Picture this scene: You are taking a stroll down South Las Vegas Boulevard, AKA The Strip, and decide to go to the Bellagio to play some blackjack. It’s a huge casino, of course, and it will have plenty of blackjack tables, although you’ll be lucky to find anything cheaper than $15 per hand. You will also notice that there is a little bit of choice: Not just classic blackjack with Vegas Strip rules; there will be a couple of tables offering types like Blackjack Switch or Free Bet Blackjack. You don’t get a choice like that at a bog-standard casino.
But if the golden rule is that the bigger the casino, the greater the choice: what do we say about online casinos, which have, in theory, infinite space for games? The selection at a top casino site dwarfs even the world’s largest casinos resorts. They don’t need to worry about physical space or hiring dealers to sit at empty tables, so they can afford to host a huge number of games, including some unique and niche titles.
Getting to know the choice of games at an online casino is always the smart thing to do, instead of diving in without thinking. Even if we take one genre of casino game – card games – there are many differences in the rules, payouts, strategies, etc.
Choose from live and virtual games
So, where to begin? Well, the first thing you must decide is whether to play with live dealers or on virtual format. Most online casinos now have a live dealer selection, with tables powered by companies like Evolution, Playtech and NetEnt. Again, there is arguably more choice than what you would find in a physical casino, and that means different rules and strategies to learn.
If you are new to playing any type of casino game, the best rule of thumb is to keep things simple at first. You can choose games like fun and easy 3 Card Brag, which is like a variant of 3 Card Poker. You play against the dealer, and the best poker hand using three cards wins – it couldn’t be easier. If blackjack is your bag, then choose the classic versions to get the feel of the game. Most online casinos will offer demo versions or, at the very least, micro-limit games. So, if you want to practice before moving on to higher stakes, then do so with these options.
Next, you might have options that offer a twist on a classic. Blackjack Switch is a good example of that. It plays like ordinary blackjack, but you start with two hands instead of one. You then have the option of switching the top card of both hands. Be aware though the trade-off for that advantage is that a push (draw) will be called if the dealer hits 22.
Blackjack Surrender features complex math
A more complex game that you’ll find online is Blackjack Surrender. The game is often debated by serious blackjack players, with some claiming it’s better than classic blackjack and some claiming it’s worse. The main thing to know is the “surrender” option. This means you can fold halfway through the game, giving up half your stake. It doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? But some professionals believe this strategy can help you beat the odds eventually.
Some of the more modern online card games have found ways to supercharge the prizes. For instance, Progressive Blackjack will have a randomly awarded jackpot prize attached to it – potentially worth over $100K regardless of your stake. But perhaps the most interesting variant out there is Playtech Quantum Blackjack. You can play the game live or in virtual format, and in both versions, RNG software is used that can multiply your winnings by up to 1,000 times. However, be aware that these big prizes have to be paid for somehow, so the odds in the base blackjack game are a little worse. Above, we have only touched upon a small selection of the huge number of online casino card game variants. Moreover, that’s just one type of casino game – there are hundreds of different types of slots, classic roulette, baccarat and everything in between. The best rule of thumb is to do a little research before you decide to play – or even try in demo mode. When the rules vary, so will the strategy. So do a little homework and give yourself a better chance of winning.