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Beating Blackjack Online

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The following tables show the blackjack rules offered by some major software providers. Some software providers allow their licensees to select their own rules. I know this to be true of Real Time Gaming, Unified Gaming, and GamblingSoftware.com. The rules below for Real Time Gaming used to be standard but with a software update the number of decks may be set by the operator. The rules below for GamblingSoftware.com were taken from World Wide Vegas. Comments on Unified Gaming rule variations follow the tables.

Number of Decks
Unified Gaming 1 or 6
Starnet 6
Microgaming 1
Cryptologic 8
Boss Media single player 1
Boss Media multi-player 6
Real Time Gaming 2
GamblingSoftware.com 2
Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Unified Gaming Yes
Starnet Yes
Microgaming Yes
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming No
GamblingSoftware.com Yes

Double on Any Two Cards
Unified Gaming Yes
Starnet Yes
Microgaming No
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming Yes
GamblingSoftware.com No
Double after Splitting
Unified Gaming Yes
Starnet Yes
Microgaming No
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming Yes
GamblingSoftware.com Yes

At Microgaming casinos the player may only double on 9 to 11. At GamblingSoftware.com casinos the player may not double on soft hands, effectively limiting doubling from 9 to 11.

Number of splits allowed
Unified Gaming 3
Starnet 1
Microgaming 1
Cryptologic 1
Boss Media single player 1
Boss Media multi-player 1
Real Time Gaming 2
GamblingSoftware.com 1
Player May Draw to Split Aces
Unified Gaming No
Starnet No
Microgaming Yes
Cryptologic No
Boss Media single player No
Boss Media multi-player No
Real Time Gaming No
GamblingSoftware.com No

At Unified Gaming and Real Time Gaming casinos the player may re-split only once.

This next rule is too involved to explain in the table.

In the United States if the dealer has a blackjack the player may lose no more than their original bet. In Europe the dealer does not check for blackjack until all the players are finished. If the dealer does have blackjack then the player will lose the total amount bet, including any additional from doubling or splitting.

Naturally the US rule is advantageous to the player. Online casinos can go either way, or half and half. For example, at Starnet and GamblingSoftware.com casinos the player will lose the full amount bet if the dealer has a 10 showing but only the original amount with an ace showing. Boss Media is the opposite. Microgaming has the full European rule and Cryptologic and Unified Gaming following the full US rule.

The following table shows on which dealer up cards the player is subject to lose the total amount bet if the dealer has a blackjack.

European Hole Card Rule
Unified Gaming None
Starnet 10
Microgaming 10, Ace
Cryptologic None
Boss Media single player Ace
Boss Media multi-player None
Real Time Gaming None
GamblingSoftware.com 10

Surrender
Unified Gaming Late against 10
Starnet No
Microgaming No
Cryptologic No
Boss Media single player No
Boss Media multi-player No
Real Time Gaming No
GamblingSoftware.com No

Minimum and Maximum Bets
Software Minimum Maximum
Unified Gaming $1 $250
Starnet $5 $200
Microgaming $2 $2000
Cryptologic $5 $100
Boss Media single player $5 $500
Boss Media multi-player $5 $500
Real Time Gaming $5 $500
GamblingSoftware.com $1 $100

Note that some software brands have different tables for different betting spreads. Jumping from the minimum to the maximum bet may require changing tables.

House Edge
Unified Gaming -0.16%
Starnet +0.56%
Microgaming +0.13%
Cryptologic +0.49%
BossMedia single player -0.07%
BossMedia multi-player +0.46%
Real Time Gaming +0.40%
GamblingSoftware.com +0.46%


Click here to see a list of casinos grouped by their software provider.



Fine Points of Basic Strategy

Most online casinos shuffle after every hand, especially in single deck. However just the cards on the table can be enough to deviate from the basic strategy sometimes. Visit my page detailing fine points of basic strategy in single deck blackjack, it is perfectly suited for use playing blackjack online.


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