The Lure of Online Blackjack
Date Added: August 14, 2009
Blackjack is one of the more popular online casino games. After online slots, blackjack has the most number of variants. These include the standard land casino variants and some exotic online casino ones. There are several reasons for the popularity of blackjack in online casinos and this article discusses the more important ones.
Beyond doubt the biggest push for online blackjack has come from its popularity as a land casino game. The legends of professionals, like Taft, Uston, and later the MIT Club, who cleaned out the casinos in the latter part of the 20th century, are still very popular. These are kept alive by periodic Hollywood movies, the latest of which was ‘21’. Online casinos have allowed millions of players over the world to fulfill their dream of playing real money blackjack, because not everyone can afford to go to land casinos.
Unlike many other online casino games, blackjack involves a degree of player interactivity and skill. Players have to continuously make decisions of whether to stand or hit and also other decisions of whether or not to split or double. This makes them feel more involved and more accountable. There are strategies in online blackjack that go beyond mere bankroll management. Players take the trouble to learn these strategies and even try them out in free play games.
For players who have learnt how to play optimally the dividends are rich. Online blackjack offers average payout ratios that are close to 100% with best play. Slots offer payout ratios of about 96% in comparison. There are some variants that even offer average payout ratios that are marginally over 100%. Hence good blackjack players are assured that only in cases of extreme bad luck will they lose a lot of money, and with a little bit of luck they will end up winning at least a little. The best part of online blackjack is that players who have not acquired the requisite skills can yet take advantage of the high payout ratios. Strategy cards can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet and referring to these players can make optimal moves.
A part of the attraction of online blackjack is the variety it offers. Fore some players the variety is intellectually stimulating. They need to figure out what happens to the payout ratios when the number of decks is increased or some moves, like split and double, are offered in a restricted manner. This analysis enables them to choose the online blackjack games with the highest average payout ratios. For other players variety is alleviation of boredom from playing the same game again and again. They can take up some of the exotic variants like Blackjack Switch or Perfect Pairs or Double Exposure not offered in land casinos. Or they can choose one of the blackjack games with progressive jackpots.To keep the interest in online blackjack alive, the software providers have been continually striving to replicate more closely the land casino experience. One of the first steps in this direction was the inclusion of ‘dealer’s voices’ that made announcements in the same manner as in land casinos. The next step was the introduction of multi player games in which a number of players could play against the dealer on the same table. The latest innovation is live dealer blackjack. This is not based on the random number generator but transmits actual dealing of cards through a video stream. Online blackjack players therefore not only have the dealer’s voices but the dealer in person.