Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It’s played with a 52-card deck, and players aim to beat the dealer in several ways. Players have to draw a hand larger than the dealers to win the game.
This article discusses the nitty-gritty details of the best places to play blackjack in the UK. However, before we delve into the details, let’s clear the air on how you can play blackjack in a UK casino.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack game rules vary greatly and have different number decks. However, most of these games are often dealt out of an eight or six-deck shoe. The guide below shows playing a blackjack game on a six-deck shoe.
Step 1: Buy Chips
Traditional casinos don’t accept cash plays anymore. Instead, they exchange your money for chips. You do this by walking over to the blackjack table, placing the amount on the table, and a dealer completes the exchange. The dealers complete the transaction on the felt for security reasons.
Step 2: Place a Wager
At the beginning of every round, you’ll place a bet. Blackjack tables have a sign on their left or right denoting the betting limits. Many tables in the US have a $5 minimum bet.
Step 3: Get Your Cards Dealt
After placing a bet, the dealer deals cards face up, clockwise to every player, and one face down card to themselves. They then deal cards a second time; only the dealer’s card is face-up this time.
Step 4: Decide How to Play Your Hand
The dealer starts with the person on their left and waits for them to play their hand. First, you’ll play your hand with two face-up cards by adding the card values to get a hand value between 4 and 21.
You have a blackjack if the two face-up cards are an ace and a ten-value card. These wins are paid 3X or 2X your wager without having to play the round, provided the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack. Of course, if the dealer has blackjack, too, you don’t win, but you don’t lose your initial wager either.
If you don’t have a blackjack, the dealer will point to every player to play their hand, and when it’s your turn, you’ll tell them what to do using hand signals for the cameras to see. Some five ways you can play your hand include:
- Stand – if you are good with your first face-up cards, you can stand, and the dealer proceeds to the next player. The hand signal is placing your palm or waving it over the felt.
- Hit – If you want more cards to improve your hand value, the dealer will deal more cards to you until you exceed 21 or opt to stand. The hand signal is tapping the felt with a finger.
- Double down – if you have an excellent hand total but still need an extra card, you can double down on your wager. The dealer will only deal with an extra card and place it sideways to show you cannot take more cards. The hand signal is simply adding an equal wager to the initial wager.
- Split – if the first two cards have the same value, you can put up a second wager and split the cards such that each card becomes a first on the new hand. This process adds a wager equal to the initial one and gives a peace sign signifying a split. Once the cards are split, you’ll receive two new cards on every hand.
- If you don’t like the initial hand, you can surrender, but this means forfeiting half of the original wager. The hand signal draws a line across the felt right behind the wager. Since the signal is often confused with ‘hit,’ it’s good practice to verbalize ‘surrender.’
The Dealer Plays Their Hand
With so many cards, how do you decide which option is best? This depends on the dealer’s face-up card.
Once the dealer has played their hand, they’ll bust and pay 1X the bet to every player still playing.
Alternatively, the dealer will have a higher hand and take your bets. But if you have a better hand, they’ll make a payout 1X the initial wager.
If the hand totals are the same, no one wins, and you keep your initial wager amount. At this point, a new round can start.
Where to Play Blackjack
Before crossing into the 21st century, land-based casinos were the most popular venue for playing casino games. However, with the advent of the internet, players can now enjoy digital versions of blackjack in online casinos.
Online casinos offer privacy, access to thousands of games, and convenience. As video technology in the online gaming space continued to grow, iGaming manufacturers introduced live casinos.
Live casinos take the experience of playing in a brick-and-mortar casino and recreate it in a digital environment.
How Live Casinos Operate
Many people don’t love that RNG power online casinos since it negates skills in games. Live casinos address this issue by recreating land-based casino experiences in a digital space. Every table has three cameras, a gaming control unit, and optical camera recognition technology. The games are streamed in real-time, and players use instant messaging software to communicate with dealers.
Players can place bets like they would in traditional casinos and watch the action unfold on smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.
While live casinos do a lot to replicate the real land-based casino experience, there’s still the issue of being behind a screen. The screen prevents players from getting the whole land-based casino experience – entering virtual reality.
For the most part, virtual reality casinos are uncharted territories, so it’s normal to feel confused. But, generally, VR casinos add the missing realness to live casinos.
The virtual reality casino environment is created using a VR headset. In this environment, you can interact with other players and dealers, play any game you want and move around the casino like a physical one.
You can feel sensations in the VR casino if you have VR gloves. Although it sounds fantastic, VR casino technology is still in progress.
Traditional, online, live, and VR casinos have a vital role in the industry’s future. Land-based casinos are still prevalent in some regions, with some doubling as tourist attractions. On the other hand, online casino games will continue to grow, especially among players that love shorter games. The most considerable growth yet to come is from live casinos. Companies are still investing in these offers as they’ve seen the potential revenue it’d rake in.
As VR technology evolves and becomes more accessible, many people will run towards having the ultimate immersive experience from the comfort of their homes.