations widely played at online casinos. As a matter of fact, several other online blackjack variants are based on this version of blackjack’s gameplay.
Due to its popularity, you will find this game is offered by virtually all casinos on the internet but, not all are safe for you to play at.
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What Is American Blackjack?
American Blackjack’s rules and objectives are similar to the standard version of blackjack. The objective still remains to get to 21 or close to the number before the dealer and other players, without going bust.
Not all online casinos offer this rendition of the game as “American blackjack.” In some casinos, you will find it being referred to as Atlantic City, Vegas Strip, Vegas Downtown, and Vegas Single Hand Blackjack.
These games share the unique distinctions that American blackjack possesses, like the existence of a hole card.
American Blackjack vs. Other Blackjack Games
This form of blackjack has some features that make it slightly different from other standard versions like European blackjack. Understanding these differences would help you know the right strategy to adopt when playing real money American blackjack.
Differences That Lower The House Edge
The American version of blackjack features a lower house edge than European blackjack, thanks to its distinct and player-friendly rules. Some of them include:
- The Chance to take up Late Surrender — reduces the house edge by 0.08%.
- Doubling on any hand total is allowed — reduces the house edge by 0.23%.
- Double after splitting — reduces the house edge by 0.14%.
- Double Down Rescue — reduces the house edge by 0.10%.
- Resplit Aces — reduces the house edge by 0.08%.
The “Hole Card” In Play
The number of cards dealt is another main difference between American Blackjack vs. European Blackjack. In the American variation, the dealer receives two cards, one face-up and the other face-down. The card that is face down is known as the “hole card”.
A dealer will be allowed to peek at his hole card if he has the possibility of making a natural blackjack. If the dealer is showing an Ace, they will see if the players want to pay insurance just in case they do have a blackjack before they check the hole card, otherwise, the dealer will check his “hole card.”
If the hole card is a ten or picture card and makes the dealer have a blackjack, then the game is over, and all players at the table lose.
This serves as a potential advantage for players because the hand ends immediately when the dealer draws a blackjack, therefore the players won’t be able to lose more chips that would have occurred from doubling down or splitting their cards.
American Blackjack Basics
Online American Blackjack shares the fundamental rules and objectives with the standard version of blackjack, so you still need to apply the basic blackjack strategy when playing for real money on the internet.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic regulations and other concepts of the game.
American blackjack’s house edge varies from 0.31-0.35% across casinos. This house edge is low compared to the standard blackjack version.
There are several factors that determine the blackjack house edge, such as the number of decks used, how the cards are dealt, and other specific rules.
In the case of Real Money American blackjack, the main factor that gives the house an advantage over players in its house edge is the 6-8 decks it uses.
However, the card dealing and other rules like the ability to surrender late and double down rescue give players a fighting chance when playing.
RTP and Payouts
Most American blackjack variants come with a 99.27%-99.54% RTP, so it is actually a great game to play for real money.
Like standard blackjack, the game also features three types of payouts, which include: Natural payouts (blackjack)-3:2, Insurance payouts-2:1, and other wins payouts-1:1
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How To Play & Win At American Blackjack Online
Winning online does not require extra skill and technique; just follow the basic strategy. This strategy is based on basic logic, which entails knowing when to stand, hit, split, double down, and surrender.
When you know this, you will be able to manage your bet effectively and increase your bankroll while playing.
We have explained the gameplay strategy for online American Blackjack in detail below.
- To start the round, you decide how much you want to bet.
- You and the dealer will receive two cards each. Your two cards would be dealt. face-up, while the dealer will have a face-up and a face-down card (hole card).
- After checking the value of your hand, as well as the dealer’s face-up card, you would make your move based on the information you get.
- You can either choose to hit, which means to ask for one more card.
- Stand meaning you want to keep playing with the current hand.
- Double down meaning you request for an additional card. Doubling down will also double your initial bet.
- Take Insurance; this is a side bet where you stake on the dealer having a natural blackjack. This will increase the total bet by 0.5.
- Surrender, this is giving up the game before or after seeing the dealer’s face-up card.
- After your move, the dealer plays out their hand, and you see the outcome of the hand, which may be you winning and getting the payout, the dealer wins, and you lose your wager, or in rare cases, a push where you and the dealer have the same total hand value. Depending on some casinos, you may get your initial bet back or play again.
Online American Blackjack Strategy
As we have mentioned earlier, the basic blackjack strategy, which also applies to American Blackjack, involves knowing when to hit, stand, split, double down, and surrender.
Knowing these tips would help you maximize your winnings and minimize your risks and losses.
Hits, Stands, & Splits
To Hit simply means asking your dealer for another card. In the basic blackjack strategy, this move should be your last resolve. You can keep on hitting until you either go over 21 or stand.
It’s recommended you should hit when your hand value totals 11 or less, your hands will improve, and you can’t go bust. You can also hit when the dealer shows a high card (7, 8, 9, 10, or Ace).
If you have received your two cards or have made a hit and gotten another, you can stand, meaning that you are okay with the cards in your hand and won’t take further cards. You should stand on totals of 17, 19, or 20.
Taking another card when you have these totals can make you go bust easily.
You have the option to split when you receive two cards of the same value. Your initial wager would be doubled, and you will be playing two separate hands when you split.
It is generally advisable while playing blackjack to only split two Aces and two 8s. This is because when you split two Aces, you will be on soft 12 and have a 52% chance of hitting blackjack on one of your hands.
Two 8s would total 16, which would give you a 62% chance of scoring 18 or soft 19 on one of your hands.
When you double down, you will receive one more card, and your initial bet would be doubled.
When you double down, you match your initial bet with another and receive one more card. It is advisable to double down when your hand is hard or stuck, meaning you don’t have an ace.
You should double down when you hold 11 when you hold 10, and the dealer has 4,5 or 6 or when you hold 9, and the dealer holds 5 or 6.
Surrenders mean giving up the round before making any further decisions. You will get half of your initial wager when you surrender. You can either make an early or late surrender.
Early surrender is you giving up on your hand immediately you receive your first two cards, before knowing whether the dealer has a natural blackjack.
However, late surrender simply means you want to stop playing after checking whether the dealer has a natural blackjack.
Blackjack experts advise players to surrender against an ace or a 9 when you have a 10-6 or a 9-7 or against a ten when you have a 10-5, 9-6, 10-6, or 9-7.
This feature, however, is not available in many casinos offering American blackjack.
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American Blackjack Strategy Card
We have created an easy-to-read blackjack chart that will help you make good decisions with any hand given in American blackjack.
Your hand is displayed on the left vertical axis, while the dealer’s card is horizontally displayed at the top.
The hard totals are displayed at the top, followed by soft totals.
A stands for Ace, S-Stand, Sp-Split, H-Hit, Dh = Double (if not accepted, then hit), Ds = Double (if not accepted, then stand), and SU = Surrender (if not accepted, then hit)