Live Blackjack | What is Blackjack, What are the Rules, and How to Win Big in the Philippines

Blackjack, also known as 21, is a popular card game played in both online and brick-and-mortar casinos worldwide. It is a game where the objective is for players to get the hand that’s closest to 21 without exceeding it. Players will compete against the dealer, but other players can mess up how another player plays by making bad decisions that’ll keep another player from getting a good card.

online blackjack

Blackjack is a game of skill and strategy where only the thinking players will have a chance to win consistently. In fact, many professional gamblers have been able to beat the casino multiple times and win big by using certain strategies. Although, this did get them banned from many casinos as a result. Still, this hasn’t stopped them from beating more and more casinos and winning big to the point that they can make a living out of this if they want. Players can try and emulate them from home by playing online blackjack.

How to Play Blackjack Card Game | Rules of Blackjack

Understanding the rules and gameplay of blackjack is essential for any player. In this section, we will explore the setup of the game, the dynamics between the dealer and the player, and the winning hand known as a ‘natural’ or ‘blackjack’.

Straight Flush Blackjack

Straight Flush and a Blackjack

The goal of blackjack is to get a natural or blackjack or get a hand closest to it. In all iterations of blackjack, the player only competes against the dealer and all other players are playing independently or as allies who’ll spot for good plays when counting cards or trying to master Basic Strategy.

Blackjack Cards and the Blackjack Table

Different tables can feature different blackjack rules, depending on the game variation, which makes the game more exciting and more profitable for players who don’t just play the standard game. The standard rules largely remain the same and the objective of getting a blackjack stays. One of the constants is the cards’ values.

CardValue
Ace 1 or 11
Face Cards (King, Queen, Jack)10
Number CardsValue written on the cards

Most blackjack tables will seat seven people, even online tables, so it’s normal for online casinos to have multiple standard blackjack tables to accommodate multiple players. Betso88 blackjack games, however, feature the Bet Behind side bet that allows players to bet on a player winning in case they join a full table.

Betso88 also has more tables aside from the standard game, including the following variations:

  • Speed Blackjack
  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • Power Blackjack

In standard tables, players will hit and stand according to their seating positions but other tables will allow players to go first regardless of where they’re seated or allow them to play the same hand as the other players.

Additional rules to remember are the common Betso88 blackjack rules:

  • Dealer stands on all 17
  • Dealer deals their second card after the players’ cards are dealt
  • House edge is 0.5%
  • Blackjack pays 3:2
  • Insurance pays 2:1
  • Late surrender is allowed
  • Double down is allowed
  • Double down after split is allowed

Standard Betso88 online blackjack games feature a mix of European and American blackjack rules, so some players might find that they aren’t playing the exact game they’re used to.

Playing Blackjack

Once the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player, one face-up and one face-down. The dealer also deals themselves two cards, one face-up and one face-down. The face-up card of the dealer is known as the “upcard”.

Players will have several standard actions they can make and players must master when to make those actions to win consistently.

  • Hit: Take another card to improve the existing hand.
  • Stand: Stop taking cards and keep the current hand.
  • Double Down: Double the original bet and get one additional card.
  • Split: Split a hand with two cards of the same value to play with two hands and get an additional card per hand and make an additional bet.
  • Insurance: Make an insurance bet to protect the player from the possibility of the dealer getting a natural when the upcard is an Ace.

In some tables, players can surrender half their bet amount if they don’t like their hand. Most tables only allow players to surrender early but others allow for late surrender. The difference between these two are the following:

  • Early Surrender – surrender before the dealer checks the hole card for a natural blackjack
  • Late Surrender – surrender after the dealer checks the hole card for a natural blackjack

Dealer Rules

Dealers also hit and stand, depending on what their second card is. The following are the rules followed in Betso88 blackjack tables:

  • Dealer takes their turn last
  • Dealer draws until 16
  • Dealer stands on 17
  • Dealer can’t surrender
  • Dealer can’t split hands
  • Dealer can’t double down 
  • Dealer can’t take insurance

Six Card Charlie Rule

10
16

In some live blackjack tables, the Six Card Charlie Rule applies where the player wins when they get a 6-card hand that doesn’t bust. Winning with this rule can be difficult, but it’s a great rule to have just in case a hand is constantly getting low value cards. Card counters can try and take advantage of this rule, but they might need to adjust their basic strategy chart to accommodate this.

Blackjack Odds | House Edge and Bust Probability

The odds of winning in this game isn’t constant and can fluctuate between 1% and 42.22%, depending on how someone plays. A good player can take advantage of the somewhat favorable odds but bad players will frequently lose even when they have good hands to play with.

Players can improve their odds by mastering basic strategy, counting cards, and playing the right variation for them. One possible way is by playing alone against the dealer or at least playing at an online table where only one hand is dealt for multiple players to avoid the possibility of other players ruining a player’s hands by making bad plays. Other players can easily ruin another’s odds of winning by hitting and getting a 10 then busting when the next player already has a Soft 11 and then ends up with a 6 to get a Soft 17 when they could have gotten a 21.

Bust Probability

Busting is a problem in blackjack and many players usually lose otherwise winning hands when they don’t know how to play their hands. Still, making the correct decisions can still lead to a bust since basic strategy only aims to improve a gambler’s chances of wining and lowering busts. The probability of the player busting when they hit is provided below:

Player’s Hand ValuePlayer’s Probability of Busting
11 and below0%
1231%
1339%
1456%
1558%
1662%
1769%
1877%
1985%
2092%

As seen in the table above, the chances of busting go up as the player’s hand value goes up. It’s advisable to stand at 18 since it’s already a strong enough hand and a dealer will stand on 17 anyway.  Betso88 rules say that the dealer always stands on a 17, and the table below will show why.

Dealer’s UpcardDealer’s Probability of Busting
Ace17%
235.30%
337.56%
440.28%
542.89%
642.08%
725.99%
823.86%
923.34%
1021.43%

The probability of busting when a dealer has 6 is high since they still need to hit after getting a 10 and ending up with 16. However, an upcard of 7 has a lower chance of busting since the dealer can get an Ace and end up with an 18 or get a 10, Ace, King, or Queen and end up with a 17 and both outcomes require the dealer to stand.

Learning both the player’s and dealer’s probability of busting will help players learn why basic strategy is built as it is.

Blackjack Strategy | Basic Strategy Chart

Learning basic strategy can be difficult because of the many different situations and actions to memorize. Basically, players will know when to do the following:

  • When to hit
  • When to stand
  • When to double down
  • When to split
  • When to surrender

Having a chart can make things easier since players only need to memorize the chart instead of listed-down rules. In fact, we’ve prepared a Blackjack Basic Strategy chart to help players get started with mastering this so they can move on to more advanced strategies as soon as possible. Players can even consult this when playing live blackjack.

Hard Hands Chart
Player TotalsDealer Up Card
Hard Hands2345678910Ace
17StandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStand
16-13StandStandStandStandStandHitHitHitHitHit
12HitHitStandStandStandHitHitHitHitHit
11Double/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/Hit
10Double/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitHitHit
9HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitHitHitHitHitHit
8HitHitHitHitHitHitHitHitHitHit
Soft Hands Chart
Player TotalsDealer Up Card
Soft Hands2345678910Ace
A 9StandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStand
A8StandStandStandStandDouble/ StandStandStandStandStandStand
A7Double/ StandDouble/ StandDouble/ StandDouble/ StandDouble/ StandStandStandHitHitHit
A6HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitHitHitHitHitHit
A5 – A4HitHitDouble/HitDouble/HitDouble/HitHitHitHitHitHit
A3 – A2HitHitHitDouble/HitDouble/HitHitHitHitHitHit
Splitting Pairs Chart
Player TotalsDealer Up Card
Soft Hands2345678910Ace
Two AcesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Two 10sNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Two 9sYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Two 8sYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Two 7sYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Two 6sNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Two 5s or 4sNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Two 3s or 2sNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Surrender Chart
Player’s HandDealer Up Card
2345678910Ace
16NoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
15NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
14NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo

As seen above, Insurance isn’t considered in Basic Strategy because it is disadvantageous for players.

Betso88 Blackjack Variations 

The Betso88 online casino is powered by multiple gaming providers, with Evolution Gaming being the most well-known with a wide selection of blackjack games. Some of these games are the following:

Classic Live Blackjack

Classic VIP Blackjack

Evolution Gaming’s Live Blackjack tables feature a mixture of American and European Blackjack rules while also introducing several side bets to make the game more exciting. The standard tables seat up to seven players and anyone who isn’t seated have the option to use the Bet Behind side bet to bet on what a different player will play. The different side bets are the following:

  • 21+3
  • Any Pairs
  • Bet Behind

Evolution Gaming’s classic blackjack tables come in the standard low minimum bet tables and high stakes VIP tables.

Speed Blackjack

Speed Blackjack

Speed Blackjack works similarly to Evolution Gaming’s standard table, except that players can act fast and hit, double, or split without having to wait for other players, regardless of where they’re seated in the table. This variation also comes with a low stakes and a high stakes VIP table.

Infinite Blackjack

Infinite Blackjack is a Live Blackjack variation with unlimited seats and all players are dealt the same hand. Gamblers can play their initial two-card hand how they want to play it without needing to consider the other players. This variation comes with the 21+3, Any Pairs, Hot 3, and Bust It side bets and the Six Card Charlie rule as standard.

Infinite Blackjack

Evolution Gaming’s Infinite Blackjack variation is a game where only one player hand is dealt and an unlimited number of players play the same hand. Players who choose to hit will be dealt with a card and their decision will be recorded, while those who split and double down will be dealt their own cards.

This game variation comes with the following side bets:

  • 21+3
  • Any Pairs
  • Hot 3
  • Bust It

Infinite Blackjack also comes with the Six Card Charlie rule where players win when they have a hand consisting of six cards without exceeding 21.

Lightning Blackjack

Lightning Blackjack works like a standard blackjack table and Infinite Blackjack’s one player hand, except with multipliers. These multipliers are determined and assigned by RNG and can range from 2x to 25x. Players must pay a mandatory 100% Lightning Fee for every initial bet to have a chance to win a multiplier for their next hand.

Lightning Blackjack

Essentially, winning a round means winning one of six multipliers for the next round. Each multiplier is assigned to a single winning condition, which are the following:

  • 4-17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • Blackjack

If the player won with a Natural, their winnings on the next round can be multiplied according to the multiplier amount won.

Free Bet Blackjack

Free Bet VIP Blackjack

Free Bet is a blackjack variation where players can double down and split for free. These moves are free on certain conditions, making it potentially profitable for basic strategy masters and card counters. The conditions are the following:

  • Double Down is free on hard 9-11
  • Splits are free on 2-9 and Aces

The only downside is that the dealer pushes when they get a 22, making it harder to win since a winning hand can end up pushing because the dealer got lucky and pushed.

Power Blackjack

Doubling Down is essential to increase a player’s winnings when they have a good hand. In Power Blackjack, players can take things up a notch and triple down or quadruple down to further increase potential winnings. The cost of tripling and quadrupling down is the lack of any 9s and 10s in this 8-deck game, effectively removing 64 cards that would help players get a high hand.

This variation also features different rules from the standard Evolution Gaming live blackjack game with the most notable and important rule being the Double Down After Split. Betso88 players normally won’t be able to double down after splitting, but players will be able to double, triple, or quadruple down here to further boost their winnings. Because of this, players should consider adjusting their basic strategy charts specifically for this variation, namely their splitting hands chart.

Splitting Pairs Chart
Player TotalsDealer Up Card
Soft Hands234567810Ace
Two AcesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Two 10sNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Two 8sYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Two 7sYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
Two 6sNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Two 5sNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Two 4sNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
Two 3s or 2sYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNo

The table above isn’t perfect and only adds additional times when to split since doubling down after split is allowed. This is also a very basic chart and players can modify it to specify when they should double down. Specific instructions on when to triple and quadruple down can be made to further adjust the basic strategy chart specifically for this game.

Evolution Gaming’s Power Blackjack variation comes with the following side bets as standard:

  • 21+3
  • Any Pairs
  • Hot 3
  • Bust It

Betso88 Live Blackjack Side Bets

Many traditional blackjack tables are straightforward or only feature a few side bets. Betso88 blackjack tables typically feature many different side bets that players can play, which are the following:

21+3

21+3 is a side bet commonly found in online blackjack tables where the player wins when their first two cards and the dealer’s upcard make up a three-card poker hand. These hands are the following:

Side BetsPayoutsOdds to Win
Suited Three of a KindSame suit, three identical cards100:11.00%
Straight FlushSame suit, in numerical sequence40:12.49%
Three of a KindDifferent suit, three identical cards30:13.32%
StraightDifferent suit, in numerical sequence10:19.90%
FlushSame suit, three cards5:119.61%

Any Pair

Any Pair is a side bet that pays out when the player’s first two cards are a pair. The three different pairs are the following:

Side BetsPayoutsOdds to Win
Mixed PairSame card value6:116:39%
Colored PairSame color, same card value12:18.26%
Perfect PairSame color, same suit, same card value25:13.98%

Hot 3

Hot 3 is an online blackjack side bet where the player is paid out when the total value of the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s hole card is 19, 20, or 21. Players get paid out according to the table below:

Total Card ValuePayouts
Three 7s or 7-7-7100:1
Suited 2120:1
Unsuited 214:1
202:1
191:1

Bust It

Bust It is a blackjack side bet where the gambler wins when the dealer busts on their third card. The different winning dealer outcomes are the following:

Bust It is an online blackjack side bet where the player gets paid out when the dealer busts on their third card. The dealer must bust with a 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 for the player to be paid out. The payouts for this side bet is the following:

Dealer OutcomePayouts
Bust with 615:1
Bust with 79:1
Bust with 87:1
Bust with 95:1
Bust with 1010:1
Bust with colored 88850:1
Bust with suited 888200:1

Bust with Colored 888 and Bust with Suited 888 are difficult to win with since they require the dealer to have three 8s.

Bet Behind

Players will still be able to play blackjack at a full live online blackjack table thanks to the Bet Behind side bet where they piggyback off a player’s gameplay. This allows players to still win when they bet on the correct player to win. However, they need to hope that the player they’re betting behind actually knows how to play correctly.

Insurance

Insurance is a side bet where players can break even should they lose a round. The requirements to make this bet is for the dealer to have an Ace as their upcard. The insurance bet costs half the initial wager. 

How to Win at Blackjack

Winning in blackjack games will rely more on skill instead of luck since mastering strategies WILL pay out more consistently than when just hitting and doubling down. To do this, players must master Basic Strategy, learn advanced strategies and techniques like card counting, and learn deviations to avoid getting caught. Betting even money is never an option when counting cards

Master Basic Strategy

Basic Strategy is the foundation of all successful blackjack strategies and mastering it is required for players to win more consistently by knowing the mathematically correct moves to make. Learning Basic Strategy involves knowing when to do the following:

  • When to hit
  • When to stand
  • When to double down
  • When to split
  • When to surrender

These are the basics and must be thoroughly learned before moving to advanced strategies since they are all based on basic strategy.

Some of the easiest things to remember when mastering Basic Strategy are the following:

  • Always hit on hard 11 or lower
  • Always hit on 10 or 11
  • Always hit on Soft 17 or lower
  • Always stand on Hard 17
  • Always stand on Soft 20 and 19
  • Always double down on Hard 11
  • Always split 8s and Aces

If memorizing Basic Strategy is too hard, players can consult our strategy charts while playing online as a cheat sheet.

Count Cards

Card counting is an advanced strategy wherein the player assigns values to the cards to keep track of how many high or low cards there are remaining in the deck. Counting cards effectively requires players to master Basic Strategy first so they can make the correct decision when they’re dealt a specific hand. This allows them to maximize their potential winnings. Additionally, mastering basic strategy allows players to tweak it to practice deviations to keep themselves from getting caught counting cards.

Counting cards is an effective blackjack strategy where players must keep track of which cards are still in the deck so they can make advantageous plays. This has allowed players to “beat” the casino by winning more money than the average player. This is because players will have an even better idea on when the right time to bet more money for higher potential payouts is and when to double down or split to increase their winnings more.

Beginners can use the Hi-Lo card counting system so they can get a hang of card counting then move on to harder card counting systems like the following:

  • Hi-Opt I
  • Hi-Opt II
  • Knock Out
  • Red Seven
  • Omega II
  • Ace/Five
  • Zen Count
  • Halves
  • KISS
  • KISS II
  • KISS III
  • Wong Halves
  • J. Noir
  • Silver Fox
  • Unbalanced Zen 2
  • Illustrious 18
  • Revere Point Count
  • Uston Advanced Point Count
  • Canfield Expert System

Players can either stick to the Hi-Lo system or move on to more advanced systems after mastering it. However, they should also learn blackjack deviations to throw off the casino from the fact that they’re counting cards. This is necessary since many successful card counters are also in the blacklist for many casinos due to how effective card counting is.

Keep in mind that playing in online casinos will keep players from getting caught counting cards, even with a cheat sheet.

Learn Deviations

Just because Basic Strategy is the foundation of all good strategies doesn’t mean that it should be followed every time. Card counters will typically need to deviate from it to throw off the casino from the fact that they’re counting cards. There are two types of deviations, which are the following:

  • Playing Deviations
  • Betting Deviations

Playing deviations is basically deviating from Basic Strategy and making “mistakes,” especially rookie mistakes that effectively keeps the dealer from thinking that the player is a professional. This includes making rookie plays like hitting on Hard 17, not doubling down on Hard 11, not splitting on two Aces and 8s, and more.

Betting deviations, on the other hand, is mainly increasing and decreasing bet sizes randomly, as if the player doesn’t know the true count and whether it is advantageous to them or not. Players can also settle with flat betting to play it safe and not take full advantage of card counting.

Play Live Blackjack in Online Casinos

It’s advisable to play blackjack in online casinos since players can easily print out a blackjack Basic Strategy chart to use as a cheat sheet to determine how they’ll play. If the player wants to count cards, then they should make sure to play at a live table so that they’ll play with real decks instead of virtual RNG decks so they can keep track of which cards are at play without the fear of getting caught and banned.

Playing live casinos games at Betso88 is also advisable because of the following reasons:

  • Low minimal bets for certain tables
  • Multiple varieties to choose from
  • Potential casino bonuses
  • Play at home

Online blackjack is by far easier that traditional blackjack games where the player can get nervous at the table and lose more frequently.

FAQs

The basic rules of blackjack is that all players are dealt two initial face up cards with their values shown and the players must hit, double down, or split to get a hand of 21 or closest to 21 or stand when they already are close to 21. Players must not go over 21.

The basic payouts for blackjack are the following:

  • Blackjack or 21 = 3:2
  • Better hand than the dealer = 1:1
  • Insurance = 2:1

Side bets will have their own payout values, according to the specific rules of the table featuring said side bets.

Aces are counted as either 1 or 11, depending on the hand value. King, Queen, and Jack are 10. All number cards have their values determined according to what’s shown on the card, so a 7 of Spades is 7.

Basic strategy is the foundation of all effective blackjack strategies as it shows all the mathematically correct moves to make in Blackjack, depending on the player’s hand and dealer’s upcard.

Some great blackjack variations to play at Betso88 are Lightning Blackjack and Power blackjack due to the high potential payouts of said games. Power Blackjack is even better since it is a player vs. dealer table where only one player hand is dealt and shared by all players.

Card counting is a blackjack strategy that many players use to gain an advantage over the casino by keeping track of which cards are played and still remain so they can adjust how they play and how much they bet to their advantage.

There is no law stating that counting cards is illegal or is cheating, but the casino reserves the right to ban players who count cards.

Conclusion

Blackjack is an extremely popular casino game and is a game preferred by professional gamblers to beat the casino. Playing at online casinos gives players access to a wide variety of blackjack games with different rulesets that can influence how they enjoy the game.

Blackjack remains popular today because of how accessible the game is and how challenging it can get to win, making it more enjoyable in the long run. Do you want to play blackjack? Register at Betso88 today.

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